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"The Stars of Tomorrow Shine at Berklee's Singers Showcase"

The Stars of Tomorrow Shine at Berklee's Singers Showcase Thursday, December 8, at the Berklee Performance Center
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Singers Showcase Performance
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Hear the rising stars of tomorrow on the same stage where Lalah Hathaway, Paula Cole, and Susan Tedeschi honed their skills. Experience the infectious energy of tomorrow's talent performing selections that appeal to pop, r&b, Latin, blues, jazz, and folk music lovers alike during this annual Singers Showcase. Berklee is pleased to welcome WGBH 89.7 FM, Boston's NPR arts and culture station, as the series media sponsor. Berklee also welcomes, for the first time, Borders Books and Music as the Supporting Sponsor of this series.
General admission tickets are $15 ($11.25 for seniors). There is a 10% discount on all tickets for WGBH members. For more information please call 617-747-2261 or visit The event will take place Thursday, December 8, at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA.
The fourth performance in the 2005-2006 Berklee concert series line up, which includes Meshell Ndegeocello, Patty Larkin, and The Yellowjackets, continues a 22 year tradition of bringing Berklee's finest emerging vocalists to the performance center stage. Over 100 student singers auditioned for the chance to perform as part of this hugely popular concert. From that rich pool of talent, eight lead vocalists were selected: Nadine Ford, Georgel Arevalo, Major "Choirboy" Johnson, Dawn Royston, Ryan Christopher Pinkston, Jennifer Hirsch, Rebecca Muir, and Tiwa Savage. Those chosen will bring to life the music of legendary artists such as Stevie Wonder, Celia Cruz, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, and more, backed by the college's best instrumentalists and background vocalists and more.
This is the evening to see Berklee's up-and-coming vocalists and instrumentalists at the college proven to be the training ground for renowned artists, such as Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks), Rachelle Ferrell, Melissa Etheridge, and Juan Luis Guerra. The concert will be rounded out with dancers, lights, and three-camera video with rear projection, making it a true showcase of contemporary craftsmanship and entertainment.
- Berklee

"Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Budding local R&B star Casely is only 21 years old, but he's got the musical chops of an industry veteran.
By Esther Park
Published: December 6, 2007

Courtesy of 1st Records, Inc.
Casely won't be undercover for long.
Subject(s): hip-hop, Casely, Miami local music If the name Casely sounds familiar, congratulations! You don't live under a rock. His single "Emotional," a delicious slice of R&B pop, has been racing up the local radio playlists since its official release a month ago. Produced by legendary Miami duo the Diaz Brothers, "Emotional" is so smooth that listeners of stations like Power 96 and 99 Jamz often mistake it for the work of another star.

"I always thought it was Chris Brown or Ne-Yo or somebody, 'cause it was way too good to be from somebody local," says 17-year-old Melanie Crespo. Now the self-proclaimed first real fan of this local artist, she holds up a signed Casely poster and beams with pride. "It's just so exciting to be a fan of somebody on the verge of blowing up!"

Crespo isn't the only one feeling this anticipation. At the time this interview took place, Casely was in the middle of a multimillion-dollar bidding war between several major record labels. His only reaction when this tidbit is brought up is a sheepish grin. "I still can't really put my finger around it, you know? It's all just happened so fast, yet I've been doing this for so long," he says, visibly trying to keep his cool. Long? Seems like a bogus statement when coming from a 21-year-old, but when you learn more about Casely's history, long might just be an understatement.

Born Jean Carlos Casely, the Miami native is an only child to Panamanian and Trinidadian parents. He can't recall exactly when he decided to do music full-time, but he does remember his first stint as a pop star hopeful. "It was in school and we had this four-man group, kinda like a boy band," he admits. "We would do like school talent shows and whatever; we were pretty popular."

Fortunately for Casely's solo career, the adolescent quartet (appropriately named Eternal Love) disbanded, and Casely was forced to strike out on his own. He was 10 years old. Rather than playing videogames and figuring out girls don't have cooties, Casely was being classically trained on piano and vocals at Parkway Middle School of the Arts, a distinguished performing arts school in Broward County.

"I studied theater, opera, guitar, and piano," he says. "I loved it. It just kept me focused on what I wanted to do with my life, and that was music." Casely continued his training well into high school, even performing in professional musical theater with one noted lead role at the age of 17 as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. "Jekyll and Hyde was one of my favorite musicals," he says excitedly, like a true thespian nerd. "I had the whole English accent down and everything. I think I might have possibly been the first and only black person to play Jekyll and Hyde."

But instead of beelining for Broadway, Casely bypassed New York and headed to Boston, where he attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship. There he resumed his training in vocals and piano while delving into other aspects of music. "Berklee taught me a lot about the business of the music industry, something that I wasn't really into before," he says. "I took a lot of courses on music production, distribution, copyrights, all the stuff you need to know if you want to really pursue a music career."

Now with an arsenal of musical talent and business knowledge, Casely was ready to produce his first solo record. A long time coming, his debut album, I'll Be, was released by Miami label 1st Records Inc. in early 2005. With 14 tracks of smooth R&B jams that would make Usher jealous, the album was a well-received introduction to the public. Casely was soon placed on the promotional boot camp tour, with countless live performances, interviews, and openers. He was even featured alongside producer/partner Jason Farmer on CNN Headline News, performing a song the two penned titled "Unsung Heroes," a tribute to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Casely admits he wrote it in two hours. "It just comes naturally to me," he says. "I just hear the melody, and then the lyrics just automatically flow out. It's like I can't stop it sometimes."

It's this type of raw talent that attracted the Diaz Brothers in early 2007. Recently coming off their success with Pitbull's latest album, they've also produced chart-topping singles for pretty much every high-profile hip-hop artist out there. It was only a matter of time before the Diaz Brothers discovered an R&B pop star.

"We found Casely on MySpace, actually," recalls Lou Diaz. "When I heard his stuff, I was like, 'Ah yeah, he's already signed to a major,' because it was so good. But then I saw on his MySpace that he was indie. That's when we hit him up."

Casely confesses he didn't think to look twice when that fateful MySpace message popped up in his inbox. "I didn't put two and two together. I just thought, Oh, another person who wants to do some stuff. I get those e-mails all the time," he recalls. "But when I went back and checked that message, I was shocked."

"It's all just happening so fast," he continues. "Like it's only been a couple months ago that we were sitting at this very same spot [Circle House Studios], talking about working together, and now we already have a single out and are shopping it around to majors. It's just crazy."

Lou can't agree more: "You know when you get that feeling like, yeah, that's the one! Well, that was the feeling we got when we met Casely. He was the real thing. I was just so amazed by his professionalism and how focused he was at such a young age. I was really impressed."

What's more impressive is the small amount of time it took the Diaz Brothers and Casely to form a serious musical relationship. Acquainted with Casely for only five months, Lou confesses he's learning more about the young man through this New Times interview. "We've been so busy in the studio we haven't really had a chance to get to know each other's lives like that," Lou concedes. "But what really matters right now is that Casely has a lot of talent to share. He's truly gifted both as a musician and a performer. He has the full package and has what it takes to beat out guys like Ne-Yo and Chris Brown. He's that good!"

"I see cats right now that are doing stuff and I'm like, I can do that, if not better! That's how ready I am," Casely declares. "I wanna make sure that Miami is not just the capital of hip-hop, but R&B as well. And if I'm the first to prove it to the world, then so be it."

As this article goes to print, Casely is now major. He just signed a lucrative contract with Epic Records.

- Esther Park- Miami New Times


I'll Be, 2005 Debut Album
Emotional-Radio Single
Midnight- Radio Single Ft. Casely
Move,Shake,Drop Remix- Radio Single Pitbull ft. Casely & Flo-Rida



In today’s music industry it’s a rare discovery to find a recording artist who truly epitomizes the word “Music”, but in R&B singer Casely that’s just what you’ll find. Jean Carlos CASELY, born and raised in South Florida to Trinidadian and Panamanian parents, is a shining new star that’s changing the music industry standard of what an artist and musician should be. Casely’s road to music and performing began at age 7 where he attended Parkway Middle School of the Arts to receive classical vocal training and also developed his musical skills with piano and guitar lessons. Casely’s education continued at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. where he attended on music scholarship. After 3 years of vocal training, hands-on music production and studying the business side of music, Casely decided it was time to leave school and spread his wings. Casely's musical influences include Michael Jackson, Usher, Stevie Wonder and Donnie Hathaway. He credits his style to studying these music icons (among others) to create his own unique and personal sound. Casely is a true artist, singer, dancer & musician who takes pride in playing instruments such as piano and guitar, writing his own material and perfecting his high-energy stage show. A recent quote from a studio session with Ruben Studdard says it all: “That boy can SING!” Casely's debut album “I’ll Be…” was warmly received by South Florida radio stations and highly praised by his fans. Casely is currently finishing up his album with heavy weight producers including The Diaz Bros, Develop (Lil’ Wayne’s “Fireman”). He’s also writing and recording for renowned record producer Jim Jonsin (hits include Pretty Ricky’s “Grind With Me” and Jamie Foxx’s “Unpredictable”) CASELY is planning a Winter/Spring’08 tour of Europe. At age 21 Casely is already a veteran recording artist and a consummate professional. With his die-hard work ethic and drive to succeed he’s destined to be one of the greatest music icons of our time.

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