Erin Bentlage
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Erin Bentlage

Burlington, Vermont, United States

Burlington, Vermont, United States
Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter


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I grew up in Jericho, VT in a home with a beautiful piano and musical sounds all around. My parents enrolled me in classical piano lessons after watching me decipher a play-by-colors book at the age of five--I don't remember a time when music was not my favorite language by which to communicate.

I spent middle school imitating the likes of Norah Jones and Alicia Keys, playing and singing in secret until I finally found my courage and began performing near and around Burlington through high school; opportunities included several shows at the Burlington First Night Festival, both as a solo performer and as a member of choirs and other acts; the Burlington Waterfront Festival; the Vermont All State Music Festival (recipient of the 2008 Jazz Scholarship with a performance at the festival); and other smaller shows whenever the opportunities presented themselves. When it came time to attend college, I initially headed for Boston University to follow the pre-med track, but after three semesters and one epiphany I transferred to Berklee College of Music to study Contemporary Writing and Production on scholarship.

In Boston, I've been a featured vocalist in Berklee's Singer's NIght, performing original tunes in the famous Berklee Performance Center, as well as Maggie Scott's Vocal Jazz Series. I've been in the studio recording with several unique artists such as Mozambique's Albino Mbie, who asked for my vocal collaborations on his Mozambican infused jazz album, or prodigal pianist Christian Li, whose album requested an instrumental-like wordless vocal over his breath-taking jazz compositions. These opportunities have given me the chance to meet musicians that I will have in my own group, which includes members of the world renowned Berklee Global Jazz Institute (Danilo Perez). I've recorded with WeBe3, a vocal trio featuring Joey Blake, Rhiannon Watson, and David Worm -- the forerunners in vocal improvisation, and the experience of a lifetime. The recent formation of Berklee's top vocal jazz ensemble, featuring five vocalists, a rhythm section, and the occasional horn section, will take me to the Jazz Educator's Network conference in January where we'll be featured performers. And last, but certainly not least, I've had the opportunity to record and produce my own music in collaboration with many talented friends and artists who each continue to fuel my inspiration.

Graduation from Berklee will see the start of a teaching career, when I will begin to teach grade school level voice, piano, and music theory; it will see traveling to Canada, Africa, Asia and across the U.S. on tour with musicians that I've been in collaboration with; it will see a continued career of composition, arranging, and production; and most importantly it will see a continued exploration of my sound and inspiration.