The Fall 2023 Masterclass Series

All Masteclaases are free and open to the community. 

The Emerson/Harris Masterclass Series is supported in part by the Robert L. Malster (1956) Fund.

Linda May Han Oh, Bass, Associate Professor of Bass at Berklee College of Music

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

Killian Hall, 6pm to 8pm 

Masterclass: Featuring E/HP Jazz students

Linda May Han Oh’s masterclass will include rehearsal and practice techniques, concepts for improvisation and composition, Q & A and a short performance.

Based in New York City, GRAMMY award-winning Linda May Han Oh is a bassist/composer who has performed and recorded with artists such as Pat Metheny, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steve Wilson, Geri Allen and Vijay Iyer.

Originally born in Malaysia and raised in Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia, she has received many awards including a 2022 Deutscher Jazz Preis, 2nd place at the BASS2010 Competition, a semi-finalist at the BMW Bass competition and an honorary mention at the 2009 Thelonious Monk Bass Competition. She was voted the 2018-2021 Bassist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, as well 2022 Bassist of the Year in Jazztimes. Linda also was voted 2019 Bassist of the Year in Hothouse Magazine and was the 2020 recipient APRA award for Best New Jazz Work. In 2023 she received the prestigious Herb Albert Award for music.

Linda has had five releases as a leader which have received critical acclaim, her latest – a quintet album entitled The Glass Hours on Biophilia Records. Her latest commissions include “Littoral Tales” a solo piano piece in two movements for Gloria Cheng, and “Ephemeral Echoes” written for percussion trio and piano trio as well as “Mirrors and Shadows” written for piano and bass duo.

She has written for large and small ensembles as well as for film, participating in the Sundance Labs at Skywalker Ranch and composing for several of sociologist/film maker Sabrina McCormick. Linda also composed and produced music for a collaborative film project with non-profit, “Hoperaisers” based in Korogocho, Kenya by film-maker Kizito Gamba and contributed music to his latest documentary “Calling the Shots” co-directed by Kore Abong about aspiring African women in the film-industry.

Linda is currently Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music in the bass department and is also part of the Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice led by Terri Lyne Carrington. Linda was featured on bass in the 2020 Pixar movie "Soul" under the musical direction of Jon Batiste (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) alongside drummer Roy Haynes and was the model for the character in the film - bassist “Miho.”


Walter Smith, Saxophone, Chair of Woodwinds at Berklee College of Music

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

Killian Hall, 6pm to 8pm 

Masterclass: Featuring E/HP Jazz students

Walter Smith’s masterclass will include rehearsal and practice techniques, concepts for improvisation and composition, Q & A and a short performance.

Originally from Houston, Texas Walter Smith has developed under the wings of many of the music’s greats. Walter is/has been a member of several legendary groups (recording and/or touring) including the Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Terence Blanchard Quintet, Eric Harland's “Voyager”, Bill Stewart Trio, Jason Moran’s In My Mind:Monk at Town Hall, Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet, the Christian McBride “Situation”, Marquis Hill “New Gospel Revisited”, Gerald Clayton Quintet, Christian Scott group and the Sean Jones Quintet to name a few. He has also released 9 albums as a leader, including his latest, “Return to Casual” (2023) on the Blue Note Label. 

Smith has performed all over the world participating in virtually every international festival as well as famed venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. In addition, he has shared the stage and/or appeared on recordings with many important artists including Mulgrew Miller, Billy Childs, Joe Lovano, Herbie Hancock, Maria Schneider, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ralph Peterson, and a host of others. To date, Walter has appeared on over 100 recordings that are released worldwide

Smith now resides in Boston, MA and is Chair of Woodwinds at Berklee College of Music helping to prepare the next generation of young artists.


Logan Skelton, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Piano, University of Michigan 

Friday, October 20th, 2023

Killian Hall, 5-7 PM 

Presentation: Discovery and Meaning

Masterclass: Featuring E/HP piano students

University of Michigan Thurnau Professor Logan Skelton will give a presentation delving into reading scores at a deeper level; from first glance to final performance. This presentation deals with how to read scores at a deeper level, always asking what the composer’s true intent was through the notes they have written as well as the performance indications. Sometimes startling and mind-bending insights can be gleaned by a close examination of the music. The talk includes a variety of musical examples correlated with live and recorded performances. The goal is to convey that with a deep understanding of a composer’s actual musical intentions, a great freedom of interpretation results. The presentation seeks to lead students to find meaning through understanding. 

Link to Bio

Link to Video

Juliette Herlin, cello, Texas Christian University 

Friday November 3rd, 2023

Killian Hall, 5-7 PM 

Masterclass: Featuring E/HP cello students, Chamber Music Society groups

Cellist Juliette Herlin (Assistant Professor, Texas Christian University, Cellist in the Aletheia Piano Trio) will give a masterclass on Friday November 3rd on the core string and chamber music repertoire performed by MIT students in the Emerson/Harris Program and Chamber Music Society. An informal technique class followed by Q&A session with the guest artist will be open to all cellists, strings and musicians on Saturday November 4th. 

Link to Bio

Melissa Aldana, Saxophone/Jazz Improv/Composition

Friday, November 10th, 2023

Kresge Auditorium, 3pm to 5pm 

Read Melissa’s full bio here. Masterclass: Featuring E/HP Jazz students