At the age of 12 Mercedes, along with her sister Morgan, founded the all girl heavy metal band Kittie. Mercedes was 15 when they recorded and released their first Album “Spit” which was met with critical acclaim and was RIAA certified gold. Following on the success of “Spit”, 2002 saw the release of their sophomore effort entitled “Oracle”. Six albums and three EPs later Kittie has sold roughly 2 million albums Worldwide. Mercedes and her sister are currently writing a tell all book on the history of Kittie and will be releasing a Documentary on the band in 2016.
Mercedes is well known for her unique melodic, or musical, style of drumming and writing. She shares her thoughts on writing and recording and of course drumming, in this Youtube ‘Lesson Alley’ interview:
In October 2014, Mercedes was featured in Fierce Magazine online. Advice from this Rock Goddess… “Be the best you can be. Be persistent, and take other people’s negativity towards you and turn it into your driving force.”
We are looking forward to having Mercedes at RockOn Workshop this coming July.
Metal fusion guitarist Emil Werstler of Chimaira and Daath will also return in 2015 as a mentor July 13-24.
RockOn Workshop 2015! Its gonna Rock!!!
Violinist Alla Zernitskaya, Director of the Pittsfield High School Chamber Orchestra, will direct a two-week String Chamber Music Workshop at Berkshire Community College July 13-24 as part of Rock On 2015. The string chamber workshop will focus on lessons, coaching ensembles, and sight reading through repertory. Activities will also include performance classes in which the students will perform for each other with follow up discussion and feedback. This program is open to intermediate to advanced violin, viola, cello and double bass students ages 10-18. The string program will run in parallel with Rock On’s regular program of contemporary music performance and production. String players will have the opportunity to perform both classical and contemporary repertory.
The string program is being supported by RO founder Akiva Talmi. Mr. Talmi, who holds a BA and MS in Music Composition from Juilliard, sponsors the performances of young solo artists and college orchestras as part of the international tours he promotes.
Ms. Zernitskaya, founder and director of the PHS Chamber Orchestra, arrived in the USA from the former Soviet Union in 1990. Since then, she has gained national recognition as a highly esteemed and innovative pedagogue. In addition to receiving the 2007 Yale School of Music “Distinquished Music Educator Award”, the City of Pittsfield honored her in 1997 with its “ Most Valuable Teacher” award for her work with the PHS string program. Among the highlights of the numerous awards she has received is acknowledgement from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for her teaching excellence.
RockOn Registration opens March 1 ! Stay tuned ..
T Bone Daddy at Flavours
Saturday January 24 at 9:00pm
Come out and dance and melt away the Winter Blues!
75 North Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201 $5 Cover 21+
Sandy McKnight and the Idea
with The Matchstick Architects
Sunday Jan 25 @ 2:00pm
Fairways at the A
303 Crane Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201 $10 All Ages
Concert Window is an online music venue where musicians broadcast live shows to earn money and meet new fans. It is part of a new music industry with online distribution channels where artists to tap into large audiences, and actually generate income for their web content. Playing a show requires only a laptop, allowing artists to share a real-time experience with many more fans. More info…
stay tuned for more info!
new course and faculty announcements!
Local jazz, folk and blues artists – including Carlton Maaia II, Linda Worster, Charlie Tokarz, Jon Hadad, Andy Kelly, Between the Banks and Hal Lefferts– will perform for this holiday event. This year special guests will include the Gospel Gang who will share acoustic songs from the country gospel tradition.
November 26, 2014 7:00pm
First Church of Christ, 27 East Street Pittsfield, MA
* Free Will Donation *
* The proceeds benefit the Pittsfield Area Council of Congregation’s Fuel Assistance Fund.
Giving Thanks for Hot Jazz @ Mission with Charles Neville, Don Mikkelsen, Ben Kohn, Andy Wrba and Conor Meehan
This week, as the Holidays commence, we in the Berkshires can truly say that we have a lot to be thankful for. From Great Barrington to Williamstown, there is always a choice of great sounds and artists to catch. Where else can you enjoy some steamin’ jazz with Charles Neville on a Monday night? NYC, New Orleans, Boston – maybe (if not Boston, Somerville).
Last night Pittsfield was the place, Mission Bar + Tapas specifically. Mission hosts Andy Wrba and friends jazz every Monday with no cover charge, great eats and cocktails. Last night’s show featured Charles Neville on saxophone, Don Mikkelsen trombone, Ben Kohn on keys, Andy Wrba bass, and Conor Meehan on drums. What a treat!
Talented artists trading licks that were both tasteful and kickin’ at the same time. Tunes by Sonny Rollins, Cole Porter and more, and a special guest appearance by Charles’ son Kalik sitting in on keys.
Night and Day
Sunny Moon for Two
Take the A Train
Bohemia After Dark
Straight, No Chaser
On Green Dolphin Street
Stella by Starlight
When the Saints Go Marching In
Many thanks to Andy Wrba and Benny Kohn of the ‘Berkshire Jazz Collective’ for bringing the event to life. The BJC, with drummer Bill Chapman, has featured special guests in the past including Charles Neville (saxophone), Benito Gonzales (piano), Marisa Massery (vocals), Armen Donelian (piano) and top area performers.