New York Bound: Here’s who’s playing the Berklee & Vanyaland CMJ Music Marathon Showcase party


After a blowout bash in Austin for SXSW, we are proud to announce that Vanyaland has once again partnered with Berklee College of Music as media sponsor of the school’s annual CMJ Music Marathon Showcase.

This year’s event, dubbed Boston & Beyond, goes down Friday, October 24 at Carroll Place in New York City’s Greenwich Village — the same joint that’s hosting the SXNE party the next night. And it features seven up-and-coming bands spanning various genres, all with Berklee ties.

Among the Boston & Beyond performers are rootsy electronic pop act Smoke Season, a Los Angeles duo whose single “Badlands” has been getting regular play on Vanya Radio, and Amy & The Engine, an infectious indie-pop collective based out of Boston. The other acts include Drunken Logic, Tumbleweed Company, Kate Diaz, The Western Den, and Los Rumberos de Massachusetts, who we partied with at SXSW.


Here are the full details, with band links after the pertinent info…

Boston and Beyond: Berklee’s CMJ Music Marathon Showcase
Friday, October 24, at Carroll Place Features
Smoke Season, Amy & The Engine, Tumbleweed Company, and more

Boston, MA, September 30, 2014 — Boston and Beyond: Berklee’s CMJ Music Marathon Showcase of alumni and student artists takes place on Friday, October 24, from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. at Carroll Place in New York. The show features rock, Americana, folk, Latin, and electro-pop by Drunken Logic, Tumbleweed Company from Nashville, Kate Diaz, The Western Den (HRR), Los Rumberos de Massachusetts (HRR), Amy & the Engine, and Smoke Season from Los Angeles.


The showcase is presented by The Red Room @ Cafe 939, Berklee Alumni Affairs, and Heavy Rotation Records (HRR), with media sponsor Vanyaland.

Vanyaland will be live streaming the event at Vanya Radio.

Boston and Beyond: Berklee’s CMJ Music Marathon Showcase is open to all ages. Admission is free for CMJ badge holders and $10 for the general public. Carroll Place is located at 157 Bleecker St. (between Thompson St. and Sullivan St.), New York, NY. For more information, call 212-260-1700.

The event includes free raffles for a chance to win a badge to attend next year’s CMJ Music Marathon. Free copies of HRR’s latest album, Dorm Sessions 9, featuring showcase artists The Western Den and Los Rumberos de Massachusetts, will also be given away.


CMJ Music Marathon is one of the world’s most important platforms for the discovery of new music, drawing 120,000 people with over 1,400 performances in more than 80 venues. Berklee has presented many up-and-coming acts at its past CMJ showcases, including Lucius, Nini & Ben (of HAERTS), Elizabeth & the Catapult, Christopher Barnes (Gem Club), Bleu, Julia Easterlin, and Golden Bloom.

Artists, in order of appearance:

Drunken Logic

The seed for Drunken Logic took root when frontman Jake Cassman walked away from an Ivy League education to make music and form a band at Berklee in 2012. Drunken Logic brews an eclectic powder keg of alternative rock and indie folk with classic rock and pop influences. Songs range from folky reflections on growing up to bluesy barn-burners about corporate greed. The quintet released its debut album in 2013 and was named Musicians of the Year by Raw:Boston.


Tumbleweed Company

Nashville-based Tumbleweed Company strives to craft each song with care and exploration. The group – Berklee alumni Maria Kowalski, Jeff Adamczek, Ryan Toll, Will Cafaro, and Jayme Tardiff – brings listeners a sound that combines the comfort of the South with the adventure of the West, while blending the members’ diverse roots, including folk, Americana, rock, and soul. Vocal harmonies ring over an orchestra of instruments in each song’s story.


Kate Diaz

Kate Diaz, a student singer-songwriter and guitarist from Chicago, has released four acoustic albums and three singles, books her own gigs, and does her own website design. Diaz wrote a song for the U.N.’s International Day of the Girl, and raises funds for child cancer research with her song “Christmas Smiles.” She has performed at Kidzapalooza, Taste of Chicago, Milwaukee Summerfest, Earth Day Festival in Washington, D.C., and at Chicago venues including House of Blues and the Metro.

The Western Den (Heavy Rotation Records selection)


Driven by a shared passion to create music with purpose, The Western Den (HRR) is the collaboration of students Deni Hlavinka and Chris West. They blend compelling folk harmonies with ambient textures on their debut EP, Battle Hymns, and opened for Melissa Ferrick on the Northeastern leg of her national tour. The Western Den is currently based in Boston, performing and working on a full-length album.

Los Rumberos de Massachusetts (Heavy Rotation Records)

Los Rumberos de Massachusetts (HRR) – Mexican guitarists Lito de la Isla and Angel Cespedes, and percussionist Paul Sefchovich, who met as Berklee students – create a powerful sound combining Latin cultures with other influences like blues, flamenco, rock, dance, funk and reggae. Their unique style and energetic flavor attracts a wide range of enthusiastic followers in Mexico, the U.S., Latvia, Russia, and Spain, where they have performed with Juanes, Julieta Venegas and Ziggy Marley.

Amy & the Engine


Amy & the Engine, self-described as “indie-folk-pop,” formed at Berklee in 2014 and features the songwriting of student Amy Allen. The band performed at festivals throughout New England and appeared on TV programs and radio stations including Good Morning Maine, Good Morning Emerson, WCLZ, WCYY, WJBQ, and WMBR this summer. Amy & The Engine’s debut single, “I Got You,” was released in July and a six-song EP will be completed in the fall of 2014.

Smoke Season

Gabrielle Wortman and Berklee alumnus Jason Rosen formed Smoke Season in early 2013. Combining their musical backgrounds, the Los Angeles-based duo’s folk and electronic-fused take on Americana has been steadily capturing the attention of fans and press. LA Weekly said of the group, “Smoke Season aren’t strictly traditional rustic revivalists: juxtaposing eerie roots rambles with more ethereal, electronic-pop interludes.” The duo has released two critically acclaimed EPs, Signals and Hot Coals, Cold Souls.