Boston is a city of arts––particularly music, from New England Conservatory to Berklee College of Music to Symphony Hall, and independent ensembles like Grammy-nominated A Far Cry. I’ve had the privilege of working with numerous musician clients, helping them set up homes where they can also make art, collaborate with others, and stay connected to the vibrancy of the city.
Winnie Dahlgren, a musician and professor at Berklee College of Music, has used the City of Boston Artist Certificate to build roots in the city while traveling with her band. Her Artist Affordable unit at the Modern in the South End has allowed her to work in and “enjoy the city without constantly having to travel to it.”
Tell us more about your art: what type of artist are you, and how and when did you get started?
I’m a musician, currently playing a mix of jazz and Latin music, with Afro-Cuban and African and Brazilian rhythm influences. From small band and big band settings. I’m a performer, composer, conductor––and educator, in my role at Berklee.
I came to the US from Denmark to study music. I was not planning to stay here, but sometimes music takes you places you didn’t expect.
I started out wanting to play percussion; I didn’t want to play what everyone else was playing. My high school music teacher is the one who said I should pursue music. I started in classical music, with symphony orchestra and contemporary ensembles, but when you got a musical degree in Denmark, you had to pick another instrument, so I picked the jazz vibes. I came to Berklee because at the time, Denmark didn’t have a study of the vibraphone and Berklee had Gary Burton, a world-famous vibraphonist. I connected with him, came to Berklee and, in a good way, got stuck here. I currently teach full-time at Berklee and teach seven classes.
How has access to the Artist Certification and Artist Affordable space influenced your art and experience as an artist in Boston?
The Artist Certification and Artist Affordable space has allowed me to stay in the city and close to everything. It is definitely a big advantage to be in the middle of everything. It gives me peace. I don’t have to hustle; I can just enjoy the city without constantly having to travel to it. Everything is more or less right around the corner from my loft.
And having the space to rehearse and practice is huge advantage. The acoustics are so great!
What have you loved about your Artist Affordable loft? In what ways has it inspired or facilitated your work?
I love the spaciousness; the tall ceilings feel so open. I can stretch out. Also, there is a lot of bright light because of all the windows. I also love the location.
Where can people find you and your art?
Visit my website. Right now I’m not performing as much because we are focused on recording.