Career Jam 2021 Career Jam 2021

Career Jam Keynote Presentation: With Keynote Speaker H.E.R.

Singer, Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist

Accumulating ten Grammy nominations and two wins in just two years, H.E.R. has proven herself as an R&B force to be reckoned with.  In 2019, the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist won two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album (H.E.R.) and Best R&B Performance (“Best Part” featuring Daniel Caesar). This year, her five Grammy nominations included Album of the Year (I Used To Know Her), Record of the Year and Song of the Year (“Hard Place”), Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song (“Could’ve Been” ft. Bryson Tiller). Following up on her jaw-dropping performance of “Hard Place,” she returned to the Grammy stage for the second year in a row to perform “Sometimes,” a brand new song that became the most Shazamed performance of the night.

In a short period of time, H.E.R. has accrued over two billion combined streams - and counting - of the breakthrough projects H.E.R. (RIAA-certified Platinum), I Used To Know Her, more recent songs “Slide” featuring YG (plus the remix featuring Chris Brown, Pop Smoke and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie), “Sometimes,” “Comfortable” (featured on The Photograph soundtrack) and “Wrong Places (from Songland).” “Slow Down,” Skip Marley’s infectious song featuring H.E.R., recently claimed the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B Adult chart.

H.E.R. Vol. 1 EP peaked at #1 on the iTunes R&B/Soul Albums chart upon its release and H.E.R. Vol. 2 saw the same trajectory, resulting in two EPs within the Top 5 at the same time. I Used To Know Her: The Prelude debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart, while fan favorites “Focus,” and “Best Part” earned the #1 spot on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs Airplay chart and Urban Adult Contemporary chart, respectively. H.E.R. won two 2018 Soul Train Music Awards for Album/Mixtape of the Year for H.E.R. and Best Collaboration Performance for “Best Part.” In 2019, she won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Female Artist.

H.E.R. has captivated audiences not only with stellar live performances while headlining her North America and international tours, but also with an impressive list of television performances. Over the past few years, H.E.R. has performed on the 2020 & 2019 Grammy Awards, 2019 Video Music Awards, Austin City Limits, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, The Ellen Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show with James Corden, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Nickelodeon’s All That, 2018 BET Awards, 2019 Global Citizen Festival, including her duet of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” with Alicia Keys, Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince, Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort Special, and Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020.

In September 2019, H.E.R. and producer partner Live Nation Urban introduced the first-ever Lights On Festival at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, CA, which sold out within minutes of going on-sale. This is notably the first female owned and curated R&B festival in decades. Touting “R&B Is Not Dead” as the festival’s theme, the powerhouse lineup included H.E.R., Jhené Aiko, Daniel Caesar, Summer Walker, Ari Lennox, Lucky Daye and more. She is currently working on year two of the Lights On Festival and looking to expand and make it even bigger and better than before.

While the world was under quarantine due to COVID-19, H.E.R. created “Girls With Guitars,” an Instagram Live performance and conversation series which features guest appearances by Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Willow Smith, Tori Kelly, Alessia Cara, Chloe x Halle, Lianna La Havas, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote) and more. Companies such as Amazon Music which donated $30K to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, Fender, Lyft, Beats By Dre, Glossier and Revolve joined as sponsors.

H.E.R. is continuing to dominate other aspects of the entertainment industry this year as well.  She starred in Pepsi’s new “Zero Sugar. Done Right” Super Bowl LIV commercial alongside Missy Elliott, has a cameo in the upcoming movie Yes Day starring Jennifer Garner and is on the soundtrack for the film The Photograph starring Issa Rae. This year saw the launch of her very own eyewear partnership with Diff with a charitable component, Capsule collaboration with Lewis Hamilton and Tommy Hilfiger, and her own guitar line with Fender. H.E.R continues to oversee her charity Bring The Noise which brings music instruction and instruments to schools.

Jeanine McLean
MBK Entertainment Inc., President/Managing Partner

As part of the powerhouse management team for MBK Entertainment for almost 20 years, Jeanine McLean has earned a reputation for being a hard-nosed business woman with a nurturing spirit. She, along with Jeff Robinson, represented Alicia Keys for 14-plus years, and in that time Keys sold over 200 million records, won 14 Grammy Awards, had sold-out tours around the world grossing more than $900 million in ticket sales, and had multi-million dollar endorsement deals with Proactiv and Vitamin Water, just to name a few. H.E.R. is the most recent and most gratifying artist to be developed and managed by McLean. Now, at the age of 23, H.E.R. has over a billion streams, garnered two Grammy Awards and 10 nominations, and has sold out domestic and international tours grossing more than $20 million in sales. McLean is currently on the board for Bring the Noise, created by H.E.R., whose focus is bringing instruments and music programs to students in impoverished school districts.

Alonzo Harris
Musical Director/Arranger

As assistant professor of ensembles at Berklee College of Music, Alonzo Harris values the importance of a music education and seeks to share this value with students in an eclectic manner. He is also making his mark within the music industry as a prolific musical director, arranger, and musician. Recent work includes being musical director and arranger for the 61st annual Grammy Awards and for Aretha, the Grammy tribute to Aretha Franklin, working with Rickey Minor and five-time Grammy nominee H.E.R.

Harris shares his insider industry knowledge with students to help them understand the conceptual connection between theory and practice, between written word and spoken word. His credits include collaborations with RCA Records, Atlantic Records, Voltron Recordz, Interscope, and Def Jam, among many others, and with multiple artists including Betty Wright, Teyana Taylor, 21 Savage, Dej Loaf, and Elle Varner.

Swagg R’Celious
Songwriter and Producer

Professionally known as Swagg R’Celious, D. Arcelious Harris is a producer, vocalist, and songwriter who's making an innovative mark on the music industry. Signed by Sony/ATV, the producer and writer has had career-defining opportunities to work with artists, writers, and producers such as Babyface, American Authors, H.E.R., Wale, and Alicia Keys, among many others. Respected beyond the genres of hip-hop and R&B music, his beginnings were rooted in the church and have evolved across cultural lines, from work with the K-pop star Hyo Lee (producing "A Barbershop's Daughter," "Sexy Boy," and "Red Car" on her 2008 album) to writing the score for the motion picture Stick up Kids. He also has a strong passion for music education in music technology and has been featured as a guest lecturer at high schools, colleges, and universities.

His multidimensional, cross-genre music has earned him a top 5 record in France, three top 20 gospel records, a no. 1 gospel album, and four consecutive top singles on iTunes. The ever-evolving producer also enjoys speaking about his experiences and passion for music in workshop settings at such places as Berklee College of Music, Seoul Music Institute’s Summer Music Program, and LaGrange College’s Music Department, among others.

Sean Skeete B.M. ’04
Berklee College of Music, Chair of Ensembles
Career Highlights
  • Performances with Oleta Adams, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Teodross Avery, Freda Battle, Walter Beasley, Blue Man Group, Boston Pops, Boston Symphony, Will Downing, Stephen Hurd, Rueben Rogers, Stomp, Vinx, and Marvin Winans
  • Recordings include Elan Trotman's Memories and the George Russell Trio's Schlickness

Join us for this year’s keynote presentation with MBK Entertainment Inc. president/managing partner Jeanine McLean; songwriter and producer Swagg R’Celious; musical director Alonzo Harris; and our special guest keynote speaker H.E.R. This event will be moderated by Sean Skeete, chair of the Ensembles Department. 

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