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High Performance

A little-known (except to purists) music space

cafePhoto: Tony Luong


t may look from the outside like part of the Berklee College of Music (which it is), and it’s true that Café 939 is run by students and local music professionals who teach them about everything from booking, marketing, and sales to lighting and design. But the Red Room at this all-ages, little-known performance venue, named for its plush red walls and couches, showcases up-and-coming student artists who you can see before they’re famous, along with local musicians and occasional national acts performing rock, jazz, folk, and world music, bluegrass, hip hop, and electronica in an intimate 200-person space, right there on busy Boylston Street (where many people pass it by). The Red Room also hosts kids’ shows, open-mic nights, and poetry slams. There’s usually a cover (hey, those students gotta eat), but lunchtime concerts and some other events are free. Goldberg



Founded by pianist and composer Lawrence Berk, Berklee was named for his son, Lee Berk, who succeeded him as president.