Deborah Pierre

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments
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A Grammy-nominated musician and Berklee graduate, Deborah Pierre, who performs as Debo Ray, is a leading vocalist in Boston and New York’s jazz and world music circles. A composer at heart, she is best known for the unique way she embraces and expresses the music she creates, as well as for her style of blending theory with emotion in her performances. A spirited and cooperative collaborator, she has shared stages with multiple Grammy winners, including Bobby McFerrin, Esperanza Spalding, Antonio Sanchez, and Terri Lyne Carrington; performed at top venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Newport Jazz Festival; and has toured internationally. She believes her mission is to spread the joy of music without compromising skill and nuance, and as part of that mission, she aims to create a sound that feels both relatable and universal.

Career Highlights
  • Grammy nominee for Best Jazz Instrumental Album (2020) for The Waiting Game by Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science
  • As lead vocalist for Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science (with Aaron Parks, Matthew Stevens, Morgan Guerin, Kassa Overall, Esperanza Spalding, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Rapsody, and others), performed at the Melbourne Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, and the Grammy pre-show (2020), with appearances on WGBH, WNYC, and NPR’s Tiny Desk series
  • As music director, arranger, and lead vocalist for the critically acclaimed vocal ensemble Women of the World (with Annette Philip, Giorgia Renosto, and Ayumi Ueda), toured Japan, China, Taiwan, Russia, Italy, Austria, Germany, and across the U.S.; won the Vokal Total competition (2018), Aca Open competition (2017), and Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival (2014); and performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall, and the Kennedy Center with the likes of Angélique Kidjo and Bobby McFerrin
  • Lead vocalist for Behind These Eyes, a jazz-funk-pop fusion band directed by Hal Crook, legendary educator and Berklee professor emeritus
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music, voice performance and classical composition (2013)
In Their Own Words

"My role as a vocal instructor is to create a haven in which you can identify your vocal needs through understanding foundational vocal technique. I work hard to create a learning environment that fosters curiosity and vocal innovation, then I'll engage your natural curiosity about the material I present and take that curiosity to the next level."

"After my time as a student at Berklee, I established a full-time singing career that has taken me all over the world to perform. It is because of my foundation at the college, as well as the hard-earned lessons from the road, that I can help to shape my students with tools they'll need to be successful in the music industry."