Berklee Global Jazz Summit Explores Improvisation and Humanity, March 29-April 1

Free, on-campus panels from March 29 to April 1 will lead up to the summit concert on April 1 at the Berklee Performance Center.

March 16, 2016

From March 29 through April 1, 2016, the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) will present the seventh annual Berklee Global Jazz Summit. This year's summit explores improvisation as a tool to face the challenges of the 21st century. On April 1, Danilo Pérez, the Grammy Award-winning pianist and artistic director of the BGJI, will lead students, faculty, other educators, and special guest artist Danny Rivera on stage at the Berklee Performance Center. Considered the national voice of Puerto Rico, Rivera has recorded more than 70 albums and has performed across the globe during his nearly 50-year career. The April 1 concert will also feature Berklee Global Jazz Institute faculty and renowned artists Terri Lyne Carrington and John Patitucci.

This will be the first summit concert featuring students from Berklee's new contemporary performance graduate program (global jazz concentration), which launched in September 2015. In addition, educators from around the world will join the summit on stage. Riccardo del Fra, the celebrated bassist and head of the department of Jazz and Improvised Music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, will join the performers for part of the program. Chris Collins, the director of Jazz Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, will serve as a guest conductor and will perform on saxophone. Oscar Cruz of Panama will be a guest percussionist.  

"This year's celebration provides the opportunity to experience music as a tool for intercultural dialogue and the power of jazz as a force for freedom and creativity," Pérez said.

The summit concert takes place on Friday, April 1, at 8:00 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, located at 136 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. Tickets are $12-$18 and are available at, by calling 617-747-2261, or at the box office. The venue is wheelchair-accessible.

Watch a performance of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" from the Berklee Global Jazz Summit with Danilo Pérez, Terri Lyne Carrington, and John Patitucci featuring Danny Rivera.

Information about clinics and panels follows:

*All activities take place at the Zero Gravity Room, 1260 Boylston Street, Boston.

Tuesday, March 29:

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Improvisation in the Context of Orchestral Works

Conducted by Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, and Danilo Pérez.

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Improvising Species

Conducted by Brian D. Farrell, director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and professor of Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University.

7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

BGJI Concert Series

BGJI student ensembles present original compositions.


Wednesday, March 30:

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Improvisation from the Womb to Cultural Identity

Conducted by Danny Rivera.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Intercultural Dialogue: Panamanians in Jazz

Conducted by Patricia Zarate, executive director for the Panama Jazz Festival.


Thursday, March 31:

10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Intercultural Dialogue: Jazz from the Shamrock Shore

A clinic and performance exploring the repertoire, improvisation, and cultural significance of traditional Irish music and its connections to American jazz.

Conducted by Chris Collins.


Friday, April 1:

10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Intercultural Dialogue: Exploring Connections Between Jazz and Classical Music

Conducted by Riccardo del Fra.


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