Oscar Stagnaro

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Career Highlights
  • Bassist with Paquito D'Rivera since 1992
  • Artistic Director, CLAEM and ALAEMUS, the Congress and the Association of Latin American Music Schools
  • Recordings with the Caribbean Jazz Project, NDR and WDR Big Bands, United Nations Orchestra, New York Voice, and the Paquito D'Rivera Quintet
  • Performances with Rosa Passos, Eva Ayllón, Leny Andrade, and Zambo Cavero
  • Endorser of Warwick Basses, Aguilar Bass Amp, and DR Strings
  • Numerous festival appearances and club performances
  • Coordinator for the Latin Music and Culture Celebration at Berklee
  • Director of Berklee's Asociation of Latin Faculty
  • Advisor for Latin studies minor at Berklee
  • Author of The Latin Bass Book (Sher Music)
  • Winner of four Grammy awards
In Their Own Words

"Most of the people who come to my classes have little knowledge of what I'm teaching, so I try to open the door. I try to make it as simple as I can so they can feel close to the material, so that it's not impossible for them to learn. If I learned it, they can learn it. I have to prepare them for the real world. That's why I'm there. I always tell them, 'If you want to study with me, I'll prepare you, so when you leave here, you'll work.' That's my mission. You're gonna work. I play a lot of different styles, so I try to teach my students a little bit of what I do, music from all over the world. If they only play blues when they get out of school, for example, it'll be much tougher for them to find a gig."

"When I'm touring, I see a lot of people playing, so I learn a lot about the way they approach music. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not so good. I try to tell my students that this thing is not a game. When you go on the road, sometimes you sleep two hours and then you have to be ready to play. Everybody wants to do tours, but they're not as easy as they look. If students are aware of that, they'll take the music more seriously."

"The diversity of the faculty at Berklee is great, and the courses here are well developed. The competition among students is very helpful for everybody. It's a nice environment for them to learn in. But as the teacher, I have to establish this environment. Some students are a little behind, and some are a little ahead. I have to put in the time to reach each and every one of them."