Aja Burrell Wood

Managing Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice

Aja Burrell Wood is the managing director for Berklee’s Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. Wood oversees the day-to-day operations of the institute and collaborates with founder and artistic director Terri Lyne Carrington on developing curriculum, programs, and initiatives in addition to teaching courses related to gender and justice in jazz, and curating events, among other duties.

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Wood is an ethnomusicologist, educator, and curator with a background in development and violin performance. She has taught courses on music, history, and culture at the City University of New York (CUNY), City College, and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. Her work includes research on musical community among black classical musicians, women in jazz, jazz in the digital era, music and civic engagement in Harlem, and other related genres of the African diaspora such as blues, hip-hop, soul, and West African traditions. She has been a visiting fellow at the New School in addition to her role as guest lecturer at New York University and various institutions throughout New York City.

Wood was formerly the director of operations for Gate Pass Entertainment and has been the associate director of special projects and public engagement for Wynton Marsalis Enterprises. She has curated performances for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for their annual Women’s Jazz Festival. She has also served as an arts-presenting consultant and thought partner for Harlem Stage, Weeksville Heritage Center, Revive Music Group, and the Sphinx Organization.