2011 BeanTown Jazz FestivalBerklee Global Jazz Institute Ensemble
The members of the ensemble are all enrolled in the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), a unique focused area of study at the college designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines. World-renowned pianist Danilo Pérez serves as its artistic director.
The program's directed study classes and seminars are designed to help the students build a community of creativity. Classes include Introduction to Global Jazz, focusing on the development of jazz from Africa to Europe and the Americas; Global Jazz Workshop Assembly, offering a forum for artists-in-residence and presentations from the Liberal Arts, Music Therapy, and Composition departments; and Creative Improvisation Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration, exploring the creative process and the connection between jazz and performing and visual arts, including painting and dance.
Experiential and service learning are also be integral to the program. Explained Marco Pignataro, managing director for the BGJI, "They've been given this great musical talent. We'll teach that as artists, they are responsible to positively affect their communities." In addition to playing with and being mentored by jazz masters, the students travel together to play at festivals in Panama, Puerto Rico, and other places, and record original material in the studio. They give back to the community by working with children, and teaching music locally through Berklee's City Music program and in other cities during institute performance trips. Students develop the skills needed to become role models for a new generation of musicians and inspire leadership in others.