Berklee Global Jazz Institute

Global Jazz Institute Logo

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) is a performance program designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines, with pianist and composer Danilo Pérez as its artistic director. The BGJI provides a comprehensive contemporary music environment where students are given opportunities to explore their creativity to the highest level possible, advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society, and connect musical creative thinking with the natural environment.

Watch BGJI students perform at the 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival:

A Global Opportunity

The BGJI is designed to help instrumentalists and vocalists with unique talent and wide-ranging musical interests achieve their artistic goals through an experiential and interdisciplinary approach. Developing artists who seek to evolve to the highest levels—as both musicians and human beings—will find a true home in the BGJI environment, which will provide both the support and range of challenges necessary for sustained creative growth.

Students accepted to the Berklee Global Jazz Institute may pursue a bachelor's degree or diploma in performance or a two-year artist's diploma. In addition to being mentored by and playing with jazz masters, students will travel together and perform at festivals in Panama, Puerto Rico, and other locales. BGJI students will come together in new musical collectives that will record original material in the studio.

Service learning will be integral to the program. "Our students have been given great musical talent," says Marco Pignataro, BGJI managing director. "We'll teach that, as artists, they are responsible to positively affect their communities." BGJI students will give back to the community by working with children, teaching music in the Boston area through Berklee City Music programs and in other cities during performance trips. The program will also provide opportunities to connect creative thinking in music with the restoration of nature. In general, students will develop the skills needed to become role models for a new generation of musicians and to inspire leadership in others.

Board of Advisors

  • Wayne and Caroline Shorter 
  • Sarah duPont - president and cofounder, Amazon Aid Foundation and Ciamo-Artforce Africa 
  • Kristine Higgins - Berklee trustee and client service and marketing executive (retired), Health Dialog 
  • Dean Goodermote - Berklee trustee and founder and CEO, Grid Analytics 
  • Bodo Liesenfeld - managing partner, Liesenfeld International GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) 
  • Joseph Manzoli - president, ColourFast, Ltd. (Toronto, Canada) 
  • Gerry Barad - COO, Live Nation
  • Patricia Zarate - executive director, Panama Jazz Festival