Application Requirements and Procedures

Applicants will be required to complete an online application and provide a webpage URL that hosts the application essay and three files in contrasting styles showcasing their musical skills and artistic vision. We strongly recommend applicants include an original selection showcasing their ability as a composer and interpreter of their own music and group arrangement.

Applicants are also encouraged to present any additional scores of original music compositions or selected personal work in other artistic disciplines (such as literature, poetry, painting, etc.) that may best represent their creative potential. No hard-copy material will be considered.

Those selected as finalists will be required to audition in person. The institute's admissions panel will include renowned jazz artists and educators as well as the Berklee Global Jazz Institute administration.

Recommendation Letters

Applicants will be required to submit two recommendation letters, one from their private teacher and one from the chair (or assistant chair) of their instrumental department.

Recommendations must be sent to:

  • Attn: BGJI Audition Panel
  • Subject: Application for admission to the Berklee Global Jazz Institute
  • Email:


The BGJI is now accepting applications for admission for all instruments and voice. Students who play nontraditional instruments—or region-specific instruments from around the world—are strongly encouraged to apply. Your application will be considered if you've successfully completed one year at Berklee. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2014. Individuals selected as finalists will be asked to participate in a live audition on May 1, 2014, and an interview on May 2, 2014.

Apply now

You must submit your essay, mp3s, and supporting material by the deadline. The program is open only to Berklee students, and new applicants' principal instruments should be from one of the following categories: piano, voice, guitar, saxophone, bass, brass, percussion, or hand percussion. Students who play nontraditional instruments—or region-specific instruments from around the world—are also encouraged to apply.

Applicants selected to audition for the program will be notified via email.

Each applicant will be judged on his or her application, letters of recommendation, and other criteria, including exceptional musical skill, artistic vision, creativity, and commitment to music, as well as ability to function within a group.

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute Audition

The audition will be approximately 20-30 minutes and will consist of playing in an ensemble setting. Candidates will be asked to sight-read tunes in different jazz styles, demonstrating musicianship, creativity, and ear training through improvisation and ensemble interplay.

The first audition tune will be selected from the following standards:

  • "Footprints" or "Equinox"
  • "Take the Coltrane"
  • "Stella by Starlight"
  • "Oleo"/"Anthropology"
  • "So What" or "Impressions"
  • "Blue in Green"

At the discretion of the BGJI panel, melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic ear-training exercises may be part of the audition.

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute Interview

Candidates will participate in a 20-minute interview with Danilo Perez and the BGJI panel to discuss their essay, goals and aspirations, understanding of the BGJI goals and philosophy, and what they will bring to the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.