American Roots Music Program

American Roots Music Program

The artistic validity of a wide range of American roots styles—including blues, gospel, folk, early country music, bluegrass, old-time, cajun, western swing, polka, Tex-Mex, and others—is beyond dispute. This music is the lifeblood of America’s cultural heritage. The expressive urgency and depth of these styles is supported by strong fundamental musical values, and it is in recognition of the richness of these idioms, and of the ways that they fuse with contemporary elements, that Berklee has created the American Roots Music Program.

Among its many projects, the American Roots Music Program produces concerts, hosts visiting artists, designs and implements curriculum, creates and hosts faculty development sessions, and designs and implements symposiums and seminars. Also, using a broader definition of the term "roots," the program examines the core of what it means to be a musician in all idioms, and contemplates the roots of our western musical traditions, ranging from Bach to traditional African music.

The artistic director for the American Roots Music Program is Matt Glaser, who served as chair of Berklee’s String Department for 28 years.

Board of Advisors

These top contemporary performers, writers, and producers are advising the American Roots Music Program:

Darol Anger, Ray Benson, John Blake, Fletcher Bright, Liz Carroll, Michael Doucet, Stuart Duncan, Bela Fleck, Ted Gioia, David Grisman, Charlie Haden, Leo Kottke, John Lawless, Lloyd Maines, Edgar Meyer, Keb Mo, Bruce Molsky, Geoff Muldaur, Don Rigsby, Ricky Skaggs, Andy Statman, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Doug Wamble, and Sara and Sean Watkins. Other advisors will join the board in the future.