Michel Camilo Scholarship Established


Latin jazz star Michel Camilo sits in at Berklee's Encore Gala.
Photo by Justin Knight

Providing the means for others to reach their musical dreams adds an important dimension to the significant accomplishments of pianist and composer Michel Camilo. Born in 1954 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Camilo has been fascinated with music since childhood. He composed his first song at the age of 5 and at 16 became a member of his country's National Symphony Orchestra.

Camilo made his Carnegie Hall debut with his trio in 1985 and, since then, has become a prominent Latin jazz artist with a vast catalog of recordings and compositions. He performs regularly in the United States, the Caribbean, Japan, and Europe.

Despite his active professional schedule, Camilo has found the time to establish a scholarship at Berklee College of Music that will provide financial support for an instrumentalist of Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, or Latin American heritage who demonstrates outstanding talent and financial need. Berklee has long attracted students from Latin American and Caribbean countries. Many others have expressed a strong interest in Berklee but have been unable to attend because of financial constraints.

"We are absolutely thrilled that a musician of Michel's caliber has taken this opportunity to invest in aspiring young musicians who are seeking to find their musical voice at Berklee," said Marjorie O'Malley, assistant vice president at Berklee. "Michel's work as a performer, composer, and conductor is recognized throughout the world. We are so pleased that Michel has taken this step to ensure that the ever-increasing influence of Latin music will continue to be felt at Berklee. We thank him for his support."