Berklee Launches Berklee Latino

By 
Sophie Maricq
October 29, 2013

Berklee Latino, Berklee's first-ever program to be taught in Spanish, will be held January 13-18, 2014 at the Mexico City campus of Tec de Monterrey.

The program will be led by Latin Grammy winner Javier Limón, producer for artists including Diego El Cigala and Bebo Valdés, Paco de Lucia, and Andrés Calamaro, among others; and Grammy Award-winner Oscar Stagnaro, who has worked with performers such as Paquito D'Rivera, Jorge Drexler, Rosa Passos, Ivan Lins, and Isaac Delgado. 

Watch Berklee Latino academic director Oscar Stagnaro discuss the program (in Spanish) below:

Berklee Latino presentation, held at La Fonoteca Nacional (National Record Library), was attended by distinguished musicians Maestro Armando Manzanero, Tania Libertad, Magos Herrera, and Roberto Cantoral Zucchi. They highlighted the significance of Berklee choosing Mexico as the location for its first program taught in Spanish, recognizing young Mexican talent. “My presence here is to promote the idea that we have this level of institution to supplement what we are already doing in Mexico. It is us who must make this happen,” said Manzanero.

Zucchi added, “It is a great opportunity for Mexico to have this model of teaching, which is so important for the new generation. It is great that Berklee is here in Mexico.”

Berklee Latino will allow students to explore the essence of Latin music—from sharing basic tools to take students' knowledge of the genre to the next level, to helping them discover and achieve the potential of their strengths. A series of lectures and master classes will center on three major areas of study: musical composition, performance, and basic production skills. Through these, participants will also gain insight into recording, editing, mixing and mastering, as well as analyze Spanish lyrics to understand the fundamentals of a masterpiece.

Other program highlights include visiting guest artists, participation in jam sessions, and an end-of-program concert.

“The importance is to project the quality of Latin music and give it the international diffusion that it deserves," Limón said. "Great things will come from Berklee Latino."

Watch Berklee Latino artistic director Javier Limón discuss the program (in Spanish) below:

Berklee Latino will showcase all the rich facets of Latin music, said Stagnaro. “Latin music is the result of a combination of marvelous factors and this program will focus on all of these; with a special emphasis on interpretation, production, and composition. The objective of Berklee Latino is to prepare students to succeed in the Latin music industry,” he said. “See you in Mexico City—the door through which Berklee is entering into Latin America.”

Alejandro Ramos, director of the engineering career program in digital musical production from Tec de Monterrey, Mexico City campus, is looking forward to the partnership. “I, as well as my students, know that Berklee College of Music is the Mecca for the study of music and as such, we are proud to collaborate at this level.”

Among the Berklee professors who will be teaching the program in Mexico are Grammy winner Mark Walker, Sofia Rei, and Emmy nominee Claudio Ragazzi.

The program is open to the most talented, Spanish-speaking international musicians over the age of 15 with at least six months musical experience. Applications to attend must be submitted, along with supporting materials demonstrating musical experience and talent, online at: berklee.edu/latino/application by December 1, 2013. Accepted musicians will be announced on this same webpage on December 9, 2013.