| May 2008

<a href=""></a> | May 2008
May 2008

  Steve Winwood
  Photo provided by the artist

Each May, the newest Berklee graduates are greeted by musical luminaries, as Berklee awards honorary doctorates to influential members of the music industry at commencement. This year is especially exciting, with a record five honorees who represent a smorgasbord of musical tastes: Philip Bailey and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire; Steve Winwood; film composer and Berklee alumnus Howard Shore; and Brazilian artist Rosa Passos. To whet people's appetites, Winwood will hold a concert in the Berklee Performance Center on the Thursday before the big day.

The Berklee grads have already had their share of advice from the pros recently. Last month, they were visited by mandolinist Chris Thile and internet radio guru Tim Westergren, as well as a host of music business experts. Read on to find out what they had to say. And the next generation of music professionals isn't far behind. Listen to the song that won 18-year-old rapper Jennifer "Nesi" Chianesi one of two grand prizes in Berklee and Essence magazine's hip-hop songwriting contest.


Tribute to Paul Whiteman, May 5

In its premier season, the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra celebrates the 70th anniversary of Paul Whiteman's historic 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall. 8:15 p.m., Berklee Performance Center. Free and open to the public.

Berklee String Orchestra, May 6

Under the direction of professor Eugene Friesen, the Berklee String Orchestra will present a program of music from the Middle East. 8:15 p.m., Berklee Performance Center. Free and open to the public.

Ben Taylor with David Saw, Kim Taylor, Emily Elbert, May 7

Cafe 939 hosts a night of acoustic music by talented singer/songwriters. 8:00 p.m., Cafe 939. Read more...

Steve Winwood, May 8

In appreciation of the honorary degree Berklee will award to him on May 10, Winwood is performing a special concert for the Berklee community, featuring hits from the '60s to his new album 9 Lives. 7:30 p.m., Berklee Performance Center.

Graduate Open-Mic Night, May 10

Fresh from commencement, Berklee graduates take the opportunity for one last performance on campus. 8:00 p.m., Cafe 939. Free and open to the public.

Ernie and the Automatics, May 15

As part of Cafe 939's Executive Sessions, Ernie and the Automatics features guitarist Ernie Boch Jr., CEO and president of Subaru of New England. 8:00 p.m., Cafe 939. Read more...

Mavis Staples, May 16

Soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples comes to the Berklee Performance Center for an inspirational concert. 8:00 p.m., Berklee Performance Center. Read more...

Berklee Celebrates 10 Years at the Blue Note, May 19

Woodwind chair Bill Pierce brings top students to play New York's legendary Blue Note jazz club. 8:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m., Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 West 3rd Street, New York. Read more...

On Sale Announcements

  • The Lat Pak — Tickets went on sale April 29 for a June 1 show.
  • Jaheim — Tickets went on sale May 3 for a June 2 show.
  • Summer Beats — Tickets went on sale May 3 for a May 15 show.
  • The Whispers — Tickets went on sale May 2 for a June 19 show.

Learn more on the Events section of our website.

  Commencement keynote speaker Philip Bailey
  Photo provided by the artist


Berklee Honors Five Music Legends at 2008 Commencement

More than 800 student musicians will graduate as honorary doctorates go to Philip Bailey and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire; Steve Winwood; composer and Berklee alumnus Howard Shore; and Brazilian artist Rosa Passos. Read more...


Mandolin wunderkind Chris Thile takes the long road home. Read more...

Outside of the Box

Pandora founder Tim Westergren relates the internet radio station's ups and down. Read more...

Building a Bridge to Mississippi

Partnerships with two blues foundations bring young musicians to study at Berklee. Read more...

Foretelling the Future

A panel of industry experts discuss the changing music business. Read more...

New Generation Ready to Take Back the Music

Celebrity judges and Berklee scholars have made the final decisions and awarded five outstanding teen rappers Berklee scholarships to help take their talents to new heights. Read more...

New Summer Institute for Piano Teachers Open for Enrollment

A hands-on program to give piano teachers a basic, working knowledge of contemporary styles, the institute focuses on improvisation techniques and harmonic concepts in contemporary music. Read more...

Berklee Press Releases Fingerstyle Funk Bass Lines

Learn the art of creating a solid fingerstyle funk bass groove with Berklee professor Joe Santerre. Read more...

For all the latest news, go to the Berklee News home.

Sounds of Berklee Podcast

The socially conscious lyrics of Jennifer "Nesi" Chianesi's "Shake Up" helped make her one of two grand prize winners in Berklee and Essence magazine's Hip-Hop Songwriting Contest. The 18-year-old rapper from Cranston, Rhode Island has written more than 100 songs. Listen to "Shake Up" in this month's podcast.

Subscribe to the Sounds of Berklee podcast.


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