Paquito D'Rivera/Berklee Latin Jazz Program


July 6-10, 2014

What’s the program like?

Learn from Paquito D'Rivera and some of the world’s leading Latin music musicians and educators. You’ll explore in depth a wide variety of Latin music styles, including a wide variety of Afro Centric music styles. You’ll play in ensembles, labs, and group lessons, developing improvisational and reading skills.

What's the schedule?

Classes during the week generally run from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and clinics and concerts take place in the late afternoon and evening. Jam sessions run from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.


Ensembles: All students will perform a variety of Latin music styles, including: Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, South American, and other Caribbean genres.

Lectures: Lectures will focus on the fundamentals of developing an understanding of the Latin music styles. Subjects include history, theory, and repertoire.

Paquito Clinics: Monday - clarinet; Tuesday - composition; Wednesday - study discipline

Jam Session (Tuesday and Wednesday): Students will be able to choose from a variety of Latin styles from which to jam: Cuban, Brazilian, Sout American, Caribbean, etc.

Concert: Performance by Paquito D’ Rivera Sextet (Monday only)

Who are the instructors?

All classes and ensembles will be taught by members of Berklee's faculty, as well as by visiting artists.

Artistic Director:

Paquito D'Rivera

Paquito D’Rivera defies categorization. The winner of 11 Grammy Awards, he is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. Born in Havana, Cuba, he performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra, studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music and, at 17, became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. He eventually went on to premiere several works by notable Cuban composers with the same orchestra. Additionally, he was a founding member and codirector of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere. With its explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical, and traditional Cuban music never before heard, Irakere toured extensively throughout America and Europe, earned several Grammy nominations (1979, 1980) and a Grammy (1979). Learn more..

Academic Director:

Oscar Stagnaro

Hailing from Peru, Oscar Stagnaro studied at the Conservatory of Music in Lima while working extensively as a first-call sessions musician and live performer for many international artists and local bands. He moved to the U.S. in 1979, where he continued his studies with pianist/educator Mike Marra, and jazz great Jerry Bergonzi. Since then, Stagnaro has become one of the most in-demand performers on the East Coast. His mastery of different music styles including jazz, fusion, Latin, Brazilian, and South American music has allowed him to travel the world performing with a virtual who's who in the Latin and jazz worlds respectively. Learn more...


Mark Walker

Grammy Award-winning drummer/percussionist/composer/educator Mark Walker hails from Chicago, Illinois and began his studies with the “Dean of Percussion,” Roy C. Knapp at age 16.

He is known for his long tenure as a drummer, percussionist, and composer with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Oregon, Paquito D’Rivera, Andy Narell, Dave Samuels, Caribbean Jazz Project, Michel Camilo, Lyle Mays, and many more.

Walker is one of the first drummers to apply a wide variety of authentic South American and Caribbean styles to a jazz context. He is also one of the first to teach these styles at Berklee College of Music, where he has been a professor since 2001.

He recently developed his own online lesson membership site, World Jazz Drumming (Berklee Press/Hal Leonard).

Diego Urcola

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, three‑time Grammy nominee Diego Urcola has been a member of the Paquito D'Rivera Quintet since 1991. Additionally, the oft‑in‑demand trumpeter performs regularly with the legendary saxophonist Jimmy Heath, the Caribbean Jazz Project, and the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All‑Star Big Band.

Urcola's musical studies began at the age of 9, in the Music Department of the Colegio Ward, where his father Ruben served as director. He continued his studies and in 1988 he received the title of Profesor Nacional de Música from the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica. Subsequently, having received a scholarship to study abroad, the trumpeter and flugelhorn player moved to Boston where he attended Berklee College of Music. In 1990 he received his diploma with an emphasis in jazz performance. Less than a year later, he made the jump to New York, where he established himself as one of the truly gifted and versatile young artists. He has never looked back. As noted, his affiliation with D'Rivera's various projects began almost upon arrival. He also began working with a number of other well‑known artists. In the mid 1990s he toured with Slide Hampton, the great trombonist and arranger, in a group the bandleader referred to as “The Jazz Masters.” Urcola toured extensively with the United Nations Orchestra under the leadership of D’Rivera after Dizzy Gillespie’s death. Learn more...

Alex Brown

The understated virtuosity of pianist Alex Brown is a clear indication that reports of jazz music’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Fast emerging at the forefront of a new generation of artists, Brown is mightily armed with the technique of jazz tradition, reinvested with fresh curiosity and vision for what jazz is, and can be. Learn more...

Paulo Stagnaro

Paulo Stagnaro, a rising percussionist and composer, is quickly establishing both a national and international reputation. Paulo began playing piano, cello, and many folkloric Latin-American instruments at a young age. After attending a KOSA percussion camp, and the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program, he began to take a more serious interest in music. Since then, he has performed with some of the biggest names in the Latin and jazz worlds respectively. Learn More...

Where will I eat and sleep?

Applicants will be sent information and an application for residence hall housing once accepted to the program. Most program participants elect to stay in the Berklee residence halls; however, space is limited. To optimize your chances for on-campus housing, you must return the housing application immediately upon receiving it.

To be eligible to live in the residence hall, you must be 15 years of age by the start of the program. If you apply to the program after mid-May, please call the Housing Office at 617 747-2292 to find out if residence hall space is still available.