Master Musician Awards

Berklee has been recognizing the achievements of the music industry's most influential figures since the early 1970s, when Duke Ellington received Berklee's first honorary Doctor of Music degree.

In 2013, the college launched a new effort to celebrate the work of master musicians through a series of specialized award programs. The artists listed below earned these honors not only by making great music, but by demonstrating the importance of following one's personal vision and leading new generations of musicians into the future.

Master of American Roots Music Award

Berklee grants the Master of American Roots Music Award to musicians who exemplify the practices and values of Berklee's American Roots Music Program, which explores America's musical and cultural heritage, focusing on styles such as country, folk, bluegrass, Cajun, Tex-Mex, and others.

Del McCoury - 2014
Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton - 2017

Master of Global Jazz Award

The Master of Global Jazz Award is given to artists who exemplify the practices and values of Berklee's Global Jazz Institute, which gives students opportunities to explore their creativity and musicianship to the highest level possible, advance the social power of music as a tool for the betterment of society, and connect musical creative thinking with the natural environment.

Wayne Shorter - 2013

Master of Latin Music Award

Berklee grants the Master of Latin Music Award to musicians who exemplify the practices and values of Berklee Latino and Berklee Latin Music Studies, which explores Latin, Brazilian, Caribbean, Afro-Cuban, and others style to develop an understanding of both the performance aspects of Latin music and the history and cultures from which it was born and continues to thrive.

Armando Manzanero - 2014
Magos Herrera - 2015
Fito Páez - 2015
Rubén Rada - 2015
Totó la Momposina - 2015
Susana Baca - 2016
Carlos Vives - 2017
Julieta Venegas - 2017

Master of Mediterranean Music Award

Musical figures who are granted the Master of Mediterranean Music Award exemplify the practices and values of Berklee's Mediterranean Music Institutewhich stimulates cultural exchange of the folk-based music traditions of the various regions of the Mediterranean, internationally promotes these traditions, and supports young and emerging talent from the area. 

José Mercé  - 2014
Pepe Habichuela - 2014
Antonio Serrano - 2015
Pepe de Lucía - 2015
Aynur - 2017
Mariza - 2017
Israel "Piraña" Suarez - 2018

George Wein Impresario Award

The George Wein Impresario Award was created by Berklee to recognize individuals who bring music to life through their dedication to discovering, mentoring, presenting, and promoting creative musicians and their music. The award is named after George Wein, who invented the modern music festival in 1954 when he founded the Newport Jazz Festival. Wein has served on the Berklee Board of Trustees and is a lifelong friend of the college, where he has established a scholarship fund in memory of his wife Joyce.

Fred Taylor - 2015
Luis Alvarez - 2015
Carlo Pagnotta - 2015
Tim Jackson - 2016
Rob Rose - 2018

American Master Award

The American Master Award is presented by Berklee to industry leaders whose openness, generosity, and deep commitment to music education have made a positive impact on the lives of young musicians, providing them opportunities to grow as artists and leaders.

Pete Fisher - 2015
Eddie Bayers - 2015
Jim Ed Norman - 2015
T Bone Burnett - 2016
Gillian Welch '92 - 2016
David Rawlings '92 - 2016
Tony Bongiovi - 2017
Rick DePofi B.M. '82 - 2017
Dave Cobb - 2018