Berklee City Music Summit 2018

Empower. Innovate. Collaborate.

Engaging educators to empower youth to become the future leaders of tomorrow.

November 5–7, 2018
W.O. Smith Music School, Nashville, Tennessee

Berklee City Music welcomes educators, administrators, supporting organizations, and students to come together and attend our three-day Berklee City Music Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. The 2018 event will be hosted at W.O. Smith Music School, a Network member site comprised of a volunteer staff with a passion for sharing affordable music classes to students from underserved communities. We encourage you to join us in Nashville’s Music City at the home of country music to become a part of an entertaining and educational experience.

This year’s summit will be offering a series of informative panel discussions for educators and students, as well as a master class series for youth music ensembles to learn new techniques from professionals and perform at the conference.


Celebrity Announcement

Berklee City Music and W.O. Smith Music School are excited to announce that this year's summit will include a visit from country music singer-songwriter Charlie Worsham.

Worsham is a Berklee alumnus living in Nashville. For him, music wasn’t just a thing: it was the only thing. “I kind of feel like I didn’t have much choice. The songs, the playing, those were the only things that ever really kept my attention.” As a talented multi-instrumentalist and student of great songs, he’s developed a unique modern country sound built around the traditional acoustic instruments he grew up on. For the last two years, he’s divided his time between writing songs, being an in-demand studio musician for other artists, and playing his music live, sharing stages across the country with Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, and others.

Worsham will be stopping by W.O. Smith on Monday, November 5 for a Q&A session with Becky Gardenhire, his agent and a partner at WME.

2018 Master Class Performances

Master Class Coaches

Jeff Coffin is coaching the Jazz Ensemble. As a saxophonist, he's a globally recognized musician, composer, educator, and author. He is a member of the Dave Matthews Band, a three-time Grammy Award winner, and a 14-year former member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones from 1997 to 2010. Coffin is heavily in demand as a clinician.

Chester Thompson is a renowned percussionist, highly regarded for his ability to move seamlessly between genres. Thompson’s known best for his work with Weather Report, Frank Zappa, Genesis, and Phil Collins. He’s shared the stage and studio with notable legends such as Freddie Hubbard, Ahmad Jamal, Wayne Shorter, Rodney Franklin, Santana, and many others. When he's not busy with live performances, studio recordings, clinics, and writing, he teaches percussion lessons in the Greater Nashville area. For 20 years, Thompson taught applied drum lessons at Belmont University in Nashville, and he currently teaches at the Nashville Jazz Workshop. He was honored in 2008 with the Sabian Lifetime Achievement Award at the 32nd Percussive Arts Society international Convention (PASIC), an award recognizing the contributions of the most highly regarded leaders in percussion education.

Zahili Gonzalez Zamora B.M. '17  started playing the piano at the age of 6. Her musical career path and thirst for constant professional growth brought her to Berklee College of Music in 2013, and she graduated summa cum laude with a dual degree in jazz composition and jazz piano performance. She writes and arranges pieces mostly in the jazz genre, and her rich musical background, career experience, and improvisation skills render her a leader in the modern Latin jazz idiom. She's an influential, emulated musician, particularly among her female peers. Gonzalez Zamora is also heavily involved in education, having taught the traditions and theory of classical music and Latin jazz, as well as having organized multiple workshops and master classes. She assisted the 2015 summer master class program by multiple Latin Grammy Award winner Paquito D’Rivera and also assisted in presenting a massive open online course (MOOC) through Berklee College of Music.

For a list of master class performers, click here: Master Class Program.pdf.

Watch this video to hear from a few of the master class students as they share their excitement for the upcoming event.

Featured Topics

  • Enrich your program with new tools to enhance teaching and learning.
  • Listen to students perform, share their experiences, and use music technologies.
  • Network with partners and learn from their success stories.
  • Gain best practices from sponsors to enhance outreach in your community.
  • Expand your relationship with the Berklee City Music Network and Berklee to increase opportunities for youth and your programs.


Collaborate with your colleagues from the Americas as we convene with leaders and educators discussing everyday triumphs and challenges. We look forward to providing an opportunity for you to learn best practices on the most critical issues facing educators today, hear from VIP guests, and meet with Berklee faculty and local alumni.    

Stay tuned for future announcements regarding the summit schedule and special guest appearances. Please contact us with any questions and we look forward to your attendance.

"It's an honor to be at the summit as a student and work with other young talented artists and music professionals. I'm so pleased to be a part of this wonderful experience." —Berklee City Music student