Join us for a tribute concert honoring the inaugural Berklee Legacy Awardees—legendary artists Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Joseph Douglass, and Carmen de Lavallade. Berklee faculty member and Grammy-nominated artist Tia Fuller directs a big band to celebrate Duke Ellington. Berklee Harmony Department Chair George Russell Jr. leads an ensemble to recognize Sarah Vaughan’s riveting artistry. From Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Dr. Johnathan Bailey Holland, chair of composition, contemporary music, and core studies, pays homage to the turn-of-the-20th-century violinist Joseph Douglass. And Dr. Mila Thigpen, chair of the Dance Division, choreographs a tribute to the riveting Carmen de Lavallade.
The Berklee Legacy Awards, an aspirational and ambitious initiative, grew out of a series of conversations among students, faculty, and administrators that began in 2020. With the goal of helping Berklee to achieve a vision of a more racially inclusive community, the discussions formed the basis for a plan to address systemic racism at Berklee. One of the goals of this plan calls for thinking about campus spaces in a new way—as important visible symbols to name for Black artists and luminaries, elevating and celebrating significant artistic legacy and impact on the Berklee community, the performing arts, and the world.
The award’s full potential began to emerge as the Berklee Legacy Award Committee (BLAC) recognized expansive possibilities to preserve important stories and historic artifacts that inspire and inform us about where we have come from, where we are now, and where we may go; and to honor the legacy of those who have contributed greatly to our community, establishing a foundation for further inquiry, and serving as inspiration for current and future generations of Berklee artists.