Berklee, A3 Communication, and the Gnaoua and World Music Festival Launch Berklee on the Road Program

The program will take place June 24 to June 29 in Essaouira, Morocco.

March 22, 2024

Berklee College of Music, A3 Communication, and the Gnaoua and World Music Festival are proud to announce a new Berklee on the Road program taking place from Monday, June 24, to Saturday, June 29, 2024, in Essaouira, Morocco.

The Berklee at the Gnaoua and World Music Festival program has been created for actively performing musicians seeking to advance their skills as improvisors, and welcomes students with a wide range of musical backgrounds, from classical to traditional Gnaoua to pop, rock, and jazz. Eligible candidates will need to be 18 years or older at the start of the program and to have at least two years of performance experience on their principal instrument.

“The Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival is a unique event, a musical laboratory which welcomes artists from all over the world who come to merge their rhythms with those of Gnaoua master musicians,” says Neila Tazi, CEO of A3 Communication, and producer and organizer of the festival. “This 25th edition marks the beginning of a strong partnership with Berklee to offer a very special experience through this training program in the heart of Africa, the cradle of world music.“ 

Berklee Professor Leo Blanco will serve as the academic director and Jason Camelio as administrative director. Classes will be taught by a select group of Berklee faculty and artists including Ron Savage, vice president and executive director at Berklee College of Music; Viktorija Pilatovic, an accomplished jazz singer and composer as well as an assistant professor; and Javier Vercher, an associate professor at the Valencia, Spain, campus; among other faculty.

“I look forward to establishing this newest edition of the Berklee on the Road program at the Gnaoua and World Music Festival,” says Savage. “I am thrilled as always to meet talented young musical artists from across the globe. Being part of a festival that celebrates Gnaoua and world musicians makes this program a very special experience.”

The Berklee at Gnaoua and World Music Festival program will take place daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. “Participants will be guided on how to intertwine their own musical language with others, beginning with learning to actively listen and comprehend the musical concepts of their peers,” says Blanco. Instruction will be conducted in English, complemented by Arabic translation, ensuring a broad and inclusive educational experience.

Program highlights include workshops on several topics including "The Improviser as Composer," "Building Your Creative Vocabulary," and "Styles, Grooves, and Accompaniment Labs". There will also be a series of special lectures covering the intersection of Gnaoua music with contemporary genres, music technology, and the business of music, with a final student concert taking place on Saturday, June 29. Moreover, participants will be able to learn about the Berklee Abu Dhabi Fellowship fund, which provides Berklee scholarships to students from across the Middle East and North Africa. Additionally, all students will receive free passes to the main stage at the 2024 Gnaoua and World Music Festival concerts.

Interested candidates are urged to submit an online application to secure their spot in the program. Tuition for the program is $420.00 USD. The deadline to submit the application is May 24, 2024. To apply, please visit the Berklee on the Road programs page.

Related Categories