Celebrating 10 Years of the Mediterranean Music Institute

Watch a curated collection of videos chronicling music and artists from the institute's first decade.

November 7, 2022

A decade ago, the Mediterranean Music Institute (MMI) was founded by Larry Monroe, retired vice president of academic affairs, as a way to promote collaboration across folk-based Mediterranean musical traditions. Currently under the direction of Matthew Nicholl, dean of the Professional Writing and Music Technology Division, the institute has offered a wealth of performance, composition, recording, and academic opportunities for the Berklee community, helping to launch and sustain careers for both students and recent alumni. In addition to establishing a minor in Mediterranean music, the MMI has also brought in an impressive range of legendary musicians to lead clinics, master classes, and workshops in both Boston and Valencia, Spain, including Mariza, Pepe de Lucía, Aynur, Israel "Piraña" Suárez, and more.

"The Mediterranean area is a place where human diversity has generated great artistic wealth," said Javier Limón, the institute's artistic director. "In these past 10 years, the MMI has focused on translating this ancestral cultural wealth into tools so that our musicians can grow artistically."

To get an idea of the kinds of rich musical and cultural exchanges that have come out of the institute, watch a selection of MMI artists and songs featured over the last decade in the following video playlist, curated by MMI staff.

'Historia de un Amor' (2015)

Written by Carlos Eleta Almarán (Dartañan). Performed by:
  • Tonina Saputo B.M. '17, vocals, upright bass
  • Heather Rivas B.M. '17, piano
  • Luiz Morais M.M. '15, guitar
  • Jaewon Lee M.M. '15, drums
  • Yarub Smarait M.M. '15, violin
  • Mei Yan Tsang M.M. '15, violin
  • Olivia Mok M.M. '15, '16, violin
  • Cliff Gordon M.M. '15, tenor saxophone

'Evlerinin Önü Mersin' (2016)

Written by Kadir Acar and Muzaffer Sarısözen. Performed and arranged by:
  • Elif Sanchez (née Cakmut) B.M. '17, voice
  • Vasilis Kostas, laouto
  • Gilad Barakan B.M. ’16, guitar

'Longa Sirtu (Sultani Yegah Sirto)' (2015)

Written by Yorgo Bacanos. Performed and arranged by:
  • Layth Sidiq B.M. '14, M.M. '16 (credited as Layth Al-Rubaye), violin
  • Naseem Alatrash B.M. ’14, M.M. ’17, cello

'Ad Olam' (2013)

Written by Yitzhak Klepter. Performed and arranged by:
  • Tal Even-Tzur B.M. ’13, piano
  • Tali Rubinstein B.M. ’14, recorders 

See video description for the full list of performers.

'Najat1958' (2012)

Written by Ali Paris. Performed by:
  • Ali Paris ’12, qanun, vocals
  • Christian Li B.M. ’12, piano
  • Spencer Stewart B.M. ’13, bass
  • Tareq Rantisi B.M. ’11, M.M. ’19, percussion
  • Sergio Martínez B.M. ’13, M.M. ’14, percussion

'Zyriab' (2011)

Written by Paco de Lucía. Performed by:
  • Ariadna Castellanos Rivas B.M. '12, piano
  • Ali Amr B.M. '12, qanun, voice
  • Kalani Trinidad B.M. '12, flute
  • Tamir Shmerling B.M. ’11, bass
  • Sergio Martínez B.M. '13, M.M. '14, percussion

'Kalesma' (2016)

Written by Vasilis Kostas. Performed by:
  • Vasilis Kostas, laouto
  • Elif Sanchez (née Cakmut) B.M. '17, voice
  • Layth Sidiq B.M. '14, M.M. '16, violin
  • James Heazlewood Dale ’16, bass
  • George Lernis B.M. ’05, M.M. ’21, bendir
  • Farzin Dehghan Manshadi B.M. ’19, bendir, kemancheh, Iranian daf
  • Noam Israeli B.M. ’15, M.M. ’16, drums

'Yo te Doy' (2019)

Written by Tamara Jokic and arranged by Pera Krstajic. Performed by:
  • Tamara Jokic ’19, voice
  • Panagiotis Aivazidis B.M. ’19, qanun
  • Dana Roth B.M. ’20, electric bass
  • Margaux Vranken M.M. ’18, piano/keyboard
  • Kan Yanabe ’20, percussion set
  • Alber Baseel B.M. '21, darbouka
  • Andrija Gavrilović B.M. ’19, flugelhorn

'Mi Guitarra' (2021)

Written and arranged by Javier Limón. Performed by:
  • Nella [Rojas] B.M. ’15, voice
  • Javier Limón, guitar

Read more about the Latin Grammy-nominated "Mi Guitarra."

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