Berklee Today

Phil Ramone to Produce Berklee's 60th Anniversary Concert

  Phil Ramone
  Phil Ramone
  Photo by Bob Kramer

Berklee will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a special benefit concert on Saturday, January 28, 2006, produced by platinum record producer Phil Ramone. The master producer has a long and distinguished association with the college. Ramone received an honorary degree from Berklee in 1987, became a member of its Board of Trustees in 2001, and for many years has worked with a range of Berklee alumni in the studio. The upcoming concert will be hosted by Bill Cosby and will feature performances by prominent Berklee alumni, past honorary degree recipients, and other special guests, performing with students and faculty. (As details about the performers emerge, the news will be posted at on the college's website Proceeds from the event will benefit Berklee's Presidential Scholarship Program, which awards full-tuition and housing scholarships to outstanding students who demonstrate financial need.

Phil Ramone built his career as a record producer on a firm foundation of technical knowledge and spent years working as an engineer in the 1960s before beginning a gradual evolution in producing that lasted from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. When he finally made the transition and became a producer, he did so primarily with mainstream pop-rock singer/songwriters, particularly Billy Joel but also worked with Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Elton John, and Kenny Loggins. He capped his career working with interpretive singers such as Barbra Streisand and Ray Charles and handled Charles's last recording as well as the last recordings of Frank Sinatra. In the 1990s, while continuing to produce selected projects, Ramone moved toward executive positions, becoming the chairman of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), founding a record label, and advising technology companies on developments in the industry, such as Internet downloads. Along the way, Ramone won a dozen Grammy Awards.