Visiting Artists Explore Soul Music Traditions

  George Duke was on campus January 28 to January 31 for a series of events, including the sold-out performance "Restore Your Soul: George Duke in Concert."
  Phil Farnsworth
  Bootsy Collins visited on February 7 for an electric bass master class featuring Berklee's P-Funk Ensemble.
  Brian Diescher
  Bobby McFerrin (left) presented a clinic titled "The Soul of Singing" on March 5, presenting rehearsed and improvised pieces and inviting students to join him onstage.
  Phil Farnsworth

Berklee recently brought three visiting artists to the campus as a part of the Africana Studies series "A Year in Soul Music Traditions." The college welcomed synth pioneer George Duke, funk-bass icon Bootsy Collins, and 10-time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin.

"I wanted to have this generation of young people witness an artist of his genius and stature," Professor William Banfield said of McFerrin. Banfield, the program director, stated that the overarching theme for the year is restoring the soul and exploring the soul of the industry and the artist's voice.

Launched in 2006, Berklee's Africana Studies initiative brings together both academic and performance events to create a year of black history programming that examines black music and African American cultural contributions.