Global Groove

News from Berklee's Office of International Programs

by Jason Camelio, Director of Educational Operations in the Office of International Programs

  From the left: Moscow Conservatory faculty members Faradj Karaev and Anatoly Levin with Berklee faculty members Julius Williams and Elena Lucas during a November visit to Moscow

Collaboration is key to the success of any enterprise, and the strength of each individual's contribution affects the outcome. In the face of tough situations, such as the current economic crisis, these notions have proven especially true. As the financial downturn has rippled around the world, it indicates how interconnected we truly are. By joining forces, we can better survive hurdles. This Global Grooves column focuses on our recent collaborations and their results in the world of contemporary music education.


International Faculty Outreach and Exchanges
This past October, bassist and Associate Professor of Contemporary Writing and Production Ron Reid led a group of Berklee students and faculty members to the 2008 Trinidad & Tobago Steelpan Jazz Festival. During its visit, the group - including trumpeter and Berklee Professor Ken Cervenka, drummer and Assistant Chair of Ensemble Sean Skeete, vocalist and Presidential Scholar Nadia Washington, student pianist Yujung Jung, and tenor saxophonist Leon Cotter - appeared at festival concerts and gave workshops for high school-level musicians. This exchange opportunity added a significant new dynamic to the educational component of the festival and provided Berklee faculty members and students with an opportunity for cultural and musical immersion. For more information, visit

In late November, and in another hemisphere, Berklee faculty members Elena Lucas, Joseph Smith, and Julius Williams presented a week of master classes and concerts at the Moscow Conservatory. The weeklong event included lectures on film scoring and contemporary harmony and rhythm in orchestral compositions. Berklee looks forward to a visit in 2010 from professors from the Moscow Conservatory.



From the left: Cellist Keith Dickerhofe, Berklee Professor Stephen Webber, Instructor Brian "Raydar" Ellis, and drummer/vocalist Ryan Nava of the Berklee Turntable Quartet performed at Helsinki Pop& Jazz Conservatory in Finland in November 2008.  

Berklee International Network News
Berklee continually strives to remain the global leader in contemporary music education. Last November we sent the cutting-edge Berklee Turntable Quartet to our Berklee International Network (BIN) partners at the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory. During the weeklong visit to Finland, faculty members Stephen Webber and Brian "Raydar" Ellis, cellist Keith Dickerhofe and drummer and vocalist Ryan Nava presented clinics, turnablism master classes, and performances. Special thanks go to Mark Frederic, Grover Knight, Jack O'Donnell, and Gregg Stein at Numark, Alesis, and Akai for sponsoring the event, supplying the quartet with the newest gear, and helping to make this event a huge success.

Berklee's partners in Europe have also been busy with a special collaboration titled "The European Songbook." The Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory, Institutionen Jazz & Rock Schulen Freiburg in Germany, Music Academy International in France, and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in England have provided students and faculty members with the opportunity to collaboratively compose, record, and produce new music through a series of events. The sessions have allowed participants to better understand their cultural differences and expand social and entrepreneurial skills in an experiential learning environment. This year's songbook theme is "Against Racism."


Panama Jazz Festival
In mid-January, Berklee sent a team of five faculty members and four students to the Panama Jazz Festival. The faculty members included saxophonist Jim Odgren, Guitar Professor Jim Kelly, Chair of Music Production and Engineering Rob Jaczko, Associate Professor of Music Synthesis Neil Leonard, and Associate Professor of Music Production & Engineering Alex Rodriguez. Presidential Scholar recipient and saxophonist Jahaziel Arrocha, formerly a student in the Danilo Pérez Foundation educational program, led a Berklee student quartet that included pianist Julian Shore, bassist Shinichiro Sakaino, and drummer Jonathan Pinson. The group conducted clinics, auditions and interviews, performances, and an alumni event during the week.


Berklee in Dublin
Berklee has worked with our BIN partners at the Newpark Music Centre and the Dublin Institute of Technology to present a new Berklee on the Road program event in Dublin, Ireland, titled "The Art of Improvisation." In this outreach to the éire Island, Berklee has created its first-ever workshop that focuses purely on improvisation. The event takes place April 13-17, 2009. Details are available at