Commencement 2003 - Dianne Reeves's Address


Commencement 2003 - Dianne Reeves's Address

Dianne Reeves's remarks to the Berklee College of Music graduating class of 2003, delivered at the Reggie Lewis Track Center, Boston, Massachusetts, May 10, 2003


  Dianne Reeves

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Thank you. I have to feel it for a second, it feels so good. You know, they should call this school, instead of Berklee College of Music, "Berklee College of the language of the soul." As Steven so beautifully put it earlier, this language that we speak is so special. I've had the opportunity to travel all over the world and sing to people who don't even speak English, but understand the exchange of the soul. I've found myself in all kinds of music all over the world, because music and jazz, especially for me, has been my passport to this.


I just want to say, I was sitting here looking at the way this whole thing is set up, and for you students, remember this moment because you are in the center and all around you and in front of you is an army of love and support by your family, friends and extended family of Berklee. I say remember this, because this is what's real. When you get out in there in that world, there's nothing written that tells you how things go and how things move and sometimes it can get kinda dark. Sometimes it's very, very light, but remember what is very, very real for you.

I also want to say that as you depart on your journey from this day forward, remember your stories. Stories are so important. I come from a family of storytellers and stories have been the fabric of our family because for those who have gone before, there are members of my family that can tell their stories, act like them, move like them and as children it made us feel like they were always there with us. That is also something that I've heard through every jazz musician that I've ever worked with. The stories, they're important, so gather your stories.

Also, be wise. It is feast or famine, sometimes at the same time. And you have to keep a balance between your life, your family life, and your art. Your personal life will always inform your work.

And don't be afraid of the edge. Last night I saw, I was so inspired by the performances of all of the students. And the edge is your friend. See, when you have your tools in order, you can go to that edge, and jump off, and just fly. Everybody was flyin' last night!

I also want to say, save your money. Be wise about your money. Sign your own checks. Ok?

And I also want to say, that you can continue to develop your voices, respect your voices and give your voices with great generosity. For me, I have to sing to you;

  • So sweet the journey, when you learn to love yourself, respect yourself, forgive yourself, believe in yourself, be yourself, with amazing grace as your constant friend. I am free of anger, I am free of fear. And my life is alive, that I will never regret my journey.

Peace and light and congratulations to all of you. It's a wonderful day.



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