Commencement 2007

Gloria and Emilio Estefan, the Edge, and Andrew Hill to Receive Honorary Doctor of Music Degrees at Berklee Commencement May 12


Berklee is saddened to learn that legendary pianist and composer Andrew Hill passed away on April 20, 2007. Please read Howard Mandel's warm appreciation of Andrew Hill at All About Jazz.


  From top, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, the Edge, and Andrew Hill
  Gloria and Emilio Estefan's photo provided by the artists. The Edge's photo by Kevin Mazur. Andrew Hill's photo by Jimmy Katz.

Berklee president Roger Brown will present honorary doctor of music degrees to the first couple of Latin pop, Gloria and Emilio Estefan; U2 guitarist and songwriter the Edge; and legendary jazz pianist Andrew Hill at Berklee's commencement on Saturday, May 12, 10:00 a.m., at the Agganis Arena at Boston University. Commencement speaker Gloria Estefan will address more than 850 Berklee graduates and their invited guests at the 7,000-seat venue.


This year's honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements in the world of music and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include David Bowie, Michel Camilo, Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Ahmet Ertegun, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Loretta Lynn, Tito Puente, Bonnie Raitt, Steven Tyler, and Nancy Wilson.

On commencement eve, as is Berklee's tradition, students will pay tribute to the honorees by performing music associated with the Estefans, the Edge, and Hill at the Agganis Arena.

The commencement concert and ceremony are not open to the public.

Gloria Estefan has sold 70 million albums worldwide. She first gained international fame in 1985 with the groundbreaking Miami Sound Machine, releasing a string of hit singles, including "Conga" and "Anything for You," before becoming a solo superstar and earning the title Queen of Latin Pop. She has won three Grammy Awards and one Latin Grammy as a solo artist. Other awards include BMI Songwriter of the Year, the American Music Awards Lifetime Achievement honor, and the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor. She is a New York Times best-selling author and an acclaimed actress. This fall, she will release a new CD, 90 Millas, a tribute to her Cuban heritage and some of the most influential Latin musicians of our time. In 2006, Estefan performed at Berklee's 60th Anniversary Concert, and the Gloria Estefan Presidential Scholarship was established to provide full tuition and room and board for one of the nation's most talented and deserving young musicians to attend Berklee.

Emilio Estefan, Jr., is head of Estefan Enterprises, Inc., and one of the international music market's most successful managers, producers, and songwriters. The Havana-born Estefan started his career in the Miami Latin Boys, which later became the Miami Sound Machine with the addition of Gloria. He steered the group out of the Miami club scene and into the international spotlight after he signed the band to CBS Records. He continues to produce Gloria's CDs and has also produced Ricky Martin, Shakira, Jon Secada, Jennifer Lopez, and Madonna, among others. He has produced music for closing ceremonies for the Olympics, and for several Super Bowl halftime shows. With Sean Combs, he created the Bad Boy Latino label. Estefan has won two Grammy and four Latin Grammy awards as a producer, and has been honored as a Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

Guitarist with Irish rock band U2, the Edge is one of the most influential guitar players of his generation. His crystalline minimalist guitar playing, often making use of repeat echo, is the hallmark of U2's music, and one of the most original and distinctive guitar styles in rock 'n' roll history. One of the best live acts in the world, U2 has toured the globe countless times. They have released 14 studio albums and won numerous awards, including 22 Grammy Awards. One of the principal songwriters of U2, the Edge has also written extensively for other projects, often in collaboration with U2's Bono, including music for movies such as Gangs of New York and GoldenEye; for the animated Batman TV series; and for the Royal Shakespeare Company's stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange. In 2005, the Edge cofounded Music Rising, a charity initiative that provides musical instruments for the musicians, schools, and churches of the Gulf Region.

Legendary pianist and composer Andrew Hill has been defying categorization for over four decades with his enigmatic and sophisticated musical style. He has been hailed by the New York Times as "one of the 1960s jazz heroes," and is alternately referred to as a genius and a master by critics and colleagues alike. He has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Foundation of America, received the JAZZPAR Award, and has been named Jazz Composer of the Year four times by the Jazz Journalists Association, most recently in 2006. A champion of Hill's music, the late Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion proclaimed Hill his "last great protégé" and produced his early classics for the label, including Point of Departure. Hill's latest release, Time Lines (Blue Note), was voted Best Jazz Album by Down Beat magazine. This year, Hill joined the ranks of such lauded composers as Stravinsky, Copland, Elliott Carter, and Chick Corea, by signing with renowned music publisher Boosey and Hawkes.