2015 Special Guests

Berklee’s 2015 Encore Gala will feature comedian Sinbad as master of ceremonies, singer and songwriter Michael McDonaldand others (to be announced).

Sinbad, Master of Ceremonies

SinbadDavid Adkinsknown by his stage name Sinbad—is an American stand-up comedian and actor. Since coming to prominence in the 1990s, Sinbad has been featured on his own HBO specials; appeared on several television series, including A Different World and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia; and starred in many films, including Necessary Roughness, Houseguest, First Kid, Jingle All the Way, and Good Burger.

In 1996, Sinbad joined First Lady Hillary Clinton and musician Sheryl Crow in a USO tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The same year, the NAACP Image Awards recognized his role in Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, nominating him in the Outstanding Performance in an Animated/Live-Action/Dramatic Youth or Children's Series/Special category.

Michael McDonald

Michael McDonaldAmerican singer and songwriter and five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald is known for his soulful tenor and falsetto, despite being described as a baritone, and the richness of his voice in the higher registers. His early career included singing with Steely Dan on several albums, including Aja and Katy Lied. He joined the Doobie Brothers in 1976 and remained an integral member until 1982, a period that resulted in several hit songs for the band, including "Takin' it to the Streets" and "What a Fool Believes." McDonald cowrote Van Halen's Top 20 hit "I'll Wait" and collaborated with Kenny Loggins on hits like "This Is It" and with Patti LaBelle on the song "On My Own." Among his many noted performances, McDonald recorded a duet with Ray Charles on Charles' 2004 album Genius Loves CompanyHe also enjoys a successful solo career that has included hits like "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)," since heavily sampled in hip-hop. 

In 2000, McDonald, along with partners Chris Pelonis and actor Jeff Bridges founded the independent recording label Rampe St. Louis Walk of Fame.