Notable Jazz Composition Alumni
Many Berklee alumni have gone on to enjoy successful careers in jazz composition. Here is a video of what some of our most recent alumni are doing, and a small sample of more established alumni.
Hailing from Havana, Cuba, pianist and composer Dayramir Gonzalez ’13 is known as an advocate for traditional Cuban music, including the danzón. He has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Havana Jazz Festival, among others. His album Grand Concourse was released in 2016 and he is the cofounder of the Art School of Contemporary Performance and Creativity. The school provides comprehensive music education to New York City elementary school students.
Jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer ’89, a two-time Grammy nominee, has built a successful career by creating unusual and compelling music with a wide range of artists, from singers such as Diana Krall '83 to bassists such as Christian McBride, and rock stars such as Sting. Since his teenage days playing with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Wisconsin native Keezer has toured all over the world, playing with giants of jazz like Joshua Redman, Pat Metheny '96H, and Wayne Shorter ‘99H.
A Grammy Award winner, the pianist, composer, and producer Danilo Pérez is also an educator and social activist. He is a humanitarian and a leading proponent of global jazz.
Born in Panama in 1965, Pérez learned from his father the concept of interconnected education. He attended Berklee in the 1980s and has led his own groups since the early 1990s. He has also worked as a music educator in the U.S. and around the world for more than 20 years.
Born in Hamamatsu, Japan, Hiromi started piano lessons at age 6 with a teacher who taught her to focus on the intuitive side of the instrument as well as the technical. When she subsequently studied at the Yamaha School of Music, she had already learned about jazz pianists like Oscar Peterson and had written her own compositions.