Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Celebrates One Year, Momentous Gift

By 
Tori Donahue
October 30, 2019
Press release
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The institute recently received a $3 million donation to create the Terri Lyne Carrington Endowed Artistic Directorship.

The Terri Lyne Carrington Endowed Artistic Directorship will support the long-term scholarly, creative, and programmatic work for the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.

The Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice celebrates a successful first year of gender equity work in the Berklee community and beyond on Wednesday, October 30. Founded by Grammy-winning artist, producer, and educator Terri Lyne Carrington, the institute focuses on creative practice and scholarship in jazz within an integrated and egalitarian environment. Under Carrington's leadership, the institute celebrates the contributions women have made to the development of the art form, and continues the mission of making an important and long-lasting cultural shift toward gender equity in jazz and other music communities. 

The institute recently received a $3 million donation to create the Terri Lyne Carrington Endowed Artistic Directorship in honor of its trailblazing founder and artistic director. The gift comes from generous supporters of the college and will be used to support long-term scholarly, creative, and programmatic work at the institute.

“It’s an incredible honor to receive this generous gift supporting our institute’s vision and goals; it is really very encouraging,” said Carrington. “The Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice was created to address the need for gender parity in our field, and it is inspiring to know that our work and scholarly pursuits will continue on campus and throughout the world for the foreseeable future. We're very grateful for this outstanding assistance in furthering our cause.”

In its first year, the institute has held a variety of special events, including an open house with Dianne Reeves; the Gathering, a free series of performances, workshops, and lectures by prominent jazz figures; and a Signature Series concert with Dee Dee Bridgewater on the institute's anniversary of October 30. The institute currently offers seven courses spanning performance, composition, and the role of jazz in society that are taught by expert performers and scholars in the field, such as Aja Burrell Woodthe institute’s managing director and ethnomusicologist.

Ensembles are led by Carrington, jazz pianist and composer Kris Davis, electronic musician Val Jeanty, and jazz bassist Linda Oh. Students have represented the institute across the world, performing at the Bern Jazz Festival, the International Alliance for Women in Music and Feminist Theory joint conference, Cambridge Jazz Festival, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Carrington, Wood, and others affiliated with the institute have spoken on panels related to the scholarly and cultural work needed to create equity in the field, moving the matter forward, and inciting change on this topic.

In addition to her role with the institute, Carrington serves as artistic director for Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Jazz Workshop and Women’s Performance programs, and co-artistic director for the Carr Center in Detroit. Earlier this year, the Doris Duke Foundation recognized Carrington’s numerous contributions to jazz, granting her with a Doris Duke Artist Award of $275,000.

"Terri Lyne Carrington and the Berklee Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice are already challenging and changing the way music is taught, composed, performed, and shared,” said Berklee President Roger H. Brown. "I am delighted to announce this significant gift that will fuel the important work of the institute."

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