Berklee Gala Features LL Cool J and Nile Rodgers and Chic

Clare Green
October 5, 2018
Press release

Berklee City Music, the event's beneficiary, empowers youth from underserved communities to develop academically, socially, and emotionally through the study of contemporary music.

LL Cool J
LL Cool J will be this year's master of ceremonies at the annual Encore Gala.
Image by Jeff Katz

Berklee’s 24th annual Encore Gala returns Saturday, October 13, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. LL Cool J will be master of ceremonies, and Nile Rodgers and Chic will be the Starlight Finale performers. Nightclub settings will feature more than 150 faculty, alumni, and student musicians, with a cocktail reception preceding dinner, and a silent auction. 

Proceeds from the event will support Berklee City Music®, a nonprofit program providing middle and high school students from underserved communities the resources needed to gain the academic, social, and emotional benefits of a contemporary music education. Since its founding in 1993, City Music has fostered a supportive and collaborative community setting for hundreds of thousands of young people to thrive and become confident, well-rounded individuals.

LL Cool J is known for his wide range of talents as a recording artist, actor, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is a two-time Grammy Award winner, Kennedy Center honoree, and NAACP Image Award winner. He has hosted the Grammy Awards five times, currently stars on NCIS: Los Angeles, and hosts Lip Sync Battle. VH1 placed LL Cool J on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, citing his hits such as "Rock the Bells," "I Need Love," and "Mama Said Knock You Out." 

Nile Rodgers is a three-time Grammy Award–winning composer, producer, arranger, and guitarist. He cofounded the band Chic, which had hits with “Le Freak” and “Everybody Dance.” He has sold more than 300 million albums and 50 million singles worldwide as a performer, writer, and producer, with hits including David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” Madonna’s “Material Girl,” and Daft Punk's “Get Lucky” featuring Pharrell Williams. In 2018, Berklee presented Rodgers with an honorary doctorate.

Participants making the Encore Gala possible include presenting sponsors Abrams Capital and Bain Capital Community Partnership; colead sponsors Aramark Education, the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, and Jim and Judy O’Brien; Starlight Finale sponsor Decibel Therapeutics; and platinum sponsors Coca-Cola, Lynch & Associates, and the Sprows family.

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