Berklee Students Honored at 43rd Annual DownBeat Student Music Awards

By 
Clare Green
May 7, 2020
Press release
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Students were recognized with 15 DownBeat Student Music Awards across a wide variety of categories.

Yessaï Karapetian performing at the Marseille Jazz Festival.
Image by Chris Boyer

DownBeat magazine recognized 14 Berklee College of Music students with 15 DownBeat Student Music Awards across a wide variety of categories, including Jazz Arrangement and Outstanding Engineered Studio Recording. Student pianist Yessaï Karapetian was honored as the Graduate College Winner in two categories: Jazz Soloist and Original Composition for Small Ensemble. 

Karapetian is a student of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, studying under Grammy Award–winning pianist and composer Danilo Pérez. He will graduate in June. His plans include releasing music in 2021, and a European tour, contingent on the development of the global health crisis.

“I thank every single person in the Berklee Global Jazz community for the love, support, excellence, inspiration, and trust, without which this success wouldn’t be possible,” Karapetian said. “I feel blessed to be involved in this unique program, and to participate in accomplishing its crucial missions. A special note of gratitude to Danilo Pérez for trusting me and being the light that accompanies me in the next phase of my journey through sound and music.”

The complete list of Berklee DownBeat Student Music Award winners follows.

Jazz Soloist

Undergraduate College Winner
Artem Badenko (Art Baden), Tenor Saxophone

Undergraduate College Outstanding Performances
Alec Schulman, Piano

Graduate College Winner
Yessaï Karapetian, Piano

Vocal Jazz Soloist

Undergraduate College Outstanding Performances 
Damoyee Janai Neroes, Voice

Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Undergraduate College Outstanding Performances
Point of Departure Vocal Jazz, Student Directors: Grant Heineman and Claudia Grube

Undergraduate College Outstanding Performances
Advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Outstanding Lead Soloist: Alianora Reilly on “Song of Life”

Original Composition—Small Ensemble

Graduate College Winner
Yessaï Karapetian, “Ti(m)es” 

Original Composition—Large Ensemble

Undergraduate College Winner
Jason Mountario, “Fake People"

Undergraduate College Winner
Yoko Suzuki, “Hmmmm”

Jazz Arrangement

Undergraduate College Winner
Nikos Chatzitsakos, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”

Undergraduate College Outstanding Arrangements
Grant Heineman, “I Can’t Help It”

Graduate College Outstanding Arrangements—Small Ensemble
Anastassiya Petrova, “All the Things Evidence Is”

Graduate College Winner—Big Band
Nerya Zidon, “All the Way to Sendai”

Engineered Studio Recording

Undergraduate College Outstanding Recording
Gerson Lazo-Quiroga

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