Berklee Global Jazz Institute Celebrates 10th Anniversary, 100 Years of Charlie Parker

By 
Eugene Ahn
November 21, 2019
Press release
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The Danilo Pérez–led program will premiere a new Charlie Parker suite at Bird Goes Global on December 13 at the Berklee Performance Center.

Danilo Pérez
Image provided by the artist

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), founded by Grammy Award–winning pianist Danilo Pérez, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a concert at the Berklee Performance Center on Friday, December 13, at 8:00 p.m. The concert, titled Bird Goes Global, will feature the premiere of a Charlie Parker suite commissioned by the BGJI and written by guest conductor and composer Bill Dobbins. Tickets are on sale now, with advance ($10/$15) and day-of-show tickets ($15/$20) available. 

For more than 10 years, the BGJI has cultivated some of the finest global-minded musicians, creating a community focused on human development and social activism. Pérez, founder and artistic director, says, “One of the goals of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute is to offer the students perspectives that transcend categorization and stereotypes, while fostering a learning environment where fulfilling artistic, social, and intellectual experiences interconnect and shape the personality of a new global musician.” 

Marco Pignataro, managing director, adds, “The BGJI has promoted a creative global outlook on jazz education, inspiring other programs to follow suit. During this process, we have reached more than 10,000 students at our weekly events, mentoring a total of 168 students from six continents, many of which are the current artists reshaping the identity of modern jazz.”

BGJI faculty and students have performed more than 800 concerts at clubs and festivals worldwide, and the institute has received coverage from the New York TimesDownBeat, the Boston Globe, NPR, and others for its work both on stage and in its local and global community.  

“Danilo Pérez’s work at the BGJI has made a difference in so many students’ lives, as well as the global music community,” says Berklee President Roger Brown. “Pérez not only plays for the simple enjoyment music brings, but also to help change and influence the world around him. It’s my hope, and I believe Danilo would agree with me, that if the students of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute follow in his footsteps, the world will be a better place.” 

Dobbins, a professor of jazz studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, has performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles under the direction of Pierre Boulez and Louis Lane, as well as performed and recorded with many jazz artists. The concert will feature Pérez (piano); Pignataro (saxophone); Joe Lovano, the Gary Burton Chair in Jazz Performance (saxophone); Ben Street, BGJI artist in residence (bass); faculty members Patricia Zarate Pérez (saxophone), Lihi Haruvi (saxophone), and Chase Morrin (piano); alumnus Faris Ishaq M.M. ’19 (Arabic flute); and Berklee students.

“Thirty years ago, when I was on tour with Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, an interviewer asked Gillespie what music he missed from the past. Gillespie said, ‘Charlie Parker.’ Parker’s music, compositions, and improvisations continue to have an impact on so many people in the world,” says Pérez. “The concert will serve as a culmination of BGJI’s accomplishments in its first decade, as well as a look forward to the future of our continued growth and innovation in music education."

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