Slideshow: Berklee Global Jazz Summit

Lesley O'Connell
May 1, 2016
Danny Rivera
Marta Roma on cello
Danilo Pérez
Mao Soné on trumpet and Neta Raanan on saxophone
Layth Al-Rubaye on violin
Edmar Colón on saxophone, Eduardo Mercuri on guitar, and Hayden Farrar on bass
Danilo Pérez and Danny Rivera as part of a panel called Improvisation from the Womb to Cultural Identity
Brian D. Farrell, director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and professor of biology at Harvard University, gives a talk called Improvising Species.
John Patitucci as part of a lecture called Improvisation in the Context of Orchestral Works
Kelly Davidson
Kelly Davidson
Kelly Davidson
Kelly Davidson
Kelly Davidson
Kelly Davidson
Mike Spencer
Elizabeth Friar
Elizabeth Friar

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) presented its seventh annual Berklee Global Jazz Summit, March 29 through April 1.

Following a week of clinics and panels that explored this year's theme—improvisation as a tool to face the challenges of the 21st century—the summit concluded with a concert at the Berklee Performance Center. The performance, led by BGJI artistic director Danilo Pérez, featured students, BGJI faculty Terri Lyne Carrington and John Patitucci, and special guest artist and social activist Danny Rivera.

Other guests included national and international educators, such as Riccardo del Fra, bassist and head of the Department of Jazz and Improvised Music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris; Chris Collins, saxophonist, conductor, and director of jazz studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan; and percussionist Oscar Cruz of Panama. For the first time, the annual summit featured students from Berklee's contemporary performance graduate program (global jazz concentration), which launched in September 2015 and graduated its first class in July 2016.

The purpose of the summit was far-reaching and global, just like the BGJI. "The goal of the summit is to create a platform to discuss the impact of creative people on today's society and hopefully start a trend of new exploratory global jazz music that makes positive social change and creates awareness of important social issues we need to address urgently," said Pérez, who is also a Grammy Award–winning pianist. 

The hope is that for musicians who participated in the summit, new musical collaborations and ideas were born out of the exchanges provided, noted Pérez.

As for the audience, Pérez said, "I hope [they came] into new territories of exploration with us and [experienced] the magic of improvisation." 

Watch Danilo Pérez, Terri Lyne Carrington, and John Patitucci perform Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" with Danny Rivera at the 2016 Berklee Global Jazz Summit: