Paquito D'Rivera/Berklee Latin Jazz Program

What’s the program like?

Paquito D’Rivera, a groundbreaking crossover artist who merges jazz and Latin music and has won 12 Grammy Awards, joins some of the world’s leading Latin jazz instrumentalists and educators to teach you the history, rhythms, and technique of this high-energy genre. Travel the world of Latin jazz and explore in-depth a wide variety of music styles, including salsa, samba, cha cha cha, bossa nova, and mambo. Learn directly from the masters and collaborate with other students in ensemble, lab, and group lesson settings.

What's the schedule?

Classes during the week generally run from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and clinics and concerts take place in the late afternoon and evening. Jam sessions run from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.


Ensembles: All students will perform a variety of Latin music styles, including: Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, South American, and other Caribbean genres.

Lectures: Lectures will focus on the fundamentals of developing an understanding of the Latin music styles. Subjects include history, theory, and repertoire.

Paquito Clinics: Monday - clarinet; Tuesday - composition; Wednesday - study discipline

Jam Session (Tuesday and Wednesday): Students will be able to choose from a variety of Latin styles from which to jam: Cuban, Brazilian, Sout American, Caribbean, etc.

Concert: Performance by Paquito D’ Rivera Sextet (Monday only)

Who are the instructors?

All classes and ensembles will be taught by members of Berklee's faculty, as well as by visiting artists.

Artistic Director:

Paquito D’Rivera defies categorization. The winner of 12 Grammy Awards, he is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. Born in Havana, Cuba, he performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra, studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music and, at 17, became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. He eventually went on to premiere several works by notable Cuban composers with the same orchestra. Additionally, he was a founding member and codirector of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere. With its explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical, and traditional Cuban music never before heard, Irakere toured extensively throughout America and Europe, earned several Grammy nominations (1979, 1980) and a Grammy (1979). Learn more..

Academic Director:

Hailing from Peru, Oscar Stagnaro studied at the Conservatory of Music in Lima while working extensively as a first-call sessions musician and live performer for many international artists and local bands. He moved to the U.S. in 1979, where he continued his studies with pianist/educator Mike Marra, and jazz great Jerry Bergonzi. Since then, Stagnaro has become one of the most in-demand performers on the East Coast. His mastery of different music styles including jazz, fusion, Latin, Brazilian, and South American music has allowed him to travel the world performing with a virtual who's who in the Latin and jazz worlds respectively. Learn more...



Where will I eat and sleep?

Applicants will be sent information and an application for residence hall housing once accepted to the program. Most program participants elect to stay in the Berklee residence halls; however, space is limited. To optimize your chances for on-campus housing, you must return the housing application immediately upon receiving it.

To be eligible to live in the residence hall, you must be 15 years of age by the start of the program. If you apply to the program after mid-May, please call the Housing Office at 617 747-2292 to find out if residence hall space is still available.