For the first episode of the new Fusion television program Big Papi Needs a Job, the recently retired Boston Red Sox power hitter David Ortiz (Big Papi) visits Berklee to try his hand at percussion. In the episode, Ortiz gets lessons from percussion faculty member Eguie Castrillo and jams with students, all while reflecting on his deep connection to the music and rhythms of his home country, the Dominican Republic.
Below, a few of the students involved share their thoughts on the experience making tunes with the global legend.
Elaine Lizardo, Vocalist, Dominican Republic
“As a Dominican musician, having the opportunity to make music with Big Papi was incredible and unexpected. I would have never imagined that I would make music with the three times World Series winner. It was a reminder for me of how powerful music can be. Once we started singing ‘Compadre Pedro Juan,’ one of the most popular merengue songs in our country, he knew exactly how to play the güira without a rehearsal. Meeting him in person and learning his wonderful personality showed me that no matter how big you get, there’s always something new to learn.”