I’m writing from the Panama Canal Zone, where the educational portion of  the Panama Jazz Festival just took place. My Name is Billy Herron, marketing manager for off-campus projects, and I traveled for Berklee  to work from Panama (my country of origin) on the announcement of the first group of students of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), a new initiative by Berklee which consists of a performance program to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines, with Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Perez serving as its artistic director. I am currently reflecting on how well, since the US armed forces retired from this area, Panamanians have taken care of this beautiful geographical area; and on the practical and conveniently designed administrative, residential  and educational buildings that the US government built to administer Panama’s incredible artificial inter-oceanic masterpiece, the Panama Canal.

Surrounded by music in the Canal Zone, It strikes me to see how the BGJI teachers access their own original non-conventional space, in other words, their own particular “zone” where all true music and art comes from. In order to be a professional performer of that level, being in “the zone” is required, and who better than John Patitucci, Danilo Pérez, Joe Lovano, Teri Lyne Carrington and Jammey Haddad to teach you so! The program is even administered by Marco Pigantaro, an “in the zone” professional saxophonists, educator and human being.. take a look at the following short your tube video so you can understand what I mean ; ) .. (I’m working on it)

Come find your “zone” next year in the Panama Jazz Festival, connect with the BGJI wonderful professors and sample a week of different life changing musical activities that can only be recreated at Berklee’s Campus in Boston, so I look fwd on seeing you At Berklee on the search for your own special creative zone!

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