Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Berklee Staff (Page 1 of 17)

Ella Fitzgerald: Singing, Storytelling, and the Ultimate Creative Entrepreneurial Adventure

By Nanette Perrotte B.M. ’91

Cover art for book Ella Jane the Jazzy CatElla Jane drew the shortest straw. Now she had to step onto one of the most infamous stages in New York City: the Apollo Theater. Would the audience love her? Or boo her?

This is the opening scene of my audiobook and e-book, Ella Jane the Jazzy Cat—An Ella Fitzgerald Fable. The book, written for 6- to 12-year-old students, is a fable based on the life of vocal master Ella Jane Fitzgerald. I also composed an original tune “Ella Jane the Jazzy Cat—Twist, Spin, Jump Jive.”

Read More

(Harvard) Student By Day, (Berklee) Pop Star By Night

By Avanti Nagral

Avanti Nagral sitting near a gardenI am practically married to the Number 1 Bus. Constantly back and forth, traversing between two cities, two worlds, two identities. But I’ve lived almost exactly half my life in two different countries, so duality is no stranger. Bombay/Boston. Artist/Advocate. Harvard/Berklee.

It’s a mouthful to explain to people.

Read More

In Prague: Composing for the 21st Century the 10th International Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition

The following post is an excerpted version of a longer essay about Stella’s experience as a contestant in the 2019 Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition.

Stella Gitelmann Willoughby composing at the pianoBy Stella G. Gitelman Willoughby

Imagine this. You’re alone in an attic. Holed up for eight hours a day, for the next five days. The hot sun bakes into your skin through a narrow window. English is not a familiar language. The only objects: a baby grand Steinway Piano and a large envelope with instructions. This was my reality this summer. This was my dream come true.

Read More

Why Missy Elliott’s Honorary Doctorate Means So Much

By Darcie Nicole B.M. ’01

Missy Elliott at Berklee's 2019 commencement ceremony

Image by Dave Green

“Let me just soak it in… I don’t even know how I’m standing here…” The opening of the incomparable Missy Elliott’s humble, encouraging commencement address was devoid of egotism. Those who have been at Berklee long enough also needed to soak it in. Missy tapped into the ether. How she came to be standing there was a path forged by her musical bravery, compelling creativity, and groundbreaking innovation paralleled by a foundation that was built—sometimes against the grain—at the college for nearly two decades prior.

Read More

In Memoriam: Dave Samuels

Dear members of the Berklee community,

As you heard recently, Dave Samuels, a former longtime faculty member in Berklee’s Ensemble Department, passed away on April 22 at age 70 after a long illness.

Dave was a renowned vibraphonist and percussionist who was best known for his work over several decades with the band Spyro Gyra. He was also a member of Gerry Mulligan’s sextet, and had played with musicians such as Carla Bley, Frank Zappa, David Friedman, and Paul McCandless. He cofounded the groups Double Image, Gallery, and the Skylight Trio, and released several solo albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Read More

Page 1 of 17

Copyright © 2020 Berklee College of Music