Jetro Da SilvaJetro Da Silva is an artist, educator, producer, and researcher. Da Silva’s experience, training as a keyboardist, producer, and arranger has increased his opportunities to work with people such as: Whitney Houston, Jamie Foxx, Patti LaBelle, Pastor Andraé Crouch, Earth Wind and Fire, Chaka Khan, the Pointer Sisters, Gladys Knight, Brandy, Sheila E., Namie Amuro, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Kem, Celine Dion, Patti Austin, Emilio Santiago, Monica, Mary Mary, and many others.

Earlier this month, Grammy-winning gospel pioneer Andraé Crouch passed away. Crouch received an honorary doctorate from Berklee and collaborated with the likes of Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, and Madonna to name a few, and is responsible for the recording career of Walter Hawkins and the Winans. Here, Berklee professor Jetro Da Silva shares his thoughts and memories on his friend and mentor.

I first met pastor Andraé Crouch back around 1994/1995 when I first attended the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) as a featured artist for Technics music instruments, supervised by Dan Slick, director of marketing for the company. Someone very dear to me whom I met while still a Berklee student offered me this opportunity. Those days, I was the music and choir director for the Roxbury Presbyterian Church in Boston, Massachusetts. Here is what is ironic: my intention was to take this opportunity to go to California and visit Pastor Crouch’s church and invite him to do a concert at Roxbury Presbyterian Church. While at the NAMM show, I was playing the Technics keyboards and learning the technology with people like Brian Alli and Christopher Halon who are now very important folks at Roland. In one of my breaks, I decided to take a walk and call Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ to find out the time of their services on Sunday. “Pastor Crouch is at the NAMM show with his sister Sandra Crouch,” they said.

“Really?” I asked.

“He will be at the Hilton Hotel attending a worship service and Quincy Jones will also be there,” they told me.

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