Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: Gospel


Professor Jetro Da Silva: Remembering Andraé Crouch

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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Berklee City Music FIRSTS – Newport Folk Festival

This blog post was authored by Joanne Dill, Project Manager in the Berklee City Music office.


Back in July, the Berklee City Music Gospel Choir performed at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival.  It was a first for Berklee City Music and its students led by Choir Director, Nichelle Mungo.  The choir spent a full day performing “Pop-Up Performances” that inspired many who happened to catch these unannounced sets which took place near the entrance gate, the main stage, the Kid’s Tent, ending with a special performance at the artists’ gate.


They were also filmed by the SOPA production company for an upcoming documentary on the Newport Folk Festival.  They appear here in this series, Behind the Walls.  Check out the video.

It was a wonderful day at the Fortress and we hope to bring the kids back to the Festival this summer.

Schooled in Groove

To many musicians, the groove is the basis of all that we do. It’s the feel; the groove moves us. As we wrapped up the last day of the Berklee Groove School program at the new campus in Valencia, the groove was in full effect.

2012 groove school dance

George Russell, Jr. wants you to feel the groove. So, get up and dance!

I do not think the students had any idea what pianist, composer and professor of harmony at Berklee George Russell, Jr. had in mind when he asked the group to get up out of their chairs and start to get their bodies in motion. The result put the icing on the cake of this 4-day program by making the students do what they had been studying over the long weekend. Shake it, baby! 

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The Life Of Utako at Berklee!

さて、今回はバークリーで5th Semesterになる生徒、
全体としてみるとかなり少数派であります 。
数年前と比べると今日本人は 結構少数派になったみたいです。
ちょっと逸れてしまいました。 話題を戻しましょう! 

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Faith and gospel leads teen to Boston from Robert Johnson Blues Showcase

Crystal Springs is more then 200 miles south of Clarksdale.  It is 10 miles north of Hazlehurst, where Robert Johnson was born.  A grandson of the most legendary Delta blues musician is Steven Johnson.  He and his family make their home here.  Steven’s father, Claude, Robert Johnson’s son, and his mother live close by.  At one time, Steven was a teacher at the Crystal Springs High School, where he also attended.  He is now vice president of the Robert Johnson Blues Museum and Foundation.  The storefront museum is in the Crystal Springs historic district.  Among its items is an upright piano that a local resident donated after a family member admitted seeing Robert Johnson play it.

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