For years, Berklee has bestowed doctorates of music on honorees to address the graduating classes and infuse hope of artistic success to guide their next steps. Ahmet Ertegun, Steve Winwood and Aretha Franklin, are among a few of our favorites followed in the ranks. This year, Bluebirdreviews is honored to be in attendance when Jimmy Page, Geri Allen, Valerie Simpson, and Thara Memory will be presented with honorary doctorates in music from Berklee.
Bluebirdreviews has posted articles on many bands from New England and around the world. The possibilities for listener exploration through the different genres are endless. As reviewers, we listen to the music first, and ask about roots later. Many of these bands happen to be from the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Some musicians from the school are shy about their degrees from Berklee. We think they should be proud of their hard work, education and training. The program is rigorous, intensive and releases the artist at the start of their potential. How do we know this? We've been listening to their music and attending their live shows for years.
Whether it's pop explosions from Gentlemen Hall, contemporary jazz elegance via Esperanza Spalding, folk rockin with Langhorne Slim, hip-hop Gli, or the experimentalism of Ali Amr, we think the Berklee program has inspired musicians with creativity and freedom.
Jimmy Page, a world renowned innovator, guitarist, composer and producer, is a great example of what Berklee strives to generate in the musical preparation of their students. Trained in the sciences, an excellent student himself, Mr. Page was an in demand session musician for years before he launched Led Zeppelin. His mastery of many different genres, ability to join any musical line-up and technical understanding of production, served him well, as he electrified and revitalized blues music to capture the world by storm.
Page's intense curiosity with the components of sound reflect the timeless world of music creation. Acoustic and electric guitar pieces, virtuoso solos, bows, and the theremin, were just some of the tools of this master's trade. His persistence in production perfection set up The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, and The Firm, among others, to, even in the era of LP's, have the highest quality sound presentations, while challenging the status quo of recordings and radio.
When forming Led Zeppelin, he knew which four members to combine to make the 'fifth element.' Through music, film, photography and an open ear to the global reach of sound itself, Jimmy Page will offer a wonderful vision for students to view their horizons.
Berklee president Roger H. Brown will present Jimmy Page, Geri Allen, Valerie Simpson, and Thara Memory with honorary doctor of music degrees at Berklee's commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 10, at the 7,000-seat Agganis Arena at Boston University. More than 900 Berklee graduates, their parents, and invited guests will be in attendance.
This year's honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, Loretta Lynn, David Bowie, Juan Luis Guerra, Paco de Lucia, Carole King, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, and George Clinton.
On commencement eve, as is Berklee's tradition, students will pay tribute to the honorees by performing music associated with their careers at the Agganis. The concert and ceremony are not open to the public.
For a complete list of past honorees from the Berklee College of Music visit:
- Led Zeppelin Reunion at the O2 London, December, 2007
- Jimmy Page Turns 70 : January 9, 2014
- Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page
- It Might Get Loud (Music Documentary Film)
Gentlemen Hall at the Boston Music Awards, 2011, Gentlemen Hall at the Iron Horse, 2012, Gentlemen Hall Rock "Take Me Under" in New Productions! , Gentlemen Hall, "Sailing Into The Sun" with new horizons and The Life Is Good festival. , Gentlemen Hall: When We All Disappear (Album Review) , Esperanza Spalding , An Interview with Langhorne Slim - October 6th, 2011, Bluebirdreviews announced Langhorne Slim at the Iron Horse! , Langhorne Slim and Ryan Lauder at the Iron Horse Dec. 2, 2010, Langhorne Slim at the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, MA, August 28, 2010, Langhorne Slim at the Iron Horse - July 19, 2010, Langhorne Slim in Nashville September 10, 2010, Green Line Inbound (GLi): EP Follow Bluebirdreviews To The Newport Jazz Festival! August 2, 3, 4, 2013. Newport, Rhode Island.