Berklee College of Music Boston education music rock rock history Steve Morse United States

Berklee School of Music announces Rock History course, the online school of Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music, is launching Rock History, an online course that chronicles the evolution of one of the greatest periods of music. Rock History takes an in-depth look at the highs and lows of rock over the past 60 years; the key heroes and villains, the movers and shakers from the studio and the concert stage, and a behind-the-scenes look at the managers, industry executives, promoters, and cultural trends that shaped it.  The course launches April 2, 2012.

Berkleemusic has tapped Steve Morse to author and teach Rock History.  Morse brings a lifetime of real-world experience to the material. Steve was the senior rock writer at the Boston Globe for over three decades, and has contributed to other top-tier press outlets such as Billboard and Rolling Stone. He has also served on the nominating committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Steve has a rich background in rock history, having interviewed and developed strong, decades-long ties with dozens of the most important artists and bands in rock, including the Rolling Stones (first seeing them in 1966), U2, Paul McCartney, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, Metallica, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Tom Petty, and others. 

“The new Rock History online course from Berklee is a comprehensive, interactive, and immersive way to experience the most important and interesting time ever in the music industry,” says Dave Kusek, CEO at in a news release.  “Steve Morse has such a wealth of knowledge and insight into what actually happened behind the scenes and the way the course is crafted, it is simply the most unique and exciting way to learn about this incredible time in the history of music.  You will not find a better way to learn about and appreciate the classic albums and live shows that were created by the true legends of rock and roll, as the music industry ignited.”

Throughout the course, students will view exclusive, never-before-seen Berkleemusic video interviews with rock luminaries including: Joe Perry of Aerosmith; Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead; Mike Mills of R.E.M.; Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers; George Clinton of P-Funk; producer Jack Douglas (who has worked with Aerosmith, Patti Smith, and John Lennon); promoter Don Law; Amanda Palmer; Hugo Burnham of Gang of Four; Duke Levine (who has played with the J. Geils Band and Aimee Mann); and English super-session drummer Dave Mattacks. Berkleemusic has also partnered with Wolfgang’s Vault to provide additional rare audio, video, and other forms of historical rock media presented in an educational context for the very first time. 

“I have known Steve Morse for over twenty years,” concludes Aerosmith’s Joe Perry. “Steve is a musicologist and his love of music makes him a very enthusiastic teacher. Steve has an undying love of music and a proven ability to be one of music’s finest critics and writers.”

Berkleemusic will host a free live Rock History event in Berkleemusic’s studio Thursday, March 8 at 4 p.m. EST: an exclusive conversation between Rock History’s Morse, and Boston DJ John Laurenti. Laurenti joins Morse in the Pantheon of the Boston music scene. John is a DJ at Boston’s #1 classic rock station in Boston, WZLX is the music director at University of Massachusetts’ radio station, WUMB. Laurenti has also hosted a number of historical music documentaries shown on WGBH in Boston. To register, sign up at
To learn more about the Rock History online course, visit: 
Berklee College of Music blues education jazz Kenny Garrett Mack Avenue Records music rhyme and blues United States

Kenny Garrett joins other Honorary Doctorate of Music degree recipients at Berklee College of Music

Kenny Garrett/Credit: Jimmy Katz

According to a recent news release, Mack Avenue Records recording artist Kenny Garrett will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Music degree from Berklee College of Music. The presentation will be made at the college’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at the 7,000-seat Agganis Arena at Boston University. 
Additionally, Garrett will serve as the commencement speaker, addressing more than 900 Berklee graduates, their parents, and invited guests. Other renowned musicians to receive an honorary degree with Garrett include: Chucho Valdés, Bebo Valdés, Mavis Staples, and Michael McDonald.
“I was totally elated when I was advised that I’d be receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the world’s largest college of contemporary music!” Garrett said. “This is a dream come true, and I’m deeply appreciative and honored to be a member of this illustrious group of recipients.”   
For over 30 years, Garrett has garnered critical recognition for his versatility in jazz, blues, and R&B. The Detroit native began his career performing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and Mel Lewis Orchestra. In the early 1980s, Garrett began working with Miles Davis, becoming a member of Davis’ working group —  a collaboration that lasted for five years. These days, he is working on his sophomore Mack Avenue release, due to be released during the first quarter of 2012.

Berklee College of Music education Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez jazz music United States world world jazz

Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez to receive honorary degree from Berklee College of Music

According to a recent news release, multi-Grammy Award winning drummer and composer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, will be awarded with an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music on Thursday, July 15, 2010, in recognition of his extraordinary musicianship and many career achievements. The honorary degree will be presented on the main stage of the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, by Berklee’s vice president, Larry Monroe.
El Negro has been the power behind the most popular and influential Latin music of the past decade. Since leaving Cuba and arriving in New York, he’s driven the efforts of Grammy Award-winners 
Listen Here (Eddie Palmieri), Live at the Blue Note (Michel Camilo), Supernatural (Carlos Santana), No Es Lo Mismo (Alejandro Sanz), and Crisol (Roy Hargrove). El Negro has also recorded with Chucho Valdes, Paquito D’Rivera, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Robbie Ameen, among others. His performance Live at the Modern Drummer Festival 2000 (Hudson Music), with Allman Brothers’ percussionist Marc Quiñones and late saxophone great Michael Brecker, lives on explosive video footage.
 As a follow up to their last recording, 
Italuba II (Cacao Musica), El Negro’s band will be releasing Italuba III, a double album melding World Jazz with the legacy of Latin Music. The first disc will present Italuba celebrating the Afro-Cuban big band legacy, as the quartet performs both stateside with the Arturo O’Farrill Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and in Rome, Italy with the Parco Della Musica Jazz Orchestra, turning in big band arrangements of Italuba and Italuba II repertoire. The second disc will offer new material performed by the original Italuba quartet, with each track featuring a different percussion maestro of El Negro’s generation: Marc Quiñones, Luis Conte, Karl Perazzo, Luisito Quintero, Richie Flores, and Giovanni Hidalgo. The album, produced under his own record label, “El Negro and Reusing Records Inc.”, will hit the streets in late 2010.
 El Negro has appeared as the cover of over fourteen of the major percussion publications worldwide in countries that include the United States, Brazil, China, South Africa, Germany, Argentina, Japan, Italy, and more.