Berklee Partners with IDB to Expand Music Education Opportunities in Latin America

From Berklee News: “Berklee Latino, Berklee’s Spanish-language program, returned to Bogota, Colombia, to partner with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The Berklee/IDB partnership is the first initiative that employs Berklee’s renowned curriculum via three synchronized components: Berklee Latino clinics, Berklee PULSE® Music Method, and specialized Berklee MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). The partnership will also allow for the translation of selected material into Spanish and integration of fully licensed contemporary Latin music.”

Berklee Latino photo by Pamela Hersch-1.jpg
Final concert from a Berklee Latino program Photo: Pamela Hersch

“Coupled with the training of the teachers to use PULSE and providing computers to the local schools, we are creating an unprecedented opportunity for thousands of young people across the continent to experience music education at no cost,” said Lee Whitmore, Berklee’s vice president for education outreach and social entrepreneurship. PULSE will release translated material come September 1st, 2017. In addition, tunes and grooves will be created focusing on the rich cultural diversity of musical styles that originated in South America. Students and educators will have an opportunity to explore an individual country’s musical heritage through creative lesson material and interactive online learning tools.

Read the full article by Brian Gonzalez here.

Software in the classroom with MAGIX

mgxThe Berklee City Music Network is fortunate to be able to partner with some outstanding companies. One such company is MAGIX, a leader in multimedia software. With MAGIX, both beginners and professionals alike can create, design, edit, archive or present videos, music, photos, graphics and websites. Plus, with user-friendly, state of the art technology, MAGIX allows for seamless sharing of multimedia files over the internet. With a passion for innovation, MAGIX has certainly made a mark in the media, music and tech worlds, having won over 1000 awards!

grafik-420-arrangement-mx-intMAGIX can also be used in the classroom to teach media literacy, a subject which is becoming essential to practically all future careers. Students can learn the basics of things like video editing and production, sound design, digital audio editing and publishing, web design, and photo editing, just to name a few. MAGIX products allow educators maximum time saving through tight lessons with quick results. As a member of the Berklee City Music Network, you and your organization are eligible for a discount on MAGIX software of up to 80% off! A copy of a photo ID and a document with a valid seal or original letterhead from your educational institution will need to be provided. To learn more about MAGIX and to take advantage of this offer, please visit:

As always, BCMN strives to offer its partners the utmost in resources, products and materials from the latest and greatest across the music industry. Thanks to generous companies like MAGIX, BCMN is able to uphold this commitment.

12 Issues of Billboard for just $12!

Whether you’re involved in the music industry or not, you’ve likely heard of Billboard. Billboard is the music industry’s flagship media brand. With in-depth reporting, analysis, unprecedented access to the hottest new artists, world-class photography and video, plus feature exclusives, Billboard is the definitive source for music news.

The Berklee City Music Network is proud to partner with Billboard, who has played a helpful role in supporting BCMN and promoting news for the Network and its partners. Billboard has generously made bb_logopromotional offers to the Network in the past and has agreed to do so again. Starting today, Billboard is pleased to offer Berklee City Music Network Members 12 print & digital issues for only $12! Use this link to take advantage of the offer: And to get a glimpse into the kind of exciting content Billboard provides, check out their site at

Make sure to keep up with the Berklee City Music Blog and monthly Newsletter to continue to take advantage of amazing offers from our generous partners like Billboard!

BANDED and Ghost Box Orchestra: an interview with Nazli Rex

About Ghost Box Orchestra:

Ghost Box Orchestra is a psychedelic, mainly instrumental, Boston-based band who infuse western soundtracks with a desert rock and surf reverb tinge. Their songs speak in subtle whispers and fuzz-freaked panoramas full of stomping rhythms and hazy shoegazey guitar slabs.

Involvement with BANDED and PULSE: 


Their epic composition, Desert Lights, has been featured in three exclusive project-based composition lesson plans on PULSE. As the film, BANDED, captures their creative approach to designing an intense auditory aroma, students and teachers gain an understanding that musical inspiration transpires through no fixed medium.


We had the opportunity to chat with Nazli Rex, keyboardist and percussionist of GBO, about her musical background and experience with the band.

PULSE: What was your musical training like growing up? Influences? Role models?

Nazli Rex: I started piano lessons in second grade. Apparently my mom heard me banging on the piano (my older sister was taking lessons at the time) and wanted to hear something more musical. In fifth grade I picked up the trumpet and then in 10th grade I started learning the guitar. In high school, I was in marching band, concert band, and jazz band, but I listened to everything from the Beatles, to grunge, to swing, to classical, and everything in between. I equally loved Nirvana, Bille Holiday, Debussy, and Led Zeppelin. Role models for me were (as cheesy as it sounds) my band leaders. They lead the show and made it fun.

PULSE: How did the band start and how did members come together?

NR: Jeremy (lead guitar and vocalist) wrote the majority of our songs by himself in the beginning. He approached me after hearing that I was looking for a new project. It took a while to find all the right players. We auditioned several drummers before finding Marty. Chris (rhythm guitar) was an acquaintance of Jeremy’s and our original bass player was also a friend of a friend. Once we all got together, it gelled. Since then, our music was derived either from jam sessions or from one member bringing in a riff that led the song in the direction it needed to go.

PULSE: How did the name “Ghost Box Orchestra” come about?

NR: Jeremy wanted to use the idea of a ghost box in our name. Each band member brought a characteristic sound to the overall group and since, electronically, we were creating so many different sounds with our instruments, we added orchestra. To me, we were bringing together sounds beyond the traditional timbres of our instruments to communicate.

PULSE: What are some positive and negative factors while striving to produce a musical product with other creative musicians? 

NR: I personally like to write music collaboratively. I am not a songwriter. Every once in a while, I come up with a little melodic line, but I don’t know how to develop it. When you’re in a group of people with all different songwriting skills, your ideas can take shape progressively. It may not always go in the direction you expect, but since I deeply loved the aesthetic of my friends’ music with whom I played, I was happy with the result.

PULSE: During the BANDED film, you composed a song based on an image. What are some other sources of inspiration or, rather, conceptual techniques you all use while composing?

NR: Jam sessions and riffs or melodic lines helped to shape a lot of our music. Some songs were composed by an individual but then each member put their own take on their instrument’s part.

PULSE: I’ve noticed a member of the band has left since the filming of BANDED. How have new members redirected the overall band’s sound or collaboration, if any?

NR: It definitely changed the sound in subtle ways. Each person has their own set of influences and that in turn affected the band’s sound. Dennis is very much into post-rock and avant-garde jazz and a lot of our songs had uncommon structure during his time with us. Zac, our current bass player, listens to much heavier music, and brought a darker, grittier sound to the songs.

PULSE: What is next for GBO?

NR: Good question! No big plans currently.

You can check out the Ghost Box Orchestra’s website for music and upcoming events.

Free Trial of Flipcause, a Unique Fundraising Solution


The Berklee City Music Network aims to provide its partners with numerous resources, including opportunities to partner with great companies like Flipcause. Flipcause helps non-profits achieve fundraising goals through an integrated system that uses a variety of tools.

Flipcause provides intuitive software that will make your fundraising efforts a breeze! With Flipcause’s user friendly, easy to navigate interface, you will spend less time on tedious tasks and more time focusing on your organization’s cause.  Check out this video below to learn more about Flipcause.

Flipcause has a proven track record for helping non-profits meet and even exceed their fundraising goals. For example, Hilary Palanza, founder of Palanza Dance, an arts organization in San Francisco, says, “Flipcause has been a great way for my dance company to raise more donations, sell tickets to our performances, and learn about our supporters—all from a single place.”

As a generous offer, Flipcause is extending a 30-day FREE trial to all Berklee City Music Network Partners. To take advantage of this offer, please contact Flipcause’s Director of Community Development, Derrick Cagaanan at

In addition, on January 17th at 1pm EST there will be a group webinar where Network members can view a live demo of Flipcause.  If you would like to take part in this webinar, you can register using this link:

We know Flipcause is sure to provide results which will not disappoint. Check out everything Flipcause has to offer and learn more about their product on their site:




Register for NAMM 2017!

As many of you may know, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) will be namm-show-registrationholding their 2017 trade show in Anaheim, CA from January 19th to the 22nd. This event is a fantastic opportunity to connect with a variety of music industry exhibitors and to explore different products and brands. There are also educational sessions and networking events. Plus, who doesn’t want to go to sunny, Southern California in the middle of January? Luckily, NAMM has generously offered a discount to all Berklee City Music Network partners. Register by January 4th and receive a 4-day pass for just $25! Use this link and the instructions on the right to complete the registration before the 4th of January. (

Also, if you ARE attending NAMM, there are two important events to remember while there:

  • First, there will be a Network Lunch for all Network partners. It will take place on Saturday, January 21st between 12 and 2pm. More specifics to follow but please make sure to RSVP to by December 16th in order to attend the lunch.namm-lunch
  • Second, there will be a Berklee College of Music Alumni Hang on January 19th from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort. Use this link to register:

Hope to see you all at NAMM in January 2017!



Casio Master Class with Pianist, Eldar Djangirov

casio_eldar-djangirovThis week, Thursday, December 8th, The Jazz Composition Department, its chair, Eric Gould, and Berklee City Music are excited to host Casio America, Inc. at a Master Class with pianist, Eldar Djangirov. The event will include a performance by Djangirov, a Q&A session, and a student performance and critique. Come by the Steve Heck Room (1140 Boylston) at 3pm on Thursday to check it out.

This past September, Casio welcomed New York based pianist, Eldar Djangirov to its Artist Program, which provides electronic, musical instruments to aspiring musical artists. Berklee City Music is proud to host this Master Class with Casio, as the consumer electronic business has generously donated several keyboards to the City Music Network.

Djangirov is an accomplished pianist and composer from Kansas City by way of the former Soviet Union, who has played at jazz festivals and toured extensively across the world. In 2008, Djangirov was nominated for a Grammy for his album, “Re-imagination,” which includes bold, original songs along with jazz classics that the artist recreates with a sophisticated and fresh new take. The young pianist has been described by the New York Times as, “a blend of musical intelligence, organizational savvy, enthusiasm and prowess that was all the more impressive for seeming so casual… an ebullient impressionist.”

Check out Djangirov’s musical prowess in this video below and make sure to catch him live this Thursday afternoon from 3 to 5pm!

Erin Zanders Receives Berklee City Music Emerging Leadership Award

ezIn case you missed it, this year’s annual Berklee City Music Summit took place in Newark, NJ from November 10th to the 12th. Hosted by Berklee City Music Network (BCMN) partner New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the 2016 Summit may have been the best one yet, with content ranging from thought-provoking addresses, engaging panels with industry professionals, and of course awe-inspiring performances from talented, musical youth from across the country!

The Summit also offered an opportunity to honor four Network partners with Distinguished Service Awards. The Berklee City Music Distinguished Service Awards highlight individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to BCMN. One such honoree was Erin Zanders, the Operations Manager for the Community Music School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Erin was awarded the Emerging Leadership Award, which is given to a staff or faculty member who upholds the BCMN mission, actively participates in teacher training/BCMN events, provides leadership within their own organization as well as that of the greater network, encourages student development, serves as a role model, takes part in BCMN scholarship fundraising, and makes a positive impact on their community.

Erin Zanders has certainly exemplified emerging leadership since taking on her role at the Community Music School in November of 2014. In her own words, Zanders is “strongly committed to helping people of all means and experience levels to develop their love of the arts.” She has continually upheld this commitment through her tireless, day-to-day operations of the school and her activeness with the students. Her positive attitude, combined with her diligence and professionalism makes her the worthy candidate of the Emerging Leadership Award.

The Community Music School of Raleigh, NC has offered music education to students with limited financial resources since opening its doors in 1994. The school has been recognized both locally and nationally for its positive influence on the lives of over 2,000 students. Through both private and ensemble training, the school’s talented team of educators and staff provide students with tools and resources that will help them build musical, skill sets that will enrich all aspects of their lives.


Introducing the 2016 City Music Summit Master Class Bands

Here are the Berklee City Music Network Sites that will be representing at the Berklee City Music Summit Master Class Bands.


Live! Modern School of Music  Miami, FL

Live! Modern School of Music’s integral mission is to cater to the individual, transgressing conventional music education into a more contemporary approach that involves communication of ideas, creativity, and expression.

Director: Juan Diaz
Ensemble Director: Zach Larmer
Students Performing: Sasha Crews (Voice), David Lehr (Bass), Teddy Kingsbury (Keyboard), Mason Porter-Brown (Guitar), and Cristian Acevedo (Drums).


Tipitina’s Foundation  New Orleans, LA

Tipitina’s Foundation supports Louisiana and New Orleans’ irreplaceable music community and preserves the state’s unique musical cultures. The Foundation was established to promote childhood music education, the professional development of adult musicians, and the increased profile and viability of Louisiana music as a cultural, educational, and economic resource.

Executive Director: Bethany Paulsen
Artistic Director:
Donald Harrison
Students Performing:
Brian Richburg (Drums), Ian Kelly (Baritone Sax), Masha Davey (Piano), Anthony Beavers (Alto Sax), Dylan Caillouet (Bass), Diji Diallo (Trumpet), Dernell Lewis (Bass), and Kevin Gullage (Piano and Vocals)

Jazz Ed Logos-03.pngSeattle JazzEd  Seattle, WA

Seattle JazzED empowers students of all skill
levels and backgrounds to realize their full potential through exceptional music education.

Executive Director: Laurie de Koch
Ensemble Director: Kelly Barr Clingan
Students Performing:
Isabel Russak (Drums), Fredos Al-Haider (Trumpet), Julia Tanner (Guitar), Lauren Martinez (Trumpet), Amy Gore (Tenor Sax), Colby Lamson-Gordon (Bass), Emily Ko (Trombone), and Anne Pham (Alto Sax).


Camden Repertory Theatre  Camden, NJ

Camden Repertory Theater is dedicated to providing opportunities for urban communities to discover the power of performing arts through theater arts training and performance. Programs serve school-aged youth to adults; by partnering these diverse voices with acclaimed artists, the results have a lasting impact beyond the performance to broaden cultural horizons.

Executive Director: Desi Seck
Ensemble Director: Jojo Streeter
Students Performing: Joshua Sims (Trumpet), Brandon Ramos (Trombone), Randy Thompson (Tenor Sax), Justin Lane (Bass), Iyonna Herbert (Drums), Deshawn Casraiss (Keyboard), Isaiah Rivera (Keyboard), and Dawn Casraiss (Alto Sax).


Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts  Philadelphia, PA

The mission of the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts is to further the level of art and culture in the community. This goal is accomplished through promoting the development of talent and providing opportunities for the growth of the performing artist specifically, with a special emphasis in instrumentalists.

Executive Director: Donald Gardner
Artistic Director:
Lovett Hines
Students Performing: 
Bill Saurman (Trombone), Nazir Ebo (Drums), Dylan Reis (Bass), Dave Mosko (Trombone), Matthew Clarke (Alto&Baritone Sax), Joseph Block (Piano), and Tyler Dowling (Trumpet).

Read more about the Master Class Program on our Guidebook app #CityMusicSummit. Want to attend the 2016 Berklee City Music Summit? It’s not too late!

2016 Summit Countdown: Master Class Coaches’ Panel Uncovered

City Music Master Class: Coaches’ Panel

What is it?

The coaches’ will engage in a panel discussing to start off the day. Then begins the City Music Master Class which is an opportunity for students to learn from some of today’s leading industry artists. Each student ensemble is from a different Berklee City Music Network site and will be assigned to one of our coaches. Spending a whole day working on their craft guided by any of these coaches will not only help students improve dramatically but also network. In the evening, the students will demonstrate what they have learned by performing in front of the entire Summit.

Berklee City Music Network sites represented:

  • Camden Repertory Theatre (Camden, NJ)
  • Live! Modern School of Music (Miami, FL)
  • Seattle JazzEd (Seattle, WA)
  • The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Tipitina’s Foundation (New Orleans, LA)

Meet the 2016 Master Class Coaches:

Syreeta 300x300.jpgSyreeta Thompson 
Noted as one of the greatest instrumentalists and clinicians in music, Syreeta Thompson’s musical gifts prove to be both sincere and incomparable. The powerful trumpeter has managed to blaze through the gospel industry circuit by sharing the stage with many of its greatest icons, from the renowned Hezekiah Walker and the LFT Church Choir to the legendary Dorinda Clark-Cole. One of Thompson’s premier achievements to date is her role as the instrumental music coordinator for Clark-Cole’s Singers and Musicians Conference. Thompson is the department chair of middle school instrumental music for the Cicely Tyson School of Fine and Performing Arts in East Orange, New Jersey, and is currently at work on her ambitious sophomore project, Winner, scheduled for release in fall 2016.

larry-carlton_300x300Larry Carlton

Nineteen-time Grammy nominee, four-time Grammy winner, and all-time guitar great, Larry Carlton established himself from his first recording,A Little Help from My Friends. His studio credits include musicians and groups like Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., and Herb Alpert, along with dozens of other stars. He went on to perform with the Crusaders and then with the multiplatinum jazz supergroup Fourplay. With 30 albums to his credit and performances on over 100 albums that have gone gold or platinum, Carlton has set a standard for artistry that spans three decades.

jasonmarshall_300x300Jason Marshall
Jason Marshall is a highly sought after saxophonists across the whole music industry. He has recorded and performed with a diverse and esteemed collection of artists such as The Mingus Big Band, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Roy Hargrove, Abdullah Ibrahim, The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, The Mambo Legends, Dr. Lonnie Smith and The Roots. Born in Washington DC, He holds degrees from The New School for Social Research and Aaron Copeland School of Music. As a composer, Jason was nominated for a Grammy for his composition and arrangement “Ms. Garvey, Ms. Garvey!!” in 2009 featured on Roy Hargrove’s big band album “Emergence”.

vincent-gardner_300x300Vincent Gardner
Born in Chicago and raised in Hampton, Virginia, he decided on the trombone at age 12. He attended Florida A&M University and the University of North Florida. He caught the ear of Mercer Ellington, who hired Gardner for his first professional job. After graduating from college, he moved to Brooklyn, completed a world tour with Lauryn Hill in 2000, then joined the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Gardner has served as instructor at The Juilliard School and as adjunct instructor at The New School. He has performed with The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, Harry Connick, Jr., The Saturday Night Live Band, Chaka Khan, A Tribe Called Quest, among others.

magda-300x300Magda Giannikou

Composer, arranger, producer, vocalist, pianist, and accordionist Magda Giannikou was born in Athens, Greece. After 15 years of education in classical piano, she decided to widen her musical spectrum by studying film scoring, jazz improvisation, arranging, and music production at Berklee College of Music. Today, as founder and leader of the world music group Banda Magda, she has toured five continents and 22 countries, performing in discerning venues and festivals. Giannikou has also collaborated with two-time Grammy Award–winning group Snarky Puppy. She has produced and arranged for Banda Magda’s first two albums (Amour, T’es Là? and Yerakina), and she is currently working on their third opus, Tigre, set to be released in 2017.

 Click here for more information on this year’s summit and it’s speakers.