Kenny Garrett gets Honorary Doctorate of Music degree from Berklee College of Music
(Published: April 29, 2011)
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, Saturday, May 7, 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 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!" reflects Garrett. "This is a dream come true and I'm deeply appreciative and honored to be a member of this illustrious group of recipients."
This year's honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influence in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Dizzy Gillespie, Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Juan Luis Guerra, Nancy Wilson, David Bowie, the Edge, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Chaka Khan, Bonnie Raitt, Ahmet Ertegun, Kenneth Gamble, and Leon Huff.
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 over 30 years, Grammy® Award-winning saxophonist, flautist, arranger, composer, and bandleader Kenny Garrett has garnered critical recognition for his versatility in jazz, blues, and R&B contexts. 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.
With 18 albums as a leader as well as appearing on more than 230 as a sideman, Garrett has performed and recorded with a multitude of musical icons, including Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Q-tip, among others. Garrett continues to tour and record with the world's most experienced living jazz legends. In 2008-2009, Garrett joined Chick Corea and John McLaughlin's supergroup, "Five Peace Band," featuring label mate Christian McBride and Vinnie Colaiuta (later Brian Blade). The group's eponymous album won a Grammy® Award in 2010. Additionally, he was a featured member of Corea's "Freedom Band" (2010), that included Christian McBride and Roy Haynes.