Berklee College of Music Honorary PhD

updated 11/12/2006
Rubén Blades in Boston
photo by Don West

From October 31-November 11 Latin Culture Celebration returns to Berklee immersing the community into the music and culture from Latin America.  Among the events planned for 2005  celebration is a Tribute to Rubén Blades, Latin Music Listening Parties, Visiting Composer Dario Sotelo, and so much more.

Purpose of Latin Culture Celebration
Supporting Berklee’s mission to educate, train, and develop students to excel in music as a career, Latin Culture Celebration provides Berklee students with concerts, performance opportunities, panels, social events, and clinics to enhance the development of their careers.

History of Latin Culture Week
Starting with a series of clinics, workshops, and performances student Marcelo Trevino organized the first Latin Culture Week in 1999, over sixty events have been presented from 1999 to 2004. In the past Latin Culture Week has featured prominent Latin performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and composers like Paquito D'Rivera, Juan Luis Guerra, Antonio Arnedo, and Leo Blanco.

Rubén Blades to Receive Honorary Doctorate During Berklee's Latin Culture Celebration, November 1

BOSTON, MA, October 13, 2005 — Berklee College of Music President Roger H. Brown will award highly acclaimed Panamanian musician, actor, and political figure Rubén Blades with an honorary doctorate of music degree during a tribute concert for him Tuesday, November 1, at 8:15 p.m., as part of the college's Latin Culture week. The musical celebration will feature students and talented faculty members Mili Bermejo, Ernesto Diaz, and Mikael Ringquist under the direction of Associate Professor Eguie Castrillo, also on timbales. The evening will bring to life the sounds of several music genres and include a multimedia presentation in Blades' honor within the walls of Berklee's Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA.

latin culture week
Rubén Blades Recibirá Doctorado Honirifico Durante la Celebracion de la Cultura Latina de Berklee College of Music el 1ero de Noviembre

Boston, October 19, 2005 – Roger H. Brown, Presidente de Berklee College of Music, otorgará al muy aclamado músico, actor y figura política panameña Rubén Blades, con  un doctorado honorífico del titulo de música. El homenaje se realizará durante un concierto en tributo para Rubén Blades, el día martes 1 de noviembre a las 8:15pm, como parte de las celebraciones por motivo de la Semana de la Cultura Latina. La celebración musical contará con la participación de estudiantes y talentosos profesores como Mili Bermejo, Ernesto Díaz y Mikael Ringquist, bajo la dirección del Profesor Asociado Eguie Castrillo, quien también estará en los timbales. La noche dará vida a los sonidos de varios géneros musicales e incluirá una presentación multimedia en honor Blades, dentro del las paredes del Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA.

With President Roger Brown, Dr. Lawrence Simpson, and
¡Con Salsa's José Massó

Dr. Simpson

Dr. Simpson welcomed the guests,
José Massó welcomed Rubén to Boston,
and President Brown conferred degree.

Video clip from BostonLatinoTV

"Follow your heart. Follow your intuition. Try always to contribute honestly, and be original as much as possible in what you do. Whatever you do, do it sincerely, and don't expect anything in return."

"Success is impossible to define. Failure is easier to define. Failure is not to try."
"I am blessed with the opportunity to be a musician. My mother was one also. She sang, composed, played the piano, all self-taught. She never became as famous as her son, but let this be the time to say, she was a better musician than I'll ever be.

Her name is Anoland. She raised a family of 5 kids, always tried hard to get her big break in show business, couldn't, but never complained, and always remained young because of music. Music keeps us all young."

"Thank you for this gift, which honors me and my family tonight. I want to thank Berklee for this sixth year of honoring Latino culture. Thanks to its students for their efforts in preserving our background and contributions to the arts. Thank you both faculty and administration officials in Berklee for allowing Latinos to participate and take advantage of its world renowned programs and curriculum."
"Thank you all for being part of my, our, world family for music. And I want to wish the best of luck to all of you, to hold onto your dreams as I said, to trust your instincts, and don't be afraid to be different. Because after all, like the man said, 'All you need is love, love is all you need.'"
"The thing is, we're working, and we're doing it because we love our country. Every one of us should try to contribute in any way we can to make this world a better place to live, by every means possible. That's what I'm trying to do, and that's why I'm working right now. I didn't say no to music, I said yes to my country."

"Thank you very much for this honor for Anoland's son. Muchas gracias a todos. ¡Muchas gracias!"

Video Clips:

José Massó's introduction
"All you need is love"

red sox
"No booing my friend Bernie"

(Williams - or, a Yankee fan in Red Sox country)

The Tribute Concert
Music Director Eguie Castrillo, Faculty
Assistant Music Directors
Marco Godoy, Uziel Colon
Mili Bermejo, Faculty
Miguel Acevedo, Puerto Rico
Georgel Arevalo, Mexico
Rodrigo Cuevas, Mexico
Barabara De Freitas, Brasil
Stephanie Dominguez, Colombia
Natalia Bernal

Natalie Fernandez, Argentina
Marco Godoy, Venezuela
Jania Isaac, Colombia
Andres Velasquez, Colombia
Nannette Velez, Puerto Rico
Paola Vergara, Mexico

Flute - Nannette Velez, Puerto Rico
Guitar - William Herron, Panama,
Fernando Ladeiro, Venezuela
Bass -  José Castillo, Puerto Rico
Piano - Uziel Colon,  Puerto Rico
Marco Godoy, Venezuela
Alto and Bariton Saxophone - Francisco Cruz, Puerto Rico
Trombone - Hector Aponte,  Puerto Rico
George Saenz, Texas, USA
Trumpet - Matthew Morales, NY, USA
John Replogle, CA, USA
Drum Set - Demian Arriaga, Venezuela
Gregorio Uribe, Colombia
Percussion - Perry Morris, TX, USA


Rodrigo Cuevas Georgel Arevalo


Mili Bermejo - Video clip - Pablo Pueblo
Natalia Bernal - Video Clip - Ligia Elena

The performances were all wonderful!
Marco Godoy - Video Clip - Patria (long version)
When the musicians returned to the stage Rubén joined them for Pedro Navaja and Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andres
p p
p a
r r
Video clips:
Pedro Navaja coro
Padre Antonio finale

Photos from the reception
r Bernie
Earlier in the day, at a workshop:

My moment:
- Alison
If you have any corrections, additions, or questions, please email Alison [alison]
Si usted tiene correcciones, adiciones, o preguntas, por favor comunicarse
por email [alison].

Please enjoy:
withJM con salsa logo

¡Con Salsa! is a bilingual music program that is presented every Saturday night from midnight until 5:00 a.m (EDT) on WBUR in Boston, hosted by .José Massó. The show includes the best of Afro-Cuban music, Salsa, Latin-jazz, Merengue, Nueva Trova and World Music.  Listen live!

Video clip from BostonLatinoTV

¡Con Salsa! host José Massó with Alison and Jorge at El Premio ASCAP 2005

My biography of Rubén Blades: English - Español Directory of Pages