The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) is a performance program designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines, with pianist and composer Danilo Pérez as its artistic director. The BGJI provides a comprehensive contemporary music environment where students are given opportunities to explore their creativity to the highest level possible, advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society, and connect musical creative thinking with the natural environment.
During my first audition for Berklee Global Jazz Institute I was star struck. Walking into the BGJI office, Danilo Perez, Marco Pignataro, and John Pattituci sat at a table in the corner of the room. The first time I had heard Danilo Perez was at the Blue Note in New York City with Jack DeJohnette’s band a few years earlier. Sitting behind him that evening I was convinced he had something similar to the powers of Storm from X-Men. With the rhythmic integrity and harmonic colors he played with it seemed like he could crack open the sky with thunder and rain or cause the sun to come out at will. Pattituci’s rich bass sound and the grooves he creates with Brian Blade on records like Wayne Shorter’s ‘Beyond the Sound Barrier’ are something friends I played with used to imitate as best as they could.