BOSTON, MA (October 30, 2019)— The Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice celebrates a successful year of gender equity work in the Berklee community and beyond on Wednesday, October 30. Founded in October 2018 by Grammy-winning artist, producer, and educator Terri Lyne Carrington, the Institute focuses on creative practice and scholarship in jazz within an integrated and egalitarian environment. Under the leadership of Carrington, the Institute celebrates the contributions women have made to the development of the art form, and continues the mission of making an important and long-lasting cultural shift toward gender equity in jazz and other music communities.
Recently, the Institute received a $3 million donation to create the Terri Lyne Carrington Endowed Artistic Directorship in honor of its trailblazing founder and artistic director. The gift comes from generous supporters of the college, and will be used to support long-term scholarly, creative, and programmatic work of the Artistic Director of the Institute.
“It’s an incredible honor to receive this generous gift supporting our institute’s vision and goals; it is really very encouraging,” said Carrington. “The Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice was created to address the need for gender parity in our field, and it is inspiring to know that our work and scholarly pursuits will continue on campus and throughout the world for the foreseeable future. We’re very grateful for this outstanding assistance in furthering our cause.”
In its first year, the Institute has held a variety of special events, including an open house with Dianne Reeves; The Gathering, a free series of performances, workshops, and lectures by prominent jazz figures; and an upcoming Signature Series performance with Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Berklee Performance Center on its anniversary, October 30. There are currently seven course offerings spanning performance, composition, and jazz’s role in the greater societal landscape taught by expert performers and scholars in the field, including the Institute’s managing director and ethnomusicologist, Aja Burrell Wood.
Institute ensembles are led by Carrington, acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Kris Davis, electronic music artist Val Jeanty, and esteemed jazz bassist Linda Oh. In its first year, students have represented the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice across the world, performing at the Bern Jazz Festival, the International Alliance for Women and Feminist Theory in Music joint conference, Cambridge Jazz Festival, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Carrington, Wood, and others affiliated with the Institute have spoken on panels related to the scholarly and cultural work needed to create equity in the field, moving the matter forward, and inciting change on this topic.
In addition to her role with the Institute, Carrington serves as the Artistic Director for Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Jazz Workshop and Women’s Performance programs, and co-artistic director for The Carr Center in Detroit. Earlier this year, the Doris Duke Foundation recognized Carrington’s numerous contributions to the field of jazz, granting her with a Doris Duke Artist Award of $275,000.
“Terri Lyne Carrington and the Berklee Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice are already challenging and changing the way music is taught, composed, performed, and shared,” said Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “I am delighted to announce this significant gift that will fuel the important work of the Institute.”