Paco de Lucia, Gamble & Huff, Angelique Kidjo, and Kenny Barron to Receive Honorary Doctor of Music Degrees at Berklee's Commencement on May 8.


Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown will present Paco de Lucia (pictured above), Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, Angelique Kidjo, and Kenny Barron with honorary doctor of music degrees at Berklee College of Music's commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 8, at the 7,000-seat Agganis Arena at Boston University. Commencement speaker Kenneth Gamble will address more than 860 Berklee graduates, their parents and invited guests.


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, Juan Luis Guerra, Nancy Wilson, David Bowie, The Edge, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Michel Camilo, Chaka Khan, Loretta Lynn, Quincy Jones, Bonnie Raitt, and Ahmet Ertegun.

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.

About the honorees:

Spain's Paco de Lucia is one of the world's greatest guitarists. The Latin Grammy winner is the most innovative and influential flamenco artist of his generation. His recordings have had a revolutionary impact, bringing flamenco music worldwide attention. Born into a family of flamenco guitar players and singers in Algeciras, Spain, de Lucia adopted the Gypsy lifestyle associated with flamenco, where community, improvisation and inspiration, rather then formal training, informed his playing. De Lucia recorded his first album in 1 968, made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1970, and has recorded more than 30 albums. He has collaborated with a range of artists, from Spanish masters to American jazz and pop stars, including Ricardo Modrego, Camaron de la Isla, Larry Coryell, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, and Bryan Adams, on "Have You Ever Really Loved a Women." He has defined his own influential sound by staying true to his flamenco roots while stretching his artistry by continuing to follow his inspirations, like a true gypsy.

The Gamble & Huff songwriting and production team has churned out 70 #1 pop and R&B singles and collected 175 gold, platinum, and multiplatinum certificates. They have produced more than 3,500 songs and won five Grammy Awards. The 45-year partnership can be summed up in a phrase...

To continue reading