Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

South Africa

South Africa

Cape of Good Hope viewed from mountain top

Berklee City Music Goes to South Africa

Berklee City Music faculty standing on the coast of the Cape of Good HopeThis past summer, a group of Berklee and City Music faculty traveled to South Africa to conduct school music programs and give a number of performances throughout the country. City Music Boston faculty member and drummer Chris Rivelli, kept a travel journal over the course of the week. Here are a few selections. You can also read the full travel journal.

By Chris Rivelli

Friday, June 9, 2017

After a 22 hour journey, Ron Mahdi, David Alexis and myself, arrived in Cape Town on Thursday night, June 8. We had a chance to get acclimated and sleep in on Friday morning. I couldn’t stay in bed though, and went out for a run. The hotel clerk recommended a trail that was nice for running, and I soon found myself headed up a breath-taking mountain, with a view over Stellenbosch, the winery town, which we are staying in.

Read More

Snarky Puppy volta em setembro com apresentação no BPC!

Snarky Puppy

Hoje venho falar sobre este evento que irá acontecer no dia 28 de setembro no Berklee Performance Center. Snarky Puppy sempre encontrou muito apoio, incentivo e um público caloroso para se apresentar na Berklee, lotando praticamente todos os shows que fizeram aqui até agora.

Read More

Berklee in South Africa 2013

Berklee’s third annual visit to Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) wraps up in a bundle of opportunities, discovery, new possibilities, new associations, and proof that good collaborations can lead to great success – again and again, and again. Berklee’s involvement with CTIJF is made possible by the collaborative programming and design by Berklee’s Office of International Programs, and EspAfrika – the producers of CTIJF. Leading up to the festival weekend is EspAfrika’s Training and Development program (T&D), the educational component of the jazz festival, spanning 4 weeks of masterclasses and workshops in arts journalism, photography, entertainment and music business, culminating in the final week with Berklee auditions and masterclasses alongside artists from the festival. 

Our program dates for Cape Town this year (2013) were April 1 – 5. As a result of our annual visits and accessibility to our prospective students in this region, we conducted over 80 auditions and interviews for candidates seeking enrollment at Berklee College of Music in Boston.


Andrea Pejrolo and Rick Peckham conduct Berklee auditions at Groote Schuur HS, Newlands, CT

EspAfrika has been a fantastic partner in helping us connect with, and reach audiences critical to Berklee, during this highly popular event, that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible in such a coordinated and concise, singular, program each year.

As a result of EspAfrika’s outreach in the communities across Western Cape, during this final week of T&D, the team from Berklee also typically attends, as we did this year, a youth music festival from which we identify two outstanding musicians to receive full-tuition scholarships for Berklee Summer programs. These young musicians are from the Arts and Culture Focus Schools group, a network of schools drawing young students from communities including the outlying townships, supported by the South African Ministry of Arts and Culture, and EspAfrika. Additionally, alongside festival headliners, Berklee faculty also conducted masterclasses in select educational and community centers in the region that attract and train these deeply passionate, committed, and driven, young musicians. At these centers, we also offered two scholarships to Berkleeonline courses. The musicianship we encounter in South Africa is often deep, immense, raw, innate talent that have been recognized and nurtured by some of the most dedicated educators and mentors we have seen anywhere. My constant thought throughout our week in Cape Town was – “this is more than music.”


Rick Peckham wrapping up his masterclass @ Intyholo Jazz development Project in Gugulethu, CT

The Berklee team at CTIJF 2013 was made up of Rick Peckham – assistant chair of the Guitar Department, Andrea Pejrolo – assistant chair of Contemporary Writing and Production, Michael Borgida – marketing manager for Off Campus Projects (representing the Office of Admissions at the program), and Sam Skau – assistant director of International Programs.

Deep thanks and kudos to Berklee International Programs director – Jason Camelio, and co directors of Cape Town International Jazz Festival, EspAfrika CEO Rashid Lombard, and EspAfrika COO Billy Domingo, for their vision, heart, and commitment to this very special program.

Copyright © 2017 Berklee College of Music