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Abraham Laboriel, Patrice Rushen, and Steve Gadd to Welcome Entering Class, Accept Honorary Degrees at Berklee College of Music Fall Convocation 2005

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BOSTON, August 19, 2005 — Abraham Laboriel, Patrice Rushen, and Steve Gadd will receive honorary doctor of music degrees for their outstanding contributions to music and culture at the Berklee College of Music 2005 Entering Student Convocation, Friday, September 19, at the Berklee Performance Center (this event is not open to the public). The honorees, Berklee President Roger A. Brown, and Vice President for Student Affairs Lawrence E. Bethune, will welcome the Berklee entering class of 2009, with approximately 815 students from more than 75 countries. In accepting their honorary doctorates, Laboriel, Rushen, and Gadd will address the class. Returning Berklee students will pay tribute to the honorees with a concert featuring music associated with the musicians’ careers.

Abraham Laboriel '72 is one of the most recorded electric bassists of all time. He has performed on more than 3,000 sessions and has appeared on more than 600 albums, not including reissues and compilations. Almost as remarkable as the number of musicians with whom he has collaborated is the variety of styles those artists represent. Laboriel's discography includes sessions with Ella Fitzgerald, John Denver, Michael Jackson, Joe Pass, Leonard Cohen, Stan Getz, Stevie Wonder, Joan Baez, Clint Black, Christina Aguilera, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Ziggy Marley, k.d. lang, and Hanson.

A classically trained pianist, Patrice Rushen has spent a lifetime honing the skills that make her one of the music industry's most well-rounded and sought-after artists. Rushen was the first woman in 43 years to serve as head composer/musical director for the Emmy Awards, and the first woman to serve as musical director for the NAACP Image Awards broadcast, an honor she has held for 12 consecutive years. In 1998, Rushen’s adult-contemporary CD Signature received a Grammy nomination, and was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award. An accomplished film composer, Rushen's feature credits include Men In Black, Waiting To Exhale, Sandra Bernhardt's Without You I'm Nothing, and Robert Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle.

Steve Gadd, a well-respected drummer whose technique and versatility have been influential during the past 20 years, started playing drums at age three. He sat in with Dizzy Gillespie when he was 11, and after extensive study and a stint in the Army, Gadd became an important studio drummer beginning in 1972. During his career Gadd has worked with Chick Corea, Bob James, Al DiMeola, Tom Scott, Grover Washington, Jr., David Sanborn, the group Stuff, the Manhattan Jazz Quintet, and his own band, the Gadd Gang, which recorded for Columbia in 1986 and 1988.

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music was through the study and practice of contemporary music. For over half a century, the college has evolved constantly to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. With over a dozen performance and nonperformance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing over 70 countries, and a music industry “who's who" of alumni, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today — and tomorrow.

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