(From left to right) Berklee president Roger H. Brown, McLaughlin; Berklee vice president for academic affairs Jay Kennedy. Photo by Tato Baeza and Vicente A. Jiménez
Berklee President Roger H. Brown presented an honorary doctor of music degree to legendary guitarist, composer, and pioneering bandleader John McLaughlin on July 10, during the commencement ceremony for the graduate programs at Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain. McLaughlin also performed as a special guest at the commencement concert at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia.
“The role of music is today what it has always been in the past,” he said in his acceptance remarks. “It is the universal language of love, both human and divine. Music is our highest form of collective unity, since in any given concert there will be Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and atheists, all under one roof, enjoying music.”
He added, “Whatever we give to music with love and dedication is repaid a thousand times in ways that defy categorization. To be a musician is one of the greatest privileges.”