Film director, producer, and actor, and longtime Monterey Jazz Festival board member, Clint Eastwood will be presented with an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music as part of the 50th Monterey Jazz Festival. Eastwood joins such previous recipients as Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman, Tito Puente, Marian McPartland, Sonny Rollins, film composer Alan Silvestri '70, and Nancy Wilson, each honored for their contributions to contemporary music and their efforts to make the world a better place.
Berklee President Roger Brown, and star alumna Diana Krall '83 will present the honorary doctorate of music to Eastwood on Saturday night of the festival, September 22, on the Jimmy Lyons Stage, at approximately 10:45 pm.
While best known and widely honored for his contributions to film culture through images and language, Eastwood has quietly, but effectively, created a deeper appreciation for music, specifically jazz, through his films, as a director, producer, and as a composer. “From Play Misty For Me, where he famously starred as a jazz disc jockey, to the groundbreaking Charlie Parker biopic, Bird, to executive producing the seminal documentary, Thelonious Monk Straight No Chaser, Clint Eastwood has made so many choices that have little to do with Hollywood, and everything to do with a lifelong love for this music,” said Roger Brown, president of Berklee College of Music.
Eastwood's compositions, collaborations with Lennie Niehaus, and his soundtrack choices of masterworks by Johnny Hartman, Irene Kral, and Dave Brubeck, among many others, have served to popularize jazz to his worldwide film audiences. His longtime support of the festival and its pioneering jazz education programs has helped a new generation of players and listeners discover their own love of this deeply American art form.
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.