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Published: 4/28/2014

Geri Allen To Receive Berklee Honor

Congratulations to SESAC affiliate, jazz pianistww.geriallen.com/" target="_blank">Geri Allen who will be honored by Berklee School of Music with an honorary doctor of music degree during commencement ceremonies on May 10. Allen is being recognized for her achievements and influences in music and for her enduring contributions to American and international culture.  Allen will be joined by fellow honorees Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page, Ashford & Simpson’s Valerie Simpson and musician and educator, Thara Memory.

Geri Allen is a pianist, composer, educator, and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient. Over her expansive career, the Detroit native released nearly 20 albums as a leader, and worked with Ornette Coleman, Betty Carter, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Ravi Coltrane, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Marcus Belgrave, Jimmy Cobb, Charlie Haden, and Paul Motion. The first recipient of the Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for jazz, Allen was also the first woman and youngest ever recipient of the Danish Jazzpar Prize. Her work has been featured in the Peabody-winning film Beah: A Black Woman Speaks, on Carrington's Grammy-winning album The Mosaic Project, and Andy Bey's Grammy-nominated album American Song. She was recently commissioned by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra to compose a piece to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. In 2013, Allen returned to her alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, to serve as director of jazz studies. She continues to tour with the Geri Allen Trio and her tap quartet, Timeline.