Berklee College of Music awarded the University of Pittsburgh Department of Music's Geri Allen an honorary doctorate during their 2014 commencement ceremony. Allen was honored along with music education innovator Thara Memory, Rock legend Jimmy Page, and R&B luminary Valerie Simpson. During Berklee’s commencement weekend concert, Allen performed her own composition and collaborated with Valerie Simpson and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington on Simpson's “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”
When Allen addressed the graduates she reminded them that,
“What we do is a privilege. Music is so much more than a job. You special people are given a chance to do what you love, and it is love for your art which will sustain you through the unexpected twists and turns that will come. As you embark on your brilliant futures, always remember the passion you've discovered.”
Congratulations to Geri Allen for receiving this honorary doctorate and for being recognized as a creative leader in Jazz.