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George Duke to give history of soul music at Berklee College

Boston, December 19, 2007 The Sovereign Bank Music Series at Berklee continues with a man who has made soulful contributions in almost every genre of music - five-time Grammy-winner and synth pioneer George Duke. Starting out in jazz with Jean-Luc Ponty and Cannonball Adderly, he gravitated to r&b, pop, and funk, eventually producing, recording, and performing with Larry Graham, Miles Davis, Shuggie Otis, Michael Jackson, George Clinton, Dizzy Gillespie, Earth, Wind & Fire, and frequent collaborator Stanley Clarke, among many others. Production credits include # 1 and Top 10 hits by A Taste of Honey, Jeffrey Osborne, and Deniece Williams. His 1992 album Snapshot spent five weeks on the jazz chart at # 1. Younger generations know his music from samples in songs by Daft Punk, Common, and Mylo.

George Duke: Restore Your Soul takes place on Thursday, January 31, at 8:15 p.m., at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC), 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets $30 and $22.50 for seniors, and on sale at the BPC box office, through Ticketmaster 617-931-2000, and at Call 617-747-2261 or visit for more information. The BPC is wheelchair accessible.

Duke began piano lessons at age seven, leaning toward the funkier sounds he heard in the Baptist church. He formed his first band with Al Jarreau in San Francisco. In the late 60s, he was at the forefront of the West Coast fusion scene blowing minds and unaccustomed ears with his electric piano. This led to Duke joining Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention for a time. Duke’s remarkable career was the subject of the BET profile House of Duke.

At Berklee, Duke will perform his own music, selecting from a discography of more than 30 albums, including his latest, In a Mellow Tone. He’ll also present a history of soul music, covering classic tunes with a stellar band of Berklee faculty musicians and vocalists including Terri Lynn Carrington, Gabriele Goodman, George Russell, Jeff Ramsey, Armsted Christian, Donna McElroy, Kudisan Kai, Jeannie Gagne, Lenny Stalworth, Dave Gilmore, and Ricardo Mounzon. Duke was an artist in residence at Berklee in 2004.

The concert is presented in conjunction with the college’s Africana Studies/Black Music Programming initiative, and as part of the Year in Soul Music Traditions performance and lecture series (

The 2007-2008 Sovereign Bank Music Series at Berklee features a wide variety of music ranging from rock, jazz, and Latin, to r&b, hip-hop, and show and film tunes. Upcoming concerts include the SFJAZZ Collective, Berklee on Broadway, and the Singers Showcase. Berklee’s outstanding students, faculty, and alumni are highlighted in this unique and astonishing season.

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Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: George Duke
  • Press Release Date: 1/31/2008
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