Capturing Berklee’s Stories: The Berklee Oral History Project

Sofía Becerra-Licha, Archivist, Berklee Archives

Adapted from 2016 BTOT presentation given with Frederick Bouchard

The Berklee Oral History Project (BOHP) aims to chronicle the rich and diverse history of Berklee and Boston music from those who have lived, shaped and defined it. Established in 1998 by the Stan Getz Library, the collection now forms a part of the Berklee Archives and numbers over 90 video interviews, many of which are available online: This initiative has been highly collaborative from the start and is ongoing: we’re always on the lookout for additional interview subjects, are very much in need of interviewers, and welcome assistance with the transcription process.

Relaunching in 2005 after a brief hiatus, the Berklee Oral History Project was fortunate in recent years to primarily count on the interviewing talents of journalist Fred Bouchard, an associate professor in Berklee’s department of liberal arts from 2001-2015. In addition, a variety of staff and faculty alike have stepped up over the years to interview colleagues and area musicians of note, including arranged panels. BOHP interviewees to date include:

Kris Adams
Toshiko Akiyoshi
Rich Appleman
Mae Arnette
Larry Baione
John Bavicchi
Mili Bermejo
Larry Bethune
Joanne Brackeen
Fernando Brandão
Whit Browne
Gary Burton
Matt ‘Sonny’ Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington
Ted Casher
Allan Chase
Winnie Dahlgren
Jon Damian
Beth Denisch
Tom Everett
Phil Farnsworth
Christine Fawson
Dave Fiuczynski
Greg Fritze
Bruce Gertz
Ron Gill
Matt Glaser
Bill Hanley
Mark Harvey
Roy Haynes
Greg Hopkins
Joe Hunt
Dick Johnson
Ed Koehler
Bertram Lehmann
Andrew List
Howard Mandel
Charlie Mariano
Jim McCoy
Andy McGhee
Lello Molinari
Larry Monroe
Al Natale
Wayne Naus
Francisco Noya
Toru ‘Tiger’ Okoshi
Ted Pease
Marcello Pellitteri
Bob Petteruti
Bill Pierce
Herb Pomeroy
Tom Plsek
Ken Pullig
Don Puluse
Bruno Råberg
John Ramsay
Tim Ray
Ron Reid
Diane Richardson
Wendy Rolfe
Mark Rossi
Ray Santisi
Paul Schmeling
Maggi Scott
Daniel Ian Smith
Oscar Stagnaro
Jeff Stout
Fred Taylor
Lisa Thorson
Stephany Tiernan
Richard Vacca
Al Vega, piano
Mark Walker
John Weaver
Carolyn Wilkins
Don Wilkins
Ed & Ruth Williams
Phil Wilson
Bob Winter
BOHP interviews are typically 90 minutes long and topics include jazz history, music education, the Boston jazz community, and the early development of the Berklee College of Music. The final videos are transcribed and posted online as part of the Berklee Archives’ digital collections: A finding aid (descriptive inventory) for the Berklee Oral History Project is also available online, and includes brief biographies of those interviewed:

Lest the list and links fool you, the Berklee Oral History Project is far from a finished product, ready to be shelved for posterity. This is a living, breathing collection, constantly in need of subject experts and fresh perspectives to make sure a diverse range of voices is heard and recorded on an ongoing basis. How can you help?

  • Contact us: who should we interview next?
  • Join us: become an interviewer!
  • Help us: create and/or edit interview transcripts

We can’t do it alone and we welcome participation and feedback from faculty, staff, students, and alumni alike.

One final note: the Berklee Oral History Project collection forms part of a larger set of materials documenting the history of Berklee College of Music and its cultural context, all under the purview of the Berklee Archives. Established in 2012, the Berklee Archives documents Berklee’s history, activities, and contributions, with additional special collections in jazz and popular music. Digital collections, including the BOHP, may be accessed online at all times: Descriptions of all archival collections open for research are posted online ( and are available by appointment in room 297 of the Stan Getz Library (off of the Quiet Reading Room). For more information on the Berklee Archives and/or the Berklee Oral History Project, please visit, email, or give us a call at 617-747-8001. We look forward to hearing from you!