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Branford Marsalis receives honorary doctorate from Berklee

Dr. John, Dr. Billy Taylor and Dr. Dre. What do all these names have in common?

They are all highly acclaimed musicians who aren’t real doctors! Well, at least not in the medical sense, anyway. Joining their ranks last week was Branford Marsalis. The three-time Grammy-winning saxophonist and Berklee College of Music alum received an honorary doctor of music degree from his alma mater on Sept. 8. Citing his outstanding contributions to contemporary music, Berklee president Roger Brown honored Marsalis along with Berklee’s class of 2010 at their Entering Student Convocation held at the Berklee Performance Center.

Students paid tribute to the new doctor with a concert featuring selections associated with his career, including saxophonists Nir Namaan and Donald Lee performing “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Doctone.”

Dr. Marsalis has a busy schedule before 2006’s end, including three nights at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center at the end of September, four nights at New York City’s Jazz Standard, and an 11-day European tour. For more information, visit

Originally Published