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Berklee Bestows Honorary Doctorate on Thara Memory

Thara Memory, music alum, was given an honorary doctorate from the esteemed Berklee College of Music in May 2014.

Memory's advice for the graduating class? "You can't keep it unless you give it away. Start giving it away as soon as you walk out this door."

Memory and other honorary doctorate recipients for 2014 – Jimmy Page, Geri Allen and Valerie Simpson – were recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, Loretta Lynn, David Bowie, Juan Luis Guerra, Paco de Lucia, Carole King, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and George Clinton.

Thara Memory is a trumpeter, composer and teacher who has earned the reputation as one of the finest musicians and music educators in Portland, Oregon. Born in Tampa and raised in Eatonville, Florida, he has played with Dizzy Gillespie, James Brown, Natalie Cole, the Four Tops and Stanley Turrentine, among others. In 2005, he founded the American Music Program, a youth jazz orchestra scheduled to perform at the Blues Festival in July 2014. He shares a 2013 Grammy Award with his former student, Berklee alumna Esperanza Spalding, for his arrangement of City of Roses from her album Radio Music Society. Memory was named the Jazz Society of Oregon's Musician of the Year in 2006, inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2007, and was honored as Portland Jazz Master at the 2012 Portland Jazz Festival.

Thara Memory earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music, conducting and composition, at Marylhurst University.

» Read more at KOIN.com and Berklee.edu

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