Matt Jenson, assistant professor of piano, created the class The Music and Life of Bob Marley, and has been teachinig the course since 2002. The class studies Marley's life in-depth, maintaining the utmost respect for the soulfulness of his music, for his message of love, and his insistence that human consciousness be raised.
The one-semester class consist of 15 auditioned singers and instrumentalists from around the world, ranging in age from 18-35. Jenson takes the students on a biographical tour of Marley's fascinating life, and then rigorously coaches the ensemble for performances. The ensemble performs Jenson's meticulously written arrangements of the Jamaican icon's music, taken directly from Marley recordings and including additional horn parts, reharmonizations, and some new introductions and endings.
The Berklee Bob Marley Ensemble has performed at the Montreal International Reggae Festival, the Vermont Reggae Festival, Bill's Bar, the Outerland Club (Martha's Vineyard), the Beachcomber (Cape Cod), the Stone Church (Newmarket, New Hampshire), the Berklee Performance Center, and Roxbury Community College.