Welcome to the California Jazz Hall of Fame, Fred Berry

In February, Fredrick Berry, lecturer in Stanford’s Department of Music, was inducted into the California Alliance for Jazz’s Hall of Fame. Berry was one of three individuals chosen by the alliance’s board, which recognizes the best jazz educators and players in California.

“I am both grateful and humbled to be considered a member of this illustrious group of individuals who have set the standard for jazz education in California,” said Berry. “I have known and respected many of them through out my career and have often been inspired by their excellence and dedication.”

Berry feels fortunate to have a dual career as a professional musician and an educator, as he was brought up on a philosophy that you can’t teach if you can’t play.

“I have always tried to bring this attitude of professionalism to the classroom. I have been fortunate to have performed with the best, and I’ve tried to impart this attitude of excellence to my students.” he said.

Berry’s induction ceremony took place at Bing Concert Hall during a performance of the Stanford Jazz Orchestra, which he directs. Mike Galisatus, a CAJ board member, director of jazz studies at the College of San Mateo and faculty member with the Stanford Jazz Workshop, bestowed the honor on Berry and called him a major influence on students, helping launch the professional careers of many Bay Area musicians and educators.

“I think it was poetic that, through fate, I was presented this award by Mike, whom I have mentored and who replaced me at the College of San Mateo, and whose daughter now plays piano in Stanford Jazz Orchestra,” said Berry.

He added, “I am doing exactly the same thing that I came to Stanford to do in 1966 as a teaching assistant to Arthur P. Barnes [emeritus professor of music and director of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band from 1963 to 1997], which was directing the jazz ensemble, writing for the marching band, and teaching Jazz history.”