Berklee College of Music presented an honorary doctor of music degree to percussionist, composer, and bandleader Giovanni Hidalgo. The diploma was awarded during the closing ceremony of Berklee in Puerto Rico, a weeklong workshop held at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Carolina, in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest.
A native of Puerto Rico, Giovanni Hidalgo is considered one of the best conga players of his generation, and possibly the fastest. A former member of Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra, he has performed or recorded with Tito Puente, Paul Simon, and Art Blakey, among others. Hidalgo taught in Berklee’s percussion department from 1992-1996.