Javier Limón – Artistic Director
Seven-time Latin Grammy Award winner and Berklee College of Music artist-in-residence Javier Limón is artistic director of Berklee in Valencia’s Mediterranean Music Institute. He graduated from the Madrid Royal Conservatory, where he studied piano and guitar. He is an active composer and producer who began composing for flamenco artists but has since expanded his reach to Latin jazz musicians and Cuban artists. His many composition and production credits include major albums by renowned artists such as Paco de Lucía, Bebo Valdes, El Cigala, Enrique Morente, Wynton Marsalis, and the acclaimed Spanish singer Concha Buika.
Limón is a legend of Latin American culture. Recording from Bogotá to Paris and New York to Palestine, he incorporates a decidedly international vibe in his take on the traditions of flamenco. Raised in Spain, Limón traveled to New York at an early age to train in the art schools of the U.S. It was there that he was discovered for his potent and powerful lyricism and composition.
Employed by powerhouses of the flamenco world such as Enrique Morente and Remedios Amaya to work his magic, Limon has the ability to weave fairytales with his unique twists on the genre. It garnered him a Latin Grammy in 2004 for Producer of the Year. Limón has gone on to win a total of seven Latin Grammys, one Grammy, and many more nominations. This year he also received an award at the seventh annual Women Together Gala in New York for his invaluable contribution to flamenco music. With three albums to his name, the Limón only continues to grow in his musical exploration.
His latest project, Mujeres de Agua (2010), is an honest tribute to the artist’s talent in bringing together top international performers. The tracks are focused around traditional instruments and rhythms, the inspiration of the Mediterranean, and the atmosphere of its blue waters. Central to the sound is the eclectic and thoughtful collection of female voices used to bring Limon’s vision to life.
Larry Monroe – Founder
Alto saxophonist/composer Larry Monroe currently serves as Berklee College of Music’s vice president for academic affairs/Berklee Valencia. He is the founder of the Mediterranean Music Institute at Berklee’s Valencia’s campus. Monroe first enrolled in Berklee as a student in 1962 and has since been a faculty member and chair of the Performance and Ear Training departments.
In 1986 he was named Berklee’s first dean of the Professional Performance Division, where he oversaw 10 departments as well as Berklee’s concert activities. Joining with former executive vice president and vibist Gary Burton, Monroe established the Berklee on the Road program in 1985 to present clinics and performances with Berklee faculty members first in Japan and later in Spain, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Greece, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere. In 1992 he was appointed vice president for international programs and began establishing the Berklee International Network of schools of contemporary music, an organization of schools in 12 countries around the globe. After years of world travel, Monroe’s focus is now the opening of Berklee’s first international campus in Valencia, Spain.
Monroe is currently overseeing the development of facilities and a Berklee-designed curriculum, with undergraduate and graduate degrees in writing for integrated media, global music business, electronic production and design, symphonic band studies, and Mediterranean music. Berklee in Valencia will accommodate 1,000 students, with 200 seats reserved for Boston students wishing to study abroad. All classes will be taught in English. For students from Europe, Africa, South America, and the Middle East, Berklee in Valencia will provide educational opportunities not easily found in those regions and help fulfill Berklee’s strategy to be educationally influential in the global music community.
Agustina Covián – Project Manager
Agustina Covián has recently joined the Berklee in Valencia team as project manager of the Mediterranean Music Institute. She is working with MMI artistic director Javier Limón and founder Larry Monroe to formulate and structure the academic program and other initiatives of the institute. Covián has more than 14 years of experience as a producer and director in film, documentaries, TV, music, events, and corporate communication. A 1997 Berklee graduate, she studied film scoring and alto saxophone after obtaining a B.S. in communications from Boston University in 1992.
After Berklee, Covián began a film career in Los Angeles, where she worked on various feature films. Her first opportunity as a documentary director came in 1998 when Spike Lee took her to South Africa to work on a film about the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. From then on she worked alongside directors such as Oliver Stone and Martin Scorsese, among others.
Covián moved to Spain in 2001 and created her own production company, specializing in corporate videos, documentaries, and communications, with a long list of clients such as Amadeus, Schweppes, France Telecom, Coca-Cola, Telecom Italia, RTVE, Paramount Comedy, and Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, among others.
Covián worked for two years at Live Nation Spain as head of promoter in Pino Sagliocco’s team, producing shows for artists such as Elton John, Shakira, Madonna, the Cure, Marc Anthony, Lenny Kravitz, AC/DC, Queen + Paul Rodgers, Miley Cyrus, and the Rock in Rio Festival, among others.