At this year’s commencement ceremony at the Berklee College of Music, Rosa Passos was among the five music legends who received honorary doctorates. The ceremony was held at the Agganis Arena at Boston University. Honorary doctor of music degrees were presented by President Roger H. Brown to Grammy-winning R&B stars Philip Bailey and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire British rock pioneer Steve Winwood composer and Berklee alumnus Howard Shore and Brazilian singer/songwriter Rosa Passos.
The commencement concert took place the evening before graduation, May 9, also at Agganis Arena. Some of the college's most accomplished students presented a tribute to the honorees with pop, rock, r&b, funk, Latin, bossa nova, and film scores associated with their careers. Bailey, Winwood, Shore, and Passos were so moved that they took to the stage to perform alongside the students. Passos sang her song "Verao."
Rosa Passos is known for keeping alive traditional Brazilian jazz with all of its mystery, rhythm, and romance intact. She released her first recording in 1979, and since her music has become recognized all over the world. Kenny Rankin and Diana Krall are among many who have recorded her songs. She collaborated with bassist Ron Carter for a CD in 2003. She sang and played guitar on Yo-Yo Ma's Grammy Award-winning Obrigado Brazil, leading to a world tour and a follow-up live recording.