Alum Notes

By
Ryan Fleming

1966

Joe DeRose of Lahaina, HI, retired after a distinguished career as a music educator and performer in New England. At the age of 75, he has opened a private music teaching studio in Hawaii.

1968

Following a career as a musician and bandleader in the greater New York area, Larry Ripley of Morris Plains, NJ, is semi-retired. He now focuses on his 20-plus-member, multi-generational family band.

1972

Guitarist Frank Potenza of Lakewood, CA, released the album For Joe, a tribute to the late Joe Pass. Potenza is a professor and chair of the studio and jazz guitar program at the University of Southern California. Visit www.frankpotenza.com.

1975

In April, Mark Howell of Lemoore, CA, will participate in the panel discussion “Archaeological Approaches to Sound and Human Experience” at the 2014 Society for American Archaeology meeting in Austin, TX. He is also the director of the Winterville Mounds Park and Museum in Greenville, MS.

1976

In January, Jerry Tachoir and Marlene (Desbiens) Tachoir ’77 released the album Stories (by the Jerry Tachoir Group), with songs written by Marlene and featuring Roy Vogt, Danny Gottlieb, Rich Adams ’82, and Beth Gottlieb. Visit www.tachoir.com.

1977

Tony Corman and Laura Klein of Berkeley, CA, have released Five and More, the third CD by the group, FivePlay Jazz Quintet. It features former Berklee faculty members Alan Hall and Ted Wolff. Visit www.fiveplayjazz.com.

1978

Ernie Dewing of Edgartown, MA, and his band Propergander released the new album Wide Open.

Liz Ficalora of Chappaqua, NY, released the book How to Write a Fast & Easy Drum Chart through Alfred Publishing. She teaches drumming master classes and was featured in the October issue of Tom Tom magazine. Visit www.easydrumchart.com.

1980

Dave Askren of Monrovia, CA, released the album It’s All About the Groove, featuring Jeff Benedict, Ramon Banda, and John Belzaguy.

Frank Macchia of Burbank, CA, released the album Grease Mechanix, with a 16-piece band performing Macchia’s original music for large jazz ensemble. Visit www.frankmacchia.net.

Glenn Ochenkoski of Burbank, CA, plays drums for the Broadway-bound musical about Walt Disney titled When You Wish. It’s currently playing at the Freud Playhouse on the UCLA campus.

Composer and producer Anthony Resta and recording engineer Karyadi Sutedja ’98 have moved Studio Bopnique Musique from the Boston area to Los Angeles. Resta’s upcoming projects include work with film composer Shawn Clement ’88, and a heavy-metal soundtrack for the film Infinite Santa 8000.

1981

Steve Buchele is a missionary at the Mission Society in Ghana, West Africa, at Ashesi University. He is a teaching pastor at Asbury Dunwell Church, and works in campus ministry and church planting.

Bassist Philp Bynoe of Pasadena, CA, has toured and recorded with guitarist Steve Vai ’79 for 18 years. When not on the road, Bynoe teaches bass at Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena and writes and performs children’s music with Deb Snyder and the band PB & Deb.

Dennis Keating of Rancho Cordova, CA, recently performed for the pregame show before an Oakland Raiders football game.

1982

Ronald Aubrey Connor of Princeton, NJ, scored the upcoming short film The Other Half. Jay Pellizzi ’10 did the film’s sound mixing. Visit www.ronconnor.net.

Lenora Helm of Durham, NC, scored the Pied Piper adaptation Indigo Blue. It was staged at the Walltown Children’s Theatre in Durham in December.

Christophe Rime of Paris, France, released the CD TV Orchestra featuring bassist Marcus Miller. Rime has scored the video games Moto Racer 2 and 3, Darkstone, and Amy, and written for television and movies. Visit www.christopherime.com.

Ed Roland of Atlanta, GA, the guitarist for Collective Soul, has a new group called the Sweet Tea Project. The band released the album Devils ‘n’ Darlins, featuring the single “Love Won’t Bring Us Down.”

1984

Joel Goodman of Topanga, CA, scored the PBS film JFK, as part of the network’s American Experience series. It features more than two and a half hours of original music. Visit www.joelgoodman.com.

1985

Pianist Cyrus Chestnut of Baltimore, MD, and his trio released the album Journeys. His touring band has featured bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Evan Sherman. Visit www.cyruschestnut.net.

Sims Delaney-Potthoff of Madison, WI, and his band Harmonious Wail released Bohemian Tango, the group’s eighth recording. He is the organizer of the Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest, currently in its 11th year. Visit www.wail.com.

1986

Composer Susan Botti of Red Hook, NY, released the album Gates of Silence on Albany Records, featuring the Blakemore Trio and poetry by Linda Gregerson. Visit www.susanbotti.com.

Vocalist Micheal Castaldo of New York City, gave a critically hailed concert of music from his Christmas album Extravirgine at St. Lucy’s Church in Newark, NJ, on December 23.

Todd Glacy of Portland, ME, released the CD Sacred Sound Gong Meditations, which includes two complete gong meditation sessions. Visit www.sacredsoundandrhythm.com.

1987

Bassist Terje Gewelt of Oslo, Norway, released Steppingstone, a new electric jazz trio CD featuring Staffan W. Olsson (guitar) and Adam Nussbaum (drums). For more information, visit www.resonant-music.com.

Saxophonist Javon Jackson of West Orange, NJ, was named associate professor of jazz and chair of the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford, CT.

Lance McCollum of Austin, TX, has been appointed the director of sales for MACSAX (Horn Productions LLC) in Austin.

Maureen Spranza of San Leandro, CA, received a Ph.D. in education, with a specialization in professional studies from Capella University. Her dissertation is titled “How Do Teachers Incorporate Intuition into How They Teach Music? A Phenomenological Exploration.”

1989

Kimberly Burgin-Douglas of Inglewood, CA, released the album Right Now, which is available on iTunes. Visit www.kymberli.info.

Kevin Crosby of Shoreline, WA, is a member of Z.E.R.O., the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra, featuring ukulele performances of Frank Zappa’s music. One of the group’s songs is included on Rare Episodes, a CD of Zappa’s music on Cordelia Records.

Pianist andcomposer Doug Hammer of Lynn, MA, released his sixth album, Heart, which features 17 original songs. Visit www.doughammer.net.

Guitarist Joe Lindsay of Charlotte, NC, released his debut album I Wanna Groove, with contributions by Skip Walker ’88 and Bob Horn ’98. Visit www.joelindsaymusic.com.

1990

Louis King of New York City is an active composer, arranger, orchestrator, and lecturer. Visit www.getmelouisking.com.

Aaron Rosenberg of Lowell, MA, had his chamber orchestra piece To Finish the Moment performed in Boston in September. He has upcoming premieres for his work Suffusion (Darmstadt), and Ascent (as part of a Banff Center residency). Visit www.aaronhrosenberg.com.

Gary Schutt of Clearwater, FL, performed at the three-day MelodicRockFest3 in Chicago, IL, in September. He has released his 10th solo album, Moving Parts. Visit www.garyschutt.com.

1991

Diedre Schaneman of Saint Louis, MO, has been named the annual giving manager for Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis.

Singer and guitarist Susan Tedeschi of Jacksonville, FL, and her husband, Derek Trucks, released the album Made Up Mind.

1992

Vartan Aghababian of Dorchester, MA, had his opera The Knave of Hearts premiered by the Tufts University Opera Department. His other premieres included performances of his String Quartet No. 1, Three Dickinson Songs, and This Joyful Eastertide. Aghababian is a faculty member at Boston University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chris DeRosa of New York City has recorded or performed with Rob Decoup, Roland Ruby, Tom Humbert, Renee Ruth, and Nishi Rajan. He recently built CDR Studios in his home and has written articles for Alwayz Therro and The Black Page. Visit www.chrisderosa.com.

1993

Daniel Day of Provo, UT, and the Daniel Day Trio, released the album Champions. He performs regularly in the Salt Lake City area.

Jared Faber of Los Angeles, CA, was a writer and producer on Beto Cuevas’s Grammy-winning album Transformación. He has scored the ABC comedy Suburgatory and produced songs for the Sony Pictures film The Wedding Ringer, which will be released in 2015. Visit www.blindlemonmusic.com.

Brian Harris of Portland, OR, joined Curtis Salgado’s band as a keyboardist and backing vocalist, touring in the United States and abroad. He is also the keyboardist for Portland-based artist Lisa Mann and coleads the funk-rock outfit Sumo, featuring members of War, Nu Shooz, and the Jeff Lorber Fusion.

Singer/songwriter Sandrine Ligabue (aka san.drine) of New York City released her EP Dust, which features three new songs, plus a remix of “Ramène-moi.” Visit www.san-drine.com.

1994

Guitarist “Metal” Mike Chlasciak of Wayne, NJ, released the DVD 20 Essential Metal Licks. He also concluded the Metalworker Guitar Clinic Tour presented by D’Addario Strings, Intellitouch tuners, and School of Rock. Visit www.metalmike.net.

1995

Tom Griesgraber of Encitas, CA, released the concept album Unnamed Lands with guitarist Bert Lams. Griesgraber plays Chapman Stick, Stick-synth, and bass pedals on the album. Visit www.thossounds.com.

1996

Amy Beauchamp and José Cancela ’97 of Los Angeles, CA, have won four Emmy Awards for scoring sports documentaries for HBO and Live Star Entertainment. For more information, visit www.anjmusicproductions.com.

Jarrod Cagwin of Hot Springs, AR, published the book Def Method for the riqq (a Middle-Eastern tambourine) in association with Eckermann Drums and the Türk Musikisi Devlet Konservatuarı school in Istanbul, Turkey.

Chris Kendziorski of Seattle, WA, and his duo Released from Quiet issued a self-titled album in July 2013. Visit www.releasedfromquiet.com.

Justo Morao of Caracas, Venezuela, produced the album Latin American Classics for the Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, which was nominated in the best instrumental album category at the 14th annual Latin Grammys.

1997

Ayala Asherov of Charleston, SC, received an Indi Grant from the South Carolina Film Commission with which she will produce the animated short film Pencil Point.

John Mistler of Santa Monica, CA, wrote and conducted the score for the film We the People, narrated by Morgan Freeman. It premiered at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and will run in IMAX theaters nationally.

1998

Woodwind player Anat Cohen of New York City was featured in a November broadcast of NPR’s Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz.

Zac Brown band guitarist Clay Cook of Nashville, TN, released the solo album North Star. It was produced by Matt Mangano ’00 and Brandon Bell, and features songs cowritten with John Mayer ’96. Visit www.claycook.com.

Tanisha Hall of Los Angeles, CA, founded the White Hall Arts Academy, a performing arts school, to provide conservatory instruction in music, dance, drama, visual and scientific arts, as well as mentoring to L.A.’s inner city youth. Visit www.whitehallacademy.org.

Karina Kampe of Stockholm, Sweden, and her group Steve released the jazz album Ella the Cat. Visit www.karinakampe.com.

1999

Rachel Fuhrer of Austin, TX, and her band Ume were signed to Dangerbird Records. Their album Monuments will be released in March. Fuhrer has appeared in Tom Tom and Drum! magazines, and will be featured in May’s Modern Drummer. Visit www.umemusic.com.

Guitarist Kay-Ta Matsuno of Los Angeles, CA, and his group Quattro were nominated in the Best New Artist category at the Latin Grammys and were featured on the cover of International Musician. Matsuno has performed with Lalah Hathaway ’90, Jody Watley, and others. Visit www.quattrosound.com.

Jee Hyun Kim of Anyang-Si, South Korea, released the solo album Electronic Intelligence. Visit www.kimjee.org.

2000

Mike Funk of Long Beach, NY, appears in an AutoZone commercial and in a lead role in the film Diamonds to Dust about Jayne Mansfield. He is also a piano teacher at the School of Rock in New York.

Victoria Vox of Baltimore, MD, released her eighth album, Key. She tours around the globe. Visit www.victoriavox.com.

2001

Matt Konfirst of West Chicago, IL, and his wife, Kathrina, are currently in the Ukraine serving in the Peace Corps. Following three months of language, cultural, and technical training, they will teach English classes for the next two years in a Ukrainian community.

Sara Leib of Los Angeles, CA, was the guest vocalist at a recent Blue Man Group show at the Hollywood Bowl. She also runs Voice Studio LA. Visit www.singingtv.com.

2002

Angela Kempe of San Leandro, CA, released the CD Small Town Heart. She also published the memoir Lupin, which focuses on themes that include post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual violence, and domestic abuse. Visit www.angelasongs.com.

Matthew Margeson of Los Angeles, CA, composed the score for the movie Kick-Ass 2. He is also composing for the HBO TV series Eastbound & Down. He and hs wife recently had their first son, Owen.

Aruán Ortiz of Reus, Spain, released the album Banned in London, which was named among Downbeat magazine’s best albums of the year. He also appeared on the New York Jazz Quartet’s latest album, Blue Divide.

2003

Devon Bartlett started an English and music preschool in Tokyo, Japan. Its curriculum implements the early-music program Music Together. Visit www.pitter-patter-preschool.com.

Myoung Han of Providence, RI, released the album God’s Garden, featuring production and arrangements by Dennis Montgomery III as well as contributions from Berklee students.

Joe Hanley of New York City developed and released Syntorial interactive synthesizer training software. Syntorial develops users’ ability to program synth patches by ear. Visit www.syntorial.com.

Tiff Jimber of Santa Monica, CA, was a finalist in the Mountain Stage New Song Contest. Jimber was also selected as an artist for Coca-Cola’s “52 Songs of Happiness” promotional campaign. Visit www.tiffjimber.com.

Julie McCormick of Durham, NC, is a founder and coordinator of the Durham, NC, VA Medical Center Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center.

2004

Nathan Horne of Brooklyn, NY, is the global business development manager for Song Division, which provides targeted music for companies in 19 countries.

Rebecca Loebe of Austin, TX, and her band the New Ordeals released the single “Lie.” She is working on a live album with Goose Creek Music and Entertainment and is touring Canada and Europe. Visit www.rebeccaloebe.com.

Keith Murray of Los Angeles, CA, orchestrated, arranged, and conducted the score for the upcoming film Rob the Mob, starring Andy Garcia and Ray Romano.

Yohei Nakamura of Glendale, CA, has been touring with Chaka Khan. He recently performed with Richie Sambora and Stevie Wonder in the 2013 Hollywood Christmas Parade.

Tim Pascoal of Saint Peters, MO, and his touring project the Tim and Tito Pascoal Band (featuring Andrew Riezebeek ’12 and several Berklee students) opened for the Billy Cobham Band in the summer of 2013.

F. Javier Vargas of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is the program coordinator of the Folkloric and Popular Music Department of the National Conservatory of Music in Santo Domingo.

2005

Pianist Roy Assaf of New York City recently toured Japan with saxophonist Pekka Pylkkänen. His quartet NYConnection recorded its second album in Finland.

Johannes Berauer of Altenburg, Austria, released his solo CD, The Vienna Chamber Diaries, featuring guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel ’89, Gwilym Simcock, and Klaus Gesing. He is also the recipient of the 2013 Austrian state scholarship for composition.

David Kaye of Wilton, CT, released his debut album Nightfall in the Foothills, featuring original bluegrass and Americana music. He has done session and pit orchestra work in New York City playing pedal steel, banjo, dobro, and guitar, in addition to recording session work at his home studio. Visit www.davidkaye.net.

Uri Gurvich of New York City was featured in the September 2013 issue of Downbeat magazine regarding his album BabEl that featurers Leonardo Genovese ’04, Peter Slavov ’02, and Francisco Mela. He did a residency at the Stone in New York with Dave Douglas and Lionel Loueke ’00.

Charlotte Moore of San Rafael, CA, was promoted to a new position in bidding and scheduling at Skywalker Sound, a division of Lucasfilm. She has been at the company for five years.

Shantell Ogden of Nashville, TN, had her Christmas song “Stealing Mistletoe Kisses” recorded by artist James Robert Webb. She also released the album Better at Goodbye and placed a song in the movie Storm Rider. Visit www.shantellogden.com.

Gadi Sassoon of Milan, Italy, under the name Memory9, released the EP Red Falcon. The release was featured on the BBC and in Fact magazine. Sassoon runs his own label, Mnemonic Dojo, and a soundtrack and design studio.

2006

Matt Harmon of Portland, OR, and his wife comprise the duo There Is No Mountain. They were selected to open the 2014 American Songbook series at New York’s Lincoln Center. In January they performed at the center’s new David Rubenstein Atrium. Visit www.thereisnomountain.com.

American Idol season 9 finalist Ashley Rodriguez of North Hollywood, CA, recently embarked on her first international tour singing with John Legend.

Giovanni Rotondo of Naples, Italy, won an Award of Excellence at the Global Music Awards for his Symphony “Napoli.” Visit www.grotondo.com.

Aaron Saloman of Montreal, Canada, produced Lukas Grant’s album Apartment 43, which can be streamed at lukasgrant.bandcamp.com. Saloman works in music licensing, placing tracks on shows including NCIS, Dance Moms, Auction Kings, NY Ink, and NCAA Basketball.

Yuko Yamamura of Woodside, NY, released her first jazz album, Dancing in the Dialog, and held a release party at New York’s Gershwin Hotel. She was a finalist in the Jazz category for the 2013 USA Songwriting Competition.

2007

Katelyn Benton of Los Angeles, CA, released her debut single “Fix,” which was cowritten by Megan Burtt, with an accompanying video from her upcoming debut album. Visit www.katelynbenton.com.

Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe of Brooklyn, NY, lead the band Lucius, which released the debut album Wildewoman and were featured in NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts series.

Joe Matzzie of Los Angeles, CA, completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund his upcoming album This Box Makes Noise. Visit www.joematzzie.com.

Gregory Sgrulloni of Weehawken, NJ, is the drummer for the live electronic dance music band Conspirator. He is also working on a solo EP under the moniker Torch.

Songwriter Emily Shackelton of Nashville, TN, had her song “Ordinary Angels” sung by Karin Williams and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra at a benefit concert for the Nashville Rescue Mission. Others on the bill included Amy Grant and Restless Heart.

Nico Soffiato of Brooklyn, NY, released his third album as a leader, OST Quartet. Visit www.nicosoffiato.com.

2008

Trent Campbell of Denver, CO, and Kyle Ayervais comprise the electronic duo TNERTLE. They produced the song “Way to Grow,” a sound collage featuring artists Passion Pit, Lucius, Gentlemen Hall, KING, and Sydney Wayser. It’s available on soundcloud.com.

Carley Chilton of Nashville, TN, and Amanda Mackintosh perform as the folk-Americana duo Aberdeen Green. They took part in the National Christmas Tree Lighting at the White House and released their first album, The Oak Tree, in January. Visit www.aberdeengreen.com.

Boyan Hristov of Allston, MA, and the band B11 released their self-titled debut album. The group features Mike Levesque ’89, Tom Appleman ’98, Chris Sublette ’10, Pedro Verdugo ’94, Steve Chaggaris ’92, and David Kuchera ’09. Visit www.b11band.com.

Paul Meyer of North Hollywood, CA, was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for outstanding sound editing for nonfiction programming for the TV show Survivor. He produced, engineered, and mixed the album Objector for the band DC Fallout.

Jenna Hardy Petersen of Spirit Lake, IA, was recently appointed the executive director of the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Association. She is also the music director at her church and teaches private music lessons.

2009

Kim Jee Hyun of South Korea, released the album ELINT under his stage name Kim Jee. Visit www.kimjee.org.

Brandon Kress of Brooklyn, NY, released his first full-length album, Vagabond Diaries, with his band Brando and the Waterfront.

Sandro Morales of Sherman Oaks, CA, scored the feature film Committed and wrote music for the film Beneath. Visit www.sandromorales.com.

John Stevens of Chelsea, MA, and his band are working on the album Mr. Nice Guy, featuring Danny Fratina ’07 and Mike Wyatt ’09. Visit www.johnstevensband.com.

Dane Walker of Boston, MA, released the soundtrack album Power Down, produced in collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Ben Coes. Recently, Walker and Rob Jaret ’09 cowrote the score for the feature film Aim, Point, Shoot. Visit www.danewalkermusic.com.

2010

Tansu Akman-Duffy of Darien, CT, released three songs on iTunes from her upcoming album and was contracted for voice-overs and compositions for Barnes & Noble and DJ Mimosa. Visit www.iamtansu.com.

Chris Baum of Boston and his band Bent Knee, with Courtney Swain ’12 and Ben Levin ’11, toured Japan in December, and also taught a workshop at Koyo Conservatory. Visit www.bentkneemusic.com.

Giancarlo de Trizio of Astoria, NY, has been a percussionist in the pit orchestra for the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon.

Brennan Dylan of Woodside, NY, leads the band Men without Armies. They released the song “NYC” and will release their self-titled EP in the spring.

Joe Huang of Los Angeles, CA, won the Best Sound Award from the Australian Academy for Cinema Television Arts for his work on the film Mystery Road. In August 2013, he launched the sound production company Forestt Studios. Visit www.foresttstudios.com.

Sean Killary of East Hanover, NJ, started So.i.Heard House of Music, a high-tech music school for K–12 students. For more information, visit www.soiheardmusic.com.

Samantha Preis of London, UK, released her debut album, Good News. Visit www.samanthapreismusic.com.

Laurence Rodman of San Francisco, CA, is a music therapist at Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services, a program for at-risk high-school-age youth in Los Angeles, CA. His band the New Thoreaus released its first full-length album Neon Americana. Visit www.thenewthoreaus.com.

John Ryan of Calabasas, CA, signed an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with Big Deal Music and BMG Chrysalis US. He has written songs for One Direction, Cody Simpson, JLS, and others.

2011

Tavonna Miller of Allston, MA, was a finalist in the 2013 John Lennon Songwriting Competition with her song “In My Room.”

Jourdan Rystrom of Los Angeles, CA, had two songs featured on the television show The Bold and the Beautiful. Her first single, “What’s Left to Say,” reached number 10 in Amazon’s Best Sellers and number one in Amazon’s Hot New Releases. Visit www.jourdanrystrom.com.

Javier Samayoa of Brooklyn, NY, wrote material and performed on multiple instruments on Numasbala’s album A Ver. Visit www.numasbala.com.

2013

Mike Bono of Howell, NJ, released his debut CD, featuring Julian Lage ’08 on guitar.

Bassist John Lee and his trio performed as part of the Georgia Straight Jazz Society’s pre-Christmas celebration. The group featured guitarist Andrew Janusson and drummer Michael Mlikotic.

Banjoist Rick Mier of Corte Madera, CA, has been performing Celtic bluegrass together with Irish fiddler Kathleen Parks.

Lisa Occhino of Stamford, CT, is the first managing editor of Sonicbids. She also launched the startup SongwriterLink, which based on algorithms, matches songwriters with one another and enables them to collaborate online.

Ryo Tanaka of Brooklyn, NY, is a monitor for the the Encino, California-based company Gaai Drums & Co.

Berklee Alumni Top USA Songwriting Competition

James Adam Shelley ’10, Matthew Sanchez ’10, Zachary Barnett ’10, and Dave Rublin of the band American Authors, won the USA Songwriting Competition’s Overall Grand Prize for their song “Believer.” The band was recently signed to Island Records and “Believer” has made headway on the Billboard charts and on Alt Rock radio stations.

 

Several other Berklee alumni were among the competition’s winners and finalists. Jen Chapin ’95 took first prize for lyrics. Don Breithaupt ’84, Rodrigo Bonelli ’05, Akihiro Yoshimoto ’06, Monika Hoffman ’04, Yuko Yamamura ’05, and Catie Offerman ’13 were finalists. Ulf Anneken ’06 and Hiromi Suda ’09 received honorable mention.