Alum Notes

By
Ryan Fleming

1966

Alf Clausen of Canyon Country, CA, is a newly elected member of the ASCAP (or American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Board of Directors, in the writer member at-large field.

1970

Ralph Hammer of Meadow Vista, CA, has performed and recorded with Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Etta James, the O’Jays, and others. He has also worked as a studio guitarist for Motown, CBS, and Capitol Records. He currently performs with his group Blue Rhythm. Visit www.bluerhythmmusic.com.

1971

Saxophonist Greg Abate of Coventry, RI, released the album The Greg Abate Quintet Featuring Phil Woods. Visit www.gregabate.com.

1973

Keyboardist John Novello of North Hollywood, CA, and his trio Niacin released the CD Krush. The supergroup includes bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Dennis Chambers. Visit www.keysnovello.com.

1974

Al Di Meola of Westwood, NJ, recorded All Your Life, an acoustic guitar tribute featuring the music of the Beatles, at Abbey Road Studios in London. Visit www.aldimeola.com.

Alan Palanker of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, has been the music director for John Davidson, Melba Moore, Nicholas King, Ariana Savalas, and Avery Sommers. Visit www.alpalmusic.com.

1975

Steven Saulls of Redmond, WA, teaches theory, musicianship, and music and sound design at DigiPen. He is also the designer and teacher of the workshop Sound Design for Games and Animation, and since 2009 he has been an engraver for Hal Leonard.

Johan van Rensburg of Lyttelton, South Africa, was a pianist and bandleader for a South African television game show from 1991 to 2012 and recorded nearly 600 episodes. Now retired, he composes and records music in his home studio.

1977

James Nicoloro of Arlington, MA, heads East Cambridge Piano, which is celebrating its 35th year. Jay Natale ’95 is the manager, and Reed Cournoyer ’74 is a team member. Visit www.eastcambridgepiano.com.

1978

Stan Bann of Eden Prairie, MN, was commissioned to compose the brass works “Of Warmer Days” for the Wild Prairie Brass Choir; and “New Wings” and “Caution: Dark Alleys” for the Minneapolis Trombone Choir’s 40th anniversary concert. Visit www.stanbann.com.

Bill McGoldrick of Norfolk, MA, and Pamela Stiebler ’13, were named the best acoustic act in the 2012 local music awards hosted by WMRC Radio in Milford, MA. Visit www.billmcgoldrick.net.

Pianist and composer Emil Viklicky of Prague, Czech Republic, and bassist George Mraz ’70 released the duo album Together Again.

1979

Pianist Jawanza Kobie of Wilmington, DE, released the new CD Feels Better Than It Sounds. It features several alumni musicians. Visit www.jawanzakobie.com.

Pianist Lulu Martin of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is teaching music students in a program by Funarte, a Brazilian government arts entity. He is touring with Ithamara Koorax and has written television music. Visit www.songbirdtracks.com.

1980

Tom Santagata of Johnston, RI, plays trumpet with Chris Jason and the Sinatra Live Big Band (www.chrisjasonentertainment.com) and is the trumpeter and vocalist for his own band the Down City Horns.

1981

Michael Cassidy of Canoga Park, CA, released the collection of remakes I’m the Man (In Some Alternate Universe). He produced; arranged; and played guitars, bass, vocals, and keyboards with Ronnie Ciago ’77, who played drums on the album. Visit www.michaelcassidy.org.

Joseph Napolitano of Attleboro, MA, and his dark-wave electronic duo A Fifth Column completed a video for the release of the group’s latest song “If Winter Comes” for release on YouTube, Vimeo, ReverbNation, and other outlets.

1982

Bob Ross of New York City has been recording and performing in the New York area with the RMA Trio and is the president of the New York Cycle Club.

1983

Angela Wiggins of Honolulu, HI, appeared on the radio show “The Jazz Intersection.” Visit www.thejazzintersection.com.

1984

Joel Goodman of Topanga, CA, scored the film $ellebrity, the PBS feature MAKERS: Women Who Make America, and the HBO documentary Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? Visit www.joelgoodman.com.

Drummer Rob Hart of San Rafael, CA, and his trio will release the CD 3000 Realms of 10 Worlds with an event at Yoshi’s jazz club in Oakland, CA, on July 1. Alumni featured on the disc include Kai Eckhardt ’87, Kurt Ribak ’89, Glen Berger ’82, Stu Hamm ’80, and Jeff Massanri. Visit www.robharttrio.com.

Eric Schweitzer of Raleigh, NC, had his song “The Finest Day” featured in the digital Australian children’s story “The Mouse Who Lived on the Moon.”

Singer/songwriter Peter Singer of Plymouth, MA, released his solo debut album Don’t Look Now through Tate Music Group. It features 10 songs, influenced by classic pop music. Visit www.tatemusicgroup.com.

1985

David Bondelevitch of Denver, CO, won a Heartland Emmy for the PBS film Above the Ashes. As the film’s supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer, he was nominated for an Emmy Award and a Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Award. Visit www.abovetheashes.com.

Rebecca Day Babcock of Sterling City, TX, cowrote A Synthesis of Qualitative Studies of Writing Center Tutoring: 1983–2006 and Tell Me How It Reads: Tutoring Writing with Deaf and Hearing Students in the Writing Center. Visit www.rebeccababcock.com.

Trumpeter Chris Kase of Madrid, Spain, released his seventh album, My Private Circus, for which he played all the instruments. Visit www.chriskase.com.

Gary Sproul of Oakland, CA, penned his first novel, The Length of the Leash, which was named a runner up in the 2013 Los Angeles Book Festival and received honorable mention in the New York, London, San Francisco, and Great Northwest book festivals.

1986

Vocalist Michéal Castaldo of New York City is releasing the new album Bergamot, which blends American, folk, and Mediterranean influences. Visit www.michealcastaldo.com.

Julie Kinscheck of Billerica, MA, and her group released the new CD Faith + Hope + Love in May.

1987

U.S. Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Steve Giove of Okinawa, Japan, led an all-star, 17-piece Marine Corps band in a performance at Berklee’s annual High School Jazz Festival in Boston on March 2. Among the military musicians was fellow alumnus Gunnery Sergeant Jim Wallace ’99.

1988

Film composer Shawn K. Clement of Canyon Country, CA, released the new musical compilation album Audistry on the Clemistry Music label.

Michael Knespel of Eaton, CO, released the album Songs from the Soul. Visit www.michaelknespel.bandcamp.com.

Recording engineer Rich Lamb of New York City has worked with Jack Petruzzelli, Rich Pagano, Systems Two, Mark Dann Recording, the Asylum Street Spankers, and Debbie Deane ’91. He also works at St. Paul’s Chapel–Trinity Church.

Tenor saxophonist Lance McCollum of Austin, TX, played with the ACC Jazz Ensemble at the Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C., in January.

1989

Bassist Kevin Crosby of Shoreline, WA, plays with PoJama People, a Frank Zappa tribute band featuring Ike Willis. They will appear at the Zappanale Festival in Germany in August.

1990

Grammy winner Paula Cole of Beverly, MA, released her first independent CD, Raven, on her own label 675 Records. Visit www.paulacole.com.

On June 9, Paul Rogalski of Longmont, CO, hosted the sixth annual Rocky Mountain Bass Slam in Denver, CO, featuring Chuck Rainey, Doug Johns, and Quintin Berry. Rogalski is also the owner of Mojo’s Music Academy. Visit www.rockymountainbassslam.com.

Jazz guitarist Tom Stewart of Land O’ Lakes, FL, released his second CD, Flyer. Visit www.stewartjazz.com.

Peter Vantine of Middleton, MA, was commissioned by the Monadnock Chorus in New Hampshire to compose a work for chorus and chamber orchestra, which was performed in April. He is the pastor of music and administration at Middleton Congregational Church. Visit www.petervantine.com.

1991

Tim Bedner of Orleans, Ontario, released his first CD as a leader, Of Light and Shadow. It was reviewed in JazzTimes and Something Else! Reviews. Visit www.timbedner.com.

1992

Jay Jennings of Burbank, CA, was the sound designer for the films The Hangover Part III and Gangster Squad. He was also the sound designer and rerecording mixer for The Rolling Stones Crossfire Hurricane, which was nominated by the Motion Picture Sound Editors in the Best Sound Editing: Long Form Documentary category.

Jan Uwe Leisse of Cologne, Germany, is an entertainment lawyer at Grethle Rechtsanwälte, one of Germany’s leading entertainment law firms. He also teaches at the Conservatories of Cologne and Lübeck and has played bass in numerous music theater productions.

1993

Tyrone Lancaster of Las Vegas, NV, scored music for the films You Don’t Say!, Bitterblue, and The Vision. He has also composed for the bands Two Fires and Daniel’s Window, and for Scripps Productions (HGTV and DIY Network).

Jim Pelz of Maineville, OH, and his band Hickory Robot released their second CD, Sawyer. They were nominated for Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in the Bluegrass and Album of the Year categories. Visit www.hickoryrobot.com.

1994

Pianist Cornelius Claudio Kreusch of New York City released the solo piano CD Heart & Soul. He performed with faculty member Laszlo Gardony at Berklee in March. Visit www.corneliusclaudiokreusch.com.

André Moran of Austin, TX, teaches recording at Austin Community College. He and wife, Noëlle Hampton, perform as the Belle Sounds and released an 11-song eponymous debut album.

1995

Shane Adams of Nashville, TN, was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Music Educator Award.

Eric Barao of Seekonk, MA, released his self-titled debut album, produced by Bleu ’96. Barao is a member of the Cautions and has scored several film soundtracks. Visit www.ericbarao.com.

Jen Chapin of Brooklyn, NY, released the live CD Jen Chapin Trio: Celebrating Harry’s 70th, which is dedicated to her father, Harry Chapin. She also successfully completed a PledgeMusic campaign to fund her album Reckoning. Visit www.jenchapin.com.

Pianist Paulo Tozzi of São Paulo, Brazil, and his Mainstream Jazz Trio are releasing the new album Duo Trio. It features José Pienasola (bass) and Marcos Pienasola (drums).

Caroline Wegener of Potsdam, Germany, opened the art show “Zeitreise: 20 Years of Painting,” featuring 30 of her paintings. During the opening, she played solo piano and vocal and guitar duos with Martin Verges.

1996

Pablo Albanedo of Cambridge, MA, had a release event for his octet’s CD ReContraDoble at the Regattabar in Cambridge, MA, in February. Visit www.pabloablanedo.com.

Boris Berlin of New York City and his act Metasonica released the single “Romance” in December. He appears on Buddha-Bar Classical, Zenfonia. His act Celestial Celebrants released a crossover single featuring Erik-Peter Mortensen. Visit www.borisberlin.com.

Steve Garbade of Tujunga, CA, scored the feature film The Immortal Edward Lumley. It was an official selection and was nominated for awards in three categories at the 2013 Phoenix Comicon.

Nicolas Meier of Boston, MA, and his group released From Istanbul to Ceuta with a Smile. His music was also featured on a MoonJune Records compilation, and he performs with Gabrielle Ducomble, the Oxley-Meier guitar duo, Seven7, and the Guildford Jazz Club. Visit www.meiergroup.com.

Manfred Junker of Konstanz, Germany, released Manfred Junker´s Journey Within: Celebrating Bill Evans, his 10th recording as a leader. It features Barbara Balzan, Arne Huber, and Matthias Daneck. Visit www.manfredjunker.com.

Ryan Shore of Burbank, CA, scored the films Mindless Behavior: All Around the World, Drew: The Man Behind the Poster, and Monster Roll. Shore also scored the pilot of an upcoming Walt Disney series and the video game Spy Hunter.

1997

Guitarist and composer Myles Brown of Lilburn, GA, recorded the albums Creature Comforts (with the Soundmen) and his own jazz album Jazz Beats & Dope Melodies. He is also working on symphonic music. Visit www.mylesbrown.net.

Sharon Farber of Granada Hills, CA, won the Women’s International in Film & TV Showcase Visionary Award in Music. She has scored To Die for Our Country, The Dove Flyer, and Honor Diaries. Her string quartet premiered in May, and her piece “Translucent Rocks” will be performed next January. Visit www.sharonfarber.com.

Jazz vocalist Seung-Hee Han of Brooklyn, NY, released the album Sketches on the Sky. Visit www.seung-hee.com.

Drummer Antonio Sanchez of Jackson Heights, NY, and his band Migration showcased their album New Life, with a CD release event at the Jazz Standard in New York.

Chihiro Yamanaka of Cambridge, MA, released the CDs Reminiscence, Because, and After Hours 2, plus the DVD Live in New York. She recently toured Europe and Asia.

Phil Yoon of Pyeongtaek-Kun, South Korea, had his album Reminiscences of Mom recognized in the 2012 Korean Best Jazz Album category by MMJAZZ magazine. He hosts a TV show called Phil Yoon’s Jazz Story.

1999

Yukiko Fujii of Boston, MA, Satoru Nakagawa ’00, and Kosei Fukuyama ’07 make up the band Tokyo Tramps, and released their sixth original album, Rollin’ Rockland Blues Hour. Visit www.tokyotramps.com.

Sarah Gromko of New Orleans, LA, is the program director for Sweet Home New Orleans, a nonprofit empowering local musicians. She is also a member of the Music & Culture Coalition of New Orleans. Visit www.sweethomeneworleans.org.

Kevin Hammer of Stoughton, MA, created music and sound effects for the video game Germinator, which was released on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in March.

Composer Oscar Micheli from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is releasing his second album, Reason of Life, featuring all original music.

Saxophonist Jaleel Shaw of Paterson, NJ, released the new album The Soundtrack of Things to Come. Visit www.jaleelshaw.com.

Peter Stoltzman of Denver, CO, is the head of piano at the University of Colorado at Denver, where Sean McGowan ’99 is the head of guitar. He is also the faculty director of the Stanford Jazz Camp. Visit www.peterjohnstoltzman.com.

Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee of Boston, MA, and H. Scott Salinas ’00 composed the orchestral score for the feature film Elemental. Visit www.elementalthefilm.com.

2000

Elik Alvarez of Pasadena, CA, together with Joel Douek and Freddy Sheinfeld ’01, composed music for the documentary film Kingdom of Plants. It was nominated for awards by the International Film Music Festival in Córdoba, Spain, and the International Film Music Critics Association.

John Paesano of Palos Verdes Estates, CA, won an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production for Dragons: Riders of Berk: How to Pick Your Dragon (DreamWorks Animation). He has worked with composers Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, and for Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions.

Gabriel Pulido of Miami, FL, has released four albums of original music, performed live electronic music with video, and created the live multimedia show “Deep Surface.” Visit www.gabomusic.com. 

2001

Corey Colmey of Rome, NY, Chris Arthur ’98, and Benjamin Wright ’02, as the group the Live and Breathe, released its debut album. Visit www.theliveandbreathe.com.

Joe Kenny of Campbell, CA, is the operations manager for Musical Surroundings Inc., a distributor of high-end analog audio products based in Oakland, CA.

Chrissi Poland and Matt Pendergast ’01 of New York City released the EP Reckless Ones after a successful PledgeMusic campaign. Poland also plays with the group Scissor Sisters.

Neil Santos of Boston, MA, wrote and illustrated The Guitar Simplified: An Illustrated Guide to Music Theory and the Guitar. The book is available through Amazon.com or on his blog www.ScaleTainer.com.

2003

Composer Michaela Eremiasova of Los Angeles, CA, was awarded the ASCAP Foundation’s Rudolf Nissim Prize in composition. Visit www.michaela-eremiasova.com.

In March, Hiromi Uehara released the album Move, featuring bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips.

Paul “Willie Green” Womack of Brooklyn, NY, released the dance-pop album We Live in the Future. Visit www.williegreenmusic.com.

2004

In December 2012, Asuka Kakitani of Brooklyn, NY, was featured on Public Radio International’s The World. Visit www.asukakakitani.com.

Justin Nihiser of Atlanta, GA, licensed his track “My Friends” to Chevrolet for its 2013 Traverse ad campaign. Visit www.freneticsound.com.

Composer Michael Teoli of Tarzana, CA, scored the feature films Criminal Behavior and Neshima. He also scored the play Absolutely Filthy, which the Sacred Fools Theater company premiered in Hollywood, CA. Visit www.michaelteoli.com.

2005

Roy Assaf of New York City and his trio performed at New York’s Blue Note jazz club. He recently recorded and/or performed with David Sanborn, Wayne Tucker, and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, and was reviewed in JazzTimes. Visit www.royassaf.com.

Singer/songwriter Rique Colón of San Juan, PR, completed his fourth educational tour of Puerto Rico’s West Side, reaching about 1,500 students. Visit www.riquecolon.com.

Victor-Andrês Cruz of East Boston, MA, is part of the jazz-fusion–world music band Unlimited Perception, along with other Berklee alumni. They released the album Awakening. Visit www.unlimitedperception.net.

Justin Kooy of Woodbridge, NJ, was promoted to the position of audio engineer at Sound Lounge in New York at its Hudson Street location. Visit www.soundlounge.com.

2006

Joey Chang (a.k.a. CelloJoe) of Berkeley, CA, recently completed a three-month bicycle and music tour of Australia, appearing at music and sustainability festivals. He uses a pedal-powered sound system and has biked more than 10,000 miles. Visit www.cellojoe.com.

Claude Diallo of Long Island City, NY, and the Claude Diallo Situation, released their fifth CD, Motion in Progress, on the Unit Records label. It also features Massimo Buonanno ’10 and Laurent Salzard ’07. In May the group toured Switzerland and Asia. Visit www.claudediallo.com.

Jesse Frayne of Staten Island, NY, is the music director and a production engineer at the Nyack Village Theatre in Nyack, NY, from which Rockland World Radio is broadcast. Programming includes local news, health, entertainment, and other topics. The theater features musical and dramatic performances. Visit www.rocklandworldradio.com.

Yuri Lysoivanov of Chicago, IL, was promoted to the position of associate chair of the Recording Arts Department at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy in Chicago. Since 2009 he has been a faculty member at the academy.

Marshall Ruffin of Vienna, VA, recently performed with Duane Trucks, Kevin Scott, and Lawson Feltman at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City as part of an East Coast tour.

2007

Last fall, Danny Fratina of Dallas, TX, launched www.dannyfratina.com, a Website that sells original ensemble arrangements and out-of-print transcriptions. He also writes articles on arranging, practicing, and other topics.

Guitarist Freddy Hall released the CD Wander Years and produced a video for one of the album’s songs, “Brainwash.” Hall also played in the pit orchestras for the national touring companies of the musicals Spring Awakening and American Idiot. Visit www.freddyhallmusic.com.

Guitarist Yuto Kanazawa of Boston, MA, released his debut album, Earthwards, featuring Mario Castro ’11, Felix Peikli ’12, Jonathan Pinson ’11, and Kurt Elling. Visit www.yutokanazawa.com.

2008

Rob Gould of Chicago, IL, released his self-titled debut record with his band Big Paraid, in March. Visit www.robgoulddrums.com.

Andrew Simon McAllister of Belfast, United Kingdom, scored and did sound design for the film Macropolis, which won in the Best Animation category at the Irish Film & Television Awards. He also scored the short film The Test, starring Lauren Bowles and Patrick Fischler.

Alec Tackmann of Rochester, MN, toured throughout the United States and Europe with Davina and the Vagabonds and will play at this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival. Visit www.alectackmann.com.

In March, pianist Keiko Ueda of Kumamoto, Japan, released the CD Sanctuary with 21-string koto player Izumi Fujikawa. The album also includes pieces with flamenco guitar, chorus, and orchestra. Visit www.keikoshiga.com.

2009

Sara Richardson Crigger of Nashville, TN, has been accepted to a graduate program in vocal performance at Austin Peay State University .

Brennan Dylan of Woodside, NY, released the album Raining in Berlin. He is part of the Clinic Records roster, and his song “Slammin” was featured in a Nurse Jackie trailer. Visit www.brennandylan.com.

Gilda Garcia of Mexico City, Mexico, was a sound designer for the animated box-office hit in Mexico La Leyenda de la Llorona (The Legend of the Crying Lady) and has worked on a number of award-winning features and short films. Visit www.sinemotif.com.

Drummer Daniel Malone of Jackson, MI, and his band Les Racquet released the album Whale Hail. Visit www.lesracquet.com.

Sandro Morales of Sherman Oaks, CA, scored the feature films: Fatal Justice and Collision Course. Visit www.sandromorales.com.

Kundayi Musanami of Boston, MA, is the founder of the Worship Him Out Loud Experience (W.H.O.L.E.), a worship music concert tour and training initiative. Visit www.w-h-o-l-e.com.

2010

Orlando Dixon of Colmar Manor, MD, was a featured artist on the fourth season of The Voice.

Trent Freeman of British Columbia, Canada, and his group the Fretless won three awards at the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards. The group also features Eric Wright ’09 and Ivonne Hernandez ’10. Visit www.thefretless.com.

Kazuyo Kuriya of Kumamoto, Japan, had her arrangement of Chick Corea’s “Spain” performed at Carnegie Hall in May. She also performed at the Cairo Jazz Festival.

Sid Lees of Roxbury, MA, recently opened a production and recording facility called Herd Studios. Visit www.herdstudio.com.

Casimir Liberski of Brooklyn, NY, released the albums The Caveless Wolf and The Atomic Rabbit with his trio. They recetly played at the ShapeShifter Lab in New York, and are planning a fall European tour.

Kalie Martin of Richfield, PA, is currently a production singer for Carnival Cruise Line’s playlist productions.

2011

Singer/songwriter Moana Avvenenti of Saint Martin, St. Maarten, successfully completed an Indiegogo campaign to fund a new album release. Visit www.moanaa.com.

In January, Concetta “Cettina” Donato of Messina, Italy, released her second CD, a big-band and jazz quartet album, Cettina Donato Orchestra “Crescendo,” featuring Berklee alumni and students. Visit www.cettinadonato.com.

In March 2012, Alessandro Lombardo of Trezzo Sull’Adda, Italy, featured drummer Steve Gadd on his YouTube channel.

Vocalist Tavonna Miller of Allston, MA, released the song “Straight Up Poetic.” She recently toured Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. Visit www.tavonnamiller.com.

Drummer Giuseppe Paradiso of Medford, MA, released the album Otherness Collection. It features a number of Berklee alumni and students. Visit www.giuseppe-paradiso.com.

Andrew Picha of Northborough, MA, plays with the Christian worship group the Andy Needham Band. In 2012 the group released its national debut album, Lifted High, and performed 165 live dates. Picha is also a drum and live sound clinician for the Simply Worship Conference. Visit www.andyneedhamband.com.

Drummer Jonathan Pinson of Los Angeles, CA, was chosen to participate in the Monk Institute. He will be touring with Herbie Hancock this summer.

Zac Zinger of Pittsburgh, PA, was a 2013 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award winner. Visit www.zaczinger.com. 

2012

Utar Artun of Boston, MA, was the recent winner of the First National Symphonic Composition Contest in Turkey for his 15-minute work Paradox. Visit www.myspace.com/utarartun.

Navid Martinez of Los Angeles, CA, scored the independent film Juan in a Million that won first prize in the Best Foreign Film category at the L.A. Indie Film Festival.

Sean Peters of Watertown, MA, practices massage and healthcare with Momentum Healthcare, LLC in Boston, MA.

In June, pianist Matt Savage of Francestown, NH, released his 10th album, A Bigger Celebration. Visit www.savagerecords.com.

2013

Jennifer Chianesi of New York City appeared in April on Bravo TV’s The Kandi Factory, which follows Grammy winner Kandi Burruss as she mentors aspiring musical artists.