Berklee Today

Final Cadence

  Mark Ledford
  Mark Ledford '82

Trumpeter Daniel Hayes '68 of New York City died at Calvary Hospital, Bronx, NY, on December 10 of brain cancer. He was 58. Hayes played and recorded with Buddy Rich, Gerry Mulligan, Doc Severinsen, and with many other bands and artists. Hayes was a critically acclaimed member of the New York jazz scene and played in Broadway theater orchestra for the show Ain't Misbehavin'.

Composer and guitarist Paul Nash '72 of New York City passed away on January 20 due to complications from brain cancer. He was 56. (See profile of Nash on page 16.) He leaves his wife Marta, sister Margo, and his mother Anne.

Vocalist Arturo Coppola '74 of Providence, RI, passed away November 8 at Miriam Hospital in Providence. He was 52. Coppola was known for singing operatic arias and Neapolitan songs and had his own show at the Landmark in Las Vegas for several years. He also performed on cruise ships and was a frequent guest with the Rhode Island Philharmonic.

Mark Shimm '75 of Nashville, TN, passed away on Sept 16 after a nine-year struggle with leukemia. He was 56. Shimm was a location scout photographer working in New York and Nashville. A gifted guitarist and songwriter, he had penned and recorded songs in many styles and released a jazz album titled Stories of My Life.

Cedric Norsigian '76 of Newton, MA, died at his home December 17 after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 50. Norsigian had studied guitar at Berklee with Pat Metheny. Norsigian worked as the director of product development for National Underwiter Insurance Data Services. He leaves a daughter, Rachel.

Kevin Bagge '78 of Springfield, MA, died September 19 at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield. He was 47. Bagge was a bassist who played professionally in western Massachusetts. He leaves his companion Cherie Iennaco and her three children.

Jill (Romano) Azzolina '79 of Hastings-On-Hudson, NY, died on January 20 of complications from breast cancer. She was 51. She had worked as both a jazz vocalist and dental hygienist in the Boston and New York City areas. She leaves her husband (guitarist) Jay Azzolina '75 and their daughter Sophia.

Jerry Whiting '79 of Philadelphia, PA, died suddenly on June 29. He was 48. Whiting was a drummer and had played and recorded with several rock bands. He was employed at Anthony's Olde City Pub in Philadelphia until his passing.

Steven McDonough '80 of Plymouth, MA, passed away October 15 at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was 37. A guitarist, McDonough played with the band Strangle Hold and worked days at Bay Mortgage Company. He leaves his wife; Cynthia, and daughters Cassandra and Samantha.

Multi-instrumentalist and singer Mark Ledford '82 of Inglewood, CA, died of heart failure at his home November 1. He was 44. A gifted vocalist, trumpeter, guitarist, drummer, and producer, Ledford released a critically acclaimed solo CD Miles 2 Go, and appeared on several Grammy-winning recordings with the Pat Metheny Group. He also worked on projects with Kevin Eubanks, Branford Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Prince, Mary J. Blige, Stephanie Mills, and many others. Ledford contributed to the soundtracks of two Spike Lee films as well. Ledford leaves his wife, Althea, and two children, Ajara Ledford and Mark Ledford, II, and two step children Aldeme Mitchell and Dmitrius Mitchell, II.

Bassist Wes Wehmiller '92 of Los Angeles, CA, died on January 30 in his sleep after a long bout with cancer. He was 33. Wehmiller had played with Duran Duran, Missing Persons, and others. A Berklee scholarship is being created in his memory. Call (617) 747-2450 for information, or click here.