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L.A. Newsbriefs

 
  From the left: Phyllis Osman '90, Michael Contreras '81, Meg Mitchell '03, and Femke Weidema '07
  photos by Mark Hollingsworth
 
  Bob Malone '87
 
  James Saez '93, Peter Gordon '78, Joe Rozum '81, and Damir Price '93

Last year closed out in grand style with an alumni holiday party that attracted more than 250 guests. The unique layout of the Rive Gauche Café in Sherman Oaks provided a wonderful holiday setting, and the wide range of alumni generations made for a fun event (see the accompanying photos). Special thanks to pianist, vocalist, and songwriter Bob Malone '87, who performed holiday music with a distinctly New Orleans flavor. Malone is an indie artist who blends blues, jazz, ragtime, and boogie-woogie in great style, with a nod to such artists as Dr. John, Tom Waits, and Leon Russell. For more information on Malone, check out his website at www.bobmalone.com.

As of this writing in early January, the 2009 schedule of Los Angeles events has already begun. The annual alumni brunch always attracts more than 200 guests, and this year's event at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica will be no exception. President Roger Brown will speak, and as usual, a large contingent of faculty and staff from Boston attending the Winter NAMM Show will be on hand.

On January 25, Berklee faculty songwriting guru Pat Pattison will present a master class at Sanctum L.A. Sound Studios in Santa Monica. This session will examine the lyrics of local L.A. songwriters and will focus on the process of rewriting and polishing one's writing.

On February 26, the Allan Holdsworth/Alan Pasqua Group featuring Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Haslip, a supergroup of four legends from the jazz-fusion music scene, will play at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles. They will headline WesFest 4, an annual concert to benefit the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship at Berklee. The scholarship fund honors Wes Wehmiller '92, a highly accomplished bassist, athlete, and photographer who died of thyroid cancer in January 2005. Established by the Wehmiller family and friends, the Wes Wehmiller Endowed Scholarship is awarded annually to a continuing student at Berklee who best exemplifies the excellence and grace that Wehmiller demonstrated as a bassist and as a human being. To date, the WesFest concert series has raised more than $32,000 for the fund. This year's event promises to be another memorable musical evening. For details, turn to page 30 of this issue, and for ticket information, send me an e-mail at pgordon@berklee.edu.

In the world of film music, the soundtrack to When Nietzsche Wept, composed by Sharon Farber '97, has been released. A review by Mikael Carlsson of MovieScore Media refers to the "immensely beautiful orchestral score by the hugely talented Sharon Farber." To hear excerpts, visit www.moviescoremedia. com/nietzsche.html.

After relocating from New York City to Los Angeles, Jon Dowling '95 is busy rehearsing with his new band. The group has upcoming performances scheduled in support of Dowling's recent radio hit "Out of the Dark." In late 2008, the single made a strong showing on New Music Weekly magazine's AC/Hot AC Chart and is in the company of new releases by such artists as John Mayer '98, Chris Brown, and Josh Groban. "Out of the Dark" also showed impressively on the AC/Hot AC Indie and Top 40 Indie charts.

Congratulations to the alumni and faculty members who netted 29 2009 Grammy Award nominations (see rrelated story on page 4). Good luck on February 8!

That's all for now. Stay in touch.

- Peter Gordon '78

Director, Berklee Center in Los Angeles