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Alum Notes






 
  Mark Small '73

1957

Rik Tinory of Cohasset, MA, operates Rik Tinory Productions, a company that has produced more than 3,000 albums. Tinory has worked with Aerosmith, Sheila Wilkerson, Tom Jones, and countless other musicians. Visit www.riktinory.com.

1963

Jazz composer Graham Collier of Skopelos, Greece, had his 1983 extended composition Hoarded Dreams added to The Penguin Jazz Guide: The History of the Music in the 1,001 Best Albums. Visit www.grahamcolliermusic.com.

1970

Guitarist and journalist Andy Ellis of Nashville, TN, joined Premier Guitar as a senior editor. He recently scored the short film Move, which won an award in Nashville's 2010 48 Hour Film Project competition in the Best Silent Film category. Ellis also hosts the weekly radio program The Guitar Show. Visit www.theguitarshow.com.

1973

Jack Coleman of Marlboro, MA, released Phusian's Back, an album of his original tunes. It's an all-keyboard-and-drum tribute to the great jazz-fusion masters. Visit http://jakcoleman.com/Welcome.html.

Berklee today Managing Editor Mark Small of Foxboro, MA, has released Scenes, an album of original solo guitar pieces. The disc is Small's eighth recording but first solo project. For more information and to hear a track, visit www.marksmallguitar.com.

1974

Composer Dewey Dellay of Cambridge, MA, recently composed music for the Emmy-nominated episodes "China's Secret Mummies" and "Afghan Warrior" for the show Explorer on the National Geographic Channel.

Stan Schertzer of Medfield, MA, released the CD Shabbat Unplugged, an alternative reform Judaism Shabbat evening service that features new melodies of prayers from scripture. The CD will raise funds for Temple Beth Am in Framingham, MA. Visit www.alazydogproduction.com.

1975

 
Susan Marder '75  

Songwriter Susan Marder of Studio City, CA, has released the new CD Talk to Somebody. The music is available on Amazon.com, iTunes, and CD Baby. Visit www.susanmarder.com.

1976

Guitarist and composer Rob Lanter of New York City released his new CD 3/4 a Lot of the Time: A Tribute to Bill Evans. Visit www.roblanter.com.

Composer Stephen Bulla of Crofton, MD, recently retired from his role as the chief arranger for "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band and Chamber Orchestra in Washington, D.C., a position in which he served for 30 years.

1977

Guitarist Gerry Beaudoin of Waltham, MA, has signed with Concord Music Group to represent his catalog of original compositions. Samples are available at www.bignoisenow.com/gerrybeaudoin.html.

Bassist Tom Hugh of Needham, MA, cofounded the after-school music program "Plugged In." The nonprofit organization helps teens learn music and work together by organizing and rehearsing bands.

1978

Saxophonist Rick Britto of New Bedford, MA, released two new CDs in September 2010 on the TrineArc Music label: In the Sky and Trine +1. Visit www.rickbritto.com.

 
  Rob Lanter '76

Guitarist Bill McGoldrick of Norfolk, MA, traveled to Asia to play a sold-out show at the Hong Kong Convention Center with 1990 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Herb Reed and the Platters.

Composer Josh Sklair of Culver City, CA, has completed an original jazz soundtrack for the documentary film Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum by Tim Sakamoto. And after 25 years as a musical director, guitarist, and producer for Etta James, Sklair is touring internationally as the guitarist for Paul Anka.

1979

Arnold Miot of Atlantic Beach, NY, is an active guitarist, songwriter, and producer.

1980

Composer, musical director, and pianist Brad Ellis of North Hollywood, CA, is a piano accompanist on Fox Television's hit musical comedy Glee.

Sirabhorn Ti Muntarbhorn of North Hollywood, CA, participated in a series of fundraiser concerts on both coasts for Amnesty International featuring John Lennon's first band, the Quarrymen, in celebration of what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday.

 
Stephen Bulla '76  

Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and arranger Abdullah Rahim of Covington, KY, has performed with a variety of artists, including Phil Perry and Z.Z. Hill. He has recently turned his attention to ethnomusicology and the links to jazz.

Composer Shele Sondheim of Hollywood, CA, was a recent guest artist in residence at Columbia College in Chicago. Sondheim is also the president and CEO of the music production and publishing company CSM Words and Music. Visit www.csmwordsandmusic.com.

David Young of Decatur, GA, published his second book, Sing-Along Guidance, for Youthlight Publishing.

1981

Drummer Glenn Ochenkoski of Burbank, CA, recently played drums for international pop star Coco Lee at a show in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Ochenkoski has also played shows with Michael Feinstein and Dianne Reeves.

Multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson of Teaneck, NJ, was recently featured on WGBO-FM's series Jazz from the Archives. In November, All about Jazz-New York published his essay "Sameness Is the Enemy."

1983

Trombonist and Composer Mark McGrain of New Orleans, LA, released the new album Tin Fish Tango with his band Plunge. Visit www.plunge.com. 1985

 
  Tommy MacDonald '85

Tommy MacDonald of Nashville, TN, is a session and touring bassist who has recorded and performed with Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Jeffrey Steele, Jimmy Wayne, Tom Hambridge '83, and David Lee Murphy.

Performer Pascal Bokar Thiam of San Francisco, CA, operates a music-education program for high-school and college students and handles music for the Savanna Jazz Club. He also has released the new book From Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta. Visit www.pascalbokar.com.

1987

David Hannon of Jamaica Plain, MA, was honored by the Massachusetts House of Representatives with a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to jazz and blues music.

1988

Saxophonist Donny McCaslin of Brooklyn, NY, released the album Perpetual Motion, featuring Uri Caine, Adam Benjamin, Tim Lefevbre, Antonio Sanchez '97, Mark Guiliana, and producer David Binney.

1989

Composer Philip DiTullio of Milford, MA, is teaching the Schillinger System of Musical Composition and is the cofounder of the Schillinger Society and the Practical Schillinger International Music School. Visit www.schillingersociety.com.

1990

Drummer David Cowan of North Hollywood, CA, is working with producer and engineer Chris Baseford and the rock band One Tribe Nation. Cowan is also touring with seven-time GRAMMY Award winners Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis. Visit www.youngprofessordrums.com.

Sam Hooper of San Pedro, CA, was invited to the House of Blues in Shanghai, China, as a special guest performer to celebrate the club's 15th anniversary in November 2010. To mark the event, he released the CD Sam Hooper Group-Live In Shanghai. Visit www.samhooper.com.

1991

 
Jay Atwood '91  

Keyboardist Jay Atwood of Las Vegas, NV, currently serves as the conductor and keyboardist for Disney's Las Vegas production of The Lion King at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Composer Juan Carlos Cuello of Madrid, Spain, has received several commissions as an orchestrator for the prestigious German classical music label Deutsche Grammophon. One of his works can be heard on the CD Habanera, featuring Elina Garanca. Visit www.juancarloscuello.com.

Tony Fuentes of Portland, OR, hosts and produces the online radio show LaunchPad. LaunchPad informs and inspires with dispatches, discussions, and features that highlight innovations that create local, durable, and authentic economies. Visit www.pagatim.fm.

Composer Denise Mangiardi of London, U.K., recently completed her master's degree and postgraduate studies in composition at Trinity College of Music. Mangiardi also wrote the piece "A Greek in New York," which premiered at Saint Paul's in Convent Garden, London.

Songwriter Ron Miller of Nashville, TN, recently performed at the Carnaval Latino in New Orleans with his Latin pop group Ingrid Salas & Black Shadow. The group shared the stage with Los Lonely Boys and the Buena Vista Social Club. Visit www.myspace.com/ingridsalasysugrupoblackshadow.

1992

Ivan Bodley of Brooklyn, NY, has appeared as a substitute bassist in Rock of Ages on Broadway during the past 16 months. Bodley also served as the music director for Sam Moore and as a special guest on the 2010 Angel Ball cancer research fundraiser in New York City. Visit www.funkboy.net.

Jay Jennings of Burbank, CA, was the sound designer for the feature films Due Date and Tangled. Visit www.birdhousesound.com.

 
  Dave Pierce '92

Composer and arranger Dave Pierce of Alberta, Canada, recently won an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Musical Direction category at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. In addition, Pierce is the music arranger and supervisor for the new Twyla Tharp production Sinatra: Dance with Me. Visit www.scorecreative.com/DPM.

1993

James Dower of Flushing, NY, released Now, his new CD featuring 10 original songs, including the track from his video debut "I Can't Tell You What It Means." Visit www.jamesdower.com.

Composer and vocalist Sophie Dunér of Hovås, Sweden, has recorded a new CD of original material titled Sophie Dunér and the Callino String Quartet. The disc was produced by classical producer Michael Haas in London, England, and will be released in the spring. Visit www.sophieduner.com.

Pianist and composer Mika Pohjola of New York City has published 101 Compositions, a book of his works. He has also made available for download the rules and musical examples from Herb Pomeroy's Berklee "Line Writing" course. Visit www.mikapohjola.com.

Guitarist Tony Savarino of Boston, MA, has released a solo album Guitaring on Naked Ear Records. Visit www.tonysavarino.com.

1994

Pianist Bill Rinehart operates an online jazz piano-lesson website at www.jazzpianoonline.com.

1995

 
Sophie Dunér '93  

Drummer www.jazzpianoonline.com of South Columbia, SC, put together the new group the John Blackwell Project. The band's album 4ever Jia is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and CD Baby. Visit www.johnblackwellproject.com.

1996

William James McAuley III (aka Bleu) of Los Angeles, CA, released the CD Four. His video "In Love with My Lover" was the top featured new video on YouTube, and AOL's Spinner.com featured Four in its CD listening party. Bleu also served as a guest editor for Magnet Magazine. Visit www.bleutopia.com.

Producer and composer Mark Jackson of Los Angeles, CA, signed with Universal/Rondor Music Publishing Group. He is one-half of the production team MJ&iRoK and is currently developing and writing for the artists Forever the Sickest Kids, Eli Reed, and Cody Wise. H*Wood, an artist developed by Jackson, was signed by producer Rodney Jerkins to his Darkchild Records label. Visit www.markjacksonproductions.com

Saxophonist Melvin Smith of Springfield Gardens, NY, has released his third CD, Evidence.

1997

Songwriter Justin Ballard of Weymouth, MA, recently released the self-produced album POST, on which he played most of the instruments. The music is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and CD Baby.

Composer Ayala Kalus of Columbia, SC, recently received an ASCAPLUS award and was selected to write a chamber music piece that will be performed at the Athena Festival in March.

 
  Justin Ballard '97

Saxophonist Jowee Omicil of Brooklyn, NY, released his latest CD, Roots & Grooves. Recently he was invited to perform at the White House for President Barack Obama for the inaugural Haitian Flag Day celebration. Visit www.joweeomicil.com.

1998

Engineer Bryan Cook of Los Angeles, CA, recorded tracks for several songs on Train's Save Me, San Francisco album, including the hit single "Hey, Soul Sister" which sold 4 million digital downloads. Currently Cook is engineering and mixing the indie-rock band Halo from Orange County.

Composer Ramin Djawadi of West Hollywood, CA, is scoring the newest release of the popular game franchise Medal of Honor. Djawadi received a GRAMMY nomination for his Iron Man score, and an Emmy nomination for his work on Prison Break.

Saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh of Brooklyn, NY, released I Will Follow You, his latest CD for the Bee Jazz label, featuring guitarist Ben Monder and French drummer Daniel Humair. Visit www.jeromesabbagh.com.

1999

Singer and guitarist Mark Abernathy of Austin, TX, released Twixt Me and the Peaceful Rest, a collection of 19th-century hymns. The music features Sarah Sharp '97, Bukka Allen '99, Kevin Bachelder '99, Warren Hood '04, and many others. The album was mixed by GRAMMY-winning producer Eric Liljestrand. Visit www.sabre-rattlers.com.

Matt Cusson of Adams, MA, penned the award-winning song "One of Those Nights," for digital release on Spectra Records in November, and the song has a street date of February 8.

Jason Thomas of Los Angeles, CA, founded the L.A.-based firm Madras Capital, which provides financial services to the entertainment community.

2000

 
Mark Abernathy '99  

Bassist Janek Gwizdala of Hollywood, CA, has released his third album, The Space in Between. Visit www.janekgwizdala.com.

David Lockwood of Plymouth, MA, released Lucky Me, an album of 12 original songs on Saladay Records, which features vocalists Erica Leigh (Stenquist) '10, Ali Rapetti '12, and faculty guitarist Randy Roos '78, who also coproduced the recording. Visit www.davidlockwoodmusic.com.

Composer Charles Neal of Beaverton, OR, has released his debut solo jazz album, 10 Years Ago. Visit www.charlesneal.com.

2001

Singer/songwriter Amanda Baisinger of Brooklyn, NY, released the new recording Short Songs. She also performed at the Kennedy Center Gala concert with pianist Vadim Neselovskyi '04, and headlined a sold-out show at the Cornelia Street Café. Visit www.myspace.com/amandabaisinger.

Guitarist Eric Clemenzi of Haverhill, MA, placed second in Guitar Player magazine's Guitar Superstar Competition in Livermore, CA. Clemenzi also runs a private guitar and bass teaching studio in Haverhill and directs two rock ensembles at the Pingree School in Hamilton. Visit www.ericclemenzi.com.

Shawn Thwaites of Fieldale, VA, is forming a steel-drum orchestra with the youth of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge. The organization received a grant of $27,000 to purchase instruments and pay Thwaites to teach and direct public performances by the group.

2002

Pianist and singer Daniela Schächter of Boston, MA, recently performed at the Kennedy Center with Kevin Mahogany and his quintet. Visit www.danielaschaechter.net.

Bassist Peter Slavov of Astoria, NY, played on Christopher Crocco's new album, which also features George Garzone '72 and Francisco Mela. Slavov is also part of Joe Lovano's new Europa Quartet. Visit www.peterslavov.com.

2003

Bassist Annie Clements of Nashville, TN, wrote a feature article for Bass Player magazine's 2010 holiday issue about her work as Sugarland's bassist on this year's Lilith Fair tour. The piece also includes her interviews with bassists from each of the tour's supporting acts. Visit www.annieclementsmusic.com.

Leeanne Porta of Bridgewater, MA, currently teaches music at Bryantville Elementary School in Pembroke, MA.

Kyle Saulnier of Bronx, NY, recently premiered his symphony This Is Not the Answer, written for his Awakening Orchestra (visit www.awakeningorchestra.com). The performance featured Patrick Cornelius '00 and Michael MacAllister '04. Additionally, Saulnier's chamber group Alice, with Michael MacAllister and Rohin Khemani '99, released the album a.443. Visit www.alicetheband.com.

 
  Laura Jansen '04

Vibist Mari Yamashita of Mie, Japan, released the new album Duet on her Erato Music label. Visit www.mariyamashita.com.

2004

Singer/songwriter Laura Jansen of Los Angeles, CA, released her new CD Bells, a collection of 10 piano-driven pop songs. Visit www.laurajansen.com.

Composer Radiosa Romani of Rome, Italy, composed music for the video of the 11th Summit of Nobel Peace laureates in Japan with Italian singer/songwriter Mattia De Luca. Romani is also active in the Italian film and TV industry.

Singer and fiddler Lydia Veilleux of Redondo Beach, CA, and the Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band released a self-titled album. The band also includes Craig Ferguson '05, Devitt Feeley '84, and special guest Matt Bruer '08. Visit www.rockyneckbluegrass.com.

2005

Composer Johannes Berauer of Altenberg, Austria, won the 2010 Scrivere in Jazz competition in Sassari, Italy. Berauer was also a finalist in the ArtEZ Composition Contest in Enschede, Holland. Visit www.johannesberauer.com.

 
From the left: Devitt Feeley '84, Lydia Veilleux '04, and Craig Ferguson '05 of the Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band  

Singer, songwriter, and producer Heather Bright of Sherman Oaks, CA, has written songs for such artists as Justin Bieber, Toni Braxton, Fantasia, Lil Jon, the Stereotypes, and Britney Spears. She is also working with developing artists.

Composer Ryan Leach of Los Angeles, CA, wrote an original orchestral score for the Serbian feature film Skinning, which recently had a red-carpet premiere in Belgrade. Visit www.ryanleach.com.

Maggie Martin of Los Angeles, CA, the manager of Music Resources West Film & TV at EMI Music Publishing, was one of the power players listed in Billboard magazine's annual "30 under 30" list, which recognized 30 young music executives.

Songwriter Shantell Ogden of Nashville, TN, recently set a record by holding the world's longest concert. The concert was held to raise awareness for the Children's Restoration Network, a group that advocates for homeless children in the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, area.

Songwriter Marco Oliveira of Mexico, CA, has his music available for free at www.marcmonster.com. The website also features Agrupacion Cariño and Marc Monster and the Olives.

Songwriter and producer Dawaun Parker of Sherman Oaks, CA, had his first single, "Lost," produced by Dr. Dre.

Bassist Esperanza Spalding of Gloucester, MA, and vocalist Lalah Hathaway '90 of Los Angeles, CA, are special guest artists on Prince's Welcome 2 America tour.

2006

Drummer and percussionist Hamir Atwal of Antioch, CA, joined the Glimpse Trio with guitarist Mike Spoko and bassist Ethan Rider. LA Weekly described the band as "Oakland's dark kings of avant-metal colassalness." The band has finished recording its first full-length album, 1985. Atwal has also performed with Merrill Garbus and tUnE-yArDs this past summer and is teaching and performing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 
  From the left: Sasha Brown '07 and J.J. Byers '05 of the Dirty Birds

Guitarist David Reffett of Woburn, MA, received an endorsement deal with Gibson Guitars, Seymour Duncan pickups, and Xotic pedals. Reffett was also featured in a recent issue of Guitar World magazine. Visit www.myspace.com/shreddingtheenvelope.

Drummer Anthony Steele of Randolph, MA, has played with numerous top artists. Most recently he worked with Warren Hill. He is also working on a clothing line. Visit http://manofsteel440.tripod.com.

2007

Guitarist Yul Ballesteros of Madrid, Spain, recorded his second album, Minor Things, in New York with Ari Hoenig, Johannes Weidenmueller, Kike Perdomo, and Gary Versace. Visit www.yulballesteros.com.

Producer Christopher Bilton of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, recently produced and cowrote material on Marc Jordan's album Crucifix in Dreamland. It features special guests Alison Krauss and Timothy B. Schmit.

Guitarist Sasha Brown of Brooklyn, NY, and saxophonist J.J. Byers '05 are members of the New York City-based band Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. The band recently released its self-titled debut album. Visit www.sistersparrow.com.

Carlos Merriweather of Nashville, TN, wrote the book Consumine Desire Masters the Secret Power of True Love. He is also the director of marketing and street promotions in Kentucky and Nashville for Tyscot Records.

Songwriter Adam Schneider of Greenbush, NY, is a member of the electronic rock band Sentient Machine. The band's song "James Brown New Year's Eve Bash" is available on Guitar Hero for the iPhone as a free download. Visit www.sentientmachine.net.

 
Tai Cheri '09  

Saxophonist Alex Terrier of New York City was recently awarded first place at the 12th International Jazz Soloist Competition. As part of the prize, Terrier will be featured at the next Monte Carlo Jazz Festival at the Opéra Garnier. Visit www.alexterriermusic.com.

Composer Gregorio Uribe of Boston, MA, recently did an interview for CNN en Español about his big band. Visit www.gregoriouribe.com.

Songwriter Philip Watson of Mexico City, Mexico, released his debut solo album under the stage name Watson. The recording features songs in Spanish and English cowritten with Dahiana Rosenblatt '08 and was coproduced by Micky Sierra '07. Visit www.facebook.com/watsonmusica.

2008

Chris Walden of Los Angeles, CA, arranged and conducted a Christmas medley for Johnny Mathis and Josh Groban for the Oprah Winfrey Show and the VH1 Divas live broadcast. He has written music for the film Monster Mutts, and string charts for the new Christopher Cross album Dr. Faith. Visit www.chriswalden.com.

2009

Violinist Tai Cheri of Malden, MA, released her debut album, Whisper of Tomorrow. Visit www.taicheri.com.

 
  Liz Maxfield '09
  Phil Farnsworth

Mat "Twain" Davidson of Boston, MA, is a member of the group The Low Anthem and will play at Lincoln Center in January for the American Songbook series. Visit www.lowanthem.com.

Producer and drummer Adam Gruss of Morristown, NJ, released the EP Enough to Break the Ice with his band the New Bedfords. Gruss produced, mixed, and played drums on the record. Visit www.thenewbedfords.com.

Guitarist and vocalist Holden Kovach of Willoughby, OH, and his band the Modern Electric released a self-titled album that was written, recorded, produced, and mixed entirely by the group. Visit www.myspace.com/themodernelectric.

Pianist Evgeny Lebedev of Brooklyn, NY, won first prize at Jazz Hoeilaart with the World Trio. The group also features Lee Fish '05 and Haggai Cohen Milo. Visit www.elebedev.com.

Cellist Liz Maxfield of Madison, WI, recently completed a yearlong study of traditional music in Limerick, Ireland, as a Fulbright scholar. While there, she released the CD A Year in Ireland with the New Time Ensemble. During the fall of 2010, Maxfield completed a tour of the United States with singer/songwriter Anna Vogelzang.

Drummer Tommy Mazalewski of Somerville, MA, joined the rock band Continental for their first U.S. tour. The band features Rick Barton, founding member of the Dropkick Murphys and Everybody Out! Visit www.myspace.com/thebandcontinental.

Engineer Sal Ojeda of Sherman Oaks, CA, is mixing Spanish- and Portuguese-language TV shows, movies, and documentaries for HBO for broadcast in the United States and Latin America. Ojeda also worked with producer Max Martin on Pink's upcoming album.

2010

 
Brennan Dylan '10  

Guitarist Brennan Dylan (Pugh) of Westchester, CA, was named rock guitarist of the year at the 20th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards. Dylan also released his latest CD, Bullet Ride. Visit www.myspace.com/brennan.dylan.

Singer/songwriter Neara Russell of Los Angeles, CA, earned a 2010 ASCAPLUS Award for performances of her original works, including the premiere of her orchestral work Relativity by the Tatuí Conservatory Symphony of Tatuí, Brazil. Russell was a featured composer in new releases by Manchester Music Library and just completed production for a solo album of original pop-rock songs.

Vocalist Liz Turner of Portsmouth, NH, recently joined the international tour of Playhouse Disney Live!, which was produced by Feld Entertainment. The tour kicked off in Milan, Italy. Visit www.disney.go.com/disneylive.

Singer/songwriter Maria Marini of Boston, MA, and producer Steven Shewbrooks '04 released the single "Falling" under the artist name Maria Veronica. The song is available on iTunes, Napster, Amazon.com, and other music-download services. Visit www.mariaveronicamusic.com.

Guitarist Tony Song of Oakton, VA, recently pulled off a "Berklee first" by proposing to vocalist Susie Kang '10 onstage during his senior recital in 1W. The pair met at Berklee and graduated together. She accepted.

Bassist Chris Sublette of Medford, MA, is in the midst of a six-month stint with the band Mike Null and the Soulcasters at the House of Blues in Shanghai, China.