Berklee Today: The Laboriel Legacy

By 
Mark Small
June 10, 2008
The Laboriel family
Photo by Anthony Pidgeon

It's not uncommon for the tradition of studying music at Berklee to link generations of families together. Abraham Laboriel Senior '72 and his sons Abe Jr. '93 and Mateo '03 stand out among Berklee's notable legacy families.

Since his arrival in Los Angeles in 1976, Abraham has left an indelible mark on the music industry by adding his uniquely personal touch to more than 4,000 recordings during his four decades as one of the busiest studio bassists Los Angeles has ever produced.

Best known as a drummer, Abe Jr. plays various instruments, including bass, and is a gifted vocalist (to hear his duet with Mylene Farmer at an arena gig in Paris, click here). But despite his abundant musical talents, it's his extraordinary skills as a drummer that have earned him the opportunity to play on hundreds of recordings by top artists and to tour with many of the industry's brightest lights, including Sting, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, k.d. lang, Seal, and others.

The youngest of the trio graduated from Berklee's MP&E program just five years ago, but Mateo has already developed an enviable résumé, which lists credits as a songwriter, producer, and programmer for such names as Quincy Jones, Jamie Foxx, and Ashlee Simpson, and has made contributions to major motion picture soundtracks. Mateo has also supplied bass, guitar, and keyboard tracks to various studio projects.

Read more about the Laboriel family in Berklee Today.