Alumni Profiles

Alumni
Jazz Composition
Also affiliated with Professional Music
Class of 1971

Jazz saxophonist, flautist, and composer Greg Abate '71 played lead alto in the Ray Charles Orchestra in the early '70s after completing his studies at Berklee, and has since recorded more than 16 albums. He performs at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, and teaches jazz studies at Rhode Island College.

Alumni
Electronic Production and Design
Class of 2002

An accomplished singer, songwriter, DJ and producer, Aruna ('02) is a well known EDM singer and a fixture on the international dance circuit.

Alumni
Guitar
Class of 1991

Tariqh Akoni '91, a session guitarist and songwriter based in Los Angeles, California, is the musical director for multiplatinum recording artist Josh Groban and has toured or recorded alongside artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, and Bette Midler.

Alumni
Class of 2014

Born in Baghdad and raised in Amman, Jordan, Layth Al-­Rubaye is a leading Middle Eastern violinist on the world music stage. Raised in a musical family, Al-­Rubaye started playing the violin at the age of four and quickly began performing as a young soloist.

Alumni
Class of 2014

A globally acclaimed Palestinian cellist, Naseem Alatrash is a sonic product of his upbringing in the Middle East. An accomplished classically trained musician and improviser in diverse styles, Alatrash has earned a reputation for fearlessly broadening the horizons of the cello on the world stage.

Alumni
Class of 2012

Ali Amr is a vocalist and qanun performer. His work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music while it forges ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. Amr was honored with three advanced Marcel Khalife Competition prizes as the Best Arabic Music Performer, 2004-2007.

Alumni
Class of 2014

Eleni Arapoglou is a dynamic singer from Athens, Greece. After graduating from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts in drama and dance, she continued her studies at Berklee, where she obtained a professional diploma in vocal performance. While at Tufts, Arapoglou toured with the Tufts Jazz Orchestra and opened for the Roots with her band in May 2010.

Alumni

Formed in 2011 by a team of Berklee students, Hexany Audio specializes in sound design and audio post-production for an international client base.

Alumni
Class of 1984

Mike Cassidy was cofounder and CEO of four start-ups, including Direct Hit, which he sold for $500 million. As the leader of GoogleX's Project Loon, Cassidy is spearheading an effort to bring internet connectivity to remote parts of the globe from a network of balloons floating far above the earth.

Alumni
Professional Music
Class of 1998

Panpipe virtuoso Damian Draghici ’98 swapped a celebrated music career for a seat in the European Parliament to campaign for Roma rights.

Alumni
Class of 2013

Since the band formed at Berklee in 2012, Boston-based band Drunken Logic has been creating an eclectic powder keg of alternative rock and indie folk.

Alumni
Class of 2014

Tal Even-Tzur, an Israeli pianist, vocalist, and composer with delicate yet modern harmonizations in her playing and her compositions, is an outstanding musician with a promising career ahead.

Alumni
Film Scoring
Class of 2008

Banda Magda, founded by Greek-born singer, film scorer, and composer Magda Giannikou '08 and joined by several Berklee alumni, deftly melds styles from samba to Greek folk to Columbian cumbia and has caught the attention of everyone from Kronos Quartet to Louis C.K.

Alumni
Percussion
Class of 1995

Taku Hirano '95 has become one of the top percussionists on the touring and recording circuit, having worked with Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Jay-Z, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Lionel Richie, Isaac Hayes, Japanese pop superstar Utada Hikaru, and Academy Award-winning composer A. R. Rahman H'14

Alumni
Bass
Also affiliated with Composition
Class of 1972

Abraham Laboriel Sr. '72 is one of the most legendary bass players of his era, having thousands of album credits to his name playing for the likes of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, and Madonna.

Alumni
Professional Music
Class of 1995

Alex Lacamoire, who graduated from Berklee in 1995, earned a Tony Award in 2008 for his orchestration work on the musical In the Heights.

Alumni
Music Production and Engineering
Class of 2010

Since graduating with a degree in Music Production and Engineering, Eric Marchwinski '10 has worked lights for the Rolling Stones, Katy Perry, Usher, Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi, and Beyoncé, among many others, and founded his own company, Earlybird Design.

Alumni
Class of 2013

When Sergio Martinez thinks of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, he thinks of his “second family.” A 2013 Berklee graduate who studied jazz performance, this Madrid, Spain, native is back in his home country teaching at Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain, and trying to pass on to other students the lessons and traditions he learned from his BGJI professors.

Alumni
Jazz Composition
Class of 1994

Lester Menezes '94 studied jazz composition at Berklee. He formed a trio in his name with Dominique Girod and Norbert Pfammatter, to focus on sensitively interpreting his original repertoire and later expand with music from other sources. 

Alumni
Bass
Class of 1970

George Mraz came to Berklee in 1968 by way of the Czech Republic. Since coming to the United States,  he has been an in-demand bassist, playing with a host of jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and Charles Mingus and garnering credits on almost 1,000 recordings.

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