Alumni Profiles

Alumni
Psychedelic Pop Band

Avers, from Richmond Virginia, offers an ethereal swirl of psychedelic pop, shoegaze and garage rock, featuring alumni Alexandra Spalding '09 (Professional Music) and Adrian Olsen '08 (Music Business & Management / MP&E), who also serves as producer/engineer, recording most of the album material in his studio, Montrose Recording.

Alumni
Cellist
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
Jazz Saxophonist; Flutist; Composer; Arranger

Jazz saxophonist, flautist, and composer Greg Abate '71 played lead alto saxophone in the Ray Charles Orchestra in the early '70s after completing his studies at Berklee, and has since recorded more than 16 albums.

Alumni
Bassist; Guitarist
Class of 1972 (Bass, Composition)

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
Music Therapist, Doctor
Class of 2004 (Music Therapy)

After Maria Hernandez completed her clinical medical training, she learned how music could complement medicine. She went on to earn a degree from Berklee in music therapy in 2004, and later became president of The Global Music Therapy Project, a nonprofit that specializes in providing music therapy services to disadvantaged populations in developing countries. 

Alumni
Director, Google; Project Leader, GoogleX Project Loon
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
Pan Flutist
Class of 1998 (Professional Music)

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

Alumni
Music Therapist; Singer-Songwriter
Class of 2007 (Music Therapy, Songwriting)

A board certified-music therapist, Ian Wilkerson '07 is the founder of Bay Area Music Therapy, an organization offering individualized music therapy programs and wellness services throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

Alumni
Musical technology specialist; composer
Class of 2005

Kevin Doucette '05 enjoys a thriving career in Los Angeles and India, working with A. R. Rahman and other notable Indian musicians. 

Alumni
Singer-Songwriter
Class of 2006 (Voice)

Matt Nakoa came to Berklee on a scholarship, and studied with songwriting greats Pat Pattison and Livingston Taylor before graduating in 2006 and continuing his career as a folk singer-songwriter.

Alumni
CEO and Founder, PledgeMusic
Class of 1992

Benji Rogers launched PledgeMusic based on the idea that music fans want to give more—not less—to support their favorite artists. The company now employs more than 40 people and launches two to three albums a day. 

Alumni
Orchestrator; Arranger; Pianist
Class of 1995 (Professional Music)

Alex Lacamoire, who graduated from Berklee in 1995, has earned Tony Awards for his orchestration work on musicals Hamilton and In the Heights.

Alumni
Singer; Film Scorer; Composer
Class of 2008 (Film Scoring)

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
Jazz Pianist
Class of 1994 (Jazz Composition)

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
Jazz Pianist; Composer
Class of 2012

Jazz pianist and composer Mina Yu '12, a native of Korea now based in New York, releases her debut album Papa's Records.

Alumni
Jazz Clarinetist
Class of 2012 (Woodwinds)

Norwegian-born jazz clarinetist Felix Peikli '12 released his expansive debut album, Royal Flush, in 2015; the album features an all-alumni quintet and appearances from Lee Hogans, Marcus Miller, and Albino Mbie '13.

Alumni
Percussionist
Class of 1995 (Percussion)

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
Class of 2011 (Woodwinds, Jazz Composition)

Exposed to music early on through his legendary father and namesake, Latin Grammy-nominated Cuban tenor saxophonist Carlos Averhoff  Jr. '11 is a  contemporary Afro-Cuban jazz composer and educator described by All About Jazz as "a dynamic, fresh new voice on the saxophone," and now teaches woodwinds at Berklee's City Music Program

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
Singer-Songwriter; DJ; Producer

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

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