Alumni Profiles

Alumni
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, Berklee Today Author
Guitar
Class of 1999

A member of the class of 1999 and an entrepreneurial visionary in the business of creative music and education, Prasanna was voted among the top 50 creative Indians by Open Magazine

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
Bass
Also affiliated with Professional Music
Class of 2005

Esperanza Spalding graduated from Berklee in 2005, making history upon graduation by becoming one of the youngest instructors in the college’s history. This was just the tip of the iceberg, however, as Spalding went on in 2011 to become the first jazz musician to win the Grammy for Best New Artist, beating out Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford & Sons.

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
Music Production and Engineering
Class of 2013

Billboard chart-topping singer and songwriter Charlie Puth '13 first gained public attention through a slew of popular YouTube videos. His breakthrough onto the pop charts came by way of the song “See You Again” from the Furious 7 soundtrack in collaboration with hip-hop artist Wiz Khalifa, which reached No. 1 in America and abroad. He can frequently be seen on piano performing with and/or arranging for the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Meghan Trainor, Jason Derulo, Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, and countless others to come.

Alumni
Class of 2014

Tali Rubinstein is an extraordinary recorder player, vocalist and composer from Israel. Her contemporary music, unique sound, and outstanding performances make her a promising new talent in the jazz and world music scene.

Alumni
Music Production and Engineering
Class of 2006

The Shills, featuring MP&E grads Dave Sicilian '06 and James Zaner '06, have been a leading force in the Boston rock scene for a decade, and were recently listed as No. 1 in Vents Magazine's top-ten list of Boston bands.

Alumni
Professional Music
Also affiliated with Bass
Class of 2009

Katie Thiroux graduated from Berklee in 2009 after receiving a Presidential Scholarship in 2006 and majoring in professional music. Within her first year, she gained the attention of Berklee professor and alumna Terri Lyne Carrington ’83 H ’03 and alumnus Branford Marsalis ‘80 and performed at festivals in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America, both as a sideman and as a leader.

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
Professional Music
Also affiliated with Music Production and Engineering
Class of 2008

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
Woodwinds
Also affiliated with Jazz Composition
Class of 2011

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
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.

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
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
Percussion
Class of 1992

John “Lil’ John” Roberts '92 is one of the most sought after R&B and jazz drummers of his generation, having performed and toured with Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Michael Jackson and Elton John, and many others.

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
Woodwinds
Class of 2012

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
Music Therapy
Class of 2006

Through her work at The Center for Teen Empowerment, Samantha Hale '06 conceptualized the intersection of the professional arts, music therapy, and social justice. In collaboration with fellow alumnus Matt MacArthur ’10, director of The Record Company, Hale conceived Boston’s only youth-run and adult-supported record label, B4 Records.

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