Alumni Profiles

Alumni
Drummer, Living Colour

After graduating with honors from Berklee, Will Calhoun '86 went on to chart-topping success with rock band Living Colour and has played with jazz icons as well as African village masters in his lifelong exploration of the ancient art of drumming.

Alumni
Singer-Songwriter
Class of 2011 (Voice, Professional Music)

Kiesza, whose full name is Kiesa Rae Ellestad, blazed into fame after her YouTube video “Hideaway” received nearly 60 million views in 2014.

Alumni
Music Data and Insights Manager for Netflix
Class of 2015 (Music Business/Management)

Berklee alumna Anahita Bahri B.M. ’15 is a music data and insights manager for Netflix. She refers to her work as “data storytelling.” 

“I help surface insights and trends to the music team,” she says. “A lot of people are intimidated by spreadsheets, but I help translate them and answer questions. How much have we spent to date on licensing music from a certain label? How much did we pay for a certain piece of music, and how well did it perform?” 

Alumni
Singer-Songwriter; Guitarist; Producer
Class of 1998 (Songwriting, Professional Music)

John Mayer has had several musical lives rolled into one: a pop star, a renowned guitarist, a heartthrob, a serious student of the blues, and a gritty comeback artist who returned from a two-year hiatus because of vocal cord problems to develop a passion for the music of the Grateful Dead.

Alumni
Music Therapist; Youth Advocate
Class of 2006 (Music Therapy)

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.

Alumni
Vocalist
Class of 2009 (Voice, Ensembles)

After graduating from Berklee in 2009, Philip joined the faculty and went on to found the college’s Indian Ensemble, one of the largest and most diverse ensembles with more than 50 members, and direct the sold-out A. R. Rahman tribute concert in October 2014 . 

Alumni
Composer; Arranger; Transcriptionist

Composer, arranger, and transcriptionist Adam Burgess ‘14 came to Berklee from Newcastle, Australia, to study contemporary writing and production. Before attending Berklee, he studied at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.

Alumni
Composer; Cellist

Before arriving in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1993, cellist and composer Okkyung Lee said she knew little of the jazz and experimental music for which she is now known. Born in South Korea in 1975 and educated in classical piano and cello, Lee first heard of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and other jazz greats when she came to Berklee College of Music. She quickly bought CDs to listen to the music she was trying to understand.

Alumni
Broadway Performer
Class of 2015 (Theater)

Jillian Butler—one of the six Boston Conservatory alumni involved in the production of Wicked—spoke to students about her industry experience.

Alumni
Jazz Trumpet Player; Fluegelhorn Player; Educator
Class of 1989 (Brass)
Ingrid Jensen B.M. '98

Trumpet and flugelhorn player Ingrid Jensen ’89 came to Berklee by way of Nanaimo, British Columbia. An award-winning musician, she has been considered a standout jazz trumpeter since the release of her first album, Vernal Fields (ENJA, 1995), which won a Juno Award. Jensen subsequently made two more acclaimed albums with ENJA and found herself in demand as a leader and a session musician.

Alumni
Musical technology specialist; composer
Class of 2005 (Film Scoring Department)

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

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
Director, Google; Project Leader, GoogleX Project Loon
Class of 1984

"I learned more about creative thinking at Berklee than I did at Harvard Business School,” Cassidy said, referencing the time he spent studying jazz piano at Berklee and his graduate work at Harvard.

Alumni
Bassist; Violinist; Saxophonist
Class of 1970 (Bass)

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
Designer, Los Olivos Recording Studios
Class of 1996 (Percussion, Songwriting)
Beto Hale

We’ve been hearing about Beto Hale’s new studio in Los Angeles for almost as long as it’s existed. His new project's backstory can be found in what brought him from a kid banging on pots and pans in Mexico City to where he is today.

Alumni
Composer; Educator
Class of 1976 (Composition)
Michael Gandolfi

Michael Gandolfi combines a deep understanding of classical music with an equally rich background in rock, blues, and jazz to create his stunning compositions. His distinctively contemporary music distills all of his experiences to produce works that have been performed and recorded by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, and many more.

Alumni
Independent electronica artist
Class of 2004

Satya Hinduja ‘04, who was a film scoring major at Berklee, has studied at Berklee and Dubspot, scored films in Bollywood, DJed throughout the world, and examined neurolinguistic programming and kinesiology. Her latest project is called Alchemic Sonic Environment.

Alumni
Guitarist; Composer
Class of 1973 (Guitar)

A master of his art, John Scofield has been a major figure in the guitar world since the 1970s. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1973, he set out on a stellar career, playing music that ranges from jazz to funk to R&B. For more than four decades, he has been a major jazz influence as a guitarist and composer.

Alumni
Recorder Player; Vocalist; Composer
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
Record Producer (Kanye West, Fun.)
Class of 1999
Jeff Bhasker

Musical ability and imagination plus technical finesse in the studio have turned Jeff Bhasker’s career red hot.

Pages