Alumni Profiles

Alumni
Singer-Songwriter; Producer
Class of 1999 (Music Business/Management, Voice)
Makeba Riddick '99

Makeba Riddick, an award-winning singer-songwriter and producer, is successful by any standard. She has worked with Rihanna and Beyoncé, collaborated with David Guetta and Tamar Braxton, and produced songs for Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey. With nine no. 1 records, three Grammy nominations, and one Grammy to her credit, her star continues to rise.

Alumni
Jazz Trumpet Player; Fluegelhorn Player; Educator
Class of 1989 (Brass)

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
Sound Designer/Editor
Gearty at the 2012 Academy Awards Ceremony.

Eugene Gearty '82 is an Oscar and Emmy-winning film sound designer and editor (Hugo, Boardwalk Empire) whose lengthy list of credits include Life of Pi, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Do The Right Thing, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.

Alumni
Composer

Composer Kazuma Jinnouchi ’02 has always dreamed of doing work that could cross cultural boundaries. After growing up in Japan and then attending Berklee College of Music, he returned to Japan to work on two Metal Gear Solid games with Konami and Kojima Productions. When he moved back to the U.S. in 2011, he was hired by 343 Industries to work on Halo 4, and though just one of his tracks was in the first volume of Halo’s soundtrack, the second volume had nine of his songs. Now, for Halo 5: Guardians, he’s composing the game’s entire soundtrack.

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
Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute

Grammy Award–winning pianist and composer Danilo Pérez is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. In just over a decade, his distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz—incorporating the music of the Americas, folkloric music, and world music—has attracted critical acclaim and loyal audiences.

Alumni
Lighting Programmer, Lighting Designer

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
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
Guitarist; Songwriter
Class of 2009 (Guitar)

Nili Brosh was only 18 and a Berklee College of Music student when she shot to YouTube fame. In her 2007 video, she was practicing guitar in her family home in Newton, Massachusetts, playing a solo originally performed by her hero, Guthrie Govan. Two years and 120,000 views later, Brosh had attained a form of modern celebrity. She didn’t waver from her studies, though, graduating summa cum laude in 2009 even while she performed with the Nili Brosh Band in the Boston area.

Alumni
Pianist; Composer
Class of 2013 (Jazz Composition)

Hailing from Havana, Cuba, pianist and composer Dayramir Gonzalez ’13 is known as an advocate for traditional Cuban music, including the danzón. He has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Havana Jazz Festival, among others. His album Grand Concourse was released in 2016 and he is the cofounder of the Art School of Contemporary Performance and Creativity. The school provides comprehensive music education to New York City elementary school students.

Alumni
Composer/Saxophonist
Class of 1981 (Composition, Jazz Composition, , Woodwinds)
Daniel Schnyder with his saxophone
The Backstory

Daniel Schnyder '81 grew up in Switzerland in the ‘60s and ‘70s. His mother was a professor of French and history, and his father was an archaeologist, art history professor, and a musician in his spare time who would frequently bring home bizarre and foreign instruments from all over the world, particularly the Middle East.

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
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
Singer-Songwriter; Multi-Instrumentalist
Class of 1980 (Voice)

Aimee Mann discovered her voice in punk rock during her years at Berklee College of Music in the late 1970s. The iconoclastic singer, who also plays multiple instruments, enrolled at Berklee in 1978 but left a few years later to join the Boston punk band the Young Snakes. Her singing, performing, and recording career spans decades.

Alumni
Songwriter; Composer; Producer

A songwriter for television series, documentaries, and commercials, Alejandra Jimenez ’13 is a Colombian songwriter, composer, and producer who has established an impressive resume for a young musician. Jimenez has been studying music since she was six-years-old. She won her first award for songwriting at age 18 and went on to receive a bachelor of music degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia. Subsequently, she moved to Boston to attend Berklee on a full scholarship from the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers.

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
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
Singer-Songwriter; Guitarist
Class of 1992 (Songwriting)

Gillian Welch '92, celebrated for her spare but beautiful voice and lyrics expressed in Americana, bluegrass, and Appalachian music, has singled out the rewards of a simple exercise she learned at Berklee. Asked the most important takeaway, she answered without hesitation: “Object writing, no question.” A 10-minute morning exercise as a tool to stimulate creativity helped this acclaimed singer-songwriter find her unique voice. 

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
Vocalist
Class of 2009 (Voice, Ensemble)

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 . 

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