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.
Alex Lacamoire, who graduated from Berklee in 1995, has earned Tony Awards for his orchestration work on musicals Hamilton, In the Heights, and Dear Evan Hansen.
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.
Alan Silvestri, one of the most prolific and celebrated film composers in Hollywood, credits his years at Berklee College of Music as the impetus for his career. Life at Berklee in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he said in an interview, “was just filled with the greatest living talent in the jazz world. ... You were living in that environment and receiving as much by osmosis as by direct teaching. It had a huge impact.”
Kiesza, whose full name is Kiesa Rae Ellestad, blazed into fame after her YouTube video “Hideaway” received nearly 60 million views in 2014.
Drummer and percussionist Demian Arriaga was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. At age 19, he moved to Boston to attend Berklee, graduating in 2004. He has performed with a variety of musicians including Iggy Azalea, Richie Kotzen, and the Jonas Brothers, among others.
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.
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.
Donny McCaslin ’88 is perhaps best known as the saxophonist on David Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, released days before the singer’s death in early 2016. But McCaslin’s life as a musician stretches back to playing with his father’s band at age 12 in California as well as to years in the New York jazz world.
Formed in 2012 by a team of Berklee graduates, Hexany Audio specializes in music production, sound design, and voice-over for video games.
Panpipe virtuoso Damian Draghici ’98 swapped a celebrated music career for a seat in the European Parliament to campaign for Roma rights.
Like his dynamic drumming style, Thomas Pridgen started off strong from a very young age. At 5, he was drumming in church, encouraged by his grandmother. At 9, he won a Guitar Center Drum-Off, besting contestants decades older. At 15, he won a four-year scholarship to Berklee, the youngest recipient in its history. He graduated in 2003.
Jett Galindo B.M. '12 is one of the most sought-after mastering engineers in the industry, and it’s no wonder with her incredible work ethic. We managed to catch her in the studio between sessions and ask her some questions about how she ended up where she is today.
Trumpet player and arranger Rashawn Ross ’00 is probably best known as a touring member of the Dave Matthews Band, but his range of experiences is not confined to one group. Hailing from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, he knew while he was still in high school that music was his calling. He took to performing with local dance and calypso bands, and after high school, he came to Berklee to study. After graduation, he was working as a session musician when he played on stage with the Dave Matthews Band for the first time in June of 2005.
Musical ability and imagination plus technical finesse in the studio have turned Jeff Bhasker’s career red hot.
A native of Mumbai, India, and a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Clint Valladares serves as the managing director of the Berklee India Exchange. Since joining Berklee as a staff member in 2009, Valladares built capacity within the Berklee City Music Network®, a network of community organizations across the United States and Canada committed to delivering high-quality contemporary music instruction to youth from underserved communities, to create a richer consortium of like-minded organizations.
New Jersey native and bassist Jeff Apruzzese '08 studied music business/management at Berklee. In his final semester, he cofounded the indie-electronica group Passion Pit, and spent the next eight years playing to festivals and stadiums with the band.
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?”
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.
When we caught wind that Steve Corn’s record label, BFM Jazz, had three releases that were nominated for five Grammys this year, we had to get the story of this jazz record label that has somehow not only survived into the digital age but flourished in the pop age, and the Berklee alumnus behind it.