Alumni Profiles

Alumni
Guitarist; Composer
Class of 1975 (Guitar)

The bluesy style and blistering chops of Mike Stern have made him an electric guitar icon for more than four decades. An eclectic and virtuoso guitarist and composer, he first gained notice playing with Blood, Sweat & Tears; Billy Cobham; and Joe Henderson.

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
Singer-Songwriter; DJ; Producer

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

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.

Alumni
CEO; Cofounder of BFM Jazz Records
A picture of Steve Corn '84 sitting in front of a piano

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.

Alumni

Since graduating from Berklee, Caili O’Doherty has followed her passions for composition, performance, education, and humanitarian work, performing at several of the world’s top jazz festivals and teaching at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and with the WeBop early-childhood jazz education program.

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

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
Guitarist; Singer; Composer; Producer
Class of 1979 (Guitar)

Known for his virtuosity and style, Steve Vai has had a long and enviable career as a guitarist, singer, composer, and producer.

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
Pianist; Composer
Class of 2003 (Jazz Composition)

Born in Hamamatsu, Japan, Hiromi started piano lessons at age 6 with a teacher who taught her to focus on the intuitive side of the instrument as well as the technical. When she subsequently studied at the Yamaha School of Music, she had already learned about jazz pianists like Oscar Peterson and had written her own compositions.

Alumni
Class of 1951
1951 Schillinger House graduate Eugene Carrescia

Gene Carrescia '51, a member of the first-ever graduating class of the Schillinger House, has been making music for over 70 years, including during World War II. 

The Backstory

Eugene Carrescia was born in 1925 in Massachusetts. His father, who made a living as a musician traveling across the country with circuses, started teaching him to play the trumpet at 10 years old. In high school, Carrescia was already playing in nightclubs as well as in his high school band as drum major.

Alumni
Vocalist; Qanun Player
Class of 2012

Ali Amr is a vocalist and qanun performer. His work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music while it forges ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. Amr was honored with three advanced Marcel Khalife Competition prizes as the Best Arabic Music Performer, 2004-2007.

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