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, got her Bachelor of Music in 1980, and subsequently joined the Boston punk band the Young Snakes. Her singing, performing, and recording career spans decades.
Chilean piano player and composer Orión Morales worked with Danilo Pérez and Patricia Pérez, inspired by their work in Chile, Panama, and Boston, before being accepted to the Berklee Global Jazz Institute graduate program. Now he is the vice-chair of Projazz in Chile, the leading music institution of his country and Berklee's international partner.
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.
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.
Tanya Noel Hill’s career as a music editor for such films as Elf and The Jungle Book began with her father, who once surprised her with a guitar she coveted despite its high cost. Then a teenager, Hill was so encouraged by his support of her dreams that she pursued her musical goals and ended up attending Berklee. She majored in film scoring and graduated in 1995.
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.
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?”
Jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer ’89, a two-time Grammy nominee, has built a successful career by creating unusual and compelling music with a wide range of artists, from singers such as Diana Krall '83 to bassists such as Christian McBride, and rock stars such as Sting. Since his teenage days playing with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Wisconsin native Keezer has toured all over the world, playing with giants of jazz like Joshua Redman, Pat Metheny '96H, and Wayne Shorter ‘99H.
Fully charting Mindi Abair’s career as a saxophonist would be as dizzying as reading the long lists of accolades she has garnered. Having been a saxophonist on American Idol, toured with Aerosmith, appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, played at the Grand Ole Opry, recorded multiple albums, and received several Grammy nominations, Abair is at the top of her game.
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.
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.
As a teenager, Neil Jacobson ’99 set his sights on becoming a record label executive. After 15 years at Interscope Records, he now occupies the president's office at Geffen Records.