Berklee Today

Final Cadence

Alfred Loconto '48 of Worcester, MA, passed away on November 7, 2006, at St. Mary Health Care Center. He was 88. Between 1934 and 1983, Loconto played regularly with the Perry Conte Orchestra and continued to play on occasion until 2000. He also worked for the Providence and Worcester Railroad and was a U.S. army veteran of World War II. Loconto leaves his wife, Regina, three sons, two daughters, eight grandchildren, and a great grandson.

John Biddle '70 of Somerset, MA, died December 13 at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was 59. Biddle grew up in Smyrna, DE, and attended Berklee after graduating from high school. He was a motorcycle mechanic and owned North East Anglers in West Bridgewater, MA. He leaves his wife, Shirley (Pace) Biddle.

Alan Shavarsh Gardner '72 of Bath, ME, died suddenly of heart failure on November 9. He was 56. Gardner was a virtuoso on the oud and the G clarinet, and had studied Middle Eastern music in addition to contemporary American styles at Berklee. He was the director of the Bates College Big Band and the Bowdoin College Middle East Ensemble and was an active performer. Gardner also operated a martial arts studio in Bath. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Susan (Steer) Gardner.

Leonard Mascaro III '73 of Wrentham, MA, died unexpectedly at his home on September 2. He was 56. After attending Berklee, Mascaro earned a master's degree in business administration at Boston College. He worked for AT&T and was a U.S. Air Force veteran who served during the Vietnam War.

Wayne King '75 of Nashville, TN, passed away in his sleep on November 1. He was 58. King was a multi-instrumentalist who taught bluegrass and band instruments as well as piano, drums, and guitar at Artisan Guitars in Nashville. During his career, King taught many prominent Nashville musicians, including noted guitarist Justin Thompson. During his Berklee years, King was a protégé of William Leavitt.

Kostos Simos '76 of Athens, Greece, passed away on September 30 after a battle with cancer. He was 57. Simos left his native Patras, Greece, to study at Berklee. Following graduation, he taught music in Boston and organized a choral group for the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of New England. In addition to his wife, Tasia (Tsigkeli) Simos, he leaves two sons and a daughter.

Brian Markey '82 of Shrewsbury, MA, died September 17 after a struggle with multiple system atrophy. He was 47. Markey worked as a software engineer and a computer consultant. He was also an accomplished bassist and keyboardist. He leaves his wife, Diane (Fay) Markey; a son, and two daughters.

Dennis Babin II '96 of Salem, MA, died unexpectedly on December 10 at home. He was 29. Babin was employed as a drum instructor at Joe's Drum Shop in Beverly, MA, and played with several bands around Boston's North Shore.

Ahmet Ertegun H'91 of New York City passed away on December 14 as a result of injuries sustained in a fall backstage at a Rolling Stones concert. A towering figure in the history of pop music, Ertegun founded Atlantic Records in 1947. He discovered, signed, promoted, and/or produced Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Cream, the Bee Gees, Led Zeppelin, John Coltrane, Roberta Flack, the Allman Brothers, Genesis, Stevie Nicks, the Blues Brothers, Tori Amos, and Phil Collins, among others. He is survived by his wife Mica.

Saxophonist Michael Brecker H'04 died on January 13 after a battle with leukemia. He was 57. Brecker won 11 Grammy Awards during a spectacular career spanning four decades. He collaborated with many of the brightest lights of the pop and jazz world. Brecker is regarded as one of the most influential saxophonists of his generation. He completed a final recording two weeks before his passing. Brecker leaves his wife Susan, daughter Jessica, and son Sam.