Alumnotes

Class of 1975

Charles Xavier of San Bruno, CA released his sixth CD, Happy Note Records Sampler 2016, on October 14. Xavier’s single “The Dreamer” is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Class of 1978

William Garrett, the owner of Electracraft studios in New York City and Los Angeles, has been named the studio manager and chief engineer at Spotify’s new studio in New York City. The studio team will work on producing original content for Spotify with a variety of artists. Garrett continues to run Electracraft studios and his podcast Room Tone.

Class of 1979

Performer and music instructor Jonathan Lax of Summit, NJ, performed at the 2016 International Trumpet Guild Conference in Anaheim, CA. Lax’s general music students participated in the Smithsonian Institute’s Jazz Appreciation Month.

Class of 1982

Drummer Zoro of Brentwood, TN, penned the book Soar! 9 Proven Keys for Unlocking Your Limitless Potential. It is available at Barnes & Noble Amazon.com.

Class of 1984

Don Breithaupt of Santa Monica, CA, released the album Left in June with his band Monkey House. The album features guest appearances by Steely Dan alumni Jay Graydon, Elliott Randall, Drew Zingg, and Michael Leonhart. Also joining Breithaupt were songwriter Marc Jordan, saxophonist Donny McCaslin ’88, and vocalists David Blamires and Lucy Woodward.

Woodwind player David Ganc of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, released his fifth album Nocturne: David Ganc Interprets Chamber Music of Nivaldo Ornelas. The artistic product from his Ph.D. research, the album pays tribute to the legendary Brazilian tenor sax player and composer Ornelas. Visit davidganc.com.

Class of 1985

Paul Godwin of Montara, CA, and fellow alumnus Miguel Noya ’81 comprise the electronic duo Dogon. The duo is currently on tour in the United States and Europe. Their latest album All My Relations (at peace) is available on iTunes and features Berklee alumni Kai Eckhardt ’84 and Michael Rivard ’84.

Vocalist Alyssa Landry of Yerres, France, is performing in the musical Sweeny Todd in performances at theaters and opera houses across France.

Marc J Stasio of South Plainfield, NJ, serves as professor and managing director of jazz studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers. He teaches composition and arranging based on “The Hidden Score,” with a blog and upcoming publications under that title. Stasio is currently pursuing his doctorate. Visit marcstasio.com.

Multi-platinum selling vocalist Alexia Vassiliou of Cyprus, was the star of the concert “Alexia Live at the Acropolis” on October 4. The show at the Ancient Theater of Herodio marked her 35 years in the industry with a retrospective of her 45 albums. The show’s producer was Antigoni Yiallouridou ’97. Visit alexiamusic.com.

Class of 1986

Sacred Sound musician Todd Glacy of Portland, ME, released the album Instrument of Love, a collection of original songs. Glacy also recently completed an East Coast tour of concerts, talks, and workshops. Visit sacredsoundandliving.com.

Michael Lord of Valley Village, CA, composed theme music and underscore for NBC’s upcoming one-hour prime time game show The Wall, hosted by Chris Hardwick. Lord also composed theme music for Fox syndicated talk show Hollywood Today Live and underscore for Mar Vista Entertainment’s features IT List and You Cast a Spell on Me.

Jazz composer and saxophonist Tommy Smith of Larkhall, Scotland, released the album Modern Jacobite featuring his new symphonic work “Jacobite” and his re-imaginings of the music of Rachmaninoff and Chick Corea. Visit spartacusrecords.com.

Class of 1987

Futurist and author Gerd Leonhard of Arlesheim, Switzerland, penned the book Technology vs Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine. Visit techvshuman.com.

Class of 1988

Saxophonist Donny McCaslin and his band will make their Motéma Music debut with the release of Beyond Now, a new album dedicated to David Bowie. The project is influenced by the group’s extraordinary experience collaborating with Bowie on his final album Blackstar.

Class of 1989

Organist Christoph Bull of Los Angeles, CA, is the organist-in-residence at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. Bull was featured on pipe organ on the Ghostbusters 2016 soundtrack composed by Theodore Shapiro.

Pianist Regan Willocks of St. Croix, U.S.V.I., released CD Smooth Sailing, a compilation of jazz grooves from St. Croix featuring original compositions and covers. Visit his YouTube channel.

Class of 1990

Bassist John Baldwin of Chesapeake, VA, is touring with Rockin’ Road to Dublin, a musical combining Irish-dancers with a live Celtic-rock band. Visit rockinroadtodublin.com.

Composer Laura Siersema of Greenfield, MA, began recording piano parts for her piece Aberfan for seven pianos, percussion, voice, and tools of rescue. The work commemorates the 1966 coal waste mountain collapse in Aberfan, Wales that killed 144 people. Visit lauarasiersema.com.

Class of 1992

Jay Jennings of Burbank, CA, is the sound designer for the upcoming Dreamworks film Trolls. Jennings has previously served as sound editor, sound designer, or sound effects editor for such films as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, Spectral, and Now You See Me 2.

Jan Uwe Leisse of Cologne/Germany was the legal adviser for the award-winning documentary and album I Go Back Home starring Jimmy Scott, Joe Pesci, and David Sanborn. The film premiered at SXSW 2016, and was presented by Quincy Jones ’51 at the Montreux Jazz Festival in July. Visit i-go-back-home.com.

Class of 1994

Rob Lewis of Los Angeles, CA, will serve as the musical director for the new Spike TV show Tracks. Christina Aguilera is the executive producer of the music-based game show.

“Metal” Mike Chlasciak of Wayne, NJ, cowrote several songs on the album Songs from the Garage with Saturday Night Live alumnus Jim Breuer, including the album’s single “Old School” cowritten with Breuer, Rob Caggiano, and Joan Jett. Visit metalmike.net.

Class of 1995

Shane Adams of Nashville, TN, wrote the book The Singer-Songwriter’s Guide to Recording in the Home Studio, published by Berklee Press. It is a primer for setting up and effectively using home studio equipment.

Educator, musician, and ordained minister Jetro Da Silva of Redondo Beach, CA, released the book Music and the People of God, available on Amazon.com.

Class of 1996

Guitarist Julián Graciano of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has published Method Tango Guitar with Melos/Ricordi. Astor Piazolla’s guitarist Horacio Malvicino praises the book, stating that it contains “the necessary secrets to play our tango.” Visit juliangraciano.wixsite.com.

Class of 1997

Shie Rozow of Santa Clarita, CA, released his debut CD Musical Fantasy on 4Tay Records. The album features performances by the Lyris Quartet, violist Luke Maurer, pianist Robert Thies, and the final recording of the late French horn player Brian O’Connor. Visit shierozow.com.

Class of 1998

Gerard Salonga of Paranque City, Philippines, was recently named the assistant conductor for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

Class of 1999

Vocalist Maureen Murphy of Nashville, TN, is currently touring with Zac Brown Band and STS9. She has been featured on the albums The Universe Inside by STS9, Fuego by Phish, and Jekyll + Hyde by the Zac Brown Band. Murphy has performed at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Fenway Park, Wembley Arena in London, and more.

Drummer Chuck van Haecke of North Hollywood, CA, played drums, edited, and coproduced two songs for Epically Cracked’s self titled record. The album was recently reviewed in JazzTimes magazine.

Class of 2000

Guitarist Gustavo Assis-Brasil released a songbook including full scores and guitar tab for his album Chromatic Dialogues. Visit gustavoassisbrasil.com.

Class of 2001

Matthew Cahoon of Providence, RI, signed a worldwide deal with the diverse record label, Tabletop Records. Dedicated to artist individuality, the label will release new music, support his back catalogue of seven previous albums; and offer support for future tours, releases, and events.

Christopher “Kip” Jones of St. Paul, MN, together with the other members of the string quartet Ethel, will receive an honorary doctoral degree from Denison University during its 2017 commencement ceremony.

Sebastian Mueller of Koln, Germany, and the band Colonel Petrov’s Good Judgment, released their debut album on Moral Machine Records in September. Visit moralmachine.de.

Saxophonist and Barbados native Elan Trotman, and his band Elan Trotman’s Tropicality released the album Double Take in July. Trotman also founded the non-profit Never Lose Your Drive, whose mission is to fund music programs for children in Barbados. Visit neverloseyourdrive.com.

Class of 2002

John Shannon of Brooklyn, NY, played the guitar parts heard in the TV show Louie from 2010 to 2015. The song “Dreams,” which he penned and recorded with his band theShift, reached number 5 on the charts in Peru. Benjamin Geis ’04 and M.J. Lambert ’04 are also members of theShift.

Erich (Geinert) Wald of Waretown, NJ, co-wrote and released “STRONG” a song to benefit children battling cancer. The song features Patrick Whelan and students at the Brackman Middle School. “STRONG” can be viewed on YouTube and purchased on iTunes. All proceeds will be donated to Ocean of Love youth cancer charity in New Jersey.

Class of 2003

Nick Gomez of Santa Monica, CA, recently released The Deep Burn, his fifth album as an indie rock artist. Featured on the album are Joshua Zeigler ’03 and Jon Gustaitis ’95. Gomez has also been touring with the band Naked Eyes, producing for punk-rock legend Billy Bones, and cowriting music for a 10-episode web series for the Verizon Go90 app entitled “Oscar Mic.”

Jin Soo Kim of Seoul, South Korea, released the EP entitled Fly in the Sky available on iTunes.

Alejandro López Maciel of Mexico City, Mexico, released the single: “Si Las Vacas Fueran Honestas” (“If the Cows Were Honest”). This year Maciel launched his career as a Latin-country artist. The single is available in all major digital music retailers.

Saxophonist Walter Smith III was appointed associate professor of music in jazz studies at The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in August.

Bassist Annie Clements of Nashville, TN, is touring with Amos Lee. Clements also plays with the American Country music duo Sugarland.

Class of 2004

In August, comedian Eric André of Los Angeles, CA, began his fourth season as the host of The Eric André Show on Comedy Central.

Ethan Brosh of Boston, MA, played guitar on a song by Michael Sweet (of the band Stryper) that was released in August on RatPak Records.

Vasco Hexel of London, England, wrote the detailed, 200-page film score guide for the Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard score for the movie The Dark Knight. The book is published by Rowman & Littlefield.

In June, producer Pedro Milman of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, presented his label, recording studio, and licensing platform Sputnik Phonograms at the Midem music industry event in Cannes, France. Visit sputnik.mus.br.

Class of 2005

Bruno Miranda of Brandon, FL, recently released the Latin-jazz album Mosaico. He worked as the music director for gospel artist Dr. Ron Kenoly from 2005 to 2009 and was nominated for a 2015 Latin Grammy award as an engineer. Visit brunomirandamusic.com.

Shantell Ogden of Nashville, TN, was nominated by the International Music and Entertainment Association as the Americana Artist of the Year. Ogden’s new album The Road that Drives Me, was released on September 13th. Visit shantellogden.com.

Class of 2006

Dave Reffett is the main music teacher at the Nanjing Foreign Language School in Jiangsu Province, China. The school was ranked number 13 in mainland China for the volume of students it prepares to enter top American universities. As an artist and performer he continues to play at festivals and clubs throughout Asia.

Class of 2007

Guitarist Dani Rabin of Chicago, IL, and his band Marbin has sold more than 30,000 albums worldwide and gained a devoted fan base through grassroots touring efforts. Hear the band’s music at marbinmusic.com.

Colombian singer, songwriter, and bandleader Gregorio Uribe released the single “Viva Colombia” on July 20th to honor and celebrate Colombia’s independence day. Along with the original version Uribe made a remix.

Vocalist and songwriter Ayo Awosika of Los Angeles, CA, worked with Grammy-winning producer Scott Jacoby on her debut album We Best Not Wait. It features many notable musicians including Cory Henry of Snarky Puppy. Visit ayoawosika.com.

Steven Dagenais of Quito, Ecuador, produced the award-winning vinyl edition of the album Apis by Bueyes de Madera. Alex Alvear ’08 and Matías Alvear ’09 also worked on the project.

Anthony Giannotti of Aurora, CO, released his solo album There’s a System of Control under the name Elk Minister. The progressive rock album is available via Elk Minister Music in digital and physical formats.

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Gabrielle (Sadler) Louise of Western Slope, CO, released the album If the Static Clears on September 30 on Sandalwood Records. Visit gabriellelouise.com.

Paul Nowell of Los Angeles, CA, has launched a crowdfunding effort for a new trombone album fusing jazz, electronic, pop, and hip-hop entitled Journey to the World. To pre-order the album, visit pledgemusic.com/projects/paulthetrombonist.

Class of 2009

Chris Eberlein and Seiya Matsumiya ’10 of Los Angeles, CA, work at SYN, an international music production company headquartered in Japan. Eberlien and Matsumiya operate the company’s Los Angeles office. SYN was founded by Simon LeBon (Duran Duran), Yasmin LeBon, and Nick Wood to create music for advertising campaigns, movie trailers, commercials, and more.

In May, Ayeisha Mathis of Dorchester, MA, the music director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, accepted the Merit Award for Program Excellence in the Arts from the MetLife Foundation on behalf of her organization. Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester partners with Berklee to offer musical instruments, instruction, practice space, and recording equipment to 650 area youth.

Saxophonist Michael Wyatt II serves as co-founder and talent director for the award-winning jazz club & restaurant BLU Jazz+ in Akron, OH. DownBeat magazine named the venue one of the best jazz venues in the world in 2016. Wyatt has presented some of the biggest names in jazz since opening the club 2014.

Class of 2010

Hanna Barakat of Brooklyn, NY, presented a performance of her song “Leave Your Light On” for an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Visit hannabarakat.com.

Drummer and composer Mario Rodriguez of Chino, CA, released his first digital modern jazz album entitled Balance. Also featured on the album are Gerardo Chacón (bass), Joel Martinez (trombone), Gerald “Chipi” Chacón (trumpet), and Eric Chacón (woodwinds).

Drummer Tarun Balani of New Delhi, India, released the album Dharma with the Tarun Balani Collective. The title cut is currently on Apple Music’s Editor’s playlist in the jazz section. Visit tarunbalani.com.

Emma White of Nashville, TN, premiered her single “My Ex” exclusively on Spotify on August 19. Visit emmawhitemusic.com.

Guitarist Stanislaw Wyslouch of Brighton, MA, and banjoist Allison De Groot ’16 are members of the trio Molsky’s Mountain Drifters with renowned fiddler Bruce Molsky. The group released a new self-titled album featuring traditional and new material and will tour the East Coast throughout the fall.

Class of 2011

Ryan Edwards of Boston, MA, premiered his first orchestral score “Mabinte,” written in collaboration with fellow composer Patrick Greene on August 17. The piece was performed as a part of the Boston Landmark’s Orchestra evening titled “Footloose and Fancy Free.” Drummers from the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club and Camp Harbor View of Massachusetts were featured in the performance.

Luis Figueroa of Philadelphia, PA, signed an exclusive deal with Marc Anthony’s entertainment company Magnus Media. Figueroa also appeared on the hit TV show American Idol, and his YouTube channel has more than 3.2 million hits and 25,000 subscribers.

Matt Hines of Brookline, MA, works in the product management department of audio software company iZotope. Hines has participated in the development of the mastering program Ozone and VocalSynth, a new vocal-effects plug-in.

Vocalist Vesela Morova of Sofia, Bulgaria, collaborated with composer and pianist Lyubomir Denev on the album Night in the Jazz Club, a recording of Denev’s original compositions. Visit cdbaby.com/cd/lyubomirdenev1.

Yasmin Tayeby of Williston, VT, owns and operates Meadowlark Studios, a recording getaway for musicians who want an inspiring experience. The facility has two iso booths and a live room with 25-foot ceilings. Lodging options are available. Visit meadowlarkstudiosvt.com.

Zac Zinger of Woodside, NY, received a grant from the Asian Cultural Council to undertake a four-month residency in Japan in early 2017. During his residency, Zinger will study the Watazumido and Jiuta styles of shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute.

Class of 2012

Singer/songwriter Brie Capone of Asheville, NC, recorded her solo EP Orbit at Echo Mountain recording studios with producer Peter Brownlee ’13. Visit briecaponemusic.com.

Producer and instrumentalist Zach Kamins of Studio City, CA, released a rock-jazz album titled Magic Machine with his band An Endless Sporadic. Guest artists include Jordan Rudess, Roine Stolt, Jonas Reingold, Michael Iago Mellender, and Navene K.

Andrés Marín of Brooklyn, NY, and his neo-soul band Mostacho Xprmnt released a video for their song “Qué Mae Más Raro.” Marin is heard on drums with fellow alumni Songyi Jeon ’14 (vocals), Luis D’Elias ’14 (guitar), and Miguel Gallardo ’11 (keyboards). Daniel Alba ’14 was the mix engineer and Dave Lowenthal played bass. Visit mostachoxprmnt.com.

Jake Sherman of Brooklyn, NY, released the single “Let’s Be Friends” from his new album entitled Jake Sherman Returns. His album was released on October 14 on bandcamp. Visit thejakesherman.com.

Class of 2013

Singer-songwriter Bruna Lucchesi MM’13, of Curitiba, Brazil, has released her second album Ianai, which was produced and recorded during a six-day period of creative isolation in the countryside of southern Brazil. In October, Bruna embarked on a tour of the American East Coast with Las Muffins, a collective formed at Berklee Valencia. Visit brunalucchesi.com.

Class of 2013

Shilpa Ananth of Brooklyn, NY, was interviewed for and featured on Scott Haas’ new book Those Immigrants! Indians In America: A Psychological Exploration of Achievement.

Zayn Mohammed won the competition Guitar Star, a UK television show competition and was mentored by his guitar idol George Benson on the show. Mohammed later performed on the main stage at the UK music festival Latitude.

Class of 2014

John Moses MM’14, a Vermont native now living in Los Angeles, works in business affairs, licensing, and finance for Red Bull Records. He handles collections, creative synch pitches, and distribution. Moses also helps with production work at Santa Monica, CA, radio station KCRW for its round-the-clock music stream, “Eclectic 24.” He also coleads the record label Youngbloods. For more information visit weareyoungbloods.com.

Saxophonist Alexey León Reyes MM’14, originally from Manzanillo, Cuba, is working as a jazz musician in Spain collaborating with such performers as Perico Sambeat, Carlos Sarduy, Yoel Paez, Ivan Meón Lewis, Jesus Santandreu, and others. In 2015 he won the Premio Juan Claudio Cifuentes as best soloist. His quintet was chosen for the national jazz showcase Jazz Eñe hosted by Spain’s National Performing Rights Organization SGAE in Valencia. In July 2016, the group was named the best band at a jazz competition at Portón del jazz, in Málaga, Spain. Reyes also teaches saxophone, flute, clarinet ,and music theory at Sedajazz, Valencia. Visit alexeyleonreyes.com.

Class of 2014

Singer/songwriter Valentina Blú released the single “Another Sky” in collaboration with producer and sound designer Fernando Faneyte ’15. The song is an upbeat blend of percussion from Latin America and the Mediterranean, electronic sounds, and a catchy pop melody. Blú and Faneyte are currently working on an EP that will be released later this year.

Chris Macie of Enfield, NH, and his band Bow to None released the post-thrash metal album Warhorse late last year. It features singer Mike Bishop of the metal band GWAR singing lead vocals on the album’s opening track. Metalized magazine included Warhorse on their list of top metal albums for 2015

Class of 2015

Felipe Saalfeld MM’15 of Santiago, Chile, is an operations analyst for Live Nation Madrid. His duties include transversal optimization for all of the company’s processes from cost estimations to final settlements and budget control. Saalfeld also presents master classes lectures at Universidad Europea de Madrid, where Live Nation has partnered to teach the curriculum for a master’s degree in live entertainment. Live Nation is the global leader in the concert industry with presence in 37 countries drawing more than 530 million fans to their events.

Aimée Jagou MM’15 of Paris, France, and Marie Trifault cofounded AM, a Paris-based sound design company dedicated to the fashion and art sectors. AM offers sound illustration, sonic presentation, and profile image consulting services to a range of clients. This year they have worked with such brands as études and Lanvin. They also offer DJ services in collaboration with visual artists. Visit amsoundesign.com.

Music producer, sound designer, and musician David Acosta MM’15 of Quito, Ecuador, serves as a faculty member at both Universidad de los Hemisferios and Universidad De Las Americas. He also operates a music production studio called Addictive Sequences in Quito.

Class of 2015

CEO and founder of Golden Wish LLC, Kevin Clark of Allston, MA, landed in the number three spot in Improper Bostonian magazine’s feature “The Top 25 People Under 25.” Golden Wish is a music technology startup based in Boston. Visit improper.com/life-style/25-x-25.

Guitarist and singer Jacob George of Miami, FL, and the Jacob George Band recorded and mastered their debut album, Fight the Feeling, with help from faculty members Joe James and Jonathan Wyner. Visit jacobgeorgeband.com.

Composer Miseung Kang of Boston, MA, won the 2016 Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra Composition Competition with her piece “The Whale.” Kang also won the Billy Strayhorn Contest, which created in the opportunity to perform with the West Point Concert Band. Her composition was also heard at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2016 played by the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra.

Guitarist Gabriel Stillman of Williamsport, PA, has been touring with his blues band Gabe Stillman and the Billtown Giants.

Sergio Torres-Letelier of Los Angeles, CA, is scoring for the feature film The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop directed by Jennifer Potts. Visit audiomusicproductions.com.

Berklee Presidential Scholar and Charlie Parker Jazz Competition winner David Milazzo of Brooklyn, NY, has been accepted into the 2016 Jazz Masters program at Juilliard.

Alper Tuzcu of Istanbul, Turkey, and Danielle Angeloni ’15 make up songwriting duo Ark. They released their eclectic EP Lately in August worldwide on digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Class of 2016

Guitarist Ashlee Juno (Gilot), drummer Michel’Le Baptiste ’14, and keyboardist Lauren Fuller ’16 are currently touring with Fifth Harmony. For tour dates visit fifthharmony.com.