James DeSimone ’52 of Natick, MA, passed away on July 3 after a long illness. He was 88. An accomplished jazz pianist, DeSimone had studied at Berklee before embarking on a musical career that spanned more than five decades and included giving solo performances, accompanying singers, and playing with various ensembles at venues in Boston, on Cape Cod, and at Hampton Beach. He is survived by his wife, Pamela, and two daughters.
Craig Herndon ’68 of Decatur, GA, died on June 8 at his home. He is survived by his wife, Sara Griffin McKoy; stepdaughter Carroll McKoy Knabe; and two grandsons.
Jazz drummer Steve Grover ’75 of Farmingdale, ME, died on July 7 at Maine General Hospital surrounded by his family. A cofounder of the Friends of Jazz, Grover presented jazz performances in hundreds of Maine schools and communities with visiting artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Tate, and Gray Sargent. Grover also released 10 albums featuring his original jazz compositions. He leaves his mother, Senja Grover, and brother Ralph.
Guitarist and songwriter Scott Lee Young ’80 passed away on Tuesday, June 28 at his home in Easton, PA, after a long-term illness. He was 60. Young’s original songs were influenced by progressive rock, blues, and jazz and he was a member of several bands that performed throughout the Northeast over the past 40 years. Young also earned his fourth-degree black belt in Korean swordsmanship and studied other martial arts. He leaves his daughter Mary and his parents.
Carol Sovinski of Sherman Oaks, CA, died on April 27. She was 55. Sovinski earned her bachelor’s degree at Berklee and her law degree from Pepperdine University. She worked as an entertainment lawyer and was the cofounder of Audiomachine, a digital music licensing company specializing in original music and sound design for film, television and video games.
Saxophonist George Robert ’84 of Lausanne, Switzerland died on March 14 after battling leukemia. He was 55. Robert graduated magna cum laude from Berklee in 1984 and later earned his master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. The roster of artists with whom he had worked includes Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lionel Hampton, Tom Harrell, and Clark Terry. In 1995, Robert was became the head of Jazzschule Bern, Europe’s oldest jazz school, and later founded his own jazz school in Lausanne. His last recordings were a duet album with Kenny Barron, and a quartet CD titled New Life.
George Ulrich ’81 of Roslindale, MA, a jazz musician as well as computer programmer, and avid bicyclist, died February 23 from a rare form of cancer. He was 63. Ulrich played professionally for years and worked as a computer programmer. He leaves his wife, Judy Flam, and daughters Liza and Zoe Ulrich.
James Berton Elliott ’86 of Easthampton, NY, passed away on August 14. He was 48. A bass guitarist, Elliott played with the St. Johnny Band and Red Door Exchange. He leaves his parents, Charles and Terry Elliott, and his brother Joseph.
Guitarist Eric Miller of Farmington, CT, died on June 5. He was 58. Miller had played with Rick Springfield and Lionel Richie and others during his career as a sideman. He leaves his fiancée, Nancy Nordgren, daughters Quinn and Natalie Miller, and his father Sherman Miller, and brother Scott Miller.
Corey Devlin ’08 of Evanston, IL, passed away on May 9 after a bout with colon cancer. He was 31. A rock and metal guitarist, Devlin was a student of associate professor Joe Stump. He played frequently with his band Dead on TV in the Chicago area. He leaves his parents Michael and Susan Devlin, his brother, Matthew, and sister, Tracey.