Alumnotes

Class of 1967

Dennis Pratt of Warwick, RI, together with Lloyd Kaplan and Tom Shaker, co-authored the book Treasury of RI Jazz & Swing Musicians. It includes 600 Ocean State musicians in its lists and profiles, with numerous Berklee alumni among them. Contact Pratt at bassdp@cox.net for ordering information.

Class of 1973

In December 2016, singer and songwriter B.J. Snowden of Billerica, MA, performed at festivals and served as an artist in residence at venues in Rotterdam, Holland, and in Belgium.

Class of 1974

Guitarist Joshua Breakstone of West New York, NJ, and his group the Cello Quartet released the album 88. Breakstone is joined by cellist Mike Richmond, bassist Lisle Atkinson, and drummer Andy Watson in a tribute to the great jazz pianists. Visit joshuabreakstone.com.

Drummer, composer, and producer, Jeffrey Meyer of New York City released his fifth solo album, Tango, featuring pianist Michael Pellera ’76, vocalist Woody Mann, saxophonist Tony Dagradi, and bassist Ed Wise. The album is available on iTunes.

Alan Palanker of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, composed, programmed, and produced the album Simple Things by Jazz Holdouts. The album features guitarist Michael Thompson ’75 and saxophonist Lou Cortelezzi. Visit jazzholdouts.com.

Class of 1975

James Bass of Ponchatoula, LA, has retired from teaching with the Gifted and Talented Program of Louisiana to compose original songs. Bass won the 2014 New Orleans Guitar Center King of the Blues contest and was named the Louisiana Northshore best blues performer of the year twice. He has released two CDs. Visit facebook.com/james.bass.902.

Composer, arranger, and producer Richard Niles of Mission Viejo, CA, and his jazz fusion orchestra Bandzilla released Bandzilla Rises!!! Among the featured guest artists are Leo Sayer, Randy Brecker, Lamont Dozier Jr., Clarice Assad, Kim Chandler, and Julia Suzanna Sokolowska. Visit bandzilla.net.

Class of 1978

Under the leadership of Ken Field of Cambridge, MA, Innova Recordings has released I Want That Sound!by Revolutionary Snake Ensemble. Early reviews were positive. For more information, visit kenfield.org.

Class of 1979

Composer and pianist Jawasnza Kobie of Wilmington, DE, was named a 2017 jazz composer resident artist at the Philadelphia Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Kobie is collaborating with playwright and Yale University drama professor Deborah Margolin on an original concept introducing young audiences to jazz music. The project will be performed at the Kimmel Center in May 2017. Visit jkobiemusic.com.

Class of 1980

In September, Ti Muntarbhorn of Los Angeles, CA, attended the Liverpool, England, premiere of the Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week, and was interviewed on Spencer Leigh’s BBC program On the Beat.

Class of 1981

Mark “Bear” Banschbach of Tampa, FL, published the book Canticle Reflections, a collection of meditations and studies in the canticles of the Bible. Visit facebook.com/BrBearOFS.

Class of 1982

Trombonist Steve Piermarini of Acton, MA, performed with the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra for its 2016 New Year’s Eve show. He also plays with the Hal McIntyre Orchestra and New Liberty Jazz Band and conducts the Leominster Colonial Band.

Karen DeBiasse of Somerville, MA, has written more than 300 songs, and placed 15 in independent films. Her band Girl on Top has won multiple contests. Visit karendebiasse.com.

Class of 1982

Osmar Barutti of São Paulo, Brazil is working as a piano player at TV Globo, São Paulo.

Class of 1983

Vocalist Gabriel Espinosa of Pella, IA, released his fourth album The Songs of Bacharach and Manzanero. It features alumni Tierney Sutton ’87 (vocals), Mauricio Zottarelli ’02 (drums), Hendrik Meurkens ’80 (harmonica), Misha Tsiganov ’92 (piano), Reubens de La Corte ’98 (guitar), and Jim Seeley ’80 (trumpet). Visit gabrielespinosamusic.com.

Class of 1984

Steven Corn of West Hills, CA, owns the BMF jazz label. Three BMF albums, The Sting Variations (Tierney Sutton Band), Way Back Home (Steve Gadd Band), and Kaleidoscope Eyes (John Daversa), earned five Grammy nominations this year. Visit bfmjazz.com.

Guitarist David Singley of Saint Paul, MN, released Good Hope, his first record in nearly two decades. For more information, visit davidsingley.com.

Class of 1985

Chris Kase of Madrid, Spain, published the book Arpeggiare: Practical Chordal Exercises for Trumpet with a foreword by Randy Brecker. It features downloadable audio content. Visit chriskase.com.

Class of 1986

Vocalist and songwriter Michéal Castaldo of New York City released the digital EP Temptation Down in Rio featuring eight version of the title track composed by Castaldo and Keith Edwards. Jose Feliciano sings and plays guitar on the EP. Visit youtube.com/watch?v=hkw6ad9lVgs.

Christian Jacob of Los Angeles, CA, composed themes for the film Sully. Tierney Sutton ’87 collaborated with director Clint Eastwood on the song “Flying Home” for the film, and the Tierney Sutton Band performed the music.

Experimental guitarist Kevin Kastning of Groton, MA, and fellow guitarist Sándor Szabó released the duet album Perspectives featuring nine original instrumental compositions. Visit kevinkastning.com.

Class of 1987

Bassist Gary Davenport of North Forth Myers, FL, recorded “Love Wins Again” for Janiva Magness, a 2017 Grammy nominee. Davenport is the musical director and bassist for Magness and began a tour in Mumbai, India, in February.

Bassist Jay Turner of Cockeysville, MD, finished his fifth solo recording, Art Music for Bass. JazzTimes described the CD as “a beautiful piece of music in a world desperately in need of such.” Visit jayaturner.net.

Class of 1989

Bassist, vocalist, composer, and songwriter Erik Applegate of Greeley, CO, was promoted to full professor of jazz studies at the University of Northern Colorado. He teaches bass, composition, and arranging, and is a leader in curriculum development. His latest CD Two’s Company features a collection of jazz duos. Visit erikapplegate.com.

Class of 1989

Doug Hammer of Lynn, MA, released his 11th album, Americana. It features Steve Chaggaris ’92, Dave Landoni ’85, and Brian Maes ’80, as well as Berklee faculty members Dave Buda and Jon Finn. Visit doughammer.net.

Guitarist and producer Brian Seeger of New Orleans, LA, and his band Organic Trio released the album Saturn’s Spell. It’s available on iTunes and Amazon. Visit organictrio.com.

Suzan Nutku Setel of Seattle, WA, is a music therapist working in senior memory care at Aegis in Seattle. She incorporates songwriting, bell choir, music meditation, and drum circles in her work. She earned a master’s degree in music therapy at Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia.

Class of 1992

Guitarist Hiroshi Kanda of Tokyo, Japan, is a professor of jazz and pop music at Nagoya University of Arts, teaching guitar, ensembles, jazz history, and popular music survey classes. He is an active performer in classical and jazz-pop styles.

Class of 1992

Composer Jason Eckardt of Kerhonkson, NY, had his solo guitar work “suspension/bridge” premiered by Jordan Dodson at the Philadelphia Philosophical Society on October 16, 2016. Guitarist Nico Couck and the Talea Ensemble will premiere his piece “Whorl” on February 17 at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY.

Jay Jennings of Burbank, CA, is the sound designer for the movie Transformers: The Last Knight and lead sound designer for the upcoming mega-shark thriller Meg (2018). Visit birdhousesound.com.

Class of 1993

Joe Kowalski of Boston, MA, scored the short film Olive & the Samurai, directed by Brendan Boogie and starring Porcelain Dalya. It was nominated in the Best New England Film category in the 2016 Massachusetts Independent Film Festival and selected for the Shawna Shea Film Festival.

Class of 1994

Guitarist “Metal Mike” Chlasciak of Wayne, NJ, led the Ultimate Metal Guitar Retreat at Slide Mountain Forest Resort in Big Indian, NY, in November 2016. The annual event focuses on developing guitar-playing skills for adult students.

Class of 1996

Composer Ron Gardner of Buffalo, NY gifted his orchestral work “Sanctuary of the Soul” to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in honor of the 75th anniversary of Kleinhans Music Hall. JoAnn Falletta conducted the piece twice.

Nicolas Meier of Guildford, England released the new album Infinity on Favored Nations, featuring Vinnie Colaiuta ’75 (drums) and Jimmy Haslip (bass) among others. Visit meiergroup.com.

Class of 1997

Turkish-born composer and bandleader Mehmet Ali Sanlikol of Belmont, MA, released Resolution, an album featuring Sanlikol’s compositions for jazz orchestra blending Turkish musical influences with jazz. Anat Cohen ’98, Tiger Okoshi ’75, Antonio Sanchez ’97, and Dave Liebman are featured on the album. It topped the list of editors’ picks in the October 2016 issue of DownBeat magazine.

Class of 1998

Michael Moutsopoulos of London, England, works in mixing and mastering, and uses novel techniques in music production. Visit michaelmoutsopoulos.com.

Class of 1999

Producer and songwriter Adeniyi “Synematik” Adelekan of Staten Island, NY, penned the songs “Ghetto Gold Dream” and “Like We Used To” for an EP by Interscope artist Polly A. In 2014 Adelekan wrote a song for Boyz II Men.

Class of 1999

Nicole (Luzaich) Fagone, a.k.a. “Sukhmani” of Palos Verdes Estates, CA, and her mantra-rock band Sukha are on the Grammy ballot in the Best New Age Album category for their album Rise. The band includes Tripp Dudley ’05 and Peter John Stoltzman ’99. Visit sukhatheband.com.

Serbian-born guitarist and composer Rale Micic of Bronx, NY, released Night Music, his fourth album as a leader. It features music dedicated to Béla Bartók and reimaginings of three Bartók compositions. Visit ralemicic.com.

Class of 2001

Alyosha Barreiro of Mexico City, Mexico, is an electronic musician, artist, and teacher. He produced this year’s Mexico City’s first Day of the Dead musical festival and celebration, which drew an audience of 100,000. Barreiro specializes in combining pre-Hispanic/Aztec and Mayan sounds and instruments with modern electronic beats.

Courtney Harrell of Sherman Oaks, CA, competed in the 11th season of The Voice on NBC, with fellow Berklee alumnus Kylie Rothfield ’12.

Nils de Mol van Otterloo of Pasadena, CA, is currently in Kochi, India, on a Fulbright grant doing research on music in dementia care and developing protocols for social workers and nurses to work in conjunction with musicians.

Darcie (Nicole) Sasson-Nadav was recently married in Israel and has launched a new online magazine/blog called Refooda Shelemah! Visit refooda.blogspot.com.

Guitarist John Shannon of Pittsburgh, PA, has recorded music for the hit TV show Louie on FX. He also cowrote the song “Following Sunlight” with Karsh Kale, which climbed to number one on India iTunes Charts. His band, theSHIFT had its song “Dreams” named as a top-five song in 2015 in Peru. Visit theshiftofficial.com.

Class of 2002

Composer David Rupley of Concord, CA, has released seven solo albums since graduating from Berklee. For more information and to hear his music, visit davidrupley.bandcamp.com.

Class of 2003

Daniel Eppel from Cape Town, South Africa recently composed, arranged and did music direction for a large-scale South African puppetry performance of Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird. Visit edibleaudio.co.za.

George Leonard III of Pawtucket, RI, and his band the Free Downloads were featured in the wedding scene of The Comedian, a film starring Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann and directed by Taylor Hackford. The band also performed three songs for the soundtrack.

Ricky Lionardi of Jakarta Barat, Indonesia, has been a film composer for more than 20 big-screen movies. Recently, he won best original score award at the 2016 Bandung Film Festival. Visit rickylionardi.com.

Class of 2004

Carmalita “Nikki” Glaspie of Scotch Plains, NJ, was featured in an article in Drum! Magazine. Visit nikkiglaspie.com.

Class of 2005

Julian Midon of Buenos Aires, Argentina, recorded the album The Jimi Hendrix Experimento with his electric trio Tres Pajaritos and vocalist Ayelen Zuker. Midon has also written the music for the musical play Babilonia for Teatro Nacional Cervantes. He’s currently touring the province of Buenos Aires with the children’s music show Volverte a Encontrar and teaches at Caemsa-Escuela de Música.

The album Mosaico by Bruno Miranda of Brandon, FL, was nominated for a 2016 Latin-Grammy award for best instrumental album.

Class of 2006

Dante Alexander Fazio of Atwater Village, CA, founded Transatlantic Audio Inc., and supervised the dialogue production for Mafia III, developed by Hanger 13 Games and published by 2K Games. He currently works at 20th Century Fox. Visit dantefazio.com.

Class of 2006

The album High Priestess by Ingrid Gerdes of Boston, MA, was nominated by Music Resource Group in the Blues Album of the Year category at the 15th Independent Music Awards. The winner will be selected from submissions by fans worldwide and industry insiders. Visit ingridgerdes.com.

Film composer Roman Kovalik of Los Angeles, CA, received diamond-level recognition at the International Independent Film Awards for his original score for the sci-fi movie Teleios. Visit romankovalik.com.

Class of 2007

Jake Hertzog of Fayetteville, AK, released his sixth studio album, Well Lit Shadow, a classical suite for solo electric guitar inspired by themes and images in particle physics. He is also a member of the music faculty at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Visit jakehertzog.com.

Singer-songwriter Gabrielle Louise (aka Gabrielle Sadler) of Cotopaxi, CO, released the album of original songs If the Static Clears in September 2016. Vocalist Megan Burtt ’07 was among the album’s guest musicians. Louise toured throughout Colorado and Texas during the fall. Visit gabriellelouise.com.

Class of 2007

Guitarist and vocalist Seth Little of Pasadena, CA, contributed to the album Revere | Restore, issued by Fuller Theological Seminary. It features arrangements and piano parts by Inji Jang ’12. Chris Hobson ’02 recorded, mixed, and mastered the album.

Ned Sedlak, Mike Beck ’01, and Maureen Lloren founded a label and publishing venture called Swoon City Music. Their first album release will be by artist Blond Ambition in April 2017. They have a worldwide distribution deal with Caroline Distribution, a division of Universal Music Group. Visit swooncitymusic.com.

Class of 2008

Cassie Brandi of Los Angeles, CA, has released her second EP Beautiful Surrender. The recording held the number one download spot on Noisetrade in the Christian/Gospel category and is available on iTunes, Spotify, and at cassiebrandi.com.

Class of 2009

Saxophonist Kyle Nasser of Brooklyn, NY, and the jazz quartet Beekman released Vol. 2, their second album. The group has toured New England, New York, and Chile. Visit beekmanmusic.com.

Class of 2010

Keyboardist Neara Russell of Los Angeles, CA, appeared with Skylar Grey on The Late Late Show with James Corden. She also performed at the Hellow Festival in Mexico with Betty Who ’13, and completed a headlining tour with artist Hayley Kiyoko. Russell’s solo EP Operator is now available. Visit neararussell.com.

Class of 2010

Guitarist and composer Brennan Dylan Pugh of Nashville, TN, and his band Men Without Armies were named Metal Group of the Year at 2016 IMEA Awards. The band will release its second CD, Strapped & Loaded followed by a U.S. tour. Visit reverbnation.com/menwithoutarmies.

Emma White of Nashville, TN, released the single “I Thought You Were the One,” which was a featured iTunes Country Hot Track. Visit emmawhitemusic.com.

Cellist Calin Peters of Cambridge, MA and her band the Ballroom Thieves released the album Deadeye. It is available on iTunes and Spotify. The band performed at the 2016 Berklee Alumni Showcase at AmericanaFest in Nashville. Visit ballroomthieves.com.

Class of 2011

Danielle Deckard of Vineland, NJ, moved to Sydney, Australia, after graduating from Berklee. Deckard is building her career there as an artist recording with local musicians and performing across the country. Her latest single is “Put That Ring Away.” Visit danielledeckard.com.

Class of 2012

Vocalist Young-Ae Jung of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, was the composer, lyricist, arranger, and producer for her second album, Because I Love You. Berklee assistant professor Jon Chase mixed and mastered the album. Visit young-aejung.com.

Class of 2012

Vocalist Marcella Camargo of São Paulo, Brazil, sang the song “A Chama Verde” from John Finbury’s album Imaginário. The song was nominated as Song of the Year for the 2016 Latin Grammys. Visit marcellacamargo.com.

Vicente Ortiz Gimeno of Los Angeles, CA, scored the Spanish action-comedy feature film Cuerpo de élite, produced by Oscar-winning producer Fernando Bovaira. A team of Berklee alumni working on the project included Victor álvarez Carracedo ’12, Amparo Edo Biol ’12, Javier G. F. Escudero ’13, Carles Delgado ’12, Gianni Gagliardi ’11, Guillermo Marin ’12, Pablo Trujillo ’11, and Alejandro Zorrilla ’12. The film premiered in movie theaters in Spain in August 2016. The soundtrack is available on Spotify and iTunes.

Guitarist Rob O’Block of Nashville, TN, a member of the Frank Foster band, is heard on the group’s latest CD Good Country Music. O’Block produced the album and wrote the song “Back Road Buzz.” The CD is available on iTunes. Visit frankfostermusic.com.

Class of 2013

Vocalist Haein Erin Lee of Seoul, South Korea, released her first digital single “El Camino” with pianist and arranger Kyung Hoon Min ‘16. Kurtis Changsoo Park ’11 produced the vocals, Jaehoon Lee ’00 mixed and mastered the song, and Hyeonwoo Kim ’13 shot the cover photo. Visit facebook.com/erinization.

Class of 2013

Bruce Gonzalez of Cartago, Costa Rica, was part of the production team and cowrote and arranged music for Melany Cubero’s pop-soul, Spanish language album Oscura Luz. Visit brucegonzalez.com.

Jerilyn Sawyer of Nashville, TN, and Alden Witt ’14 co-wrote Candi Carpenter’s latest single, “Burn The Bed.” It’s available on iTunes and Spotify. Visit candicarpenter.com.

Class of 2014

Vocalist Jelena Ciric MM’14 is working in Iceland with the groups Kórus and Kammerkór Suourlands and completing her first solo album.

Ricardo Curto MM’14 is the cofounder and artistic director of the Yamaha Music School Valencia. Visit www.ymsvalencia.com.

David Federman MM’14 of Toronto, Canada, scored four short films that premiered at film festivals in the fall of 2016. Visit federmusik.com.

Guitarist Alika Madis of Seattle, WA, released the EP Dirty Lyxx on the Seattle, WA, label Luna Records with band mates Stephen Baker ’13, Dan Whitelock ’17 and Lily Vasquez ’17. The group is planning tours on the West and East coasts in 2017. Visit dirtylyxx.com.

João Bruno Soeiro of Lisbon, Portugal, works at Cinelab film studio in Moscow, Russia. He is currently working on a film titled Viking, producing sessions in Moscow, Stockholm, and Athens.

Ankie Titulaer MM’14 opened an arts center in Valencia in January, that offers arts courses in English. The center also hosts expositions, performances, workshops, and concerts. Visit playgroundartcenter.com.

Chris Wade MM’14 is working at the creative studio Motive in New York City as the director of cultural innovation and strategy.

Guitarist Stephen McHale MM’14 of Dublin, Ireland, is a cofounder of the band BARQ, (barqmusic.com). He also releases solo material under the name Weird Glitches and plays sessions.

Class of 2015

Producer, composer, and sound designer Juan Fernando Cifuentes Moreta of Quito, Ecuador, is an associate professor at Escuela de Música at Universidad de las Américas Quito. Cifuentes Moreta is also the founder of the Ecuadorian Grooves project, which preserves Ecuadorian music heritage and ancestral Ecuadorian genres.

Jacob George of Miami, FL, and his group Jacob George Band recorded, produced, and mastered their album Fight the Feeling with the help of drummer Yitzi Peetluk ’16, guitarist Max Boydston ’15, and bassist Jeremy Cohen ’15, as well as Berklee faculty members Joe James and Jonathan Wyner. Visit jacobgeorgeband.com.

Class of 2015

Nicola Jane Buttigieg of London, England, works at Knightsbridge School as the head of digital technology. The school has developed a digital music program certificate designed to prepare students for secondary music education in both traditional and electronic-multimedia streams.

Felipe Guzmán Martinez of Los Angeles, CA, released the album En Todos Lados with the Felipe Guzmán Group on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play. Visit felipeguzmanmusic.com.

Stephanie Hernandez MM’15 has joined the marketing and sales team at iHeartMedia Inc., where she secures sponsorships and boosts digital promotions for local and national events.

Flutist and vocalist Briana Lewis MM’15 performs with a Connecticut pop-rock band and played Gary Coleman in Avenue Q at Chestnut Street Playhouse (CT). She also appeared in the music video series Anielle and Friends. Visit brianalewismusic.com.

Guido Arcella Diez MM’15 has been giving career advice to Mayan artists across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in coordination with the Haciendas del Mundo Maya Foundation. Visit www.facebook.com/4mayanseasons.

Class of 2016

Devin Campbell of Lady Lake, FL, is a production assistant at CBS Radio in Atlanta, GA.

Robert Gould of Fayetteville, GA, is working with new creative and logistic initiatives at Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI).

Andrea Lazzeretti of Buggiano, Italy, and his band Piqued Jacks opened for Interpol on the El Pintor world tour. The band also won a competition on the MTV-U show The Freshmen, and competitions at Arezzo Wave Love, Marea, and MusicaW festivals in Italy. Their latest LP release is titled Aerial Roots. Visit piquedjacks.com.

Garrett Gretsch MM’16 is working for the digital marketing department of Translation LLC, based in San Francisco and NYC.