The Alumni Beat

From the left: Jose Godur ’94, Javier Samayoa, Elsen Torres, Roberto Jimenez, Sebastian Krys, Daniel Diaz, Pedro Guzman ’04, and Oswaldo Rossi.
From the left: Jose Godur ’94 (president, Union Records), Javier Samayoa (Berklee student), Elsen Torres (Cuban songwriter), Roberto Jimenez (Berklee student), Sebastian Krys (Grammy-winning producer), Daniel Diaz (Berklee student), Pedro Guzman ’04 (A&R, Universal Music), and Oswaldo Rossi (director of business and legal affairs, EMI Music, Latin America). Samayoa, Jimenez, and Diaz organized a panel discussion for alumni featuring influential figures in Latin music during the Billboard Latin Music Conference & Awards in April in Miami.

Graduation has come and gone, and it’s time to welcome the class of 2007 into the Berklee College of Music alumni network. Take the time to introduce yourself to the online alumni community by visiting Berklee’s alumni website at And in this column, I’ll give our new alumni an overview of some of the recent happenings.

Two of our more popular annual alumni gatherings are the reception at the IAJE conference (held in New York this year) and the alumni brunch in Santa Monica coinciding with the NAMM show. Both events take place in January each year and offer opportunities for alumni to meet one another. Earlier this year, Berklee held its first event at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. The evening included a performance by the Berklee City Music All-Stars and a reception for Seattle alumni.

Singer Paula Cole ’90 returned to campus in February for her first performance in seven years. She sang to a packed house at the Berklee Performance Center. It was a great concert, and we wish Cole all the best. On February 20, there was an alumni panel featuring Dawaun Parker ’05, Walter Beasley ’84, and Marlon Saunders ’87 that was hosted by the Black Student Union and the Office of Alumni Affairs during the Black History Month Music Celebration. This was our first alumni panel under the umbrella of Berklee’s Black Music Programming/Africana Studies Committee led by Professor Bill Banfield, and it got things off to a great start.

Berklee today held a magazine release party in Los Angeles at the Jimmy Stewart Screening Room on the Sony lot on February 27. Brian Transeau ’89 (also known as BT, who appeared on the cover of the Spring 2007 issue) and Professor Richard Boulanger held an open discussion of Transeau’s career highlights for an audience of Los Angeles alumni.

Boston alumni gathered at the Park Plaza Hotel for a reception during the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Conference on March 2. On March 16, an alumni reception and the Pete Townsend Rewind show were held at Friends Bar in Austin, Texas, in tandem with the South by Southwest Festival. Alumni and current students performed songs by Townsend and the Who.

On March 19, Berklee alumni, students, staff, and faculty kicked up their heels at a reception that was part of the annual spring break trip to Nashville. Also in March, Music Business/Management Department faculty member Martin Dennehy held tax information sessions for Boston and New York alumni. On March 26 and 28, President Roger Brown hosted his annual lunch on campus for Berklee’s staff and faculty members who are alumni. On March 26, there was an alumni reception preceding another outstanding Singers’ Showcase concert at the Berklee Performance Center. Simultaneously in New York, we saw many new faces at an alumni reception during Berklee night at the Blue Note Jazz Club for a performance by a student ensemble directed by Visiting Professor Terri Lyne Carrington.

On April 2, New York alumni turned out for an alumni showcase at one of our favorite locations, the Cutting Room, owned by alumnus Steve Walter ’78. Thank you to Joe Kara ’94, Jennifer Link ’99, Dawaun Parker ’05, Justin Siegel ’03, and Gregg Stein ’00 who returned to campus to participate in an alumni panel on April 18.

On April 23, we held an alumni reception at the InterContinental in Miami during the Billboard Latin Music Conference. Thirty students, plus MP&E faculty members Rob Jaczko and Dan Thompson, traveled to Miami for the conference and the reception. Later, I traveled to Atlanta to connect with Berklee’s Atlanta Alumni Chapter coordinator, Michael Trammel, and with Atlanta alumni. Look for more happenings in these alumni chapter communities.

We are currently accepting submissions for the 2007–2008 Alumni Grant Program. Visit the alumni website at for further details and applications.

That’s all for now. Enjoy the summer, and keep in touch.