Berklee Today

Final Cadence

Beni Braun '98 of Marietta, GA, died on September 14, 2001, of complications following a bone marrow transplant treatment for leukemia. He was 22. Braun was a drummer who had been playing with various jazz and fusion groups in the Atlanta area. If you wish to contact his family, send e-mail to

Alto saxophonist Fred Bootzin '90 of Costa Mesa, CA, died on October 16, 2001, in his sleep. Bootzin was 38 and had worked as a musician for Carnival Cruise Lines.

Saxophonist Christopher Ashton '89 of Newport, RI, died on December 11, 2001, at Newport Hospital. He was 28. Ashton was formerly a music teacher in the Jamestown, Rhode Island, public schools and was the founder and director of several Rhode Island youth and community orchestras and jazz and marching bands.

Thomas Creed '89 of Leominster, MA, died on October 3, 2001, after an illness. He was 42. He was a professional keyboardist and a member of the Massachusetts Organ Society.

Katma Deborah Nottage '82 of New Bedford, MA, died on November 16, 2001 after a long illness. She was 45. A gifted drummer, Nottage had toured with the Stan Kenton Band and other groups.

William Wheeler '75 of Oakland, ME, died on December 19, 2001 at Waterville Hospital. He was 52. In addition to studying at Berklee, Wheeler had studied at Coburn Classical Institute and Tufts University. He played with a band called the Imposters and worked as a recording engineer at Klarity Multimedia.

John Johnson '76 of Bangor, ME, died of cancer on November 12, 2001, at his home. He was 44. A guitarist, Johnson was a well- respected player and teacher and was studying music education at the University of Maine. He leaves his wife Stephanie and daughter Emily.

Peter Mackey '74 of Stoughton, MA, died on October 22, 2001. He was 48. In his younger years, Mackey had toured the country with bands as a guitarist and bassist. Most recently, he worked as a real estate agent in Randolph, MA.

Retired Piano Department faculty member Dean Earl '54 of Wareham, MA, died on January 14, 2002. He was 87. In the 1930s he worked with vaudeville acts and later played with such artists as Charlie Parker, Bobby Hackett, Slam Stewart, Sonny Stitt, and Ben Webster. Earl taught at Berklee for over 30 years. Among his students were Bruce Hornsby, Cyrus Chestnut, many members of the current faculty, and scores of other acclaimed musicians from around the world.

Piano Department Assistant Professor Jacques Paoli of Newton Highland, MA, died on September 26, 2001. He was 60. A gifted pianist, Paoli was an alumnus of the Sorbonne in Paris. He had taught at Berklee since 1973, and as a pianist, composer, and arranger he worked extensively with jazz groups in America and Europe. He leaves his wife Beverly and his daughter Danielle.

Percussion Department Assistant Professor Ed Kaspik of Needham, MA, died December 8, 2001, at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. He was 55. A graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, Kaspik had worked with a wide range of top jazz musicians including Lenny Breau, Joe Lovano, and Mike Stern. He taught at Berklee for 27 years and was a guest lecturer at many college and other educational forums. He leaves his wife Sheila and his daughters Julie and Ellen.

Former faculty member Hank Hankinson of Warren, RI, died on November 19, 2001, at Rhode Island Hospital. He was 64. Hankinson taught at Berklee for 25 years and worked as a professional musician.

Word has reached us that Gabriel Stabile '47 of West Bridgewater, MA, Samuel Weiss '49 of Santa Monica, CA, George Pajak '50 of Feeding Hills, MA, George Bushee '51 of Boston, John Traister '56 of Bentonville, VA, Joan Zaccadelli '57 of Waldoboro, ME, John Steven Lester '73 of New York/Florida, and Robert Weiss '85 of Woodstock, NY, have also passed away.