Alum Notes: L.A. Newsbriefs
Summer's here and it's already been a great year for many of our alumni. As noted on page six, Berklee has been well represented in the various 2002 entertainment industry awards shows that have taken place since January. While the alumni presence in this year's Oscar listings is especially notable, the success of our music and sound editors, as evidenced in the Golden Reel Awards, is an exciting indication of Berklee's growing influence in that field. Perhaps not all of the names mentioned in that article will be familiar, but it is apparent that they are held in high esteem within their respective peer groups.
The Grammy Awards show, held in February at the Staples Center in Los Angeles also involved a number of alumni performers. Mihoko Tokoro '85 sang backup for the band U2 and reported that working with Bono was a memorable experience. Five-time Latin-Grammy-winner Alejandro Sanz performed with a band that featured Neil Stubenhaus '75 on bass, Vinnie Colaiuta '75 on drums, Michael Thompson '75 on guitar, and Eric Marienthal '79 on saxophone.
In the world of film and television, the list of recent credits is also impressive. Joey Newman '98 continues to be busy co-composing the music for the ABC series Once and Again, with W.G. Snuffy Walden, as well as providing orchestrations for NBC's The West Wing. For all you online game fans, Joey is also working on new music for Lineage: The Blood Pledge. Jan Stevens '81 composed the music to the hit NBC series Scrubs, which will return in the coveted Thursday-night line-up this fall.
Kevin Kliesch '92 composed the score to Gentle Ben, a movie produced by and aired on the Animal Planet cable channel. In addition to being signed to score the Gentle Ben sequel, Kliesch is about to begin work on the Miramax features Dracula 2: Resurrection and Dracula 3: Ascension. He is also set to orchestrate a new Jackie Chan movie entitled The Tuxedo.
Alumni Chapter President and Berklee Trustee Leanne Summers '88 served as both vocal producer and performer on the season finale of The West Wing. Her work as vocal producer has also been featured on ABC's The Drew Carey Show, the WB television sitcom Nikki, and the recent TNT movie The Big Time, which was scored by Stanley Clarke. Trevor Howard '94, currently the assistant composer on the popular series Judging Amy, has recently completed the scoring of a new Miramax feature entitled The Swordsman II.
Sharon Farber '97 scored the recent independent features The Brothers Grim and Running at Midnite. In addition, Farber also serves as conductor/musical director and arranger for the choir L.A. Shir. Shie Rozow '97 worked as assistant music editor on the comedy feature A View From the Top, which stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Mike Myers, and Kelly Preston. Karl Preusser '94 scored the recent independent feature Ronnie, which was shown at this year's Slamdance Film Festival. Scott Roewe '84 has been working as assistant composer on the hit CBS series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Veteran producer Roy Shakked '93 recently created a new label called Groove Gravy Records, and their first release is a disc by the band Tao of Groove called Fresh Goods, which has been receiving excellent reviews.
Niacin, a band that features John Novello '73 on Hammond B3 and synthesizer, Billy Sheehan on bass, and Dennis Chambers on drums has just released Time Crunch, the band's fourth CD on Magna Carta Records. John also leads the Los Angeles-based band Threshold featuring Eric Marienthal on sax. The band recently did a live recording at the Baked Potato jazz club.
As for alumni sightings on television, Andrew Dorsett was seen on The Early Show (CBS) with the Darren Hayes band (Hayes was formerly with Savage Garden). Bassist Ian Martin '96 continues to tour with MCA recording artist Res. The band recently performed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Bassist Eric Holden '99 recently performed on ABC's Good Morning America with singer Josh Groban.
Guitarist Matthew Hager, who cowrote the Mandy Moore hit "When I Talk to You," also wrote a string arrangement for Scott Weiland, singer for the Stone Temple Pilots. Additionally, he wrote and produced tracks for the upcoming Verve release by Mindi Abair '91. Meanwhile, guitarist Carl Verheyen '75 has been rehearsing in Paris for a European summer tour with Supertramp.
For those of you who have experienced the world of big band music, the name Sammy Nestico will no doubt be familiar. In celebration of his 78th birthday, Nestico recently released a new CD entitled This Is the Moment. Among the featured performers are Dick Nash '53 on trombone and Vinnie Colaiuta '75 on drums.
That's it for now. Stay in touch.