Berklee Today

Alumni Beat

Adrian Ross '96
Photo by Paul Foley

Happy summer to everyone! Since my last update, we've held lots of events. On February 2, the Chicago Alumni Chapter hosted its first alumni showcase at the Elbo Room. The show attracted nearly 50 people and featured some of the best performers in the city. On the bill were chapter coordinator Steve Nixon and the VooDoo Kings, Aaron Fox, Jason Stolarik, Thomas Costanzo, Sabina Lilly, and John Paris. Thanks to all who came to network and perform.

The following week, in Boston, a group of alumni gathered for a tax preparation seminar hosted by Associate Professor Marty Dennehy. The February 9 event covered many items pertinent to the working musician, including write-offs, deductions, 1099 forms, and more. The same clinic was offered for our New York alumni at the Park Central New York Hotel on February 18.

The San Francisco Alumni Chapter hosted an Alumni Showcase on February 29 and drew an enthusiastic crowd of locals in addition to area alumni. The music ranged from world music to jazz to pop and featured Kenni, Patti Weiss, Spencer Burrows, Michele Evans, Teri Untala, Tamas Marius, Ralph Hammer, Gary Boggs, and Chris Vibberts. The Florida Alumni Chapter held its first-ever Alumni Showcase on March 4 in collaboration with the nonprofit organization ArtServe. On the bill were Zach Ziskin, Henry Francis, David Gregorisch, Ava Tracht-Landman, Alan Palanker, Ron Brinoon, Bob Folse, and Melissa Axel. I'll go to Florida as we continue to build this new chapter. On March 11 the Boston Alumni Chapter honored John Hagon at the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Conference. Hagon will step down from his position as chair of the Music Education Department, where he has served for over 20 years. Many alumni stopped by the reception to wish him well and to mingle a bit. We are pleased that Hagon will stay on as a member of the Music Education Department faculty.

On March 16, Mark Small and I traveled to Minneapolis to present Mark Brodin '88 with the Berklee today Recognition Award. Brodin, who won a regional Emmy for the documentary Delafield which he wrote and produced, was profiled in the Spring 2004 Berklee today. He graciously accepted the award and gave a presentation about the challenges he faced in producing the film. His talk was fascinating and prompted a lively discussion about change in Minneapolis and the Midwest as a whole. Congratulations once again to Mark for the Emmy and for his great work.

  (From the left): Alumnus Mark Brodin '88 receives the Berklee today Recognition Award from Berklee today magazine's editor Mark Small at an alumni event in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in March.
  Adrian Ross

For a second year in a row, a tight-knit group of alumni gathered at the Sugar Cane restaurant in Brooklyn for a reunion. The event took place on March 23 and was spearheaded by Deena Anderson and Damon Duewhite. A good time was had by all, and we look forward to next year's get-together! The Boston Alumni Chapter was fortunate to host another event coinciding with a special exhibit at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. The work of impressionist painter Paul Gauguin was the focus of the exhibit. Following a brunch held in Berklee's David Friend Recital Hall, Henry Tate, professor of art history, guided the alumni in a tour and lecture about Gauguin. Our sincere thanks go to Henry for sharing his expertise. On the same day, an alumni reception was held in Philadelphia to recognize Berklee's collaboration with the Mt. Airie Cultural Center Music Program. The reception and concert, held at the Grover Washington Jr. Middle School, featured the Jaleel Shaw Ensemble and Mt. Airy Cultural Center student and faculty ensembles. It was a great event and we look forward to more.

  (From the left): Percussionist Franco Pinna '00, singer Marta Gomez '02, and guitarist Julio Santillan '01 performed at New York's Cutting Room for an alumni showcase on April 4.
  Adrian Ross

On April 4, the New York Alumni Chapter hosted an Alumni Showcase at the Cutting Room that may have been one of the best yet. Act after act delivered stellar performances, leaving the audience wanting more. Stars of the evening included Karen Ires, Tom Papadatos, Sean Driscoll, Zambri, David Blake, Larry Edoff, Polina, Marta Gomez, and Sorenson & Mechlowicz. Later that month, the Boston Alumni Chapter held its own showcase at the Hard Rock Cafe. Performers quickly became acclimated to the venue and delivered an unparalleled evening of music. On the bill were Chad LaMarsh, Kate Schutt, Pamela Martinez, Jerome Kyles, Dave Cowan, Karen Fiore, Velvet Stylus, and Ken Field and the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble. On May 17, the Berklee Scholarship Jazz Ensemble led by Assistant Chair of the Percussion Department Yuron Israel, performed at New York's legendary Blue Note jazz club. The group played flawlessly; and represented Berklee's students well. On the bandstand were Nir Felder on guitar, Donald Lee on tenor saxophone, Andrew Jones on drums, Hidemi Murase on vibraphone, and Esperanza Spalding on bass.

That's it until next time!

-Adrian Ross '96
Director, Alumni Affairs

Upcoming Events:

  • New York Pro Tools masterclass, Summer 2004
  • San Francisco Technology masterclass, Fall 2004
  • Boston Vineyard Vibes, July 22-25
  • Boston Website workshop, Fall 2004

Click here to see all upcoming Alumni Events.

Click here to contact your chapter president.