Berklee Today


1960s  -  1970s  -  1980s  -  1990s  -  2000s

Gene Perla of Whitehouse Station, NJ, is a professor of music business and bass at Lehigh University and runs a studio called the System doing remote recording, remixing, voice-overs and more. He plays with the band Stone Alliance and has operated indie record labels.

Pianist/arraner Bob Shallue of Fairfield, CT, works with MMM Productions, a dance and theater group. Shallue recently reconnected with trumpeter Maynard Ferguson with whom he played in the 1960s.

  John Ferrara '70

Pianist John Ferrara of Clinton Corners, NY, released the CD Intervals of Light on Blue Sun Records. The disc's 12 cuts include standards and originals arranged by Ferrara. Visit

Composer/keyboardist John Novello of Valley Village, CA, has released a new CD, titled Organik, with his band Niacin featuring drummer Dennis Chambers and bassist Billy Sheehan. Niacin is currently touring Asia and the United States.

Singer/songwriter B.J. Snowden of Billerica, MA performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show on September 2.

Laurie Cohen of Mill Valley, CA, is the founder, director, and conductor of the Mill Valley Philharmonic orchestra. For its fifth season, the orchestra premiered the Marimba Concerto of composer Alexis Alrich.

Kenneth Fordyce of Seattle, WA, operates Mirror Sound, a five-room, 24-track studio in Seattle. Visit

Hal Goldstein of Florida, NY, writes music for the television shows Dateline, America's Most Wanted, Home Delivery, A Current Affair, Inside Edition, and others. He recently composed music with guitarist Adrian Belew and played blues harp at a tribute concert for the late Mindy Jostyn '76 in Woodstock, NY.

Rick Pasek of Rahway, NJ, was the guitarist and musical director for Gloria Gaynor's recordings I Will Survive (Live from Brazil) and Gloria Gaynor Live. He is currently recording a CD of contemporary Christian music with his wife, Karen.

Guitarist/vocalist Bill McGoldrick of Norfolk, MA, plays in the Boston area with the band Temptation. He is also the vice president of sales for Immediate Connections in Boston.

Pianist/composer Emil Viklicky of Prague, Czech Republic, and his jazz trio performed at the Kennedy Center with Zuzana Lapikova in The Rebel's Wife, a multimedia presentation inspired by Moravian folklore.

Latin percussionist Bobby Sanabria of Bronx, NY, was recently voted percussionist of the year by the readers of DRUM! magazine. In addition to his touring and recording, Sanabria gave a keynote address to Fordham University's Latino students on September 16.

Aaron Aranita '80  

Saxophonist Aaron Aranita of Waipahu, HI, released a new CD, titled Don't Stop the Feeling, for Sugartown Records. The disc features 14 of Aranita's jazz originals. Visit

Guitarist Bruce Arnold of New York City released the CDs Disklaimer with keyboardist Tom Hamilton and String Theory with pianist/composer Ursel Schlicht. Arnold also directed New York University's summer guitar program. Visit

The Jazz Journalists Association recently named Claire Daly of New York City baritone saxophonist of the year. She also won the Downbeat critics poll as a rising star on baritone in Downbeat's August issue. Visit

Guitarist Paul Nelson of Stamford, CT, played on the song "Anthem for Tonight" from the Halifax CD The Inevitability of a Strange World. He also played with Katrina Chester's Band at Canadian summer music festivals. Visit

Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Kaline of San Francisco, CA, and his band the Sons of Emperor Norton have released a CD of political humor songs titled The Putrid Minds Anthology: Battle Hymns for the Blue States. Visit

Steve Lucente of Annapolis, MD, is a clinical psychologist working in a correctional detention center. He says his skills as a jazz trombonist influence how he approaches his work with patients.

Saxophonist Rodolfo Reyes of Caracas, Venezuela, learned that his album Marejada Feliz with the group Saxomania was preselected as a nominee for a Latin Grammy in the Best Salsa Album category.

Bassist David Gold of Newton, MA, spent a month in Conakry, Guinea, studying djembe and Malinke music with drum master Famoudou Konaté.

John Haidemenos, Jr., of Lincoln, RI, was named Rhode Island Elementary Principal of the Year and a National Distinguished Principal. Haidemenos is the principal at Potter-Burns Elementary School in Pawtucket, RI, and a jazz pianist/composer.

Benjamin Smeall of Green Bay, WI, instructs string students and leads the string orchestra at Notre Dame of De Pere Elementary and Middle School in De Pere, WI.

Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Tom Hambridge of Nashville, TN, has signed a publishing deal with EMI. He is on tour to support his album Bang 'n Roll, opening for George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Flutist David Ganc of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, released his fourth CD, Pixinguinha + Benedito, with Mário Sève. His Interpretary Tom Jobim CD was nominated for a TIM prize for best instrumental group. Visit

Singer/pianist Barry Rocklin performed on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas in September and in November will appear at Maxim's in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Guitarist/composer Michael Nicolella of Seattle, WA, released the CD Shard, featuring Nicolella's guitar concerto with Anthony Spain conducting the Northwest Symphony Orchestra. The disc also includes eight other works for classical and electric guitar. Visit

Ellen O'Brien of New York City was a finalist in the recent Boston POPSearch contest and has released a self-titled CD of pop, smooth jazz, blues, and soul with a backup band featuring Rick Marotta, Jeremy Berlin, and William Galison.

Guitarist/composer Kenny Carr of Wallington, NJ, released his debut CD, Friday at Five, featuring saxophonist Donny McCaslin '88 among others. Visit

  Gordon Beadle '87

Blues saxophonist Gordon Beadle of Cambridge, MA, released a new CD, titled Live at the Sax Blast on the Rounder label. He recently completed tours that took him across Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States and was nominated for a 2005 W.C. Handy Award. Visit

Cliff Brodsky of Hollywood, CA, is producing a hip-hop/rock project by the artist Optimus.

Bassist Terje Gewelt of Oslo, Norway, released a new duo recording entitled Hope with pianist Christian Jacob '86. The disc features three originals among the nine cuts. Visit

Nando Lauria of Recife, Brazil, recently completed a world tour with the Pat Metheny Group. Lauria sang and played guitars, percussion, vibes, melodica, and flugelhorn on the tour.

Vince Leffler of Memphis, TN, produced, played guitar and bass, and cowrote several tracks on the Crossway Worship Band's latest album, Crossway Worship Volume 4. Visit

Fritz Renold of Schönenwerd, Switzerland, is the founder and producer of the annual jazz festival in Aarau, Switzerland. The festival brings in musicians from all over Europe and beyond,including many Berklee alumni.

Singer/songwriter Kathie Touin of London, England, released Butterfly Bones, her third CD. Touin performed all instruments and vocals on the disc's 15 cuts. Visit

Stephen B. Ward of New York City was promoted to assistant professor of music technology at Mercy College in White Plains, NY.

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tracy Bonham of Brooklyn, NY, released Blink the Brightest on Zoë/Rounder Records. Last summer, Bonham appeared with the Wayfaring Strangers and the Boston Pops and performed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Visit

Paul Glass of Ridgefield, CT, received an Emmy Award in the Music Direction and Composition in a Drama Series category for his work on One Life to Live. This is his fourth Emmy.

Joe Stoebenau of Sinking Spring, PA, has filmed a guitar instructional video titled Barre Chord Secrets Revealed. He also plays French horn with the Sacred Orchestra with Dave Stahl. Visit

Karen Guthery of Stevenson Ranch, CA, served in various musical capacities on the recent feature films Catwoman, Constantine, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Spanglish, and was an orchestrator for Stuart Little 3. Guthery composed the score for the short film The Boardwalk Spy and Other Stories.

Sitarist and vocalist, Chris Hale of Keene, NH, released the CD Satsang with his group Aradha. The group plays devotional songs in Hindi from the northern Indian tradition Yeshu Bhakti (devotion to Jesus Christ). Visit

(From the left): Jordan Scannella '02, Sam Hooper '90, and Akira Nakamura '01  

Guitarist Sam Hooper of Somerville, MA, released a new CD, titled East, with his trio recorded in China. Bassist Jordan Scannella '02 and drummer Akira Nakamura '01 joined Hooper on the outing. Visit

Dean Johnston of Dedham, MA, and his Boston-based groove band SuperHoney have received three Boston Music Awards as outstanding funk band. Johnston was featured in the October 2005 issue of Modern Drummer magazine. Visit

Bassist Chris Sharkey of New Orleans, LA, and his group the Jazz Jockeys won the Bourbon St. battle of the bands earlier this year at the French Quarter Festival.

Saxophonist/vocalist Mindi Abair of Hollywood, CA, performed her song "Flirt" with her band and the Montclair Women's Big Band for the Grammy Foundation's Women on Top Mavericks in Music event. Matthew Hager '91 played guitar and Karen Guthery '90 wrote the big band arrangement. Visit

Pianist Joan Barton of Los Angeles, CA, is a commercial composer and songwriter. She has arranged and played keyboards for Bill Ward of Black Sabbath on several albums and operates Bare Bones Productions with her husband, producer Barry Goldberg. Their clients include Snoop Dogg, the Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, and others. Visit

Vocalist Lori Cotler of Somers, NY, coproduced and performed on the CD Rhythms of Awakening with Grammy winning percussionist/composer Glen Velez. Visit

  Sophie Dunér '93

Singer/composer Sophie Dunér recorded a new jazz album with CIMP records in New York in September. She also received a grant to return to the Stockhausen Courses for Music in Germany last August. Visit

Colin Keenan of Los Angeles, CA, and his band Touched released their debut CD, Ugly, with drummer Patrick Aldous '92 and the late Wes Wehmiller '92 playing bass. Shawn Pierce '94 produced and mixed the album. Visit

Songwriter and drummer David Spak released his debut CD, The Storm, on Annecy records in May. He has recorded and performed with various artists, including r&b singer India.Arie and country artists Blake Shelton and Mindy McCready. Visit

Drummer Denis Stilke of Berlin, Germany, wrote all the jazz compositions appearing on his first album with the Denis Stilke Quartet, titled In Pieces.

Adam Kummins of Hollywood, CA, is intellectual property administrator for E! Entertainment Television. Kummins is also a singer/songwriter.

Vibist Matthias Lupri of Boston, MA, toured the United, Canada and Europe with performances at the Montreal and North Sea jazz festivals. He is recording a new CD with Myron Walden and Donny McCaslin '88.

Brothers Robert and Steven Morris of New York City wrote the new musical titled Once Around the Sun, which ran at the Zipper Theater on 37th Street in New York from July 27 through September 18.

Drummer Nate Morton of Sherman Oaks, CA, is the drummer for the house band of the television show Rock Star: INXS, which aires on CBS and VH1.

Gary Benson of Cotati, CA, performs with his band Earstu, an experimental trio with accordion, six-string bass, and drums. They played with Les Claypool in San Francisco and have recorded a CD. Visit

Vocalist Jon Dowling of New York City finished 12 new songs for his new recording, Trials & Tribulations. Producers John Degrazio, Drew Manzano, and Rodney Jerkins worked on the project. Dowling is playing and shopping for a record deal. Visit

Julián Graciano of Buenos Aires, Argentina, recorded a new CD titled Vangardia 05 with Duo Graciano, his contemporary tango guitar duo. The disc features original compositions and arrangements of classic tangos. Visit

Jon Rowe of Yardley, PA, has been hired as a full-time professor at Mercer County Community College in the Business and Technology Division. Rowe earned advanced degrees from Temple University after graduating from Berklee.

Composer Robert Bennett of Los Angeles, CA, composed music for the feature film Edison and the video game The Matrix: Path of Neo. Bennett has assisted composer Hans Zimmer on Black Hawk Down and other films.

Vibraphonist and composer Oli Bott of Berlin, Germany, released his second CD, Inside Out, with guitarist Thomas Wallisch '97. Bott has arranged Mozart's Linzer Sinfonie for jazz orchestra. Bott's work A Journey with Mozart was performed in September in Vienna. Visit

Vocalist Jose Conde of Brooklyn, NY, released his Ay!Que Rico . . . Seconds CD and plays with his band Ola Fresca throughout the United States. Visit

Stefan Held of Brooklyn, NY, is playing for the production of Hairspray on Broadway, and served as the musical director, bassist, and arranger for Grammy-nominated vocalist Marty Thomas.

Composer Vincent Gillioz of Burbank, CA, won the SUISA Prize for best score at the 58th Locarno International Film Festival for his work on the film God's Waiting List. Visit

Chip Greene of Nashville, TN, recently released an EP titled Ominous and is currently putting the finishing touches on a full-length CD. Visit

Drummer Rudy Miller of Nashville, TN, is touring with country artist Steve Azar (Mercury Records artist). Visit

Tyra Neftzger of Brentwood, TN, released the children's CD So Misunderstood, a companion to the book All That the Dog Ever Wanted. The book text was written by Neftzger's wife, Amy. Visit

James Auburn (Tootle) of Allston, MA, writes reviews for, the official site for Hip-Hop collective the Roots.

Brad Bietry of Colorado Springs, CO, released a CD of originals and standards titled Skylark featuring his quartet. Visit

Jeffrey Parks of Philadelphia, PA, is programming manager for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. He is responsible for jazz, world, and pop programming, as well as strategic planning and budgeting.

Jorge Farall of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is performing and recording with famed Argentine singer/songwriter Adrian Abonizio.

Brian Zamek of Sound Beach, NY, was appointed the director of bands at Suffolk County Community College in Selden, NY. He also teaches music history and theory classes and previously taught in New York, Connecticut, and Colorado.

Woodwinds player Anat Cohen of Astoria, NY, has released her debut CD, titled Place & Time, which includes six original pieces. Cohen is aided by pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Ben Street, and drummer Jeff Ballard. Cohen's brother Avishai plays trumpet on one track. Visit

Brooke Fox '98  

Singer/songwriter Brooke Fox of Brooklyn, NY, released a CD of pop-rock songs titled Breathe the Same Air. David Spak '93 played drums and Jim Lightman '89 played bass and engineered the recording. Visit

Bassist Whynot Jansveld of Brooklyn, NY, has been touring the United States, Europe, and Australia with Gavin DeGraw. The band has appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live with Regis & Kelly, and Good Morning America.

Pianist Karin Okada of Brooklyn, NY, and her quintet play every Thursday night at Ciao Stella in Greenwich Village. Visit

Songwriter Andrea Stolpe of Nashville, TN, had her song "You Stay with Me" recorded by Faith Hill on her new album, Fireflies. Stolpe is a staff writer for Universal Music Publishing Group.

Amy Marie Beauchamp of North Hollywood, CA, served as a feature film composer, songwriter, and producer for the film Rize, directed by David LaChapelle. The Rize soundtrack was released in June.

Organist Marco Benevento of Franklin Lakes, NJ, together with drummer Joe Russo, won the Jammie Award for best groove of 2005 at a recent competition in New York. They later performed at the Bonnaroo Music & Festival in Tennessee with Mike Gordon of Phish. Visit

Guitarist Sean McGowan of Rockport, ME, has published the guitar pieces he composed for his River Coffee CD. Contact him at

  Alma Micic '99

Vocalist Alma (Vucinic) Micic of Bronx, NY, released her debut album, Introducing Alma, and is receiving reviews in the international jazz press and airplay on public radio and satellite radio stations. Visit

Guitarist Avi Rothbard of New York City released his second CD Twin Song,with his trio, plus guest saxophonist Wayne Escoffery. Visit

Ajda Snyder of Cambridge, MA, and her band Turkish Queen released an EP titled Cusp. The group has been reviewed in a Turkish newspaper. Visit

Vocalist Carey Yaruss of Glastonbury, CT, completed a disc of pop-rock and ballads featuring titles by Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, George Gershwin, and others. Visit

Deena Marie Coppola of Fairfield, CT, has released the contemporary pop Christian CD And Then I See You for Plum Cerichio Records. Her song "Take My Hand" was used in the film The Mentor written by Pete De Lorenzo. Visit

C.J. DeAngelus, Jr., of Pasadena, CA, is the musical director of Repo! The Genetic Opera and is the musical director of the Opera of the Foothills in Pasadena for its 2005-2006 season. DeAngelus performs regularly with various choral groups, is the director of music at Marshall Fundamental School, and is the assistant director of the Pasadena All-Star Band.

Patrick Galligan of Brooklyn, NY, and his band Hermitt are featured in the new movie, Last Days by Academy Award-winning director Gus Van Sant. They play original music on camera and have two songs on the soundtrack. Visit

Bassist Janek Gwizdala of New York City released Mystery to Me-Live in New York, his debut album as a leader. Elliot Mason '96 (trombone) and Mark Turner '90 (saxophone) played on the CD. Visit

Guitarist Lage Lund of Astoria, NY, won the Thelonious Monk Jazz Guitar Competition, netting a $20,000 scholarship.

Saxophonist Bob Reynolds of Astoria, NY, played on the Sony artist Nellie McKay's sophomore album and a song with McKay for the film Rumor Has It. Reynolds also recorded a CD with singer/songwriter Jonah Smith and scored a short-film project.

Alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw of Paterson, NJ, recorded his debut CD, Perspective, with help from tenor saxophonist Mark Turner '90 and guitarist Lage Lund '00. Shaw will play with Roy Haynes in New York and Europe this fall. Visit

Vocalist Kelly Buchanan of Mt. Gretna, PA, opened for Mike Doughty at his recent shows in Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boulder.

Hans Hafner of Berlin, Germany, composed and produced music for the album Auf offenem Meer with his band Ursüsse and scored some short films. Visit

Bassist and composer Nils de Mol van Otterloo of Hollywood, CA, has worked on the short films Waiting for Hello and Protest by director Annie Lynch. Visit

Engineer and drummer Jeff Rothschild of West Hollywood, CA, has recorded, mixed, and/or played drums on songs by Sheryl Crow, Ashlee Simpson, Sting, Dave Stewart, and Liz Phair.

In July, Juri Panda Jones of Boston, MA, was on a panel for the International Association for the Study of Popular Music in Rome. Jones works with juvenile offenders through music with the company Genuine Voices, which she founded. Visit

Guitarist/composer Julio Santillán of Brooklyn, NY, and his trio Los Changos, released a new CD, titled Ñann, with bassist Fernando Huergo '92 (bass) and Franco Pinna (drums). Visit

Composer Raphael Thone of Moers, Germany, had his chamber opera Der Herr Gevatter staged at Staatstheater Saarbrücken and in Düsseldorf and Munich. He is completing a doctoral degree at the University of Vienna, Austria.

Saxophonist Paul Towndrow of Glasgow, Scotland, released his first CD, Out of Town. It features pianist Steve Hamilton '95, bassist Michael Janisch '02, and drummer Alyn Cosker playing eight of Towndrow's original compositions. Saxophonist Tommy Smith '85 engineered the recording. Visit

Melissa Axel of Plantation, FL, collaborated with fellow graduate students at Nova Southeastern University on a multimedia performance that featured her songs. She also served as a production assistant on a new musical, titled Nefertiti. Visit

Bassist Steve Jenkins of Brooklyn, NY, played with the Screaming Headless Torsos on the band's Spring 2005 European tour and on guitarist Vernon Reid's Brazilian tour. Jenkins's Mad Science Trio released the CD Mad Science, which was reviewed in Bass Player, Bass Guitar, and Jazziz. Visit

Tera Johnson '02  

Tera Johnson of Culver City, CA, has released her debut CD The Other Side on her own Lady T Records label. This summer, she performed extensively and opened for Pearl Django and Big Time Sarah at the WGLT Jazz Festival in Central Illinois. Visit

Pianist/songwriter Oli Rockberger of Boston, MA, released a CD titled Hush Now, featuring eight of his songs. He was assisted in the production by fellow alumni Nicolas Farmakalidas and Josh Sadlier-Brown. Visit

  Oli Rockberger '02

Pianist Daniela Schaechter of Brooklyn, NY, won the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Award 2005 and will perform in the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival next year at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Visit

Singer/songwriter Dan Gonzalez of Cambridge, MA, founded the Columbus Day Gift Project to raise funds through the sale of his song "Columbus Day" for the nonprofit organization Rethinking Schools. Visit

Ricardo Hernandez of Glendale, CA, has three of his songs in the feature film Hooligans that stars Elijah Wood and Charles Hunnam. Visit

Carlos Michelini '03  

Saxophonist Carlos Michelini of Santa Fe, Argentina, released the CD Chacarera Below Zero, featuring guitarist Julio Santillá
'02, bassist Santiago Greco '02, pianist Leonardo Genovese '04, and drummer Franco Pinna '02. Visit

Andrew Milford of Wilmington, DE, appeared with his band Absinthe Academy on the television show Joan of Arcadia. One of the band's original songs, "Midnight," was featured in a subsequent episode. The band's EP is available at

Guitarist Adam Ross of Los Angeles, CA, is touring with Sierra Swan, and he toured and recorded with singer Bleu last year. Visit

Guitarist Carlos Fischer Santalla of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, released the CD Pasando "Passing By" with his jazz trio 3Dpaso. The music encompasses rock, funk, bosa nova, and flamenco styles.

Dianna Baitinger of Norwich, CT, was named Miss Connecticut in June. She received a $7,000 scholarship and will compete in the Miss America Pageant later this year.

Flutist and singer Adriana Duarte of Watertown, MA, performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in New York with drummer Benjamin Corbin '05, pianist Brian Walkley '84, and faculty bassist Tom Stein '88.

Ethan Mentzer of Watertown, MA, and the band Click Five featuring Joey Zehr '04, Ben Romans '03, Joe Guese '03, and Eric Dill, released their debut CD Greetings from Imrie House in August. They opened for Ashlee Simpson's spring tour and the Backstreet Boys' summer tour. Visit

Austin Nelson of Charleston, SC, is the founder and president of Multiverse Media Duplication. The company specializes in design, printing, packaging, and duplication of CDs and DVDs. Visit

Yoshino Ishii of Yokahama, Japan, is the composer and musical director of the dinner theater show Murder at the Coconut Cabana at the Tremont Playhouse Theater in Boston. Visit

  Lindsay MacIndoe '04

Cellist/vocalist Lindsay MacIndoe of Providence, RI, recorded her debut CD, Small Revolution, with Professor Stephen Webber producing and Assistant Professor Mark Wessel engineering and mixing. Dev Ray '04 and Jason Petrin '04 also engineered. MacIndoe has opened for kd lang and Catie Curtis. Visit

Michael Teoli of Salem, NH, Ryan Leach '05, and Joe Moser (a.k.a. the Orchestral Mayhem Music Team) worked with composer Geoff Shell on the feature film Red Thread. Visit

(From the left): Ryan Leach '05, Michael Teoli '04, and Joe Moser, the Orchestral Mayhem Team  

Guitarist Max Braverman of Hollywood, CA, released his debut CD Skopic on Lunaticworks (Sony/BMG). The self-produced album was recorded while he attended Berklee. Visit