L.A. Newsbriefs

  Peter Gordon '78
  Photo by Mitchell Rose

Frequently, Berklee alumni take career paths other than those they initially intended-in some cases because the industry has evolved in unexpected ways or because lifestyle changes demand new choices. I am constantly surprised to hear about lesser-known career fields in which our alumni excel.

About nine years ago, John Mizenko '81 noticed that many of his private students in the San Fernando Valley were missing a key element in their development: the experience of playing in an ensemble. Mizenko began an after-school program called Join the Band. The business continues to grow and attract students, mostly from middle and high school, who now make up nearly 25 bands during each eight-week session. A recent Hollywood Reporter article mentioned the program, and awareness of Mizenko's initiative is on the rise. In fact, when Showtime sought young musicians for a new series, it went no further than Join the Band. For more information, visit www.jointheband.com.

After working at the Mastering Lab for 15 years alongside his mentor Doug Sax, Gavin Lurssen '91 recently opened the doors to his own facility, Lurssen Mastering. Lurssen has won two Grammy Awards for sound mastering: the first for the soundtrack of the popular movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the second for Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues. Lurssen Mastering claims an eclectic mix of recent projects including the new duet album by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant; CDs by Matchbox Twenty, Tom Waits, and Lucinda Williams; as well as the soundtracks to the movies Ratatouille and Knocked Up. Next, Lurssen will host a panel at the 2007 AES conference in New York, entitled "Mastering for New Media." The event will also include mastering legend Bob Ludwig.


Jeff Lorber '71  

Congratulations to our alumni Emmy nominees. Skye Lewin '02 was honored for his role as the music editor for CSI: Miami. Jan Stevens '81 was nominated in the category of Outstanding Music Direction for his work on the hit series Scrubs. Stevens also adds a second show to his scoring duties this fall with Samantha Who? on the ABC network.

Earlier this year, ASCAP and BMI honored their most successful film and television composers, and once again Berklee was well represented. ASCAP Awards went to Alan Silvestri '70 for Night at the Museum, Howard Shore '68 for The Departed, Ramin Djawadi '98 for Open Season, Michael Levine '76 for Cold Case, and Branford Marsalis '80 for The Tonight Show theme. BMI Awards were presented to Bill Brown '91 for CSI: NY, David Schwartz '74 for Rules of Engagement, Matt Koskenmaki '99 for The Ultimate Fighter, and Brad Hatfield '75 for the song "Sunshine" from The Young and the Restless.

In other television music news, Mike Suby '00 continues to score the hit teen drama Kyle XY for the ABC Family Channel. In May, The Simpsons celebrated episode 400, and composer Alf Clausen '66 is now back at work scoring the show's 19th season. His new CD, The Simpsons Testify, has already received rave reviews.

Curt Sobel '78 served as the music editor on the features The Bourne Ultimatum and Martian Child. His other recent music editing credits include Wild Hogs and My Super Ex-Girlfriend. In addition to supervising the music editing on all of these films, he and fellow alumnus Gary Schreiner '79 placed more than a dozen songs in My Super Ex-Girlfriend and songs in Wild Hogs, Martian Child, and The Bourne Ultimatum.

On the live performance front, Jeff Lorber '71 has been touring extensively, nationally and internationally, in support of his new CD, He Had a Hat. The disc, which covers a wide range of jazz styles, features some great drum tracks by Vinnie Colaiuta '75 and Abe Laboriel Jr. '93. Lorber is also an in-demand producer and hosts a three-hour radio show called Lorber's Place, which airs on Sunday nights on Sirius Satellite Radio's Jazz Caf?. For more information, visit www.lorber.com.

Eric Holden '99 played bass on Five for Fighting's U.S. Two Lights tour. The group's Orlando show will be released on CD and DVD by Columbia Records. Holden has also just finished the new BoDeans album, which was produced by T-Bone Burnett and features drummer Kenny Aronoff and pianist Bukka Allen '90. Visit www.myspace.com/eholdenbass. That's all for now. Stay in touch.



-Peter Gordon '78, Director, Berklee Center in Los Angeles