Archive: Alumni Notes



Trumpeter Tony Scodwell of Las Vegas, NV, released a play-along method book with Hal Leonard publishing that uses selections from his big-band CD Live in the Studio. The book, along with a CD and solo transcriptions, will be available nationwide.


Trumpeter Mike Price of Tokyo, Japan, and saxophonist Bobby Ricketts '81 of Copenhagen, Denmark, performed together at Tokyo's popular jazz club B Flat.


Composer Charles Mymit of Forest Hills, NY, published his seventh book, Getting My Act Together, a guide for the cabaret singer. He also composed "Theme for the 23rd Century" performed by the Five Towns College concert band in May. Mymit is pursuing a doctoral degree in composition.

Composer and arranger Russell Dean Vines of White Plains, NY, wrote Composing Digital Music for Dummies, a step-by-step guide to creating digital music. He currently serves as the chief security adviser for the Gotham Technology Group and is a columnist for the online edition of the Wall Street Journal and


Singer and pianist Max DiFaz of Quincy, MA, plays for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in the eastern and western Caribbean. He has performed extensively throughout the United States. Visit


  Lou Tourtellot '77

Keyboardist John Novello of North Hollywood, CA, recently opened the personal recording facility Studio 2B3 to outside clients. The studio offers services that include the use of his customized keyboards and his production, arranging, recording, songwriting, composition, drum programming, mixing, and mastering skills. Visit

B.J. Snowden of Billerica, MA, wrote three songs for the Daisuke Matsuzaka Music From the Mound CD. Recently, she performed in Europe with her son Andrés Wilson '04 on guitar. Visit


Composer Stuart Balcomb of Venice, CA, has four tracks from his Gravity & Grace CD and two additional pieces featured in the film The Moses Code. Visit www.


Saxophonist Rick Britto of New Bedford, MA, released Trine Politics with Jim Robitaille and Chris Poudrier. The CD's original compositions and improvisations represent a synthesis of Britto's musical influences.


Guitarist Lou Tourtellot '77 of Wakefield, MA, has completed a recording of 15 standards titled Notes to Self. He also contributed tracks to the CD Better Days by singer/songwriter Valentine, and performed with the multimedia production Through the Doors: A Tribute to Jim Morrison.


Ken Field of Cambridge, MA, and his band the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble were selected in the May 19 issue of the New Yorker as the Nightlife Pick of the Week for the group's performance at Club Drom in New York. The group's new CD, Forked Tongue, was released in May. Visit


Great Performances producer David Horn '78  

Producer David Horn of Port Washington, NY, has been promoted to executive producer of Great Performances. He will oversee the development and production of the award-winning PBS series, the longest-running performance arts series on television.


Mark Sinko of San Antonio, TX, operates Salmon Peak Recording Studio and recorded strings for the new Tower of Power album. He is currently finishing his own album. Visit

Pianist Emil Viklicky of Prague, Czech Republic, released Ballads & More with the Emil Viklicky Trio. Visit


Guitarist Dave Askren of Los Angeles, CA, released the CD Trio Nuevo +, a collection of acoustic Latin jazz featuring Eddie Resto on bass and Walter Rodriguez and Ramon Banda on percussion. Visit

Drummer Pascoal Meirelles of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, recorded his seventh solo album, A Tribute to Art Blakey, with several notable Brazilian jazz artists.

Tim Sublette of Smithville, MO, released his solo CD Minor Details in March. The CD contains a collection of guitar solos arranged by Sublette and three original tunes. Contact


Tim Cushman of Nashua, NH, owns the sushi restaurant O Ya, which won Best of Boston Sushi and Best of Boston New Restaurant awards. Visit

Keyboardist/producer Paula Gallitano of Los Angeles, CA, cowrote and produced two songs for Self Portrait by vocalist Lalah Hathaway on Stax Records. Gallitano writes and produces music for film and TV. Visit

Five-string bass guitarist David Hughes of Glyndon, MD, plays with Jazz Caravan, which just released its CD No Boundaries. Hughes also plays in the electric rock-pop duo Lyle and Dave. Visit

Drummer Todd Isler of Brooklyn, NY, performs with the Chill Factor with composer/band leader Jenny Hill. The Chill Factor CD spotlights Brazilian maracatu, samba, African, and jazz grooves. Visit

Composer and keyboardist Michael Johnson of Portsmouth, RI, and the MSD Quintet released their debut CD, Driven. Yellowjackets bassist Jimmy Haslip produced the disc and Russell Ferrante played keyboards and cowrote the title track. The disc is available at CD Baby.

Singer/songwriter Aimee Mann of Los Angeles, CA, released her seventh solo CD, @#%&! Smilers, in June, which features 13 original songs. Mann's summer tour included a stop at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Visit

Anthony Resta of Westford, MA, owns Studio Bopnique Musique and recently worked with Del Marquis of the Scissor Sisters, Colby Grant, Chiki, Starr Faithfull, and Brandon Lepere. Visit bopniquemusique.


Drummer Chris DeRosa of New York City is freelancing with pop band Ariosol, reggae group the Deep Down, and the 12-piece gospel-reggae band the Ultimate Symphony.

Composer Michael Nickolas of Marlborough, MA, has licensed a portion of one of his compositions for use in the documentary film First Wave: An Unfiltered Story, produced in part by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


  Arnon Palty '85


Drummer Richard Day of London, England, is a high-school drum instructor and church musician. En Fuego, the Latin-jazz group with which he plays, performed at the Hitchin Festival in July.

Drummer Alun Harries of Middlesex, England, released Back to Front, a CD recorded for his degree project at the Academy of Contemporary Music. Visit alunharriesdrum.

Arnon Palty of Tel Aviv, Israel, recently received his Ph.D. with distinction from Bar-Ilan University for his research on jazz harmony.


Tracy Ferrie of Marstons Mills, MA, played at the February Station Nightclub Fire Benefit concert in Rhode Island sharing the bill with Tom Scholz and Gary Pihl of Boston. Visit

Guitarist Kevin Kastning of Groton, MA, released Parallel Crossings with Sándor Szabó. The disc's compositions feature duets for 12-string extended baritone guitars, an instrument he invented in cooperation with Santa Cruz Guitar Company. Visit


Julie Kinscheck '86  

Singer/songwriter Julie Kinscheck of Billerica, MA, released the CD Grace with Jazz on Top and is performing throughout New England. Visit


Debbie Cavalier of Watertown MA, released Story Songs and Sing Alongs, the debut CD of her children's music project Debbie and Friends. She plays in the Greater Boston area and is the dean of Continuing Education at Berklee. Visit

Producer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Michne of New York City produced singer/songwriter Kelleigh McKenzie's debut CD, Chances. Fellow alumnus Scott Petito contributed acoustic and electric bass and engineered the recording. Visit

Producer and guitarist James Miksche of Madison, WI, works with three music publishing companies. His music is also being used by Howcast Media, an online site devoted to how-to videos.


  Fritz Renold '87 and Helen Savari-Renold

Jazz composer and bandleader Fritz Renold of Schonenverd, Switzerland and his wife Helen Savari-Renold released the CD Cube, featuring a suite they cowrote based on the passion of Jesus Christ. The musicians featured include Miroslav Vitous, Adam Nussbaum, Randy Brecker, Tommy Smith '86, Donny McCaslin '88, Jamshied Sharifi '85, and others. Visit



Guitarist Todd Grubbs of Tampa, FL, released his guitar instrumental CD Time, Space and the Electric. He also played on and produced the Red Door CD by 3 Green Windows. Visit

Dana McCoy of New York City is producing Pillowfight Theatre Festival, featuring works by 10 female playwrights. McCoy's tragicomic musical Cube Rat is about an artist trapped in a corporate cubicle. Visit

Ethnomusicologist Frederick Moehn of New York City was awarded the Howard Foundation Fellowship for 2008-2009 from Brown University. The fellowship is one of 11 $25,000 awards that are distributed to artists in the fields of music, playwriting, and theater.

Guitarist and composer Torben Waldorff of Malmö, Sweden, released his second CD, Afterburn, on ArtistShare in April. Recorded in New York, it features original compositions and a piece written by Maria Schneider arranged by Waldorff for jazz quartet.

Producer Victor Acker of South Weymouth, MA, produced the psychedelic pop tribute Johnny Cake and Moon Pies by the group Marmalade Army, which is available at CD Baby.


Film composer Patrick Griffin of Burbank, CA, released Voices from Beyond with his three siblings. The project commemorates the tragic loss of their sister Julie Jensen. A portion of the proceeds will go to domestic abuse charities. Visit


Composer and producer Ron Carbo of Clinton, MS, works with underserved youth in the Jackson, MS, area teaching production, recording, songwriting, and keyboard skills in his studio Soul Kitchen.

Neil Goldberg of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, and alumnus Dave Fraser '91 launched the sampling company Heavyocity Media Inc. Their debut product, EVOLVE, is a virtual instrument running in the Native Instruments KONTAKT 2 player designed for dramatic film, TV, and game composers as well as sound designers. Visit


Songwriter and guitarist Sara Wheeler of Boston, MA, released Building Blocks with her group Little Groove, featuring fellow alumni Caitlin Conneally '04 and Mariana Iranzi '05. Wheeler also created Baby Wiggle, a music-education curriculum for toddlers and babies. Visit



Composer, arranger, and trombonist Ivan Ilic of Belgrade, Serbia, conducted a concert with Big Band of Radio-Television Serbia with trombonist Steve Turre and premiered two original arrangements of Turre's music.

Bassist Watts Shimmura of Largo, FL, has performed at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL, for the past eight years. He has played with John Davidson and performs with local-area bands and at churches.


Nikolai Grozni '94  


Singer/songwriter/guitarist Sandrine Ligabue of Brooklyn, NY, released her new CD Janvier, available on iTunes and CDBaby. Visit


Nikolai Grozni, of Providence, RI, released Turtle Feet: The Making and Unmaking of a Buddhist Monk on Riverhead Books. It details his departure from Berklee, travels to India, and quest to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. The book was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, and he was featured on This American Life with his wife, author Danielle Trussoni.


Bassist Reuben Rogers of Springfield, NJ, released his debut solo project, The Things I Am. He can be heard on the recent Charles Lloyd Quartet CD Rabo de Nube. Visit



  Boris Berlin '95

Vocalist Boris Berlin of New York City released his solo debut, Zero Gravity. Visit

Composer Caroline Wegener of Berlin, Germany, released her first album of songs titled Songs between the Lines through CD Baby. It was recorded and mastered at Ufo Studios by Jens Reule '95.

Emmy Award-winning composer Camara Kambon of Los Angeles, CA, scored the Oscar-nominated short film La Corona. Kambon also heads Influx Entertainment, a Los Angeles production company.

Saxophonist Dimitris Tsakas of Athens, Greece, is featured on the 25th anniversary edition of the Blade Runner soundtrack by composer Vangelis. The triple-CD release includes a disc of new recordings, including "Dimitri's Bar," which was named for Tsakas.


Pianist Ryan Burns of Seahurst, WA, finished HarryBu McCage, a jazz-rock project with Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron. Tour dates included the Bonaroo Music and Arts Festival. Visit

Martin Fabricius of Copenhagen, Denmark, released his debut album, When Sharks Bite. Visit

Producer Stefan Held of Brooklyn, NY, produced Dorian Spencer's new CD, Stone to Stone, at his studio. Visit


Martin Fabricius '96  

Guitarist Manfred Junker of Konstanz, Germany, released Eternally: Music by Charlie Chaplin with upright bass player German Klaiber. The disc features 11 Chaplin originals in an intimate chamber-jazz setting. Visit

Drummer Eduardo Lopes of Cascais, Portugal, heads the undergraduate music studies program at the University of ?vora. The program offers the first jazz performance degree from a Portuguese university.


Guitarist Nicolas Meier of London, England, released his sixth album as the leader of the Nicolas Meier Group. He recently played at the London International Guitar Festival. Visit

Drummer Michael Petrucci of Boston, MA, works with King of Salem, Library, the New Cartographers, and Jonny Rogers. He also cowrote music and played tracks for the soundtrack for Bony Lil's Distraction. And since 2004, Petrucci has drummed for Blue Man Group.


  Eduardo Lopes '96

Bassist Stefan Redtenbacher of London, England, recently released Redtenbacher's Funkestra: Hausmusik. Visit


Christopher Bartel of Boone, NC, has completed his Ph.D. at King's College at the University of London and is an assistant professor of philosophy at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. He is researching philosophical theories on the perception of music.

Songwriter Brian Donovan of Los Angeles, CA, handles multimedia technology for Barry Manilow's live performances. His most recent CD, Mugu Point, is available at his website

Vocalist Nichelle Mungo of Brighton, MA, won the Boston Urban Music Award in the Best R&B Vocalist category. This is Mungo's third consecutive win of the title.

Composer Ted Speaker of Nashville, TN, recently composed the score for Lynn Shelton's second feature film, My Effortless Brilliance, starring Harvey Danger frontman Sean Nelson. Various film festivals across the United States have featured screenings of the film, including South by Southwest and IFF Boston. In the fall of 2008, the film will air on the Independent Film Channel.

Trumpet player Frank Toddy Winfrey of Los Angeles, CA, has worked with Japanese artists Misa and Yazawa E., and contributed to the CD Global Warming with the group Jazz Crusaders.


Composer, pianist, and vocalist Clarice Assad of New York City released the new CD Love, All That It Is with her trio, which includes fellow alumnus Julien Augier '02. Visit

Singer/songwriter Demirhan Baylan of Istanbul, Turkey, released his eighth album, April 1st Fools Day Present. Visit

Vocalist Karina Kampe of Stockholm, Sweden, and guitarist Patric Skog '98 released their debut album, As Silent as Dawn Came, with the crossover jazz trio Three Small Giants. The album includes both original material and standards and can be purchased at

David Lockeretz of Long Beach, CA, has written two educational books: Erin Go Bass, a collection of Irish music transcribed for bass clef instruments, and Jazz Attitudes, 50 ßtudes based on the chord progressions of jazz standards. His band South Bay Blues Authority released its second CD, Respect.

Bassist Billy Jones of Los Angeles, CA, David Spreng '98, and the band Killed by Design released their first EP, Occulta Veritas. It was produced by Spreng. Visit

Soren Sorensen of Brooklyn, NY, and Brian Mechlowicz '98 contributed original songs to the soundtrack for the film Ten More Good Years, which premiered on the Sundance Channel in June. The soundtrack also included contributions by Brooke Fox '98 and Dan Nachimson '98.

Alto saxophonist Miguel Zen?n of New York City released his third Marsalis Music album, Awake, in April.


Mixer, producer, and engineer Richard Furch of Los Angeles, CA, did mixes for the Chaka Khan CD Funk This, which won two Grammys. Furch has also done mixes for Ruben Studdard, the Pussycat Dolls, Christina Milian, and Lindsay Lohan. Visit

Trombonist and composer Nick Vayenas of New York City recently released Synesthesia, his new CD featuring Kendrick Scott '03 and Patrick Cornelius '00. Recently, Vayenas has also toured with singer Michael Bubl?.

Michael Ward-Bergeman of Walthamstow, England, has been commissioned to write a new work for Dawn Upshaw by the Terezin Chamber Music Foundation. It will premiere at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on November 2, 2008. Ward-Bergeman continues to play with his group the Groanbox Boys. Visit


Composer Elik Alvarez of Pasadena, CA, wrote the score for the film La Virgen Negra starring Carmen Maura and Angelica Aragon. Alvarez and Freddy Sheinfeld '01 scored the documentary Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story.





Drummer J.L. Claybourne of West Hartford, CT, is working as a freelance drummer and private music instructor. He has recorded tracks for Kevin Howard, Albino Tree, and Mike Greca.

Michael Harris of Sunrise, FL, is a lecturer at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. He also performs regularly and works as a performance coach for the television series Rising Stars. Visit

Drummer and songwriter Peter Hasler of Zurich, Switzerland, released the CD Drums Music, a collection of 10 pop-rock songs played on acoustic and electronic drums. He also leads Peter Hasler's Monk Revival and founded a publishing company, Supermouse Productions. Visit

Alfonso El Panameño of Brockton, MA, appears in La Epoca: The Palladium Era, a feature-length documentary film that focuses on Latin music and dance during the Palladium Ballroom's heyday between 1950 and 1972. Visit


Jaleel Shaw '00  

Saxophonist Jaleel Shaw of Paterson, NJ, released his new CD, Optimism, on Changu Records. The CD features Lage Lund '00, Jeremy Pelt '98, and Johnathan Blake. Shaw was nominated for a Jazz Journalist Association award.

Drummer George Shepherd of Newport Beach, CA, launched, a social network and premier drumming resource featuring reviews, interviews, and lessons from Berklee alumni and top industry professionals.


Composer Ariel Blumenthal of Los Angeles, CA, created a multifaceted production combining his original music and a sophisticated Meyer Sound system embedded into the architecture of New York City's Plaza Hotel. The $1 million, seven-month project includes recordings from 73 musicians. Visit

Producer and guitarist William Barnes of Birmingham, AL, operates Southword Entertainment, a studio specializing in pedal steel, dobro, mandolin, and fiddle tracks. He teaches and performs regularly. Visit williambarnesmusic.




Guitarist Jason Diana of Altamonte Springs, FL, and his band Rabbits with Glasses, featuring Lee Ritter '01, played at SunFest in West Palm Beach. They shared the bill with the Black Crowes, Finger Eleven, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Singer/songwriter Emi Jarvi of York, England, cowrote and recorded vocals for two tracks on the From Within CD by trance musician Jon O'Bir. Visit

John Sacca of Miami, FL, recently completed a master's degree in music education. He is a band director in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools and plays percussion with various groups in South Florida.


  Dong-Hwa Park '02

Christina Watson Utterstrom of Nashville, TN, released her second vocal jazz CD, A Flower Truly Blue, in May. The disc features her husband, Oscar Utterstrom '02 (trombone, horn charts), pianist Pat Coil, and saxophonist Jeff Coffin. Visit

Darcie Wicknick of Allston, MA, and the group Velvet Stylus, featuring James Auburn (Tootle) '97, Tony Porter '99 and Jay Prokorym '98, won in the Best R&B Group category at the Boston Urban Music Awards.


Ari Pizer of Philadelphia, PA, received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Music Therapy from the Department of Music Education and Therapy in the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University.

Bass Guitarist Dong-Hwa Park of Naju, Korea, released two CDs of original jazz compositions featuring alumni Forest Muther, '96 on drums and Jong-Min Kim '97 on guitar. He is currently a professor at Dongshin University in Korea.

Rachel Shapiro of Burbank, CA, received her Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in May. Shapiro has opened Patronus Law Group, which provides counsel on legal rights and assistance with copyright registration.



Hiromi Uehara '03  

Pianist Hiromi Uehara of Brooklyn, NY, released her latest CD, Beyond Standard, featuring guitarist and Berklee faculty member Dave Fiuczynski. Hiromi's group Sonicbloom includes drummer Martin Valihora '02. Visit


Kristin Bidwell of Scottsdale, AZ, works as a consultant for McKay Conant Hoover Inc., an acoustical and audiovisual consulting firm. Visit

Singer/songwriter Briana Cash of Amesbury, MA, released the CD All I Want in May. It has received airplay on New England's radio station 92.5 The River. The disc is available through CD Baby.

After meeting at the Berklee computer lab in 2002, Lisa Vanier of Chicago, IL, and Ivan Martirena '04 were married recently.

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Andres Wilson of Billerica, MA, released Ink and Sound with his band Andres Wilson & the Waters. The band includes Asia Mei '05, Lousi Ochaba '04, and Hiroshi Sembon '06. Visit



  Vocalist Cristal Marie '05

Crystal Marie Calderon of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, has been nominated twice for the Cassandra Awards as singer of the year, once for Diario Libre woman of the year. She has performed for the NBC/Telemundo telenovela Pecados Ajenos.


Jazz guitarist Andy Gabrys of Brooklyn, NY, released his debut CD, Constant, in May. Visit

Phillip Hill of Peachtree City, GA, received his Juris Doctor and MBA from Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law and the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business in May. He will practice in Los Angeles.

Singer/songwriter Genevieve Lopez of Colorado Springs, CO, released her debut album, In Our House, featuring 10 original pop-folk songs she co-arranged and coproduced in Los Angeles. Visit

Bassist Rodrigo Tenjo of West Newton, MA, is touring with alumnus Alfonso Espriella '01 to promote Espriella's CD Trazos de Ser. The album aired on Colombian radio, and the video "En Brazos" is playing on MTV Latin America. Visit

Anders Vercelli of Boston, MA, released Up Jumped Spring, featuring the Anders Vercelli Trio with bassist Blake Marquez '05 and drummer Brent Marquez '05. He also released Just for Today, a disc featuring his brother Lars Vercelli; tenor saxophonist Mike Buckly '06; and Berklee faculty members Jon Funkhouser, Jon Hazilla, and John Marasco. Visit


Krysta Youngs '05  

Singer/songwriter Krysta Youngs of Allston, MA, released her new CD, Stories, in May. Proceeds from her CD release show went to Project Smile, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children. Visit


Saxophonist Mike Tucker of Medford, MA, is touring this summer with Blue Note recording artist Robin McKelle '99. Visit


Drummer Jon Sarna of Brewster, NY, performed with Band from TV on this year's American Idol Gives Back show. The group includes Greg Grunberg, Hugh Laurie, Teri Hatcher, James Denton, Bob Guiney, Bonnie Somerville, and Jesse Spencer. Visit


  Emily Shackelton '05

Songwriter Emily Shackelton of Nashville, TN, wrote "Dream Big," the song sung by American Idol winner David Cook during the show's season finale. It was the second most downloaded song on iTunes following the show.