Nashville Notes

  Dave Petrelli

Summer in Nashville is certain to bring two things: humidity and Berklee Alumni. Each year at this time, many graduates (and yet-to-be-grads) make their way to Nashvegas to make their mark on Music City. Some come for summer internships, others to continue inroads made during spring break, and still others arrive with little more than a carful of clothes and a head full of dreams.

Our contingent, the Berklee Nashville Alumni Chapter, continually grows and makes its mark on the local community. The Nashville Area Junior Chamber of Commerce recently held the ninth annual New Orleans-style Ragin' Cajun Crawfish Boil at Greer Stadium. Many alumni showed up to help raise money for the Nashville Sounds Reading Club and other local-area charities.

A few weeks later, thousands of country music fans from around the globe descended on the city for the 2008 CMA Music Festival. The four-day "Fan Fair," as it's called by the locals, gives fans the chance to interact with some of the industry's biggest stars. And while top country stars entertained the throngs, Berklee alumni in Nashville have continued to make a name for themselves in the industry. Here's a look at what some of Nashville's finest have been up to lately.

Jesse Frayne '06 performed with the band Wildcard Family Revival at the prestigious Big Bad Nashville punk festival in June.

Producer and engineer Jason Latham '06 recorded demos for Bill Champlin (a singer and keyboardist for Chicago) and did all the overdubs on Champlin's forthcoming solo album. In the process, Latham worked with other members of Chicago, including vocalist Peter Cetera, and guitarists Bruce Gaitsch and Keith Howlan, and Christian artist Michael English.

Brian Casper '96 joined the law firm of Adams & Reese as an associate in the firm's litigation practice group. He has represented clients in a variety of cases, including patent, trademark, and copyright infringement, industrial espionage, and civil rights.

Eve Fleishman '05, a certified yoga instructor, has developed the yoga workshop "Yoga for Singers" with instructor Judith E. Carman.

Singer/songwriter Josh Preston '99 has released his third full-length album, Exit Sounds, on Me and the Machine Records, a label he cofounded.

The Matrix Percussion Trio, a group founded by Joe Smyth '79, completed a series of 33 performances in Nashville-area schools for an estimated 12,000 students. The trio's presentation "We Are the World: Percussion around the Globe" showcases the music of diverse cultures.

Caitlin Nichol-Thomas '07 has returned from performing overseas and is preparing to release her first album in July.

Isabeau Miller '06 has joined PR and marketing company Aristomedia as the company's new media coordinator. Miller and fellow Berklee alum Jonathan Peterson '06 are engaged to be married in October 2009. Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!

That's all for now. Have a great summer.