Nashville Notes

  Muscle Shoals keyboardist Clayton Ivey and Kira Small '93

Summer is now just a memory, and for a few displaced Northerners like me, the autumn horizon is a reason for excitement about the possibility of playoff baseball at Boston's Fenway Park. Most here in NashVegas, however, are excited about football.

But there is an additional buzz around town this fall, because Nashville's Belmont University hosted one of the presidential debates on October 7. Local-area Berklee alums not involved in the massive preparation for the debate have managed to keep busy.

Drummer extraordinaire Nick Buda '96 recently appeared on Late Show with David Letterman backing Randy Houser. After returning from a European tour to support her new album, Ironwood, Mare Wakefield '04, along with her husband, Nomad Ovunc, '04 have embarked on a trek through the Northeast. Stops include Boston for an appearance on WUMB-FM as well as performances in Cambridge, MA, New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania.

In September, Nola Sheppard '97 embarked on a mini-tour with her duo Jim and Nola. Her Somerville, MA, show marks her first performance in the Boston area since Sheppard left Berklee for Nashville almost 10 years ago.

Recently, fans of MTV's Real World may have heard the handiwork of producer and engineer Pete Overton '03. He engineered artist Jenn Franklin's tracks "Fade" and "Innocence to Lose," which were featured during the show.

On September 5, Josh Preston was the opening act for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's performance of Coriolanus in support of his recent release Exit Sounds on his own indie label Me and the Machine Records.

Offrow Records recording artist Kira Small '93 has offered her single "I Will Raise My Voice" as a free download on her website ( The song features legendary Muscle Shoals keyboardist Clayton Ivey. The Hammond organ and Leslie cabinet that Ivey used during Small's session are the very same instruments that were used at Muscle Shoals Sound during the famed rhythm section's heyday.

Jesse Frayne '06 played with the East Nashville - based, Wildcard Family Revival at Evanstucky Hellbilly Hoedown III in Evansville, IN.

Guitarist Chris Cottros '92 presented product demonstrations for TC Electronic at the Summer NAMM conference and MIAC in Toronto with Laura Clapp '01, who is TC's vocal product demonstrator.

The Matrix Percussion Trio, featuring Joe Smyth, has recently completed a 2007 - 2008 series of school performances in greater Nashville - area schools. The trio has played 33 concerts at 31 schools, with a combined total of more than 12,000 students in the audience. Their presentation "We Are the World: Percussion around the Globe" showcases the music of diverse world cultures and illustrates how certain percussion music and instruments developed as a result of slavery, oppression, and conquest.

Carley Martin '07 has taken a position in the Media, Artist Relations and Creative Services Department at Universal Music Group Nashville. At UMG, Martin works with major artists on publicity, photo and video shoots, television interviews, and CD release parties. Good luck to Martin, and congrats to all of our Berklee alumni who are making waves in the Nashville music community!


- Dave Petrelli
Nashville Berklee Alumni Chapter Leader