Miami Soundings

  Paul Hoyle '83

Welcome to the first column to report on news from the Berklee Miami Alumni Chapter.

First, I'd like to give an overview of the scene here. As in other large cities, opportunities abound in Miami for music work in many popular styles and genres. As a producer - I recently finished albums for Lovell and Rebeli?n Chicana - I know a bit about working in the Miami music scene. Producers are expected to be multi-instrumentalists with solid keyboard skills and who know how to get optimal results with the vocalists who hire us. We have to be comfortable recording in unlikely places and in home studios, flexible enough to work with established artists, and humble enough to work with up-and-coming ones. That new artist with a small budget might just be your ride to the top.

Now let's review what some of our South Florida alumni have worked on lately as producers, composers, performers, and teachers.

Angelo Milli '99 wrote the score to the new Hollywood feature Seven Pounds. The film's director, Gabriele Muccino sought the right sound for his film, so he borrowed his brother's iPod and discovered some of Milli's early-indie compositions. He then hired Milli, who delivered a dramatic score for a 60-piece orchestra and choir.

Emil Temeltas '95 won the Best Music Award in Miami's 48-Hour Film Project for his score to The Art of Roadkill. Saxophonist Luis Disla '83 finished his Latin-jazz album The Prophecy with percussionist Alex Acu?a, bassist Abraham Laboriel '72, drummer Steve Gadd, guitarist Leo Quintero '83, and pianist Jorge Luis Sosa. Chuck Mason '90 engineered Journey of the Refugee, the latest CD by Sonido Batido at his studio the Groove Factory in north Miami.

Joel Someillan '93 has written and produced songs for Chayanne, Gloria Estefan, and Thal?a. He has also written children's songs for the Dora the Explorer TV show. Jose Gonzalez '84 is scoring movies for HBO, Hallmark Movie Channel, Lifetime, the Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids, and others.

Gustavo Celis '94 is engineering the new Shakira album. Lasim Richards '02 is the trombonist for Locos por Juana. The band was nominated for a 2009 Grammy. Richards has also played with Ludacris, Chaka Khan, Timbaland, Queen Latifah, and others. Zach Ziskin '93 discovered and produced Hilary McRae, the first emerging artist signed to the Starbucks Hear Music label. Songwriter John Sampson '82 has written more than 300 tunes.

Lucian Williams '71 plays guitar and sings with Lew Willie & the Snapdragons. He also produces demos and teaches guitar, piano, and voice. Jeffrey Crespo '96 and Raul Ramirez are recording a CD of music for relaxation. Elsa Marina Cruz '96 has been writing songs that convey a positive message about life and family. Zania Sala '05 works for MTV Latin America and is finishing her album with producers Dan Warner and Lee Levin. Ivan Valles '05 is producing a CD by harpist Victor Espinola that mixes new-age, chill-out, and world music. Cellist Alexander Zhiroff played on the project.


That's all for now.

- Paul Hoyle '83

Miami Chapter Leader