Alumni Beat



  From the left: Andreas Fliflet (and sons), Gunnar Wenneborg, Johanna Grüsner, Brian Hobbs, Paul Pesonen, Minna-Lisa Ferna, Magnus Lindstrom, Elise Einarsdotter, Anders Wihk, Johnny Wingstedt, Suzanne Clark, Monika Hoffman, Mark Small, Karina Kampe, and Goran Bejstam attended a July 23 alumni reception in Stockholm, Sweden.
  Photo by Suzanne Clark
  From the left: Adam Smirnoff '99, Dennis Montgomery III, and Nigel Hall after a visit to the Berklee campus
  Photo by Adam Olenn
  Tom Costanza '90 spoke with students about his work in Los Angeles as a songwriter and producer.


This summer, members of the Berklee community hit some high notes. After winning three Jazz Journalists Association accolades-including the Record of the Year, Small Ensemble of the Year, and Tenor Saxophonist of the Year awards-Joe Lovano '72 appeared on the August DownBeat magazine cover. In the poll, Berklee alumni were named 102 times and won in 16 categories. Congratulations to all!

Because we know how many alumni have made noteworthy achievements, we provide two ways for you to spread your news to the wider Berklee community. You can submit updates via e-mail to the mailbox, and your news will appear in Berklee today's Alum Notes section of the magazine. Or you can submit your news via the alumni website at The site also keeps you informed of upcoming alumni events and programs as well as what's going on with your fellow alumni.

Berklee students learn so much through alumni's shared stories of their musical journeys during their visits to the college. While passing through Boston, many alumni have taken time out of their busy schedules to share information and answer questions for the students.

Recently, Lil John Roberts '92 (a drummer for Janet Jackson and Jill Scott as well as a member of the house band on The Mo'nique Show) stopped by while he was in Boston for performances with Professor of Ensembles Walter Beasley. Roberts joined along and spoke at a clinic packed with students.

Adam "Schmeens" Smirnoff '99 (the guitarist for Lettuce, Chapter 2, and Lady Gaga) and bandmate Nigel Hall dropped in on a rehearsal of the Berklee Reverence Gospel Choir. Associate Professor of Ensembles Dennis Montgomery III, who is the director of the choir, took time out to say hello.

Louis Cato '06, Matt Carter '04, and Les Cleveland '05 came to Berklee from the Big Apple to share details on making the move to New York. They covered topics such as career networking, compensation for gigs, the best places to live, realistic expectations for those working as music professionals, and how to balance it all.

During his summer visit to campus, Tom Costanza '90 (the owner and CEO of Killingsworth Recording Company and a songwriter for Seven Peaks Music/Walt Disney Company) spoke with a group of students. After his clinic, he took in a Red Sox game.

Keep an eye on this column for the names of the Alumni Grant Program winners, which will be published in the January 2011 issue of Berklee today. Until then, take care.

Karen Bell, '90 Director of Alumni Affairs