Alum Notes

Complied by Arielle Schwalm '10

  Clockwise from the bottom: Thom Pastor '68, Hap Smith '68, Bill Calanan, and Paul Testa '69 of the group B3 Conspiracy



Bill Moody of Sonoma, CA, published his most recent book, Fade to Blue, in April 2011. Moody has written seven jazz mystery novels featuring jazz pianist Evan Horne.




Saxophonist Thom Pastor, guitarist Hap Smith, drummer Paul Testa '69 and organist Bill Callanan of Las Vegas, NV, make up B3 Conspiracy. The group just completed the album Sleeping Lions and, in November, will travel to Tokyo, Japan, to perform at the Jazz Organ Club.




Saxophonist James L. Dean of Haledon, NJ, broadcasts a live swing-and-jazz hour every Monday from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. on Centanni Broadcasting Network radio. Visit




Songwriter B.J. Snowden of Billerica, MA, had her song "In Canada" placed in the movie Montana Amazon. The film was screened in August at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and in September at California State University Northridge.


Harrison Goldberg '77  



Bassist Dave U. Hall of Rego Park, NY, created the conceptual band Walter Midi Group. Hall just released an album with Walter Midi Group entitled And Then You Woke Up! The album recently aired on Little Steven's Underground Garage show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.


Composer, producer, BBC broadcaster, and author Richard Niles of London, England, has been recording with the a cappella group the Swingle Singers and is working on a project for Los Angeles-based Psych! The Unexpected Big Band. Niles also performed at the Ealing Jazz Festival with the Richard Niles Septet. Visit



Saxophonist Harrison Goldberg of Gualala, CA, and his group Cloudfire performed at a world-music dance concert at the Gualala Arts Center in June. The group has performed at many festivals throughout California. Visit


Keyboardist Alan Hewitt of Palm Springs, CA, currently plays for the Moody Blues. Hewitt has a long list of composer credits, including National Lampoon's Van Wilder, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Survivor, MTV, Gods and Generals, Swimming Upstream, Oprah, The Dr. Oz Show, and more. Hewitt has also coproduced many projects for Earth, Wind & Fire and cowrote the megahit "Cherry Pie." Hewitt has also won the Espy and Golden Planet awards. Visit



Saxophonist Rick Britto of New Bedford, MA, received a review on the All About Jazz website for his new album Conversations with Erik & I. The album headline read: "Dueling saxophones help make Rick Britto's new album among the year's most unique releases." Visit


Composer Richard Ruotolo of Meriden, CT, has recently been listed as an ASCAP composer. His suite One World One Life was performed at the University of New Haven. Visit

  Alan Hewitt '77
  Ros Oxford

Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens of Asheville, NC, toured Europe during the month of September. Visit

Composer Emil Viklicky of Prague, Czech Republic, recently published his Piano Concerto in E Major with Czech Radio Publishing. Visit



Electric wind instrumentalist Bernie Kenerson of Myrtle Beach, SC, was in Boston in October to perform at the Wonder Bar with his trio Science Factory. Visit


Trumpet player Jonathan Lax of Summit, NJ, recently performed with the Lower Cape Concert Band at Preservation Hall in Wellfleet, MA, on Cape Cod. Lax is a music educator in the Bayonne public school system in Bayonne, NJ, and a freelance performer.

Percussionist Bobby Sanabria of Bronx, NY, and his multi-Grammy-nominated big band headlined at New York City's Apollo Theater on June 18 in celebration of the 100th birthday of "the father of Afro-Cuban jazz," Mario Bauzá. Visit



Keyboardist Warren Paradise of Santa Cruz, CA, is in a six-piece funk band Funkranomicon. The group won a contest to appear as the opening band on the main stage at the San Jose Jazz Festival in August opening for the Ohio Players.


Guitarist and composer Benny Uyetake of Haiku, HI, is a music instructor and the director of the Kalama Intermediate School ukulele orchestra. The orchestra consists of a mix of 110 seventh- and eighth-grade students. Uyetake also teaches a total of 100 sixth-graders in the beginning band. Visit



Saxophonist and composer Scott Robinson of Teaneck, NJ, had his first composition for symphony orchestra performed in Italy by the Orchestra Filarmonica de Marchigiana featuring Martin Wind, Joe LaBarbera '69, and Bill Cunliffe. Robinson also performed at the Louis Armstrong Jazz Festival in Hungary in June.


Guitarist Peter Stauffer of Quarryville, PA, currently teaches 50 students per week at LifeSong Christian Books & Music in Quarryville and Rising Sun School of Music in Rising Sun, MD.



Michael Arlt '84  


Saxophonist Luis Disla of Hollywood, FL, released his solo debut project, The Prophecy on October 4. The album features Alex Acuña on percussion, Abraham Laboriel '72 on bass, Steve Gadd on drums, Leo Quintero '83 on guitar, Jorge Luis Sosa on keyboards and Paul Hoyle '83 on vocals. The album also includes special guests Nestor Torres and Tito Puente Jr. Visit

Producer Wendy Swedberg MacDonald of Duxbury, MA, produced the CD Ron Carter's Great Big Band. The album was released in Japan on Toshiba-EMI in March 2011, and Sunnyside Records released the album in the United States in September. Former Berklee faculty member Bob Freedman wrote all the arrangements, and the album features Scott Robinson '84 on tenor saxophone and Greg Gisbert '85 on trumpet.



Pianist Franck Amsallem of Brooklyn, NY, conducted the WDR Big Band for a farewell concert dedicated to trombonist Bernt Laukamp. Amsallem arranged several pieces for the all-original program. Visit


  From the left: Jon Anderson and Shawn K. Clement '88

Guitarist Michael Arlt of Würzburg, Germany, is completing an album consisting primarily of original music with musicians from all over the world. The disc is due out later this year. Arlt's 2009 album Moment to Moment! was named CD of the year by the German guitar website Visit

Songwriter, engineer, and producer Jose Gonzalez of Weston, FL, received a Latin Grammy for his participation as an engineer on the latest Ilan Chester album Treasures of Venezuelan Music. Gonzalez is also the owner of Bright Notes Publishing & Productions.



Singer and songwriter Kelly Riley of Lynn, MA, was invited to perform her song "Babe in Arms" as part of the Massachusetts Country Music Association Awards ceremony in Randolph, MA. Visit




Saxophonist Carl Clements of Amherst, MA, received his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology in September 2010 from the Graduate Center, CUNY. His dissertation is entitled Pannalal Ghosh and the Bansuri in the Twentieth Century. Clements recently returned from a tour in Europe and is a current faculty member at Columbia University. Visit


From the left: Franco Nero, Christopher Sharkey '90, and Lino Patruno  

Saxophonist Tamas Marius of Monterey, CA, released the CD Leavin' You with his band Blues at Eleven. The band recently won a Battle of the Bands contest that offered a spot at the 2011 Monterey Bay Blues Festival main stage as the grand prize, where the group performed on June 25. Visit

Guitarist and songwriter Dario Saraceno of Wappingers Falls, NY, released his fourth album Tattooed Prophet with his band Dario & the Clear. The legendary rhythm section of Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta is also featured on the album.



In June, composer Shawn K. Clement of Canyon County, CA, had his song "The Warrior's Hymn" sung by Jon Anderson (the lead singer for Yes) at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The song was part of an orchestral concert titled "A Tribute to the Wounded Warriors," an event that raised funds for wounded soldiers. Visit




Singer and songwriter Catherine King of South Dennis, MA, is preparing to record her first full-length album after a 20-year hiatus. The album will be recorded at 2 Dogs Studios in New Brunswick, Canada.


  Amina Figarova '92
  Robbert Beck

Composer Matt Temple of Culver City, CA, released a self-titled album in the form of an app available for the Android and iTunes. The album can be found by searching for "Matt Temple" in the iTunes store.



Vocalist Veronica Petrucci of Franklin, TN, and her label Latin Soul Entertainment entered into an exclusive joint venture deal with Lataillade Entertainment. The first project to come from this partnership will be Made It Out Alive, which will be distributed by Central South Distribution. Visit


Bassist Christopher Sharkey of New Orleans, LA, performed at this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with the Forever Blues band from Italy. Sharkey performed music from the film Forever Blues with internationally acclaimed director and actor Franco Nero and renowned Italian jazz guitarist Lino Patruno.



Bassist Bryan Beller of Nashville, TN, and his group the Aristocrats released their self-titled debut album. Visit


Bassist Ivan Bodley of Brooklyn, NY, released his newest album Look at That Cookie. The album features James Dower '93 and Joe Goretti '00. Visit

Pianist and composer Amina Figarova of New York City gave the U.S. premiere of her piece September Suite at the Metropolitan Room in New York City on September 11 in coordination with memorial events held around the city. Visit

Sound designer Jay Jennings of Burbank, CA, did the sound for Captain America: The First Avenger. Jennings was the winner for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, Cannes, and Clio awards for the DirecTV ads "Robots" and "Submarine." He is currently working on Total Recall, which is directed by Len Wiseman.

Musical director Stephen Oremus of New York City won a Tony Award, along with Larry Hochman, in the Best Orchestrations category for the show The Book of Mormon. The production won nine awards.

Ryan Shore '96  



Guitarist Reg Bloor of New York City released Euphobia. The album was released under the name The Paranoid Critical Revolution, Bloor's own project. Visit


Pianist Greg Manning of Los Angeles, CA, performed on Terry Wollman's new album Buddha's Ear. He also played Fender Rhodes and organ on the new album by Keb Mo'.

Composer Marika Tjelios of Los Angeles, CA, wrote the music for the award-winning documentary A Place to Live: The Story of Triangle Square. Tjelios also performs with the group Leda Atomica. Visit



Guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak of Wayne, NJ, recently wrapped up the Metal Week Summer Camp at the School of Rock in Chatham, NJ. Chlasciak is also working on a solo album entitled The Metalworker and writes the monthly "Metal for Life" column for Guitar World magazine. Visit


Multi-instrumentalist Jim Oblon of Wallingford, CT, and his band Thin Veil have released the album One.

Sander Wolf of Plano, TX, founded and organized the Chocolate Conference 2011. The event drew nationally recognized chocolatiers and chocolate makers for an educational conference celebrating the world's favorite candy.

  Oscar Peñas '99
  Kristofer Dan-Bergman



Guitarist Tom Griesgraber of Encinitas, CA, released Sketchbook, a solo CD of original compositions and unique takes on well-known pieces that goes from instrumental rock to jazz and classical music.




Composer Ryan Shore of Burbank, CA, composed music featuring woodwinds, piano, percussion, and strings for the play On Golden Pond starring Tony Award winner Hal Linden. Visit




Sean-David McGoran of Fort Smith, AR, completed a master of divinity degree studies at Liberty University. McGoran is in the process of writing a book on meditation for musicians. Visit


Musical director Mehmet Ali Sanlikol of Boston released the double CD A Story of the City: Constantinople, Istanbul. The album has been placed on the Grammy ballot and features Engin Günaydin '08, Cem Mutlu '94, Ekin Cengizkan '11, Bertram Lehman '95, Jorge Perez-Albela '97, Sam Dechenne '07, Noam Sender '91, and Cagri Erdem '11.

Diego Scliar '00  

Vocalist Shakti Thara of New York City recently released her debut album, Feminenergy. She has been touring Europe promoting her album, interviewing, and making appearances at music-industry events. Visit



Drummer Joe DeRose of San Jose, CA, and his group Joe DeRose and Amici just released their debut album, Sounds for the Soul. Visit


Vocalist and composer Brooke Fox of Brooklyn, NY, spent the summer performing in various venues. Notably she performed at the 20th anniversary celebration of Youth Leadership Foundation, a program for youth with disabilities. Visit

Guitarist Lupa Santiago of São Paulo, Brazil, recently released two new albums Sexteto: Lupa Santiago and Regra de Três. Santiago has also released three new books: Modern Improvisation, New Dictionary of Chords and Voice Leading, and Play Along: Odd Meters in Brazilian Music. Santiago is also the vice director of Souza Lima, a Berklee International Network school in Brazil. Visit



Guitarist and composer Oscar Peñas of Brooklyn, NY, released his third album as a leader on the artist-run label BJUR. The CD, entitled From Now On, features Dan Blake on saxophone, Richie Barshay on drums, and Moto Fukushima on electric bass. Special guests on the album include Gil Goldstein '71 and Franco Pinna.


  Peter Nabut '01
  Michael Borgida

Composer and accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman was commissioned to write the piece Damagomi for the famed Silk Road Ensemble, led by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The group worked on the piece with Ward-Bergeman during a weeklong residency at Harvard University in September. Visit



Composer Eric Harper of Pasadena, CA, recently finished cowriting the music for the film Inseparable starring Kevin Spacey. Harper is also working on a new album that's due out later this year. Visit


Saxophonist Bob Reynolds of Los Angeles, CA, released the new album A Live Life in August. Visit

Drummer Diego Scliar of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, performed on national broadcast television in Brazil on the Programa do Jô with dancer John Gaucho, percussionist Arthur Lipner, and bassist Ney Conceição. Scliar is currently performing, producing, and teaching in Rio de Janeiro. Visit



Multi-instrumentalist Matt Cahoon of Mill River, MA, released his fifth album, Phoenix, with his electro-pop project Everpresent. The album features Victoria Mierlak '03, Alexandra Yeshiva Velez '04, Kellee Webb '02, Steve Catizone '94, James Willetts '00, and Kenny Pappaconstantinou '05. Visit


Engineer and songwriter Peter Nabut of Southampton, MA, works with Klondike Sound and the Iron Horse Entertainment Group and leads the audio program at Springfield Technical Community College. He also leads the bluegrass ensemble barnRocket. Nabut was also a finalist in the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival 2011 Songwriters Competition and performed at the festival in East Hartford, CT.

Daniel Thieme '01  

Bassist and composer Daniel Thieme of Hamburg, Germany, released an unusual album titled Morphosis. The concept album features 10 pieces blended together to create a story. Listeners will detect influences of Arabian, African, and impressionist music as well as funk and r&b. Visit

Composer and electronic musician Matthew Thies of Austin, TX, released his debut solo album, Lousian Stars, under the name Malloc. Visit



Pianist Ryan Leaver of Zieglerville, PA, is the touring keyboardist for the Dirk Quinn Band. Visit


Bryan Leitch of Durham, NC, is entering his final year at Duke University School of Law. Leitch is an editor on the Duke Law Journal and an executive member of the Duke Law Moot Court Board. He has published an article on U.S. constitutional law and is the only second-year student ever to win the Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in Writing. Following graduation he will serve as a law clerk for a year on the Federal Court of Appeals in the Eleventh Circuit.

Singer and songwriter Oli Rockberger of Brooklyn, NY, was a guest performer with Randy Brecker's Brecker Brothers Band Reunion, featuring Mike Stern '75, Dave Weckl, George Whitty, Ada Rovatti, and Will Lee.



Guitarist BJ Block of Vancouver, BC, Canada, was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award for urban record of the year for his album The Land of Make Believe, which he recorded with vocalist Dawn Pemberton.


Percussionist Yaron Engler of London, England, is the bandleader and drummer for the contemporary dance troupe the Hofesh Shechter Company. The company is currently producing Political Mother: Choreographer's Cut. The production includes 24 musicians and 16 dancers. Visit

  Matthew Thies '01

Keyboardist Tiff Jimber of Santa Monica, CA, is on season two of Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp on VH1 Classic. The "campers" create a band and are assigned one of three rock-star "counselors," including Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, and Mark Hudson. Visit

Guitarist Joe Rauen of Dyer, IN, toured with the band Dastardly all summer playing guitar, banjo, and clarinet. Rauen also released a solo album under the pseudonym the Owl Town Orchestra.

Pianist Ruslan Sirota of Los Angeles, CA, released his debut album this fall.



Keyboardist David Cowie of Detroit, MI, has been performing with his band Remedy in the Detroit area. Visit


Bassist and composer Garth Stevenson of Brooklyn, NY, released Flying in June. The album was cited on iTunes as new and noteworthy. The track "Hourglass" is featured in a national television commercial for the Barnes & Noble Nook. Visit

Composer Michael Teoli of Burbank, CA, scored the new gothic horror-rock musical CarnEvil. The show ran from September 16-22 at the Sacred Fools Theater Company in Los Angeles. Visit

Tiff Jimber '03  



Multi instrumentalist Dave Lewis of Los Angeles, CA, released his self-titled CD in August. It is available on iTunes.


Songwriter Shantell Ogden of Nashville, TN, is completing her album Stories behind Songs. Also, her song "Lost," which was recorded by Acklen Park, has aired on country-radio stations across the country. Visit

Composer and guitarist Georgi Sareski from Skopje, Macedonia, released his fifth album, The Skopje Connection Meets Ernst Reijseger, for the Norwegian label Losen Records. The album features original compositions for trumpet, French horn, acoustic guitar, and cello as well as improvisations. The group dedicated the CD to the victims of the July 22 attack in Oslo and Utøya.

Producer Gregory Tripi of Los Angeles, CA, produced the film scores for The Lincoln Lawyer, Drive, and Contagion with composer Cliff Martinez. The score for Warner Bros. Entertainment film Contagion was recorded at the Eastwood Scoring Stage in Los Angeles. Tripi is credited with additional music on the soundtrack releases for all three films. Visit



Boston band Gentlemen Hall recently won the Billboard's Battle of the Bands and performed at the Billboard Music Awards in May. The group's members are Rory Given '08, Brad Alderman '07, Jacob Michael '08, Phil Boucher '05, Seth Hachen '06, and Gavin McDevitt '06.


Writer and producer Dirk Pate cowrote and coproduced "Basic Bitch" on Game's new album The Red Album. The album made it to number one on the iTunes album chart and is the first number-one album of Pate's career.

Composer Aaron Saloman of Montreal, Canada, has composed for video games including American Idol and Critter Crunch. His music has been used in various shows, including Gone Too Far, Teen Cribs, Departures, American Pickers, The TO Show, The Bitter End, Get a Life, The Imploders, Party Down, and others. Saloman is also recording an album with Eleanore Altman '05.



Guitarist Ben Azar of Israel has released his debut album, Organized Memories, on Greg Osby's label Inner Circle Music. The album was recorded by Michael Perez-Cisneros and features Ziv Ravitz '04, Daniel Ori '07, Nir Naaman '05, and Ronen Itzik '03. The recording has received airplay on various radio stations. Visit


Arranger Ian Flores-Dozol of Benito Juárez, Mexico, wrote the arrangement for the MTV Unplugged album for Mexican multi-Grammy Award winner Zoé. The album was released in February and achieved double-platinum status in August.

Bassist and composer Daniel Ori of New York City is working on his second album, Emuna, due out at the end of the year. The album features Mark Turner '90, Ziv Ravitz '04, Oz Noy, and Sam Barsh. Ori has also released an app entitled Classical Melody Book through the iTunes store. Visit

Ana Lisa Portillo of Boston codirects and performs on vihuela and vocals with Mariachi Palenque, which was awarded Boston's Best Mariachi 2011 award by El Planeta, the largest Spanish-language publication in Massachusetts. Previously, Portillo performed with La Tuza, a 2010 nominee for Boston's Best World Music.

  Veronica Isabel '08

Songwriter Adam Shenk of New York City recently had his song "Warning Shot" featured on MTV's Real World: Las Vegas. Shenk has also received several instrumental placements on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Visit

Guitarist Will Snyder of Lake Grove, NY, and Casselberry, FL, and his band One31 won Orlando's Next Big Thing competition in July 23. The band released their self-titled album this summer and Snyder and produced the group's YouTube video. Visit

Guitarist Chris Vazquez of Los Angeles, CA, recently became the guitarist for Kylee, a Japanese pop star on the Sony Japan label. Vazquez also began working with Grammy-nominated artist N'dambi, and his rock band Los Einstein was offered a record deal. Visit



Singer and songwriter Verónica Hernandez, from South Dennis, MA, performs as Veronica Isabel. She recently released her first album No More Victoria. Visit


Guitarist Jake Hertzog of Brooklyn, NY, released Evolution on Buckyball Music. The CD release party was held at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.

Composer Livia Lin of Brighton, MA, is a recipient of the St. Botolph Club Foundation 2011 Emerging Artists Program award. Among roughly 150 candidates, approximately 15 are selected annually for individual awards of $2,500. Visit

Joe Matzzie '08  

Composer and arranger Joe Matzzie of Los Angeles, CA, finished production on the new album Christmas at the Renaissance Fair by Moat Jumper. The album also features trombonist Paul Nowell '07. The album was released October 18.

Composer Andrew Simon McAllister of Belfast, Northern Ireland, scored the BBC One primetime series Planet of the Apemen: Battle for Earth. The program was broadcasted on BBC iPlayer and will also be broadcasted on the Discovery Channel.



Songwriter Aryn Calhoun of Coppell, TX, released an album of original, indie-pop songs entitled Last One Standing in the beginning of October under her stage name Aryn Michelle. More than 400 international fans enabled Calhoun to raise $50,000 to produce the record via investments through the crowd-funding website SellaBand. Visit


Violinist David Delaney of South Windsor, CT, and guitarist Mark Kilianski of Nutley, NJ, make up the Whisky Boys. They recently performed at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival Orchestra Weekend.

Guitarist and djeli ngoni player Sam Dickey of Brooklyn, NY, performed at the Joyce Theater Foundation's September 11 commemorative concert.

  Kundayi Musinami '09
  Phil Farnsworth

Composer and production editor Eric Kalver of Los Angeles, CA, recently composed music for an iPhone game called Requiem. Within 10 days, the game had more than 2,000 downloads. Visit

Guitarist Elyse Marrero of Tallahassee, FL, is currently pursuing a master's degree in ethnomusicology at Florida State University. Marrero is researching the musical expression of children with autism and other topics related to the field. Marrero is also a music-play facilitator in the Artism Ensemble in Tallahassee at the Artism Musicultural Center.

Vocalist Kundayi Musinami of Boston served as the keynote speaker for the MassSTAR conference, an event for the top high-school students in New England.



Percussionist and DJ Eric Levine of Cambridge, MA, recently took a new position with MOTU.


Pianist Juri Ify Love of Dedham, MA, spoke at the "Women United for the Advancement of African Countries Conference" in July. She also runs a nonprofit organization called Genuine Voices, which brings music to youth detention centers. Her students were granted community passes to perform at Boston GreenFest 2011 in August.

Studio manager Kim Pfluger and lead engineer Keith Asack of Quincy, MA, opened Keep the Edge Studios, a 2,200-square-foot facility, in September. The studio also offers youth-centered music programs. Visit