Faculty Notes: Spring 2020

April 25, 2020

Recent accomplishments, releases, and events by Berklee faculty. 

Assistant Professor Jason Palmer released his 14th album as a leader in March.

Former Professor David Vose was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame on August 30. Other inductees include legendary drummers Steve Gadd and Billy Cobham. Also inducted was George Takei, best known for his role on Star Trek

Assistant Professor Jason Yeager released his album New Songs of Resistance, combining chamber-jazz arrangements of the nueva canción genre with original compositions. It was recorded at Berklee as part of his master’s degree thesis. Yeager will perform May 20 at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall.

Rhoda Bernard, managing director of the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, gave the opening keynote at the Arts in Education Conference for the U.S. Department of Education. In January, she became the chair of the Arts Education Advisory Council of Americans for the Arts.

Associate Professor  was awarded a residency at the Apollinaire Theatre Company in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where she will develop and perform her one-woman show in 2020. She will also teach a series of voice master classes in Beijing, China, this year.

Professor Mark Walker performed in April with his sextet at ātac, an arts center in Framingham, and will headline the Arlington Jazz Festival with his new big band on May 17.

Associate Professor David R. Gammons directed and designed the Boston premiere of Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray's satire of 19th century English manners and morals, for Underground Railway Theater Company at Central Square Theater. The play ran January 29 to February 29.

Boston Landmarks Orchestra will premiere Professor Francine Trester's "A Walk in Her Shoes" in August. Honoring the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the Hatch Memorial Shell performance will feature soprano Brianna Robinson and mezzo-soprano Assistant Professor Carrie Cheron.

Retiring Professor John Stein toured in Brazil in May 2019. While there, he recorded his 15th album, which was released March 6 (Whaling City Sound) and features the cream of the crop among Brazilian jazz musicians, Stein’s compositions, and gems by Henry Mancini, Jim Hall, Pat Martino, and Joe Henderson.

Instructor Sarpay Özçağatay released his sixth book, Jazz Licks: Comprehensive Studies for Flute and C Instruments. His book series, UNLOCK, is sold in more than 40 countries. Recently, the website BookAuthority called the first volume, The Jazz Flute, one of the best flute books of all time. Visit sharpeyemusic.com.  

Professor Apostolos Paraskevas premiered his fifth guitar concerto, Elegy for the Forgotten, with guitarist Joaquín Clerch, at the Havana International Guitar Festival and Contest in April. In May, his Studies for the Guitar will be recorded at Berklee as a result of a grant he received.

Associate Professor Rick McLaughlin traveled to Greece and Sweden in support of Berklee's Global Initiatives program. He re-released his 2003 album, Study of Light, in February on all digital platforms. Visit rickmclaughlin.com.

Professor Tom Stein has been appointed to a peer-review program for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2020. He previously served in this capacity for the year 2016. 

Professor Kris Adams performed in Perugia, Italy, on January 11 at Ristorante Enoteca Giò Arte e Vini, and in Rome on January 17 at Osteria Margutta.

Professor Alejandro Rodriguez was the main sound engineer at the Panama Jazz Festival. For nearly a decade, he’s been in charge of front-of-the-house mixing on main venues, including the opening gala.

Professor Dennis Leclaire received the Distinguished Faculty Award this year for the Professional Writing and Music Technology Division.

While on sabbatical, Professor Ed Saindon presented two November clinics for the vibraphone and improvisation: one at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, Netherlands, and one at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Antwerp, Belgium. Vic Firth and Yamaha sponsored both clinics. 

Sergio Martínez, percussion instructor at Berklee’s campus in Valencia, joined  Al Di Meola ’74 for two performances at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London. Afterward, Martínez joined Di Meola’s acoustic quartet for touring and recordings. 

Associate Professor Ana Guigui was awarded a residency at the Apollinaire Theatre Company in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where she will develop and perform her one-woman show in 2020. She will also teach a series of voice master classes in Beijing, China, this year.

Associate Professor Susan Cattaneo was nominated for Best Americana Artist at the Boston Music Awards and won the Connecticut Folk Festival & Green Expo 2019 Grassy Hill Songwriting Competition. Her album The Hammer and the Heart charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Songs Chart in September 2017. 

Associate Professor Teodros Kiros published his 16th book, Self-Definition: A Philosophical Inquiry from the Global South and Global North (Lexington Books), in November. 

In 2019, Associate Professor John Whynot mixed scores to After the Wedding, The Universal Sphere, 3Below, Guest of Honour, The Addams Family, and Wizards. He also completed and launched the Berklee Online course Audio/Music Production for Visual Media, and is currently authoring the course Mixing the Film Score.  

Associate Professor David Valdes’s play Last Catastrophist premiered at the Boston Center for the Arts in January, starring Shanelle Villegas (B.F.A.,’19, contemporary theater). His play Up the Ladder, Down the Slide was recently featured in both the 2019 National Showcase of New Plays and the 2019 Orlando Shakes PlayFest.

Associate Professor Sergio Bellotti wrote and coproduced “I Know U Know,” featuring Lane McRay (founder and active member of the famed LaBouche) on vocals. Four versions of the song are available on 2 ON Records.

Associate Professor Amanda Monaco performed at Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, to celebrate the release of the album Pride and Joy by the collective Lioness, of which she is a founding member. Visit convergencearts.org/lioness.

For the past seven years, Professor Sheila Katz has cotaught a three-week silent mindfulness meditation retreat, which takes place outside Washington, D.C., and is sponsored by the Awakened Heart Project. This year, the group relocated to the Jemez mountains of New Mexico. 

In November, the A-Beez, co-led by Assistant Professor Amy Bellamy (keys) and husband, Aaron Bellamy (bass), released the song and music video "Christmas without You," featuring vocalist Nigel Hall of Lettuce. Proceeds went to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Visit thea-beez.com.

Associate Professor Steven Kirby authored a book for Berklee Press titled Jazz Guitar Improvisation Strategies, which was published in April. 

Professor Tim Ray released a new trio recording, Excursions and Adventures, featuring faculty members Terri Lyne Carrington (drums) and John Patitucci (bass). Ray is also the musical director and pianist for Tony Bennett. Since 2018, Ray has performed in concert with Bennett nationally and abroad.

Associate Professor Nando Michelin recorded Gratitude, an original South American jazz album featuring faculty members George Garzone and Fernando Huergo; alumni Jerry Bergonzi ’68 and Tiago Michelin B.M. ’15; and Max Acree’19.

Associate Professor Daniel McIntyre launched EDM record label Droid Mafia, which will feature his former students. His single “Brain-Bot…Broken” was released in February and the full EP, Sentient Dawn, came out in March. He also scored the show opener for one of the NFL playoff games this season.

Associate Professor Daniel McCusker performed in a Merce Cunningham Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum in New York as part of the Cunningham Centennial Celebration in November. And his essay “Start Here” was published in January in the Performing Arts Journal (MIT Press).

Professor Julius Williams was one of the judges of the ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize competition. He also conducted Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 at the Belding Theater in Hartford, CT, in March. Visit juliuspwilliams.com

Associate Professor Doug Lockwood directed King Lear for Actors' Shakespeare Project at Chelsea Theatre Works last fall. 

Professor David Howard performed in Italy, Prague, and Malta in 2019 and will be performing from this June to September in Italy, including at the Roccella Jazz Festival on September 15, and at the Jazz Boat club in Prague. His new CD will be released June 1. 

Dean Matthew Nicholl and Professor Michael Farquharson released the album Left to the Right of Center (Casa Limón), which they wrote and produced, in October. The music on the album was performed by Nicholl, Farquharson, and several Berklee alumni and faculty members.

Assistant Professor Jon Forsyth published the book The DIY Guide to Making Music Videos (Hal Leonard). The book synthesizes the content of the music video production course he developed and introduced in Boston and Valencia.

Professor Neil Leonard created sound for the video Baño Sagrado, which played at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City in January and March. The project was his second of 33 collaborative works with Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. 

Chair Don Gorder gave the keynote address at the Music Creates Future: Cross-Border Talent and Industry Prosperity international forum at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in November. The title of the keynote was “Shaping the Music Industry through Education.”

In September, Associate Professor  performed a series of solo piano concerts throughout Korea, including at the Goyang Aram Nuri Arts Center.

Chair Jonathan Bailey Holland's composition “El Jaleo” premiered in a performance by the Phoenix ensemble at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's Calderwood Hall in September. His Motor City Dance Mix received its U.K. premiere with the BBC Symphony in November.

Professor Richard Davis released Walk Gently on the Earth, an album of songs and mantras, featuring musicians from all over the globe.

Assistant Professor Jason Palmer released his 14th album as a leader in March. He was also featured in the latest issue of International Trumpet Guild Journal

Assistant Professor Jason Yeager released New Songs of Resistance (Outside in Music), which developed from his graduate studies at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. It will be featured in the April edition of DownBeat. On May 20, he will perform at Carnegie Hall.

Assistant Professor Bertram Lehmann was featured on the group Imagine 5’s debut as well as Klaus Spencker Trio’s album Crossing Borders. He will appear on upcoming releases with Felipe Salles’s Interconnections Ensemble, Piazzolla’s “Six Tango Études for Flute” by Linda Bento-Rei, and Mehmet Sanlikol’s composition “The Rise Up.” 

Chair Steve Bailey released Carolina, an album of duets, featuring his fretless bass, along with Ian Anderson, Ron Carter, Willie Nelson, Becca Stevens, and 14 others. Also, he will tour with Victor Wooten, supporting the duo’s new Bass Extremes release. 

Assistant Professor Elina G. Hamilton presented her research on Western music in Japan in the paper "Unfolding Boston's Cranes" at the national meeting for the American Musicological Society, held in Boston in November.

Assistant Professor Ralph Jaccodine was the keynote speaker at Johnson & Wales University's sixth annual Sports, Entertainment, Event-Management Conference. This year is his 28th year of running Ralph Jaccodine Management. 

Associate Professor Catherine Bent and her group, the Macayú Trio (Bent, cello; Assistant Professor Yulia Musayelyan, flute; Assistant Professor Maxim Lubarsky, piano), completed an all-original album, Landscapes. In January, Bent participated in the first International Choro Connections music festival in New Orleans.

Associate Professor Manuel Kaufmann directed the Bob Freedman Memorial Concert, in honor of the late chair of Commercial Arranging (now CWP), in the summer, and he recorded music for a sextet CD on a faculty grant. He also led the Manuel Kaufmann Jazz Orchestra at the Berklee Performance Center in the fall.

Associate Professor Sharon Broadley-Martin has been asked to return to direct the All-Cape & Islands High School Jazz Festival this spring. The Honors Vocal Jazz Ensemble will perform compositions and arrangements by Broadley-Martin.

Assistant Professor  received a Boston Foundation 2019 Live Art Boston grant to complete her album TERRA, which features Professor Tim Ray on piano and Jamey Haddad on percussion. The album’s release concert will be May 10 at the Arlington Street Church in Boston.

Assistant Professor Sean McLaughlin won Producer of the Year at the 2019 Boston Music Awards. This follows his win for Producer of the Year at the New England Music Awards in September. This is the first time anyone won Producer of the Year for both award shows.

In June, Assistant Professor Maxim Lubarsky founded and organized the first Black Sea Jazz Weekend in Odessa, Ukraine, where he had two successful performances and a day of master classes. He was joined by professors Gabrielle Goodman and Oscar Stagnaro, and Chair Yoron Israel

Assistant Professor Jimena Bermejo became director of the dance program at the College of the Holy Cross in 2018. She also received a 2020 Mass Cultural Council STARS Residency grant to work with students from Boston Arts Academy to create a project using movement and video.

Associate Professor Yoko Miwa released Keep Talkin', which reached No. 4 on JazzWeek's radio chart and received four stars from DownBeat. She signed a worldwide management contract with Ellora Management and the Ubuntu record label.

Professor Herman Hampton has published Diverse Works, a series developed for the Berklee community since 1997. It comprises eight programs on diversity, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Celebration, the Art of Romare Bearden, Henry Grimes Residency, the Prison Music Program, Caravaan Music and Aid Trip to Uganda.  

In February, JazzTimes published an article about the career and music of Professor JoAnne Brackeen, a 2018 NEA Jazz Master. She also performed at the Whitney Museum, and has upcoming shows in New York at Mezzrow Jazz Club and Lincoln Center, and in Thailand, London, and Denver.

Professor Lauren Passarelli attended a master class with Neil Dorfsman and Doug Yowell at the Power Station New England recording studio in Connecticut. 

Associate Professor Jorrit Dijkstra, a saxophonist and composer, released a new album with his Boston-based quintet Cutout on his label Driff Records. The group will be touring around the Northeast this fall. Visit driffrecords.com.

In the fall, Associate Professor Nicholas Urie wrote arrangements for the Metropole Orkest's tour of the Netherlands featuring guitarist Cory Wong (of Vulfpeck), conducted by Vince Mendoza. He also arranged for the Metropole's Ramses Shaffy tribute tour.

Professor Carolyn Wilkins is proud to announce the release of her new mystery novel Death at a Seance (Pen-L Publishing). Set in the 1920s, the story chronicles the adventures of an African American psychic wrongly accused of murder.

Professor Jimmy Kachulis’s compositions have won or been finalists in the following composition competitions: N.E.O. Sound, Northern California Viola Society, and Fresh Voices XIX.

Assistant Professor Chad Blinman released two recordings as part of his Real Space Noise project: the album Empty and Pointless and companion EP Lost Science, which he describes as "dark electronic art rock with strong post-punk and new wave influence, industrial leanings and a science fiction bent." Visit realspacenoise.com.

Professor Thomas Gregg was a tenor soloist and chorister in the Montana Early Music Festival in early 2020. The weeklong festival featured a program of Vivaldi sacred works with Baroque orchestra, performed each evening in four Montana cities: Bozeman, Butte, Missoula, and Helena.

Professor Kevin Siegfried is the 2019-2020 concert season composer-in-residence with Choral Arts Northwest, one of Seattle’s premier choral ensembles, and with the Capitol Hill Chorale, based in Washington, D.C.

Assistant Professor Peter Bell released the book Creating Commercial Music (Berklee Press) in February. 

Instructor Viktorija Pilatovic released The Only Light, her third studio album featuring original compositions. It got nominated for the Valencian Institute of Culture’s Premis Carles Santos award for best jazz album in 2019, and it received a three-star review in DownBeat.

Associate Professor Vadim Neselovskyi was featured on the album Da’at Craig Taborn/Vadim Neselovskyi (Tzadik Records). He presented his project Vadim Neselovskyi Nonet Featuring Dave Douglas and Sara Serpa at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn. He also performed at the Dubai Opera, Sendesaal Bremen, and the National Philharmonic of Ukraine. 

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra invited Associate Professor Ady Cohen to present the scope of his musical work with a February lecture about film music and his compositions in particular. In October, he was one of six musicians nominated for the Israeli Culture and Arts Award, honoring Israel’s most impactful artists.

Viper Records has picked up previously unreleased music by World Goes Round, a 1980s band of performers and writers that included Assistant Professor Marty Walsh. The video debuted in April. 

Assistant Professor Paul D’Agostino taught Linklater voice-training methodology at the world-renowned monthlong intensive at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, in January.

Professor Felice Pomeranz was the only jazz/popular-music non-Asian harpist featured at the Cadenza Music Festival in Japan last summer. She will present and/or perform at the ASTA National Conference, American Harp Society National Conference, and World Harp Congress. Her book Berklee Contemporary Etudes for Harp comes out in May. 

Assistant Professor Timothy McCormack’s piece "Subsidence" is featured on the ELISION Ensemble's new CD (Huddersfield Contemporary Records), and his new piece "The Hollow of the Heart" was premiered by Sweden's Curious Chamber Players at the ECLAT Festival in Stuttgart, Germany.

In November, the Ludovico Ensemble presented a three-concert minifestival of music by Professor Marti Epstein to celebrate her 60th birthday. Taking place at Longy's Pickman Hall, the concerts received favorable reviews from the Boston Globe. Also that month, the Boston Civic Symphony presented the Boston premiere of Epstein's orchestral work Celestial Navigation.

Related categories: