Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Alumni (Page 2 of 57)

Alumni

Where are they now. . . find out how Berklee grads make their way in the music world.

A Recorder vs. the Big City: New ‘Tali Jams New York’ Web Series (Episodes 1 and 2)

Tali Rubinstein web video serie

Image by Noam Galai

By Tali Rubinstein B.M. ’14

How do I begin describing this project?

I’ve been playing the recorder for all my life. Music, to me, began with the Israeli equivalent of “Hot Crossed Buns”, trying to hit all the notes in the right order and rhythm. It was, back then, just a game. A very challenging, imagination-evoking game, but nevertheless—my only goal was to nail it—the simple excitement of getting it right . Little did I know back then, as a 7 year old, that this game would become my life. As I grew up and evolved as a musician, layers of knowledge, technique and style, as well as pure love and appreciation to music, were added to my playing, but that initial spark, that eagerness, has stuck with me. In a way, every time I play the recorder, I feel like that 7 year old kid, that just can’t wait to take on the challenge.

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Thinking ‘Big Picture’ in Nashville: Drummer John Rodrigue ’09

In this interview, alumna Shantell Ogden sits down with alumnus John Rodrigue to talk about his road to Nashville success.

By Shantell Ogden B.M. ’05

Nashville drummer John Rodrigue

Drummer John Rodrigue ’09

Born and raised in Houma, Louisiana, John Rodrigue ’09 was raised on classic rock and roll by two music-loving parents. Rodrigue received a drum set for his 11th birthday and that was just the beginning.

By the time he was 13, he was playing on the club and bar scene in a punk band with his older brother. Through high school he played in marching, jazz, and concert bands before starting Berklee in the spring of 2006 after being awarded a partial scholarship.

John took a moment out of his busy touring schedule to answer a few questions.

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From Grief to the Opry: Jenn Bostic ’08

In this post, singer-songwriter, author, and alumna Shantell Ogden sat down with fellow alumna Jenn Bostic to talk about Bostic’s musical journey. In this profile penned by Ogden, Bostic discusses her road to the Grand Ole Opry and beyond.

By Shantell Ogden B.M. ’05

Country music rising star Jenn Bostic

Jenn Bostic

“I threw myself into music to grieve,” says artist and songwriter Jenn Bostic ’08.

The Nashville-based Berklee alumni lost her father at age 10 and music became a place to process the loss she felt. It wasn’t until entering Berklee in the fall of 2004 that she really became a fan of country music.

“I studied music education at Berklee and while there started doing weekend gigs with a local country band called Digger Dawg with fellow alum Charlie Hutto, singing all the country hits,” she explained. “I would attend classes all week and play shows on Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday I would do all my homework, and the process would start again.”

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Real World: Nashville (Part 3)—Don’t Run from an Imperfect World

In early 2018, alumna Eva Cassel answered the call of the muse and left a steady restaurant job in Nashville in order to take her songwriting skills and habits to new heights. What follows below is part three of a series chronicling her experience. (Read parts one and two)

By Eva Cassel B.M. ’17

Eva Cassel and band rehears before filming a music video

Gearing up to film the video for “Don’t Run.”

In a perfect world I would report a successful week of writing a song a day, inspired and uplifted. But if the world were perfect, I’d have nothing to write about. I’m going to be real with y’all, I did not write a song a day. I could make excuses, but life will always get in the way if I let it. Wallowing in guilt is just an easy way out; I constantly have to stop myself from diving head first into that whirlpool. Having the energy to forgive myself has been an essential part of getting my butt to the chair and writing. One verse, chorus, or idea is better than nothing. It was hard not to feel defeated, but feeling defeated isn’t the point—writing is.

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Discovering Fado: Touring and Recording with Mariza

In fall 2017, bassist Lucy Clifford got the chance to record and tour with Portuguese fado sensation Mariza. Clifford reflects on the experience in the following selections from a travel journal she kept. You can also read the full version.

By Lucy Clifford ’16

Mariza poses with her 2017 touring band

The Mariza band, from left: Joao Frade, Mariza, Lucy Clifford, Luis Guerreiro, Pedro Joia

I was fortunate enough to accompany Mariza on her latest tour of the U.S., and in doing so, learned about the world of fado, a music in which Mariza can easily be described as the world’s reigning artist of today. I quickly gathered that no one has embraced fado with greater charisma than Mariza, and was amazed at how her, and the brilliant players that accompany her, have been reinventing its traditions. It was an opportunity that I am forever grateful for, and can sincerely say that not one concert went by on this tour where I didn’t learn something new about fine musicianship, fado, and its charming home – Lisbon, Portugal.

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