Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Alumni (Page 1 of 59)


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

An International Vision for Music Education

By Jesus Saenz ’19

Headshot grid of musicians taking part in the Festival Musician for the World 2022I look back on my upbringing in Lima, Peru and I am met with wonderful memories of my vibrant life. My taste buds can still taste the rich dishes served to me as a child by my grandmother and my feet still beat to the Peruvian folk dances I learned long ago. I am who I am today because I am a proud Peruvian, but I am also who I am because of my decision to venture elsewhere.

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Applying a Scientific Approach to Discover Why Music Sounds the Way It Does

By Daniel Choi B.M. ’12

A studio control room with light wood panelingScience and technology have always been an integral part of the evolution of music. Many musicians in the modern age often associate the term “music technology” with sound engineering, and even sound engineering can mean varying depths of insight into the technical and scientific aspects of sound. However, science and technology in music is not limited to sound engineers using fancy audio gear to record and/or mix music, whether it be in the studio or in live environments. The influences of technology in music can also include the way instruments are designed, music is composed and arranged, and how sound is reproduced within any given environment.

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Remembering Mike Renzi

Boston Conservatory alum Denise DeCaro (B.F.A. ’74) remembers the life and extraordinary career of her long-time friend and collaborator, Mike Renzi in the following tribute. Renzi passed away on September 28, 2021.

By Denise DeCaro

Pianist Mike Renzi

Mike Renzi (Image by Carol Mainelli)

On September 28, 2021, the internet lit up across the world as the recording and entertainment community learned of the sudden passing of maestro Mike Renzi, jazz musician and one of the most revered accompanists in the world. “He accompanied Mel Torme, Lena Horne, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, and Big Bird,” as New York Times journalist, Neil Genzlinger, wrote in his Sunday, October 17, 2021 article, highlighting Mike Renzi’s 70-year career.

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Notes from the Room: When Writing Room Walls Talk

Veteran songwriter, author, and Berklee alumnus Billy Seidman reflects on the many experiences he’s had in the songwriting world. In this three-part series, Billy shares some of that hard-earned wisdom.

By Billy Seidman ’72

Vocal mics in a recording studioWith years of song cowrites to reflect on, scenes such as the following have been a reminder for me to go with the flow, but having a backup plan can also save the day. Consider this scenario, inspired by my own experiences:

Taylor the “Pop Shark” was stalking an idea, pacing in a circle doing his usual routine; speak-singing nonsense syllables trying to tease out a melody.

Jordan had been lobbing titles at Taylor and me for 45 minutes; “How about ‘Too little, too late,’ or ‘The Wheel’,” he said hoping one would click and stick.

The clock was coming up on an hour and 15 minutes since the three of us settled into BMG’s NYC writing room and…nada.

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Ella Fitzgerald: Singing, Storytelling, and the Ultimate Creative Entrepreneurial Adventure

By Nanette Perrotte B.M. ’91

Cover art for book Ella Jane the Jazzy CatElla Jane drew the shortest straw. Now she had to step onto one of the most infamous stages in New York City: the Apollo Theater. Would the audience love her? Or boo her?

This is the opening scene of my audiobook and e-book, Ella Jane the Jazzy Cat—An Ella Fitzgerald Fable. The book, written for 6- to 12-year-old students, is a fable based on the life of vocal master Ella Jane Fitzgerald. I also composed an original tune “Ella Jane the Jazzy Cat—Twist, Spin, Jump Jive.”

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