Alumni and Careers

Just as no two bassists are the same, there is not just one career path open to Berklee bass students. For a detailed look at the wide spectrum of careers that Berklee alumni enjoy, explore Career Communities.

Bass Performance Alumni

Many Berklee alumni have gone on to successful bass performance careers. Below, learn about a small sample of them.

  • Class of 2003
    Bassist, the Roots
    Mark Kelley has been the full-time bass chair with the Roots since 2011, a gig he landed after being asked to sub for Christian McBride in Questlove’s band Mo’ Meta Blues.
  • Class of 1972
    Bassist; Guitarist

    Abraham Laboriel Sr. '72 is one of the most legendary bass players of his era, having thousands of album credits to his name playing for the likes of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, and Madonna.

  • Class of 1970
    Bassist; Violinist; Saxophonist

    George Mraz came to Berklee in 1968 by way of the Czech Republic. Since coming to the United States,  he has been an in-demand bassist, playing with a host of jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and Charles Mingus and garnering credits on almost 1,000 recordings.

  • Class of 1986
    Bassist

    John Myung ‘86 studied bass guitar at Berklee and is best known as the bassist for the wildly popular progressive metal band Dream Theater.

  • Class of 2005
    Bassist; Vocalist; Songwriter; Arranger

    Esperanza Spalding graduated from Berklee in 2005, making history upon graduation by becoming one of the youngest instructors in the college’s history. This was just the tip of the iceberg, however, as Spalding went on in 2011 to become the first jazz musician to win the Grammy for Best New Artist, beating out Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford & Sons.

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