Final Cadence: Fall 2021
Marianne Harkless Diabate, of Milton, MA, died May 12 from complications from treatment for lymphoma. She was 63. An assistant professor at the Conservatory since 2015, Diabate performed and taught dance for more than 35 years. She leaves her husband, Sory Diabate; daughter, Ghana Milton; father, James Harkless; sisters and brothers; and cousins, nieces, and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother, Anne Cary Harkless.
Student Antone Chauvy of L'ile Rousse, France, died May 15 in Ibiza, Spain. He was 20. A performance major, Chauvy’s Berklee experience started in Boston in spring 2020 and took him to the Valencia campus during the pandemic. He leaves his mother, Marie-Noëlle Acquaviva, and father, Jocelyn Chauvy; siblings; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Ralph Peterson of North Dartmouth, MA, died March 1 from complications from a long battle with cancer. He was 58. A professor in the Percussion Department, Peterson began working at Berklee in 2003, and was viewed as a powerful steward of the acoustic hard bop tradition and a jazz missionary with a palpable desire to move jazz music forward. He leaves his wife, Linea; daughter, Sonora Slocum; stepdaughters, Saydee and Haylee McQuay; and spiritual daughter, Jazz Robertson.
Annie Baehr of Cambridge, MA, died July 18. She was 80. From 1990 to 2010, Baehr worked as an assistant to Senior Vice President Dave Hornfischer, now retired. “Annie was such a joy to work with for over 20 years. She was the face of our busy business-focused office, always kind and helpful to all in so many in often complicated situations,” Hornfischer said. Baehr leaves her husband, Joel, and daughters, Rebecca and Amy.
Jim Stinnett, a longtime Berklee faculty member, died February 7 after suffering a heart attack. From 1986 to 2016, Stinnett was in the Contemporary Writing and Production Department, taught arranging classes, and held bass private lessons. His list of publications includes The Music of Paul Chambers, Arcology, Creating Jazz Bass Lines, All Cows Eat Grass, Reading in Bass Clef, Slap Bass Workout, and 12 Keys to Success. He leaves his wife, Jamie; and children, Jessie Jeanne, Grant, and Sarah Anne.
Mario Alcides Cruz Leiton of East Boston, MA, died February 27 from complications due to COVID-19. He was 63. Cruz was a member of the Acme Services team that keeps Berklee’s campus clean and sanitized.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Jean Kunkel B.M. ’78, of Boulder, CO, died March 15 after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 67. Kunkel studied jazz piano at Berklee and went on to become a professor, working at Troy University and Southern Illinois University. She leaves her husband, David Krawitz; stepchildren, Jared and Noah; and many other relatives. Her parents, Walter and Barbara, died before her, as did her siblings, Barbie and Roger, and late husband, William Ullery.
Martha Jane (Marty) Simons ’86 of Cape Coral, FL, died in December 2017 after a long fight with cancer. She was a founding member, director, and instructor at Cape Coral Academy of Music.
Thomas Mitchell Anderson B.M. ’10, of New Hartford, CT, died January 21. He was 37. An electronic production and design major, he created and produced his own house music. His music was innovative and reflected his innate boldness and sense of adventure. He leaves his parents, Hugh and Marcia (Chamberlain) Anderson; brothers, Michael and Jeffrey; nephew; grandmother; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Nicole Hurst B.M. ’03, of Houston, TX, died August 4. She was 38. At Berklee, Hurst was a member of the Overjoyed gospel ensemble and was featured in the annual Singers Showcase. After college, she worked as a background vocalist for various artists, including Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Janet Jackson, Charlie Puth B.M. ’13, and others. She performed at the Grammy Awards, the Oscars, Super Bowl LII, and the White House, and appeared on many national television shows. She leaves her parents, Thurman (Joe) and Pamela Hurst; grandfather, Thurman; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Joseph Arpino ’86 of Westwood, MA, died March 29 after a battle with cancer. He was 56. A guitarist, Arpino played in various bands and worked in information technology. He leaves his wife, SallyAnn LeBlanc; brothers, Anthony and Paul; and aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. His parents were Giuseppe and Assunta (Valente) Arpino.
Michael Hayden Bingham ’81, of Toms River, NJ, died June 27 after a brief illness. He was 69. Bingham founded a piano tuning and technology business, the Piano Doctor, and was known for his local guitar performances. He leaves his father, Hayden; children, Glen (Jaime Strollo), Daniel, and Genevieve; granddaughter, Ruby Marie; sisters, Mary and Diane; and nieces and a nephew. His mother, Betty, died before him.
Baron L. Browne of Randolph, MA, died September 2 after a long battle with cancer. He was 61. As a student at Berklee, he honed his skills and later became a renowned electric bassist, touring with Billy Cobham, Jean-Luc Ponty, the Buddy Rich Big Band, Andrea Bocelli, and others. For the last 24 years he has played with Vital Information. Browne leaves his wife, Gail McArthur-Browne; parents, Donald Browne and his wife, Carolyn, and Beverly Maddox and her husband, James; siblings, Daun and Brandon; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Donald A. Brown Jr. ’80 of Kingston, MA, died July 31. He was 63. A lifelong musician, he played the saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, guitar, and flute. He leaves his wife, Michelle A. (Matatall) Brown; son, Jason; and mother, Barbara (Furtado) Brown Bosari, and her husband, Paul; siblings, Todd, Patricia, and Maureen; granddaughter, Amelia; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Jessica Stewart ’00, of Lakewood, OH, died February 9 after a lengthy illness. She was 39. After leaving Berklee, she moved to New York City and performed with several bands, including Industrial Rock Band Psychic TV, played piano for cabaret shows, and accompanied singers auditioning for cabaret and broadway shows. She leaves her parents, Jeff and Annette; brother, Jeff; sister, Becca; grandmother, Jane Stewart; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Jordan Phillip Snow ’12 of Norton, MA, died July 1. He was 31. A performance major, Snow performed with his dad and other musicians in Vermont throughout his high school and college years, and played solo guitar gigs. A U.S. Marine, and later Army soldier, Snow played in military bands. He leaves his wife, Mary (Donahue) Snow B.M. ’14; parents, Tracey and Mick; grandmother, Jean Lertola; and aunts, uncles, and cousins.
James A. Sugarman ’77 of Belmont, MA, died June 28 after a long battle with sarcoma. He was 67. A lifelong musician, he started playing drums at the age of 10. After his time as a student at Berklee, he remained at the college, working in the scheduling department, until 1992. He leaves his wife, Eleanor (Buckley); brother, Howard; sons, Scott and Michael; daughter, Vomella; two grandsons; and many nieces and nephews.
Raymond John Jung ’76 of Schenectady, NY, died February 1. He was 64. Accepted early to Berklee on a scholarship program, he was a student of Pat Metheny’s. Over the years, Jung performed regularly in New York City and Woodstock. He also played with Jeff Berlin and Phil Collins on studio sets. He was an instructor and faculty member at National Guitar Workshop Seminars, adjunct music professor at Union College, and guitar/bass teacher at Drome Sound in Schenectady. He leaves his mother, Juana; sister, Rosemary; brother, Christopher; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. His father, Lenwood, died before him.
Kevin Scott Chaffinch B.M. ’01 of Bear, DE, died July 19. He was 41. Chaffinch was one of the original members of the Philadelphia Eagles Drumline. He was the director of the indoor percussion program at Cumberland Regional High School, in New Jersey, and most recently was a director at Middletown High School in Delaware. He leaves his wife, Megan; children, Olivia and Samuel; siblings, Nicole and Brian; mother, Shelley; grandmother, Lavon; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
James Troy "JT" Chafin IV B.M. ’09 of McDonough, GA, died June 7. He was 40. After college, Chafin briefly sang jazz professionally in Chicago. He leaves his parents, James Troy and Sally Turner; sister, Barbara, and several uncles and cousins.
Arthur Kreinberg ’61 of Scranton, PA, died in January 2021. He was 79. In his career, he toured with the Glenn Miller Band and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and performed with the Ferdie Bistocchi Orchestra, Gene Dempsey Orchestra, Northeastern Philharmonic, Scranton Philharmonic, Scranton Recreational Band, and many other groups. Additionally, he taught music at North Scranton Junior High School. He leaves his sister, Sylvia, and his nieces. His parents, Arthur and Elizabeth Bessmer, died before him.
Shawn James Breen ’94, of Fort Collins, CO, died January 24 after a battle with cancer. He was 46. After his time at Berklee, Breen composed and performed jazz for many years. He worked in finance on Wall Street for 20 years and then got a degree in ornamental horticulture and moved to Colorado. He leaves his wife, Sara; parents, Frank and Fran; brothers, Dan and Kevin; sister, Beth; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Thomas John Coffey of Glass Lake, NY, died July 11. He was 72. A talented trumpet player, after leaving Berklee, he opened a music store, Sound Music, and later worked for the New York State Department of Corrections. He played trumpet with the Yankee Doodle Band, the oldest continuous American Legion Band in the country. He leaves his wife, Linda DeChristopher; children, Antoinett and John; and grandchildren.
Frederick S. "Rick" Kuethe ’83, of Boston, MA, died June 8. He was 74. A jazz pianist, Emmy-nominated composer, and performing and recording artist, he owned and operated AirSound, a recording studio in downtown Boston, and produced eight albums of original music in addition to composing for film and television. He leaves his wife, Florence (Florri) Aversa; sisters, Jo Ann, Kathleen, and Janet; and many nieces and nephews. His parents, Fred and Jane, died before him.
Joseph R. Dias Jr. ’73, of Cranston, RI, died April 18. He was 66. While at Berklee, he studied composition, classical clarinet, saxophone, and flute. During that time, he traveled with a 13-piece show band along the East Coast. He leaves his wife, Lori; son, Joseph Dias III; siblings, Nancy, Donald, Jeannine, and the late Maria; and many nieces and nephews.
Brian Pesetsky B.M. ’86, of Brookline, MA, died August 6 after a brief illness. He was 61. Pesetsky majored in jazz composition and worked in corporate accounting. He leaves his wife, Becky; daughter, Edan; son, Zachary; mother, Joan; two nephews, and a niece.