Author & Instructor
Kari Henrik Juusela is a Finnish-American composer, performer, and educator who presently serves as dean of the Professional Writing and Music Technology Division at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to writing music in styles ranging from pop to contemporary classical, he enjoys playing and recording the cello, bass, guitar, piano, table, and the Finnish Kantele.
His compositions have won numerous awards from such organizations as the Vienna State Opera, the International Trumpet Guild, the London Chamber Music Society, the Composer’s Guild, GASTA, and ASCAP. He has also won the International Red Stick Composition Competition, the American Songwriting Awards Contest, the San Francisco Art Song Competition, and the Aliénor Harpsichord Composition Contest. His works have been performed at many important venues including Carnegie and Tchaikovsky Hall by internationally acclaimed ensembles and performers, as well as by numerous rock, pop, and jazz groups. He is the author of over 20 college-level courses and is the author of the Berklee Contemporary Dictionary of Music.
Dr. Juusela holds degrees from the University of Maryland, Georgia State University, and Berklee College of Music. His music is published by ISG Publications, MuusJuus Music, and Yelton Rhodes Music, and is recorded on ERM, Beauport Classical, Lakeside Records, Capstone Records, and MuusJuus Music.
Tom Hojnacki enjoys an unusually varied musical career. As a keyboard player, Tom has worked with the national touring productions of the Big Apple Circus, A Chorus Line, Altar Boyz, Beautiful!, Matilda, and Finding Neverland. He has appeared with the Prague Radio, the Claflin Hill, the Plymouth Philharmonic and the New Bedford Symphony Orchestras and as a chamber musician in performances of the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Bartok, Messiaen, and Shostakovich.
As a jazz pianist, he has performed with Billy Pierce, Joe Lovano, Jimmy Giuffre, George Garzone, Larry Coryell, the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra, the Kenny Hadley Big Band, the Cab Calloway Orchestra, and the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra and with the singer Aretha Franklin. As a conductor, he has led numerous performances of ballet, opera, musical theater, and symphonic repertoire. An award winning composer (GEMA, Telly), Tom has written works for musical theater, orchestra, band, jazz orchestra, chorus and various chamber ensembles. He has made a number of recordings, most notably, his Symphony No. 1 with the Prague Dvorak Orchestra and Julius Williams, conductor, on Albany Records. Tom has taught at Dean College and the New England Conservatory of Music. He is currently the assistant chair of the Harmony Department at Berklee College of Music where he teaches theory, composition, piano, and conducting. He is co-author of The Berklee Book of Jazz Harmony, with Joe Mulholland (Berklee Press/Hal Leonard, 2013).
Rick McLaughlin’s work has been heard all over the world. A band leader, side-man, and member of the Grammy-nominated jazz group Either/Orchestra, he has performed on stages and in recording studios in places ranging from greater Boston, MA to Los Angeles, CA; from Barcelona, Spain to Rome, Italy; and from Phuket, Thailand to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dozens of CDs feature Rick McLaughlin, including his own debut as a leader, Study of Light, which garnered critical acclaim (“…illuminates your aural universe with singleness and sincerity.” - Marcel Polgar, Double Bassist Magazine). He has shared the stage with a wide range of musicians, from jazz luminaries such as Don Byron, Steve Lacy, John Medeski, Danilo Perez, and John Zorn, to rock musicians Willie “Loco” Alexander, Morphine and Peter Wolf, and country music star Roger Miller. A frequent collaborator with musicians from all over the globe, McLaughlin has also performed with Ethiopia’s great singers Mahmoud Ahmed and Alemayhu Eshete, as well as the innovator behind Ethio-Jazz, Mulatu Astatke.
Although primarily known as a bassist, McLaughlin is a highly regarded teacher, most notably as Associate Professor of Harmony at Berklee College of Music, but formerly in a variety of faculty, administrative, and clinician positions at other music schools as well. These positions capitalize on the work McLaughlin has done in addition to his bass playing, as a published author, composer, and arranger.
McLaughlin graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA with both B.M. and M.M. degrees, the latter he received with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance. Former endorsements include AlterEGO instruments, Gallien-Krueger amplifiers, and Hohner Melodicas. For more information please visit Rickmclaughlin.com