Gary Hines ’74
Music Director and Producer, Sounds of Blackness
Jazz & Blues, Rock & Roll, R&B, Gospel, Hip-hop & Soul – These are The Sounds of Blackness! They’ve performed for Kings & Queens, Presidents & Ambassadors at Concert Halls, Corporations, Schools Colleges, Community Centers and at Festivals all over the World. Sounds of Blackness has appeared with Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Prince, Elton John, Maya Angelou, Usher, Harry Belafonte, Common, John Legend and countless others. They’ve won Image, Stellar and, 3 Grammy Awards! Their Life-Changing Single & Video “ROYALTY” is Available Now on ITunes and has been Nominated for two NAACP Image Awards!
Bethany Battafarano ’13
Soprano and Composer Bethany Battafarano (’13) makes it her goal to bridge classical music with social justice initiatives. As a singer, Battafarano is contracted locally with The Rose Ensemble, Apollo Master Chorale, First Readings Project, MN Chorale, and her chamber treble ensemble, Artemis. She has also appeared with Punk Ass Classical, Mirandola Ensemble, and Oratory Bach. In addition to her work as a vocalist, Battafarano was recently commissioned as a composer by the Cedar Cultural Center, where she premiered a work for choir and Andean instrumentation in February of 2017. A true Macalester graduate, Bethany maintains avid interdisciplinary interests and continues to work as a Spanish medical interpreter, a transcriptionist, and an autism care provider.
Kerry Alexander ’12
Songwriter, singer, guitarist
Kerry is the leader of Minneapolis-based indie rock band, Bad Bad Hats. Bad Bad Hats was discovered and signed to local label Afternoon Records after performing at Macalester’s Battle of the Bands in 2012. They released the It Hurts EP in January of 2013. In July of 2015, they released their debut full-length album, Psychic Reader, which garnered praise from the likes of NPR, Spin, Paste, and Pitchfork. They’ve spent the last year touring extensively, playing in 34 states and once in Canada, supporting The Mynabirds, Hippo Campus, Hey Marseilles, and Third Eye Blind. The band will hit the road again early next year, opening for Margaret Glaspy. Kerry is currently writing songs for the band’s second album, to be recorded next year.
Curtis Gilbert ’02
Correspondent at American Public Media
Curtis Gilbert ’02 minored in music at Macalester, focusing on composition. He played guitar in Mac Jazz, participated in the New Music Ensemble and sang with the Traditions a cappella group, arranging numerous pop songs for tenor, baritone, bass and beat box. These days his musical exploits are focused on the preschooler demographic (his 4-year-old son, Noah) and the odd appearance covering AC/DC with the Bemidji Lovejacks at the annual Minnesota Public Radio holiday party. Curtis is a correspondent for APM Reports, the investigative and documentary journalism unit at American Public Media. He has worked in public radio since 2004, as a producer and reporter. He has covered Minneapolis and St. Paul City halls, produced local and national programs and hosted lived events for Minnesota Public Radio. His reporting work was recently featured in the hit podcast In the Dark.
Kristine Stresman ’11
Pianist, vocalist, songwriter
Since graduation, Kristine has been an active member of the Minneapolis/St. Paul indie music scene. She currently is a member of the group Enemy Planes. Though based out of the Cities, EP tours extensively across the country and the band’s sophomore album will be released this spring. She studied classical conducting and voice at Macalester as a music major as well as being active in theatre and MacJazz. Kristine has worked in live and studio engineering, music production, songwriting, and electronic music design.
Doug Little ’91
Saxophonist, flutist, composer, and bandleader
Originally from California Little has been based out of Minneapolis for over 25 years. During that time he has recorded 10 CDs as a leader, appeared on dozens more as a sideman, and performed concerts throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Trained as a jazz musician, Little’s background also includes extensive Latin music studies in Cuba and Brazil. In 2015 his band Charanga Tropical became the first U.S. group ever to perform at the International Danzón Festival in Havana. As part of that tour the group performed on national Cuban radio and recorded its latest CD in the same Havana studios of Buena Vista Social Club. In addition to Charanga Tropical, Little also leads the Latin jazz septet Seven Steps To Havana, the world music trio Tres Mundos, and the Doug Little Jazz Quartet. For his work in music Little has received support and recognition from the American Composers Forum, the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the Minneapolis Arts Commission, the McKnight Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and the French Ministry of Culture.