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Guitar, Classical Guitar, Flamenco Guitar, Music Theory
Early Guitar Studies & Pit Orchestra Performances (1995-2002)
I began taking guitar lessons at the age of 11 with blues/jazz guitarist Tom Castonzo, a frequent performer, bandleader and teacher in and around the Chicago area. My studies with Tom lasted for many years and covered various musical and technical aspects of many different styles ranging from jazz to classical and everything in between. In 2002, I began performing in pit orchestras for various musicals including Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserable, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors, and Seussical the Musical.
Original Music Projects (2003-Present)
From 2003-2008, I wrote and performed music for 2 different progressive rock bands: Dream Haven and The Unit Theory. Dream Haven released the EP entitled “Nostalgia is Five Frame” and The Unit Theory released a full-length album entitled “Seed.” Both bands performed all over the greater Chicago-land area and helped me hone my skills as an electric guitarist. Throughout this time, we shared the stage with national touring & recording acts Fear Factory, Mastodon, Enuff Z’nuff, and Algernon, to name a few. I now play lead guitar in the Chicago-based alternative rock band Davenport Ed and am having started an all-instrumental acoustic/rock trio with two percussionists.
Undergraduate Studies (College of Dupage and Northern Illinois University: 2002-2008)
After high school, I attended the College of Dupage (COD) and began studying jazz guitar with Dr. Zvonimir Tot. Towards the end of my studies at COD, I developed an interest in classical guitar and took lessons from Steve Ramsdell. After I received my Associate’s Degree in Music from COD I started teaching private guitar lessons at various suburban Chicagoland locations. I graduated from COD in 2004 with an Associate in Music degree. In the fall of 2005, I started my Bachelor’s studies in Classical Guitar Performance at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with Fareed Haque (Winner of “Best World Guitarist” in Guitar Magazine). While at NIU, I continued to teach & perform up until I graduated in May 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance.
Graduate Studies (New England Conservatory of Music: 2008-2010)
I started my graduate studies in August 2008 at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston, under the tutelage of world-renowned guitarist Eliot Fisk. As an active performer in the greater Boston area, I made it a goal to bring the classical guitar to unorthodox venues such as senior centers, local TV, hospitals, dialysis treatment centers, and even juvenile halls! While at NEC, I started to take an interest in transcription, which is the art of adapting a composition for a voice or instrument other than the original. Eliot Fisk is a master at this, and his guidance was profound. In June 2010, I graduated from NEC with a Master’s in Music (with Academic Honors) for Classical Guitar Performance. My master's recital was a tour-de-force of virtuosic classical, acoustic, and electric guitar pieces with music ranging from J.S. Bach to Joaquin Rodrigo to Steve Vai.
Flamenco Guitar & Ritmo Flamenco (2009-Present)
During my time at NEC, I was fortunate enough to meet Grisha Goryachev, a master flamenco guitarist. Grisha introduced me to the basic principals of flamenco guitar and proved to be a wonderful resource. I continue my flamenco guitar studies by learning historical flamenco recordings entirely by ear. Short of living in Spain for extended periods of time, I have found this to be the purest way of learning. I am now the flamenco guitarist for Ritmo Flamenco, an ensemble that features dancer Diane Campbell.
Professional Musician & Awards (2010 – Present)
I moved back to Chicago in July 2010 and have since had hundreds of performances that include weddings, corporate events, restaurants, recitals, and more. My reputation as a premiere performing guitarist has grown rapidly in the past 2 years, and I earned 2 awards at the end of 2012: “Top Solo Guitarist” on Gigmasters.com (the world’s largest entertainment site) and “Best of Wedding” on TheKnot.com (the world’s largest wedding-planning site). I am a regular featured performing artist at premiere restaurants in the Chicago suburbs including The Cellar Bistro in Wheaton, Eddie Merlot’s in Warrenville, and Wildwood Steakhouse in Geneva.
Acting, Singing, Broadway Singing, Music Performance, Music Recording, Music Theory, Opera Voice, Songwriting, Speaking Voice, Theater Acting
I love everything about teaching! I love music; it is my life. I sleep, breathe and dream music. I am a Columbia University Chicago graduate; I graduated with a degree in Music with a concentration in Classical Voice. I have performed in numerous operas and musicals, as well as, sung on Gospel Cruises all around the world. In my eyes, the student is the main focus so whatever issues, concerns or request the student may have I will treat them with priority. I am all about strengthening the natural born talent and making my students the best vocalist they can be. I'm here to serve the students and that is what I will do until they are confident in their gift...music.
Bass Guitar, Drum, Guitar, Piano, Clarinet, Flute, Music Performance, Music Recording, Music Theory, Percussion, Songwriting
Originally from Indiana, David has been teaching music in both the private and public school sectors for 12 years. Getting his start as a drumline instructor with only 4 students, David soon expanded his teaching to include both guitar and piano, which he studied under Frank Puzzulo (of Miles Davis' group) at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Upon graduating Ball State, David moved to Colorado to study jazz and classical music with Dr. Douglas Walter, an accomplished percussionist who is known for his versatility and multiple percussion talents. He also studied piano and guitar in his off time, jamming with several rock and jazz groups both in and out of school.
In 2006, David left the college scene with a Masters in Music and moved to Florida where he began his teaching career. In Florida, David taught roughly 70 students, ages 5 to 18, at Wewahitchka High School and Middle School. He was beloved by the town, helping out in the community as a local organist for the Presbyterian Church and as a frequent contributor to Wednesday night worship.
As wonderful as this time was, David gave up the gators and swamps to move back home to Indiana in 2007. Here, he took a job at Kokomo High School and Maple Crest Middle school where he resumed teaching students from 5th graders to seniors in all areas of music, including wind, strings/guitar and percussion. David established the first ever "rock and roll" class at the high school in 2008, a program that started with only 5 students and has ballooned to 38 in this current year! The class consisted of guitars, keyboards, bass and drums, all of which David can teach at a professional level.
Most recently, David graduated with his second Masters in Jazz Performance from DePaul University. He studied primarily with professor Ron Perillo, unquestionably the most innovative piano player in Chicago and with Bob Palmieri, a gifted guitarist. Having now graduated, David is devoting himself full time to teaching private students and looks very much forward to working with you!
2010 - DePaul University Performance Scholarship
2009 - DEKCS Most Influential Teacher of the Year
2006 - Wallace Fiske Award for Outstanding Percussionist
2001 - Guest Performance at Mukugowa Women's College in Osaka, Japan
2001 - Ball State University Undergraduate Concerto Contest Winner
2001 - Kokomo Symphony Concerto Contest Winner
2000 - Butler Matinee Musicale Winner
Singing, English, Music Theory
Began performing locally (Denver, CO) in community theater at age 7
- Private vocal instruction at the age of 12
- Began performing locally (Loveland/Denver, CO) in cafes and lounges at age 17
- at the age of 17, began making home visits to teach voice lessons (ages 7-11)
- Accepted performance scholarship to Berklee College of Music
- Performed in the greater Boston area with Folk/Rock band
- Graduated from Berklee in 2005 with a degree in Music Education
- Former Choir Director at St. Frances of Rome School
-Performed with Unnatural Act (local cover band) 2009 - 2011
-Currently teaching 6th grade Writing on the West Side of Chicago
I love music in any capacity: Listening, singing, writing, playing or teaching. I have been singing most of my life in various contexts, from musical theater, to blues & folk/rock bands and continue to perform and teach today. My background is primarily R&B, jazz & blues, and, while I have some classical training, I prefer to stick with more contemporary styles, including jazz, blues, R&B, folk and rock. As a middle school choir director I feel lucky to be able to share my love of music with a group of excitable young people!
Bass Guitar, Composition, Dance, Drum, Ear Training, Guitar, Piano, Singing, Classical Guitar, Flute, Music Performance, Music Recording, Music Theory, Percussion, Saxophone, Songwriting, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Upright Bass
Daniel, a former faculty member of Columbia College in Chicago, is a studio and live performance singer and musician based in Chicago. His teaching and performing experience spans three decades, and includes expertise in the studies of voice, guitar, piano, bass, drums, and trumpet, along with music theory, arranging, and composing. He is a Lincoln Academy Student Laureate who holds a BA in Music Composition, and has attended graduate courses in education at Roosevelt University and DePaul University in Chicago. He has taught students of all ages at private studios, public school, and college.
Daniel is described by his students as a natural teacher. He prefers to be regarded as an advancing student, and takes the journey along with his students to guide them towards their goals with a friendly, positive, efficient and productive approach. He feels that music is within all of us, and a desire to learn is a sign of talent, so anyone can develop their musical abilities with methodical practice.
The musical journey for Daniel began at an early age with trumpet and piano studies which became a passion for him by the age of 14. He was the drum major of the high school marching band, and successfully completed a paid contract to arrange music for the high school jazz band which performed in a state beauty pageant. He began teaching privately after high school, and continued playing in bands, and composing original music. He formed a professional jazz ensemble under the name of the Chicago Jazz Players by the age of 22, and developed his arranging techniques while having it performed by an eighteen piece orchestra consisting of many great local artists. It was in this environment that he gained experience with brass, woodwinds, and rhythm instruments. He was granted a position at Columbia College as an instructor at age 29 where he taught theory, sight singing, musicianship, ear training, harmony, orchestration, and composition. He scored the music for several plays, and conducted his own pieces with Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera Players. During those years he found himself playing the guitar and singing more than anything else. It was in 1995 that he focused on singing and playing the guitar with his rock band. He has produced several CD recordings of his original music in his own studio, and has helped produce local bands and artists. He performs regularly in the Chicago area.
Guitar, Classical Guitar, Music Performance, Music Theory, Songwriting
Bryan A. makes a living as a teacher, concert guitarist, performance artist, transcriber, studio artist, and composer/arranger. In addition to his private guitar and piano studio, Bryan is currently on strings faculty at Sherwood at Columbia College. Past collaborators and patrons include Halcyon Theatre, Inaside Chicago Dance, Steppenwolf Theatre, Northwestern University, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Southport Performing Arts, Devonshire Cultural Center, and Court Theatre. Bryan's guitar style is operatic, influenced by rock, alternative, folk, blues, jazz, pop, punk, R&B, hip-hop, and metal.
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."