Professor Nick R. (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dobro/resonator/slide, lap steel, tenor guitar, baritone resonator, bass, drums, composition) is currently the adjunct professor at Essex College, Jazz clinician for over 19 years via Kupferberg Center (Queens College) and has been on the staff at Great Neck Music Conservatory. Nick has given lectures at Manhattanville College, at Queens College and at schools, nationally.
Nick has been a sideman with Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste, Rob Morrow, John Lithgow, Russell Hall, Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, Marcus Miller (a new film), Moroccan vocalist/composer, Malika Zarra, Bill Charlap, Frank Vignola, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Jim Nolet (Jazz Passengers), Jennifer Jade Ledesna, the late greats Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Joe Ascione and continues to play for Th
e Hot Sardines, Andrew Nemr (tap dancer), Miles Griffith's New Ting, Terry Waldo, Dandy Wellington, New Orleans’ Aurora Nealand, Gordon Au's Grand St Stompers, Mona's Hot Four, Dr. David Pleasant, Jon Weber, John Colianni, Kim Clarke, Raphael McGregor, Anastasia Rene, Indian/pop singer, Meetu Chilana, & many others.
Nick has played extensively with Malika Zarra, including her Ebony Road CD release with Harvey Wirht, Mamadou Ba, Brahim Frigane and other great world musicians. As a pupil of Pandit Samir Chatterjee, Nick continues to study Indian music, plays harmonium, box tanpura (soon sitar and oud!) and jams with grammy nominated producer/composer/Indian percussionist, Deep Singh (tabla player with Sting) and grammy nominated producer/trumpet player/composer, Frank London on a regular basis.
Nick has also played extensively with ELEW years before, when he was jazz pianist, Eric Lewis and trombonist, Clark Gayton as sideman in various bands, including the James Brown tribute band with the late great, Black Velvet (Charles Bradley) led by Victor Jones.
Nick currently leads/MC's 3 bands: Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches, Hot Jazz Jumpers and NickR+11
Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches (with Betina Hershey) album, Get Us Out Of Fearland: #2 album, #2 artist, #5 song with 6 of our songs in top 20 on April 2018 International Folk Music DJs Radio chart!
Over the past two year, Banjo Nickaru Western Scooches has built a solid following in the Eastern U.S. with a half dozen tours while also playing such prestigious events such as NBC affiliate Kansas City TV, Falcon Ridge Fest, Kansas City Folk Fest (main stage), Folk Alliance International, NERFA, WFUV Sunday Supper, Jon Platt's On Your Radar, Blue Plate Special, WMOT Finally Friday, WNCW Studio B Sessions, WoodSongs, Isis Music Hall, the Mid-Winter Folk Fest at Club Passim and recent January 2019 APAP showcase in NYC.
“Nick has worked with artists all over the jazz spectrum. His latest release brings a decidedly unorthodox approach.” DOWNBEAT ⋆⋆⋆⋆
"....the inimitable Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches"
— John Platt (WFUV)
“A heart as big as the sky…full of high energy and higher spirits.” -Elmore Magazine
“A band that has to be seen to be believed.” — John Platt (WFUV)
"They go back to basics with songs that bask in a genuine roots regimen and a sense of timeless tradition." Elmore Magazine
"Americana music at its purest and most impressive." No Depression
“Unfailingly high-spirited." LONDON TIMES
"...Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches are ridiculously fun." Rambles.
-Down Beat magazine 2006 Ro review plus [Jan/Feb 2016] Hot Jazz Jumpers' "The Very Next Thing" DVD/CD review
-Jazz Insider magazine current issue [Dec 2015] 2.5 page interview
-Just Jazz Guitar magazine interview [February 2015 issue]
-Vanity Fair magazine (August 2013) interview
"Summer of 2013, Nick R. performed at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's home. It was an honor to meet Paul McCartney and jam with him while he played toy harmonica. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Iridium, Bluenote, Birdland, U.N., IAJE, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, NJPAC, Sweet Rhythm, Smalls, Zinc Bar, Smoke Jazz Club, internationally: Japan, Spain, Russia, Brasil, St. Kitts, Canada, France, Bermuda, Sweden, Israel
-Toured/recorded and/or worked as sideman with Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste (from the Colbert show), Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Bill Charlap, Sonny Dallas, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Vince Giordano & The Night Hawks, Frank Vignola/Joe Ascione, Miles Griffith, David Pleasant, Jim Nolet (former violinist for the Jazz Passengers), Dandy Wellington, Jon Weber, Aurora Nealand (from New Orleans), Anastasia Rene, Mona's Hot Four, Gordon Au's Grand Street Stompers, Michael Arenella's Dreamland Orchestra, with Jesse Gelber, Raphael McGregor, Emily Asher's Garden Party, and many other groups.
-Appears in Sam Mendes Film "Away We Go"
-Movie Soundtrack: King George.
-Guitar/banjo: "Jew Grows in Brooklyn," "Take Me Along," "The Big Apple Circus" + others.
-Banjo/Guitar Chair: "New Girl In Town" (Irish Rep Theatre)
M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (partial scholarship)
B.S. from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, graduated magna cum laude. Dean's list all semesters
-Published interview (book): A New Face of Jazz (Cicily Janus)
-Playing guitar/banjo on first episode of new PBS cartoon "Peg and Cat"
- Current adjunct professor at Essex College
-Guest lecturing professor at Manhattanville College
-Substitute adjunct professor at Queens College
-Winning participant: I.A.J.E. with Miles Griffith's New Ting 2007. Performance and educational certificate granted.
-Winning participant; part-scholarship award: 2004 International Jazz Workshop at BANFF Centre, Canada (dir, Dave Douglas)
-Winning participant; full-scholarship award of the 2001 JAS academy in Aspen Colorado (dir, Christian McBride (Down Beat Dec. 2001)
-Studying Bol (Indian rhythmic system) with tabla player, Pandit Samir Chatterjee 2006-2007; 2013-current
-Studied with Pat Martino, Billy Bauer, Ben Monder, Tony Purrone, Pete Bernstein, Dr. Stephen Salerno, Dr. David Belser
-Studying African Rhythms with drummer, Harvey Wirht
*** Lesson Details *** With over 20 years teaching experience, Nick is patient with children & adults. He has a creative, unique pedagogy emphasizing hearing through singing, ear-training & natural, organic listening. Nick instills healthy absorption of music while students have fun learning their music, sight reading, internalizing with focus on rhythm and time. As a student, you will get to work on music that you, the student select as well as work on sight-reading, technique, ear-training. We will also work out of method books and use other sources of information.
*** Studio Equipment *** Chairs, music stands, instrument stands, classical foot pedals, classical guitar pillows, guitar amps, guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, drum set. Students usually provide their own instruments but it's possible to borrow an instrument during the lesson at the studio on the first lesson. (free street parking right in front!)
*** Specialties *** Nick's pedagogy emphasizes ear-training, singing, reading and truly hearing the music we are working on. Rather than rote teaching and guitar tablature, he instills natural listening, transcribing, sight-reading and proper technique. Lessons are always enjoyable as Nick observes each student's unique needs and listen's to their song preferences and musical goals. Students have the opportunity to learn pieces and genres they select and they are trained to figure out tunes by ear (ear-training) and transcribe.
-classical guitar and Brazilian guitar (nylon 6 string and nylon 7 string guitar) -acoustic steel string guitar, electric 6 string and electric 7 string guitar - jazz guitar + an eclectic mix of styles: blues, Brazilian music, Latin Jazz, Afro-Peruvian, Indian music, rock, heavy metal, funk, R & B, Motown, reggae + other genres. - tenor banjo (traditional jazz, jazz from New Orleans, Dixieland and world music) -5 string banjo (Earl Scruggs finger picking [bluegrass and country]) -tenor guitar -ukulele -mandolin -resonator slide/dobro. -lap steel -baritone resonator (slide)
This was my first lesson with Nick. He is a very nice guy. He created a calm, relaxed atmosphere in his studio, and he was clear when he gave me particular instructions. His knowledge of music theory in general, and of the five-string banjo in particular, was quite impressive. I would recommend him highly to both a beginner and to anyone (like myself) who is in need of a refresher course. I am very much looking forward to my next lesson.
April 2, 2019
Nick Russo is a fantastic tutor for kids and adults who would like to learn Ukulele, guitar, banjo or other instruments. He makes ‘learning fun’ he's friendly and cheerful. I don’t have any background in music but, Nick made it easy for me to understand the notes and how it works. I always look forward to every lesson. I Highly recommended Nick to everyone.
March 22, 2019
I’ve been taking guitar lessons with Nick now for a few months and it’s been a terrific experience — cannot say enough good things. Each lesson builds on the last and Nick tailors them to my ability and musical interests mixing in enough music theory, which makes learning both productive and enjoyable. Most importantly I feel like I’m beginning to understand how music works and not just blindly memorizing patterns or scales. I considered online courses before choosing Nick, but there’s no substitution for one-to-one instruction. Nick’s feedback and instruction are invaluable.
I was a little concerned about trying to pick up guitar in my early 40s, but its been a rewarding experience so far and I’m looking forward to more lessons with Nick.
I instruct aspiring vocalists, actors and musicians the foundation of their craft; but without the art of PERFORMING, I believe that all the technical knowledge in the world will never catapult them into a successful realm. My Academy is predicated on performance, in whatever genre the student aspires to master. I tell each student, however lofty their career expectations, that all we study will be predicated not only on performance, but on FUN. For all the above arts are under the guise of entertainment. To give a masterful performance IS to be entertaining. An audience looks to entertainment to provide happiness and fun. We tie all of these characteristics together in our journey to excel at Musical Performance.
I have been active in the entertainment industry since the age of 12, when I gave my first professional performance. Prior to that I was already being introduced to music with years of guitar, and then vocal instruction. I do not remember a time of my life when I was not singing somewhere; in the house, in the yard, in the classroom. That is perhaps why I identify so well with the young people who gather so much enjoyment from "just singing" at every opportunity. I studied professionally for over 10 years with renown soprano and voice teacher Sylvia Jensen, who was instrumental in the enhancement of my vocal knowledge and technique. She is now the Director of Education for the Miss Ohio pageants of the Miss America competitions, elevating many young ladies to the national spotlight. At age 14, I auditioned for, and was added to cast of a
network television variety program, "The Gene Carroll Show", that was a television institution for over 30 years in the Midwest. I was a featured performer on that program for over 7 years, all the while perfecting the art of "playing to a camera." This experience was invaluable, and the knowledge I gathered is now included in my curriculum. I also began performing a solo act in the nightclub circuit at the age of 15, performing up and down the "north coast" from Cleveland, OH, (my home), to Erie. PA. At a very young age, I learned the difficult art of choosing musical material and pacing a show; also adapting to performing under a myriad of conditions with a vast array of musical accompaniment. After graduating college with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, I assembled my own band, and took to the road. That experience eventually brought the act to Las Vegas in 1982. Over the years my show has been a staple in major casino cabarets in Las Vegas, and all over Nevada. Since my first engagement at The Landmark Hotel in the early 1980's, I have literally been up and down the famed Las Vegas Strip many times over. The Desert Inn, The Dunes, The Stardust, The Maxim, The Tropicana, New York New York, Mandalay Bay, MGM, Bally's, The Flamingo, The Imperial Palace, The Four Queens, The Golden Nugget, The Fremont, The Venetian, The Palazzo, and a three year engagement at The Riviera. My show is truly comprised of musical variety; classics, show tunes, jazz, rock, blues, r&b, country. Even a presentation of "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera, that I perform in full costume. It is this ability to successfully deliver an extensive repertoire that I am enthusiastic about passing along to the next generation of entertainers.
I have been truly blessed in my career to have experienced so many highlights; too many to document. From winning an understudy roll in the Broadway Musical "Platinum" starring Hollywood actress Alexis Smith, to performing our National Anthem at events ranging from Major League Baseball to ESPN Boxing to receptions for major dignitaries, to recording 7 albums and a full-length video, to being asked to perform for Mr. Frank Sinatra at the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Golf Tournament, I have lived a full life on stage, learning and absorbing every bit of knowledge gathered along the way. Now it is my desire to escalate my status as an educator to a more "one on one" experience; availing myself the opportunity to pass along that wealth of knowledge to individual students who aspire to enjoy the entertainment profession as I have, providing them with the skills needed to successfully compete. Or, should it be their choice not to pursue entertainment as a vocation, to gain a working understanding of all facets of their instrument so as to gain a better appreciation of music. Whatever the goal of the student, I feel that I am equipped to provide them with the tools needed to achieve that goal.
*** Lesson Details *** Content of Sessions
Generally, the first 10-15 minutes of each lesson will be focused on vocal warm up and exercise. (For guitar students, we will review the previous week's assignment). For Vocal Students, it is understood that the voice mechanism is made up of muscles, and as an athlete prepares for a sporting event, a singer must prepare to vocalize. It is at this time in our lesson when the student will develop good habits of voice maintenance, which will serve them well throughout their careers. The proper care and preservation of the vocal unit cannot be stressed enough, especially for pubescent and pre-pubescent students. Vocal chords in a developmental stage are most susceptible to damage, and because they are particularly sensitive, they must be handled with care. Our warm up regimen is designed to strengthen as well as preserve the singing voice.
I am not an advocate of getting too involved and "bogged down" in the technical aspects of singing, especially with the young students, and especially early in our program. This is not to say that breath control, tonality, pitch, etc. are not vital to good singing, because these workings are ESSENTIAL, and their application will certainly be incorporated into our studies. Some instructors, on occasion, have a tendency to lose sight of the fact that much to do with singing happens "naturally", and too much focus on the "technical" can actually be inhibiting. This can alter a beautiful, natural tone into one that is unnatural and contrived.
I adhere to the philosophy that above all else, SINGERS WANT TO SING SONGS, and musicians-in-training want to play music. That is our focus, and all of our training is conceived with that objective in mind. All the technical knowledge and coaching serves no purpose without practical application. It is my belief that the most significant progress occurs when a vocalist is singing a song.
Nearly every element of instruction can be utilized in the performance of one song. This is why the majority of our session time will be spent "in song". For the very young student, we will concentrate our efforts with the students choices of favorite and familiar songs. The older students will undoubtedly have favorite songs, styles and artists. Special attention will be paid to the genre most enjoyed by the student, but diversity will be emphasized as well, and a variety of genres will be unpacked and explored. I believe that whatever a student's musical goals and aspirations, it is in their best interest to gain knowledge and insight in all facets of music, singing, and performance.
The most vital pre-requisite for any student is their enthusiasm. My ambition will be to harness that enthusiasm and channel it productively through stimulating instruction. Our sessions will be informative and educational, but always predicated upon "having fun with music".
I am proud to feature a curriculum that emphasizes the entertainment aspect of singing as well as the technical; created to benefit all ages and experience levels, from beginner to seasoned professional. After just weeks of my "Triple Threat Training" a student will begin to see astounding results: vocally, musically, and in the art of performance. I am excited to share my knowledge with you. Let's get started!
***Performance Opportunities For Students*** I am very proud to share a long time friendship and association with Mr. Frank La Spina and his organization The Youth Musical Scholarship Foundation. Together we host shows and events that feature the most gifted and promising students of all ages in venues ranging from The Italian-American Club Showroom to the fabulous Smith Center For the Performing Arts. Many of my students have been featured in their OWN shows!! If you desire to hone your craft in front of audience in a quality venue, I can and WILL make that happen!!
*** Studio Equipment *** My studio is equipped with a full vocal sound system with microphones that I utilize to teach the valuable art of mic technique. Young students enjoy using the mics and hearing themselves sing and perform. Since our lessons are predicated on enjoying the art of singing, this opportunity has proven invaluable. For the advanced performer, studying all aspects of amplification and what a singer should know about their stage sound is a part of our educational curriculum. My studio is furnished with the equipment that is essential to mastering that knowledge. Since the practical aspect of my course is based on singing songs, I provide all the latest technology required to allow my students the opportunity to sing the songs of their choosing, with and without the lead vocal tracks. I feel that when students are singing their favorite songs, it offers me the greatest teaching opportunities. I make certain the every musical genre can be represented, and feel I have the knowledge and ability to guide the student is whatever their musical tastes. My studio is also equipped with piano (for vocal exercises), and guitars, which gives me opportunity to accompany my students when the musical moment is appropriate. Be assured that all the technology I need to fulfill the educational needs of my students is but a step away!! I AM ESPECIALLY EXCITED ABOUT MY STUDENTS BEING AFFORDED THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECORD THEIR MUSIC. My studio is equipped with full-service, state-of-the-art digital recording equipment. Many of my students have recorded full length albums. This not only provides an extraordinary teaching tool, but also a wonderful memory for student's family and friends!!
Such a confidence boost. Glenn helps you know what you’re already doing well, as well as what to improve on.
December 7, 2018
Glenn is amazing! He listened to me sing a few songs and gave me two tips that completely improved my vocal performance! Highly, highly recommended if you want to sing and perform better, and if you truly want to profoundly impact the listener to a higher degree !
I am a dedicate teacher: my training and education allow me to work with every student.
I have an extensive training in "training" musicians: it doesn't matter if you are young or old, beginner or advanced, I will bring you to the next level. I am a pianist and a music theorist, I am a dedicated and successful teacher. I hold degrees from Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Italy, Accademia Puccininana, I have a Master in piano performance and am working through my PhD in Music Theory. As you can see, I love to learn. My lessons will take you where you are and bring you a step further. I'll explain you in detail how to reach your goals faster. Sometimes you'll need to work on your own way to learn, on yourself. I'll be always there to help you! Why you should have lesson with me? Simply because I am among the best teachers in the world and I love the idea to reach more students through this medium. And you'll have fun for su
My daughter has been training with Antonella for years and she does wonderful with kids. She loves music and has a passion that will help her students learn music and have fun while doing it
November 30, 2017
Antonella is an AMAZING teacher. I am an older adult student, with no music theory or background. She is very patient, accommodating, and uses very useful analogies that help me visualize what to do in a way that helps me learn and remember. My own weakness is in making time to diligently practice. I look forward to each lesson, and give her my highest recommendation.
August 13, 2017
Our experience with Antonella has been wonderful. She has high standards but is also extremely patient with young students. My daughter has learned beautiful technique but more importantly, she has expanded her mind, improved her sense of discipline and commitment and learned to play piano with a feel for the music. Working with Antonella is fantastic for the student and their parent/guardian. It's a joint effort. I highly recommend Antonella
Michael has worked with kids for 10 years in schools and arts programs to find fun and their best self through performance. He has taught orchestra, chamber music, jazz band and music theory in the public schools, while performing in local ensembles in and around the city. He also has studied drama, voice and movement and believes all these skills help in expressing yourself--no matter what pieces you want to play!
In addition to working with students K-12, he also loves working with adults. I try to provide a nurturing atmosphere for someone trying revive or discover previously hidden musical interests!
*** Lesson Details *** We begin with what we love. The student usually chooses one of his or her favorite songs to interpret. Later, we add music, usually from the classical or jazz fields, that build our skills and help us f
eel successful. All technique is based on real music. Learning scales, keys and music theory become part of the music. By the end of 6 months, we will have a "repertoire" of several songs that express our best self!
You CAN Sing those Great Songs with Full Voiced Power, Ease and Beauty and learn to "Perform" them with ease and professional mastery!
"Classical" Singing is simply using the real voice that you came here with in the natural way that it was meant to function before we got in our own way and could no longer remember how to sing and speak freely. As I stated in my upcoming book, "All God's Chillun' Got A Voice", "No, you have not lost your voice, its just the PRODUCTION that got a little messed up!" That is fixable! All we have to do is to understand how the system works, and then adjust our actions accordingly. It works every time. Perfectly executed vocal techniques that have been proven time after time, and that have stood the tests of time WILL bring you the same successes and joys that they have been bringing other singers for eons. Successful Singers don't have to "be born with" some super duper vocal apparatus that is somehow magically better than everybody else's; they ...
Become the masterful Singer that you really ARE! Learn to bring out the natural beauty and power of your Voice, and to match your own unique personality and vocal qualities to complementing repertoire in order to show your voice and talents in their best light. We'll develop the repertoire that fits YOU. You'll learn how the Voice works and where it really comes from, and probably be amazed at the almost immediate widening of your vocal range.
Trained by one of the Metropolitan Opera's most beloved Voice Coaches, Vanessa brings to the world of music a wonderfully varied Performing and Teaching career ranging from Opera to Broadway. She holds a BA degree in Music Performance from the School of Fine and Applied Arts of Boston University, and is an award winning Poet. Vanessa has produced, hosted, sung, and broadcast over 2,500 te
levision programs, concertized and spoken in the US and abroad, recorded nine albums in various languages, co-authored an Early Childhood Education book which included training in the use of music for the young, authored three autobiographical "Poetry with a Purpose" poetry books and accompanying cd's offered to inspire thought and creativity in others (see Vanessa Conaway Pace on Amazon and in bookstores), and teaches Voice to her private and group students.
*** Lesson Details *** The atmosphere is relaxed in our comfortable professional studio. We work hard, and enjoy the journey as we develop your voice and repertoire with a focus on whatever style of singing you choose. It won't be long until you will see that songs that were previously too high or too low are now comfortably within your grasp. And, you will be able to sing for longer periods of time without getting tired or injuring your voice. You might also want the experience of practicing stage presence, working with trax, learning how to relate to an audience, and learning microphone technique, all of which will add to the professionalism of your most excellent and enjoyable career.
*** Studio Equipment *** Music studio room w/ piano and seating for parents
*** Specialties *** I specialize in finding the student's unique voice, and helping them to understand its natural operation in order to set it free to be used in any style they choose to sing. The Italian Bel Canto method describes the basic singing technique, and is the foundation from which a healthy and versatile voice can be developed. My upcoming book, "All God's Chillun' Got A Voice" How To Find It, and Release It As A Creative Toolâ, discusses both the technical and esoteric sides of the singing voice, its operation and purposes.
Vanessa is amazing teacher!!! The best I ever had!!!!
April 30, 2019
I am a professional speaker and I decided to pursue some speaker voice coaching. This was my first lesson and Vanessa was friendly and great personality. I felt comfortable with her
immediately. She provided education, demonstration, observed me apply the techniques, and offered constructive feedback. After the class, I was excited to practice what I learned. I will definitely continue to go back to Vanessa. I highly recommend her.
March 16, 2019
Vanessa is wonderful. I was able to learn so much it a short period of time. She is an excellent teacher. When work slows down, I am going to take additional classes with Vanessa. She is definitely a 5 star person. I wish that I got to hear hear sing one of her favorite songs. My lessons focused on speaking voice.
Whether you're a seasoned professional but would like some assistance in conquering some performance anxiety issues, or you're just starting out, and would like some insight as to how to prepare for a concert, I can assist you in any aspect of music performance and share with you what you need to practice in order to overcome performance related obstacles.
My expertise are not limited to: - preparing for a concert, recital or performance of any kind in any environment -an audition, or a performance in front of a panel of judges - a concerto: a virtuosic solo work - musical technique, musicality, and any other aspect of playing that may directly affect your presentation of music.
Hi! I'm Dr. Jonathan Saraga; professional musician and educator living in New York City. I have been working as a trumpeter, composer, arranger, and studio musician for almost 2 decades and have been teaching full-time for the past 7, which includes nearly 3 at the University level. I have nearly 10 years of conservatory training, a Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degree, as well as over 20 years experience performing, recording, and competing on an international level.
I’ve been recognized internationally, by way of several organizations for excellence as a trumpeter and composer: 2007-Winner of International Trumpet Guild Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition; 2009-Finalist in Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition; 2011- Selected Participant in School for Improvisational Music Intensive Program; 2014-Callback for the Juil
liard Artist Diploma program auditions; 2015-Selected Participant in Banff International Summer Intensive Program in Jazz and Creative Music ; 2016-Semi Finalist in International Songwriting Competition; 2016-Recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award; 2017-Honorable Mention and Finalist in International Songwriting Competition; 2016-19-Full Scholarship w/ Paid Assistantship/Instructorship for Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder; 2019-Selected Participant in Banff Early Fall Musicians in Residence program; 2019-Finalist in Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works Grant Competition.
I perform and record as a featured musician with Festival of New Trumpet Music, having participated in two world premieres, and in ensembles led by highly acclaimed and/or Grammy-nominated/winning artists such as Steve Coleman, Henry Cole, Maria Schneider, Darcy James Argue, Orrin Evans, Josh Evans, Jimmy Greene, Tyshawn Sorey, Eric Bergen and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. I've performed at arenas, clubs, and concert halls alike, such as Carnegie Hall, The Putra World Tower, Symphony Space, the Barclay's Center, Dizzy's Club Coco-Cola, and Rockefeller Center to name only a few venues. As a leader, I've been performing original music all over NYC at known creative and jazz venues like Seeds, Cornelia St. Café, The Bar Next Door, Jazz at the Kitano, Shapeshifter Lab and Smalls Jazz Club, which Down Beat magazine considers to be two of the best jazz clubs in the world.
Besides professing a passion and skill-set for music within the ‘jazz’ idiom, my interest in and usage of sound draws from and many other forms of art. I've composed and arranged music for lyricists, improvised music for poetry readings at the Firehouse Space, and have provided musical accompaniment for dance classes, workshops, and performances presented by the Martha Graham Dance Academy and the Jeoffrey Ballet School. I've even co-choreographed short plays and have played for Marc Jacobs fashion runway shows.
My music also extends into the health and wellness community. I've served as a regular performer at the New Life Expo, and as a musical aid for art exhibitions (including a Syrian-post war realist art exhibition), Yoga classes at Jivamukti Jersey City, and meditation classes for WeWork, St. Peter's Church at the Citicorp Center, The Tibet House, Triskelion Arts the Firehouse Space, the Jewish Community Center, the New York Insight Meditation Center, and the NYU Skirball Theater.
As an educator, I have taught all-level/all-age group music playing and appreciation courses for several New York-based organizations: The Afro-Latin Jazz Academy, The Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York, New York Ensemble Classes, the Lyceum Kennedy International School, Jubilee Enrichment Programs, Jazz Empowers and The New York Jazz Academy. I have also completed 6 semesters of service as a Graduate Part-Time Instructor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I taught multiple playing ensembles as well as three semesters of a 100+ student History of Jazz lecture class for non-majors.
I teach out of a my home apartment studio on the upper east side, complete with weighted 88-key digital piano, Bose high quality speakers, recording equipment, as well as musical media, and tablature spanning many musical genres, cultures and time periods. I also am equipped with a spacious floor space for Yoga, Pilates, Weight Lifting, Meditation, and more.
While I specialize in the following broad areas of musical study, my specialties are not limited to: General Music, Composition, Arranging, Ear Training, Music History (includes classical, jazz, and world musics), Music Theory, Sight Singing, and Songwriting. I also specialize in the following instruments: Trumpet, flugelhorn, and Piano/Keyboards.
Last but not least, while I have invested over 30,000 hours into my musical training, my interests, practices, and skill sets extend beyond sound and visual art, and into the realm of philosophy, science, physics and spirituality. I have been practicing various forms of fitness, meditation and Yoga for the past 5 years, and my studies span the gamut of psychology, philosophy, calisthenics, Astral Projection, Reiki, Vipassana Meditation, Visualization, and much more.
I believe and live by the idea that creativity is an energy that flows through us, and one's creative abilities can be improved and expanded, through the emotional body, which is influenced by one's perceptions. Throughout my training in music, the arts, as well as my physical, mental and spiritual pursuits, I have realized that discipline, creative flow, and love for what one is and what one does can come together and yield great fulfillment and sense of purpose.
I would highly recommend Jonathan as a music teacher. Jonathan is absolutely passionate about music, which is evident by his enthusiastic and energetic teaching techniques. He is very patient with my five year old and encourages her to get her very best effort. Jonathan customizes the music and lessons for my daughter’s skill level while at the same time provides challenges to keep the learning process interesting. In a short period of time, my daughter's keyboard playing abilities have dramatically increased. I am very grateful to Jonathan for making learning fun for my daughter, who always looks forward to her lessons!
May 13, 2016
Jonathan has made a great impression with my son. He displays a great combination of patience and encouragement with Nick. I have seen an improvement in his trumpet skills as well as his confidence.
I am a Hartt School of Music trained classical guitarist raised on the electric guitar. With over 20 years of teaching experience, I have helped students of all ages achieve their musical goals. Whether it's getting into the school jazz band, a college degree program or simply playing for friends, I can help you get there. My studio is a spacious and equipped learning environment designed with the guitarist in mind.
I have been a student of Tim’s for a little over a year now. I started playing guitar at age 52 and when I started with Tim I was very close to giving up or settling on just being able to strum a few chords. I have had many hand injuries in the past that have resulted in arthritis and lack of dexterity in my wrists and some of my fingers and I started doubting I would ever be able to progress in my ability to play. From the very first lesson where I told Tim about my hand issues and my frustrations, he told me he was sure we could work around any physical limitations I had, and he was right. Tim has been able to work with me on alternative ways to play the chords I was having trouble with and has shown me that these alternate techniques along with the bit of music theory he sprinkles into lessons can really expand my ability to play.
In the time I have been studying with Tim, I have done more than I thought I ever could. I went from a frustrated beginner guitar player to having enough confidence to play on stage with some of Tim’s other students and I am now looking forward to what I will be able to do on the guitar instead of being frustrated with what I can’t do.
Tim is a talented and passionate musician as well as a knowledgeable and very relatable instructor which is a rare combination and he's also a really great guy and any student of any age or ability will benefit from studying with him.
February 15, 2018
Tim is an excellent guitar teacher and an overall great guy. He provided me with structure and support, enabling me to make the most out of my practice and ultimately progress as a player. His warm personality and contagious enthusiasm for music kept me looking forward to our time together each week. He was also very flexible when it came to scheduling to accommodate for my dynamic schedule.
January 18, 2018
Tim is an excellent teacher, providing excellent advice, practice techniques, and insights. He makes learning and improving easy and enjoyable.
Experienced playing in front of many different audiences, i.e. big audiences with Holland America Line, from 75 to 1000 people in the audience. Dealing with other musicians and the audience is as important as the performance itself, at times.
On the road with American Entertainment Productions, our group of eight (8) played in front of high-school, middle school and Convention size audiences. How to play and not lose focus playing your instrument is key. You are there to perform and share your musical talent.
At different churches, some places were over 300 - 1000, depending on the size of the building, or course.
At lessons, we can talk how to play, read music for musical performance, and what to do after the performance.
An online Masters Jazz program from University of Arkansas at Monticello, (2018-2019) these studies will help students understand various Jazz, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban drum patterns.
I attended Wright State University for two (2) years studying Music , and then transferred to Belmont University to receive a Bachelors of Music in Percussion Performance. A Masters of Music from Eastern Kentucky University will help overall General music and creative studies.
I also studied at the Eastman School of Music, learning Creative Music Making and African drum studies.
I attended University of Dayton for Percussion, Music Technology, & World music, and different Samba schools in Salvador/Rio, Brazil for Samba studies.
I have been performing since 1984 for theatre shows, Pop/Rock, jazz, R & B, Circus’ (Great Wallendas), swing bands,
American Entertainment Productions show band (One year), and performed with Holland America Cruise Line for three (3) years. Recently, I've been performing Musicals in Columbus, OH (Tarzan), Sinclair College and Dare2Defy Productions - not necessarily all in order. Played in different jazz bands, Pop/Rock groups, and Churches (Contemporary & Traditional) in the area.
I have been teaching since 2004, both privately and for local studios, offering all styles.
"Arrica has been such a wonderful teacher for my 11-year-old daughter. (She was 9 when she started with Arrica.) Our girl has a lot of raw talent but neede
d some good instruction that wasn't too formal. Africa is just the right blend of traditional singing technique and fun rock-n-roll, record your own music on Garage band. We love her!"
"She is a great teacher. She loves God and wants to serve him to the highest. Awesome experience."
"Lilia has the most amazingly diverse set of talents ever ! She can teach you music , (guitar being the specialty ) gymnastics , or fitness . She is a fabu
lous , trustworthy person and you should sign up for lessons immediately !"
"she is amazing she the best with any songs u give her top level teacher I promise"
"Great teacher, really into the basics and the fundamentals of this instrument...Love how you deliver the concept"
"I was Lilia's mentor at California Institute of the Arts for three years. She is a hard worker, very determined and disciplined and a very promising, uniq
ue artist. Although she is primarily a guitarist she is also a highly trained and accomplished gymnast and acrobat. I have no doubt that Lilia makes an exciting, flexible and compassionate teacher."
"I hired Danny early this year 2016 at my home studio in Austin,TX. I have been working on a recording studio project. With 6 songs I needed to record. I d
id three songs on my own. That took a week and a half and at least 5 to 6 hrs each. I looked around and hired a local coach who was very classical and just didn't get it. 3 hrs I will never get back. I found Danny online, hired him, and it was perfect...We warmed up with scales and light cardio. Very different I will say but effective. Anyways, we finished the 3 songs in just under 2 hrs. Wow! Straight to the point. So I sing Gospel music and had so many techniques wrong. A little bit of good habits goes a long way."
"Fantastic teacher, just what I have been looking for......"
"Wendy was the best instructor ever. Always very humble, sweet & honest. She truly teaches from the heart and genuinely wants one to do better than the les
son before. She knows what she is talking about and explains thouroughly what needs to be worked on. She not only corrects you but praises you when you have achieved something great. You will always have her support & knowledge that will take you a long way."