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 have been playing ukulele for over 10 years and play it professionally on almost a daily basis. I'm extremely knowledgeable in this area of expertise and I'd love to help you from tip to tail, including selecting a ukulele that is perfect for you and in your budget, how to tune, hold, and strum the ukulele, how to make chords, choose songs that are perfect for you, do a few fancy tricks, transport, care for and integrate the ukulele into your life. I love playing the ukulele so much and I know that you will, too!
Hello! Thanks for checking out my profile. Please feel free to ask me any questions. -Jessica
***About Jessica*** Jessica is known worldwide for her music which incorporates her original comedy, artwork and videos. She spent a decade touring the US and the UK and has performed in many festivals including the Reading & Leeds Festival, Latitude Festival, Montreal Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dublin Comedy Festival, End of the Road Festival, NY Funny Songs Festival, NY International Children’s Film Festival and more.
Jessica’s music and comedy is inspired by being the oldest of 6 girls and growing up in a small town in Maine, where she taught Sunday school and counseled teens and twins in a local after school program for four years. When Jessica was 19, she moved to Philadelphia to study animation after receiving a par
tial scholarship to the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and relocated to NYC shortly after graduating.
Her unique music, performances, art and internet videos have won many awards and critical acclaim.
She has performed her music and written segments and songs for television (including ABC’s “Good Morning America”, MTV’s “I Bet You Will”, Fox News “Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld”, IFC's "Comedy Music Hall of Fame", HGTV's Flea Market Flip, TBS’s “Saving Grace” website and “The Tyra Banks Show”), radio (including "The Dr. Demento Show", "The Jackie Martling Show", WFMU's "Spreading Yourself Thin with Jessica D" and “The Opie and Anthony Radio Show” on SiriusXM, BBC’s “Loose Ends Radio Programme” and BBC’s “The Simone Show” in the UK), feature films (including “What Would Jesus Buy?” directed by Morgan Spurlock), commercially for major clients and also on stages across the US and the UK (including London’s prestigious Soho Theatre, NYC’s Irving Plaza, Joe’s Pub and The Bowery Ballroom as John Waters’ opening act, and LA’s Troubadour).
*** Lesson Details *** Jessica brings a lot of fun to her lessons. She is like a cool aunt or a big sister who likes to have a good time but who also wants to teach you to play guitar or ukulele and sing, hopefully at the same time. Jessica's laid back style and attention to your needs as a student will help you reach your goals, whatever they may be. Together, you will go as fast or as slow as is comfortable for you. Jessica works with classic rock, pop, folk and all your favorite songs as your step ladder for learning. Jessica also can help you develop your own musical style and teach you to write YOUR OWN SONGS from beginning to end, if that is of interest to you.
*** Studio Equipment *** amp, microphone, keyboard, guitar, ukulele, music stands
*** Travel Equipment *** Guitar and Ukulele. Students can rent instruments initially but must get their own, as soon as possible
*** Specialties *** Classic stringed instruments such as acoustic / electric guitar and ukulele, and several unusual instruments such as singing saw and electronic and standard autoharp, singing, songwriting and guidance on how to monetize your band, including acquiring sponsorships and arranging local and international tours.
***What Are Lessons Like?*** Student(s) and teacher sit together and start with the basics, then move on to learn others' songs (The Beatles or other classics are a good place to start) and then may even try to compose original songs, if that is of interest.
***Affiliations*** Women In Music ASCAP The Recording Academy, Associate Member Comedy Musician's Coalition
Really enjoyed my first lesson. I got a lot of applicable tips for my future processing. Jessica is very talented. Hoping my next set of lessons so be just as promising!
March 9, 2017
Jessica is a virtuoso on the ukulele. She has the patience of a saint with less than adept students. Yet she is insistent, in a gentle way, about instilling correct form in her students' approach to the uke. In addition, she is a walking encyclopedia of songs that span the range from traditional to standards to current day favorites, and from country to r&B to rock and roll.
March 7, 2017
I am so fortunate to have found Jessica to teach the Ukulele. She is sweet, kind and truly a pleasure. very unassuming yet so focused on my particular needs when I lose my way. I strongly recommend her. I am so fortunate. Wait, did I say that already? Thank you Jessica.
I've been teaching Ukulele for several years; it's an easy instrument to start but difficult to master. I can help you reach your goals.
Jason received his Bachelor of Music from UMKC Music Conservatory and went on to receive his Masters Degree in Music Performance at the Rudi E Scheidt School of Music where he studied with Lily Afshar. Jason has won several competitions including the "Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Competition" and has performed at various festivals including the Piccolo Spoleto festival in Charleston, South Carolina. He currently received an Artist Diploma from SUNY Purchase with Frederic Hand. Jason is passionate about teaching guitar to all ages. He has received Suzuki guitar training at the Frank Longay Conservatory of Guitar and is qualified to teach the method to children as young as three years old and older.
Jason is equally as proficient in Rock/Metal as he is in Classical and World music styles. He has studied rock music at various instit
utes such as the "National Guitar Workshop" in New Milford Connecticut.
Jason has been teaching guitar for over ten years.
*** Lesson Details *** Do you want to raise your level of guitar playing to the next level? Are you a complete beginner and would like to learn the basics like: chords, scales, and how to read music? Do you want to learn music theory? I can teach you all of these things. I am classically trained as well as trained in a wide variety of other genres of music. I am passionate about teaching you what YOU want to learn. I have taught students as young as three years old and as old as sixty! I can teach all levels of players from beginners to advanced . My goal is to find what you most enjoy about guitar playing and music and help you to develop it. I encourage my students to find their musical voice through their own personality, aptitude and individuality.
I teach various methods, which depends on what the student wants to learn. I am a firm believer in building proper technique. This is crucial for the Rock player as well as the Classical player.
*** Studio Equipment *** lessons in studio with music stand, books, acoustic guitar(s), Electric guitar(s), amplifier, Cords.
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide Music, Staff Paper, Music Stands. Will bring travel amp if necessary.
*** Specialties *** I have experience as well as training in Suzuki method. I have experience teaching Classical/Rock/Metal/Pop/Folk
I will break down the nuances of learning the ukulele in a friendly, clear, and articulate manner. We will discuss various concepts of the ukulele in the styles and songs you enjoy most.
A graduate of the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Music and Psychology and trained at renowned National Guitar Workshop, Adam is an experienced teacher and performer on the guitar, piano, ukulele, and bass in a variety of styles, including rock, pop, jazz, classical, and folk. Adam loves to share his passion for music with others, and ever since his first student, an autistic child, Adam has sought to make learning music fun, regardless of age, style, and ability.
*** Lesson Details *** My approach to teaching music is strictly an individualized one, catering to the specific interests and goals of each student. I believe that if learning music is truly enjoyable and fun, students will develop a sincere love for their instrument. In teaching children, my emphasis is on instilling in them a love of music. While progressing in mus
ic obviously requires preparation outside of lessons, I consciously avoid asking students to practice. Instead, I incorporate the music and styles that appeal most to the student and use them as vehicles for teaching concepts.
I strive to make learning music fun, regardless of age, style, and ability. I organize an annual recital to showcase my students' talents and hard work.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will provide all music and instructional materials, and ask that students provide a clean, quiet area to hold our lesson, ideally with a music stand. I also ask that a student provide their own instrument. If providing an instrument is not possible, I ask that the student notify me so I can provide an instrument for them in the interim.
*** Specialties *** I specialize in a wide range of styles on the acoustic and electric guitar, piano, ukulele, and bass.
I explain music theory in a fun, clear, and articulate manner and show its benefits and application in song writing, learning music, and playing by ear. My extensive background in rock, classical, pop, folk, and jazz allows for a truly cater my instruction to my student's tastes.
I make it my mission to structure my lessons on my student's goals and interests and avoid imposing concepts that don't interest my students.
Adam is a teacher par excellence. I am self taught from a well known book. I was doing well I thought until I got stuck. Adam gently showed me where I erred and made great suggestions for me to move on correctly. I never felt rushed or “ put down.” Adam was patient, open for questions, encouraging, comforting. I know I need much help to correct and advance in guitar from matters such as tuning, restringing, reading, and other things too many to write about. I look forward to my next lesson with enthusiasm.
July 20, 2017
Adam is prompt, professional and patient. He allows you to learn at your own pace and makes lessons fun by teaching popular songs.
I have been playing professionally for over 30 years and have taught for over 10. I am proficient on keyboards, guitar, bass, ukelele, as well as lead and harmony vocals and songwriting. My focus is on developing your musical intuition through ear training, and accessing the music within. I have a home recording studio to help with the learning process. I provide a fun, safe, non-critical environment where you can access your inner musician in the most enjoyable way possible.
Many of my students have gone onto become prolific songwriters and musicians and have recorded albums. Even beginners can learn quickly from my method which emphasizes techniques for keeping learning music fun.
My 10th CD was released last year on Sojourn Records and was featured as NPR song of the day. Over the years my music has received much critical accl
aim as I have continued to tour the world. I have opened for legends such as David Bowie, Ron Sexsmith, Robyn Hitchcock, Morphine, Bob Mould, Freedy Johnston, among many others. I have produced over a dozen albums by other artists and songwriters, and composed for major motion pictures including last years film, WON’T BACK DOWN starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.
“In a career spanning more than 20 years, he has established himself as one of America's great under-the-radar songwriters. Had he emerged five decades back, he might have been a Tin Pan Alley stalwart, turning out intelligent, accessible songwriting with the clockwork genius of and Gary Goffin. His work is rife with the clever, incisive tunefulness that marked that era.”-- National Public Radio
*** Lesson Details *** Students can expect to discover or re-discover their love for music and and their own natural musical inclinations. Many students report an increased sense of joy and possibility in their own lives. Curriculum depends on level of student, but is focused on being able to play favorite songs, develop comfort and ease in playing style, and accessing creativity and originality in approach. After 3 to 6 months working with me, most students can feel comfortable calling themselves a musician!
*** Specialties *** I teach mainly guitar, keyboards, ukelele, and voice from beginning up to intermediate. I try to incorporate songwriting into the process as i find that it speeds up the process and helps to encourage enthusiasm and a more focused effort and better results. I am fluent in most styles but come from a folk, rock, country, pop background. I also have a home studio and use recording techniques to develop style and vocal ability.
The instant I sat down with Matt I knew I was in the presence of a true musical professional. He is passionate about what he does and that shines through in his teaching style. Looking forward to many more lessons.
March 10, 2019
I came into the lesson with very little knowledge about guitar. Matt provided a simple road map for progress, and was patient through the drills. Within thirty minutes, I started seeing improvement. I very much look forward to my next lesson to see what the next steps will be - highly recommend.
October 26, 2018
Matthew was great! Cares about what students goals are.
I am an experienced ukulele / guitar teacher with over 20 years of experience. I teach students of all levels and ages. In addition to teaching the student the style they want to learn I also believe in building a solid foundation and understanding in music theory. I believe one really does help the other.
I have been teaching music for about 25 years mostly on the guitar but I also give lessons on the bass, piano, and ukelele. I give lessons to beginner and intermediate students of all ages. If you want to learn and have fun I am ready for your lesson. In addition to teaching I have played in various local original and cover bands as well as musical productions. I enjoy the challenge every student brings. I teach on the entire Island so if your address comes up as to far away call TL to get set up. *** Lesson Details *** I structure my lessons with a focus on learning to read and play music but I also like to teach a student what interests them as well. I think learning to read music is very important and it aides in the students development of their own musical personality. Early on the student will also learn songs or stlyes tha
t interest them so its not just work but also play.
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide books and various other things (e.g. picks, music stands, metronomes, etc... at students expense) if asked. Student should provide instrument
*** Specialties *** beginner on all instruments and rock guitar. Intermediate students also welcome.
All necessary aspects to develop an understanding and appreciation of playing the ukulele will be looked at in a lesson plan that is unique to every student's goals and musical tastes.
About Jose Luis
My name is Jose Luis Alonso. A graduate of Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance, I have been been offering music lessons for several years now to students of many ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience. I have developed a very keen sense and understanding of Music and hope to share my experience and knowledge in a fun and creative way. Above all else, I encourage students to develop their talents in way that helps them find their own voice with which to navigate the world of music.
Ukulele is a kind of portable guitar. you can have almost all the expressive capabilities, styles and techniques of the guitar, and you can put it in the overhead bin when you fly!
I have been playing music on the violin since the age of 7, composing since I was 14, and playing and performing on the guitar since I was 18. I've written a lot of music, and this past spring had works performed in Virginia and two in Manhattan.
I have taught music for over 15 years, in colleges, music schools and privately. One thing that I have noticed is that, with more experience, I have a lot more fun--and so do my students.
Stephen is amazing and talented. He is very understanding of the initial frustration of learning a new instrument and makes it interesting and fun.
October 14, 2015
Mr. D is a very good teacher at violin. I give him 5 stars because he is nice and a good teacher.
September 29, 2015
Stephen has been teaching my son Classical Guitar lessons for over four years now, and he is one of the best music instructors we've had. Stephen is a very motivated and inspiring teacher, my son absolutely loves his music classes. We are happy to have a truly dedicated teacher, who loves working with kids and is able to pass his genuine passion for music to others. Thank you, Stephen!
If you’re looking to find out how to string a ukulele, you’ve come to the right place. This article will provide five easy steps that will help you restring a uke in no time.
Whenever your strings start to sound dull, you will want to restring your ukulele. This will vary depending on your environment and how often you play, but a good rule of thumb is if you’re performing publicly you should change your strings every one to three months.
If you play less frequently as a hobby, …