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.
Russo 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 T
he 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, Russo 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.
Russo 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 NickRusso+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 Russo 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.
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.
the skills it takes to be a competent performer! ranging from studies in music theory, ear training, to exercises related directly to performing. some level of proficiency on your primary instrument is recommended.
Currently Thomas is an Orchestra Director in Merrick Public Schools, and has previous experience as a Music Teacher in New York City.
Thomas has vast experience as a professional performer and has played with countless acts across many different Genres of music.
Thomas is an experienced private instructor and will bring the best out of every student. Experienced will all ages, skill levels, music styles, special needs, and everything else that comes along with teaching.
Thomas holds a masters degree in music education from SUNY Buffalo State, as well as a bachelors degree in music education from Hofstra University, and an associates degree in music performance from Nassau Community College.
I'm a seasoned performer. I've been on stage in operas, rock concerts, musicals, coffee house open mics and big arenas. I can definitely help you get your show together!
I'm Mike, and I'm thrilled to be part of the TakeLessons team. I first picked up the guitar at the age of 5, and have never looked back! I began formal Jazz training in high school and continued studying guitar and composition at Oberlin College and Wesleyan University. After graduating, I played Organ Trio and small combo jazz in LA, studied Brazilian and African percussion, and went to Japan to study Shamisen and Taiko drumming. I've been playing in various groups since arriving in NYC in 2005, and have recently been working on engineering and composing for film.
My strength lies in my versatility - I love music of all kinds. Whether it's Soul, Samba, or Salsa, Rock, Pop or Hip Hop, I am very good at communicating the mechanics of music so that my students not only learn to play, but learn to listen and write. I have a studio space i
n Manhattan as well as a small mixing studio in my Brooklyn apartment, and I'm happy to show students the ins and outs of recording along with theory and guitar technique.
*** Lesson Details *** Music is fun!!! I strive for all my students to enjoy themselves, to have a great time learning about the world of music. I use a song-based approach to guitar playing. Armed with just a small vocabulary of chords, you can play hundreds of great songs. My students will determine the course of their lesson plan by selecting songs they want to learn. While maintaining proper technique and effective practice methods, we will learn the fundamentals of the guitar by playing the music that we love. After 6 months, you will know all the basic chords, and the fundamentals of playing a solo. As lessons progress, you also learn song structure and some basic harmonic theory so you can begin creating on your own.
*** Travel Equipment *** The student is expected to provide his or her own guitar.
*** Specialties *** Jazz, ear training, songwriting, theory
I perform regularly in the tristate area. I will teach techniques to prep for a performance to stage presence.
I am a Hofstra University graduate with over fifteen years of experience in music. I have played at many of the venues in the NYC area and have toured with the R&B singer Macy Gray. I am currently working with four different bands in the tri-state area in addition to the session work.
*** Lesson Details *** In my lessons I take a step by step approach on learn how to move and how to understand the instrument at hand. I require all of my students to learn how to read sheet music and how to translate onto their instrument. I'm a laid back teacher and will teach what is most appealing to the student but in an academic style. I teach the student not just to play but to understand what it is he or she is playing. I will cater to any level of playing and help give a path to further their knowledge of playing.
Carissa Austria, age 8, learned piano with Jeff. Her lessons were instrumental in giving her the incentive to practice on her own. Jeff created lessons that made my daughter curious on how to play on her own and experimented with certain keys and sounds. Thank you Jeff for giving my daughter the deep insight to playing the piano not only from her weekly lessons but encouraging her to practice on her own with minimum supervision.
Learning performance is a crucial part of learning an instrument.
Catherine is a performer, teacher, and arranger. She has performed in world class venues such as Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Kosciuszko Foundation, as well as the Museum of Natural History, and she has performed with over thirty different chamber ensembles, including the American String Quartet and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Her career developments are primarily in music, but she also pursues interest in creative writing, journal writing and human rights. She has given many community performances and raised charity funds for organizations such as World Vision, A. G. Rhodes Health & Rehab nursing home, Columbia Hospital, Corpus Christi Church, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Catherine initially gained her musical inspiration through her family and has been performing since her youth. Her family provided
her countless opportunities to perform, to participate in event planning, and to experiment with new music and arranging. She grew up participating in her mother's studio recitals at home and enjoys an annual family tradition of organizing and performing Christmas programs at church. One of Catherine's projects during her studies at the Manhattan School of Music was the Symposium Concert Series, which has led her to perform in apartment homes around the city and build a community of young artists. She has made countless arrangements for solo viola and viola with various ensembles which she often performs.
Catherine resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Lawrence. She plays on a Raymond J. Melanson viola made in 1987.
*** Lesson Details *** I'm able to travel to the student's home or teach at my home. Parents are welcome to sit in the lesson.
I had a great experience because Catherine is an amazing instructor.
She taught lessons with a high degree of professionalism and care. As a novice, I was able to learn a lot because Catherine was patient and attentive to my learning style.
March 27, 2018
My two oldest children (one more advanced in piano than the other) began taking lessons with Catherine just this year. They have both shown significant improvement and love her as an instructor. They also look forward to practicing in between lessons. We could not be happier.
March 1, 2018
Great artist and a teacher. My 6 year old enjoys her lessons and I love her down to earth vibe.
Will teach Reading, Writing , Styles Jazz , Pop , R&B
Hi! Here's a little about myself. I am a Professional Music show Performer for 25 yrs. I worked as a singer & Entertainer. I've studied Music at Suny, New School. Also studied with Professor Dave Franks of Berkeley College and School Jazz for 9 yrs, all Levels and all ages. You will learn how to read and write, sight read if you're a singer, all basic teachings hand exercise and more.
Was ok so far
Pleasant and easy to work with
August 12, 2018
Michael is a very good teacher who I would recommend to people of all ages. Michael is very knowledgeable in the art of music. He is very patient & willing to teach to his lessons until you have very good understanding of the lessons he teaches.
October 30, 2015
I think Mr Michael does a Wonderful job teaching bothe my children ages 6 n 16
Learn to own the stage, whether it's a classical recital, or a rock show at the club.
Music is a rewarding art with infinite depths - the approach you take to learn it should reflect this.
When you take piano lessons with me we’ll cover all sides of musicianship, with a focus on building creative ability. Your classes will be varied and fun, from useful music theory to piano exercises designed to build strength and coordination. We'll play a wide range of pieces from classical works to rock, from bebop jazz to indie pop, breaking the music down to learn why and how it works. And we'll work together to help develop your sense of rhythm, melody, and harmony so that you can sit down and truly express yourself in impromptu jam, join a group, write a song, or to feel comfortable learning on your own.
I had an excellent experience with Kris. He challenged me but also understood my specific circumstances and pace. He was flexible with scheduling and helped me greatly improve my piano playing in a short amount of time. We worked on arranged music and songwriting. I’d recommend Kris for all levels!
April 12, 2019
Kris is welcoming and encouraging. He knows a lot and seems to be able to explain it in a way I can understand.
"Cheryl is both an amazing performer and teacher. Her voice just blows me away!! Learned a lot from her."
"Really enjoyed my first lesson. Leah explains things in a way that is very helpful and easy to understand. I'm really looking forward to my next lesson!"
"Amanda is very attentive and thorough."
"My daughter Aly loves her lessons with Miss Aimee! She is very patient and clear about her directions. Aly is 11 years old and learning to play guitar. Mi
ss Aimee takes the time to listen, instruct, and give experience pointers to a beginner. Miss Aimee is a wonderful blessing to our family! I am excited about all the things my daughter is learning and putting into practice!"
"Stephanie isn't just a great player. Her compassion and open personality make her a great teacher as well. I would recommend Stephanie to anyone."
"I've rehearsed and performed with Vandi Enzor in a chamber setting per the requirements of her graduate voice degree. I accompanied her on guitar as she s
ang; the specific piece was the Seven Popular Spanish songs by the great Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. Vandi is professional, patient, hard working, receptive, and musical. Her great command of her instrument is evident, and more than that she has genuine joy in what she does. Collaborating with her was a pleasure, and I can't recommend her enough for musical instruction. A true professional."
"Melanie A. is an extraordinary teacher!
Of the many music teachers out there, I would have to say that Melanie is one with a unique ability to get studen
ts from any background to really understand what it is they need to and learn. To begin, Melanie's upbeat and bright, but professional personality is one that easily clicks with all types of students, making it easy to learn. She is so patient and kind, but just strict enough to get us to do what we need to do. I have seen her sing several times and her great vocal talents and stage performances allow her to give honest, professional, and needed pointers that help students improve (but never in a harsh way). I personally observed this from our band sessions where she is able to teach and give performance advice to a group of students that has greatly improved our ability to be able to be on stage. As a guitar player, she has given me pointers that slightly pushes me out of my comfort zone, but as bettered my stage performance.Just as she capable of teaching groups, she is an excellent one-on-one teacher. It is never hard to ask her for extra help or assistance as her genuine love for singing and music is what fuels to want others to have the same love for it as well. She is always encouraging and constantly reminds you of your abilities to make sure you are never feeling discouraged. Having her as a mentor will never fail to improve your skills in music (whether it be singing or performing on stage) and build your confidence."
"Buzz is an excellent teacher and brings real world music experience into his instruction. As a touring musician, producer, song writer, and arranger, Buz
z has an understanding of practical application. When I perform, I am always looking for ways to play smarter, and Buzz always helps with that. Buzz will break down music theory in a way that makes sense and that I can apply to my own playing on gigs and in rehearsal sessions. Buzz is a tremendous teacher for beginners (I have watched him give lessons to young students and he is excellent) , but if you are an experienced player and are just looking to get better, working with Buzz will get you there. I promise you'll play better after one lesson."
"I have been working with Dr. M. in private lessons--she is the real deal AND she knows how to teach. I've studied a lot of things with a lot of people and
found that only a good musician who knows how to pass that knowledge on can effectively teach it. Dr. M. is that teacher!"