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.
The Uke is growing in popularity because of it's ease of playing and how much fun it is to play. A great starter instrument to branch onto guitar later on or a unique instrument to master. I can help you master the Uke and have a lot of fun doing it.
I have been a professional performing musician and producer for over 10 years and have had hundreds of students during that time. I grew up playing classic rock and classical. By the time I graduated high school I had visited 26 states playing music. I have studied music at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and have performed in various groups. I have a unique passion for teaching music and making it fun. I have the classical training and performance experience to help take your musicianship to the next level while having a blast.
Great first lesson, I've got another scheduled today and am very much looking forward to it. And yes, Jeremy, I did my muscle memory homework.
January 7, 2019
Really solid first lesson. Jeremy was warm and engaging. I look forward to working more with him in the future.
September 18, 2018
Jeremy is very calm, supportive, and knowledgeable. His lessons have a clear direction and are focused on my goals. I enjoy the lesson and am willing to work hard in between each lesson. I highly recommend him.
I can teach all levels and many styles. I make it easy for you to learn at your own pace so you can achieve your goals and have fun playing music.
Tom has a music degree focused in guitar performance and a combined professional teaching and performance career that spans over twenty years.
Tom began teaching in 1994 and still practices today instructing students of all ages on guitar and bass techniques, as well as music theory.
Tom is very laid back and embraces working at the pace that each of his students feels most comfortable. Lessons are about the student’s ambitions. If it is learning their favorite songs or a deep dive into music theory, jazz improvisation or songwriting it can be covered in strides that seem fit to the student. Books can be used for guidance and a custom lesson plan created that will fit specific criteria desired to be achieved by the student. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you put in, the more you will get out of it!!
Learn to play the songs you love with easy to follow along instruction and a quick learning rate!
I will help you excel in all areas of voice. I specialize in Jazz, Musical Theater, Folk, Pop, Opera, Rock, and more! Let me help you take your singing to the next level!
Currently a studio artist with Madison Opera, Anna Parks is an rising star in the opera world. Anna has sung with a number of popular groups around Chicago including the Grant Park Apprentice Chorale, Opera on Tap, and has performed numerous leading roles in performances at Chicago College of Performing Arts, where she has recently received her Master's Degree. Anna is currently a pupil of world renowned countertenor Mark Crayton at Chicago College of Performing Arts, working towards her masters in voice. Anna is a National Classical Singer Competition finalist, a Wisconsin NATS finalist, as well as an alumni to the Minnesota Opera's youth program. Ann
a has been teaching voice since her second year of her undergraduate training from ages 4-95, and is currently a voice instructor at International Performing Arts Academy in the famous John Hancock building. Anna works with a range of style from classical, jazz, popular music, soul, country, and musical theater. As a well-rounded performer, Anna has extensive training in acting as well as dance, and offers lessons in ballet and dance technique, as well as theater, film, monologue, audition, and stage prep.
Loved taking lessons with Miss Anna! She was so friendly and I had so much fun (and learned a lot!). Anna is the best teacher I've ever had and was so patient with me. Thank you, dear!
May 8, 2016
Anna was an awesome teacher. You can tell right away that she knows what she's talking about, but is also super friendly and really supportive.
May 8, 2016
Anna was such a great teacher! I have always loved to sing, but was never good enough. Anna not only made me feel like I had potential, but I was able to see improvements in my voice within weeks! I've absolutely LOVED working with her!!
I've been teaching ukulele for 4 years helping students develop a love for the instrument and learn more about music along the way. Ukulele is a great instrument for an introduction into stringed instruments and as a casual pastime, but when pursued seriously can be as rigorous as any other. Within the first few lessons you'll have a solid base of strumming patterns and chord changes and even a few simple songs under your belt. Moving on from there I will craft lessons to move you toward a "goal song," making sure to cater your progress to your needs while keeping a focus on good technique. I enjoy working with students of all ages and experiences and I can't wait to meet you!
Ryan is a musician from Jefferson Park who plays a plethora of different instruments. He specializes in guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele, but also dabbles in accordion, piano, drums, harmonica and several others. Learning to play instruments is one of the true pleasures in his life and he hopes he can make it one of yours, too.
As a teacher Ryan's goals are fairly simple. First and foremost he wants to make his lessons comfortable, interesting and fun. A close second is to build a strong foundation on the basics, so as we learn more advanced techniques we have a solid base of technique to build upon. And third, an understanding of the theory and history behind the music is a great way to engage in the music beyond just the rote learning of technique.
After a brief foray in physics, Ryan settle into a degree in music at the Univer
sity of Illinois, specializing in Ethnomusicology (the study of music of different cultures). This education gave him a strong background in music theory and history in the Western tradition, but also opened him up to a vast experience of a diverse cross section of music from around the world. His insatiable love for learning new instruments started here, where he studied music from West Africa to Bali.
Currently Ryan is a co-lead singer, songwriter and stringed instrument player for the local band Distant Brothers, a folk rock band based out of Chicago. They play venues throughout the Midwest, with some of the notable venues being House of Blues, Metro and Cubby Bear in Chicago. Another highlight of his time with the band has been a collaboration with Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra, where he not only was able to play in collaboration with the orchestra, but joined in the arranging and conceptualization of some of the pieces played.
Experienced ukelele teacher of 10 years available for eager students of all experience levels and ages! I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of fingerstyle ukelele skills. I specialize in reggae, pop and world music, typically use Hal Leonard books (among others), and also have the following tools available to use during lessons: sound recording equipment, sheet music, and more.
Like most guitarists, I had always wanted to play the guitar as a little kid. Luckily, my parents finally caved to the request (ok ok, incessant begging) and I began my guitar journey at the age of 11. After now 20 years of playing and 12 years of teaching, I am excited to share my experience and thoughts about how to learn music and guitar.
My journey with the guitar has taken me from the electric rock of Jimi Hendrix, to the shredding of Joe Satriani, then the otherworldly sounds and speed of Al di Meola, and, finally, to the broad world of classical guitar, Flamenco and world music. Over the years, I have compiled a set of skills, techniques, and theories from all corners of the musical globe to help teach students the fastest path to guitar mastery. My goal is to show you how to master the fundamental skills of guitar in order to
play in any style and ultimately create your own music.
Justin is an excellent teacher!! He is a master guitarist, always punctual, very courteous and gives 100% to my lesson. I am learning classical guitar and jazz guitar with him and I am delighted with the progress I've made in just a few months. I am playing beautiful songs and before his lessons I could not play any classical guitar songs at all. Justin tailors the lessons to help me learn the songs I am excited about learning to play. I most highly recommend him as a teacher for any style guitar. Amazingly he also teaches ukulele and mandolin too! He has a degree from Cal Poly in music and guitar and has over 20 years teaching experience. If you really want to learn how to play guitar easily and quickly, take lessons with him!
November 13, 2017
Justin has been awesome. He really knows his stuff, and he has a natural gift for teaching. I am learning everything from reading tabs to playing my favorite songs. I'm having a blast!
I teach uke to beginners. My background specialty is in piano, and secondary for string instruments. Whatever your goals are I will take them personally and help you grow and work towards them.
Lessons are tailored to the students' level and goal. Caring and compassionate instructor. Your dream is my dream and I will diligently work with you to help you on your path. If you have the will to learn and practice, you will see improvements and achievements. I've been teaching music to children and adults for about 20 years both privately and at teaching studios. I have played as a substitute church pianist, ballet accompanist, and have spent the last four years playing for a variety of private and corporate events and weddings.
UKULELE is a VERSATILE and FUN instrument with the potential to play any kind of music that you like, not just tin pan alley or kids tunes. I specialize in working with beginners who have no music background but lots of enthusiasm to play.
Learn to read music notation with your ukulele, learn to sing and strum chords so you play music with others to entertain yourself and your friends and family. I encourage participation at local open mics and uke groups for the intermediate students. For more advanced students we embark on a study of complex pieces of music and focus on performance goals.
I have been a teacher since 1996 and a uke teacher since 2015, teaching uke to after school groups. I am a member of Houkulele, Houston's Social Ukulele Club. I have attended Uke Teacher Training courses with Kevin Carroll in Austin. I follow and use James Hill's ukulele in the classroom curriculum and supplement for the specific music interests of my students. I am continually learning new things. I attend uke workshops, TMEA music conferences and festivals like the Kerrville Folk Festival to continually improve my skill and my teaching techniques.
"Edwin helped me meet my goals and more in the first session. He provided just the right amount of challenge and encouragement that I needed in my learning
to play the ukulele. He also provided information on apps that support my independent learning. Edwin is absolutely the best! I am very grateful to have Edwin as my teacher!"
"I am a total beginner. No musical knowledge at all. Kirk is very patient, and is willing to explain things in detail."
"Brian was a great teacher! He I was well prepared and always on time. He was patient with me not remembering all the notes and simply said “it takes time”
or “you’ll get it next time”. Brianl loves music and shares that love in every lesson and in his overall teaching approach."
"I was uncertain how online lessons would work, but Amanda was wonderful! It's the early stages, but so far so good!"
"Mary Ann is awesome! She is a great instructor, stays focused and fits a ton of instruction in each lesson. I've learned so much more in 5 lessons than I
learned in 2 years trying to teach myself. I highly recommend her!"
"Yasmine is doing very well with her lessons. She enjoys the as well. The online Skype is great."
"He shares great songs and tricks that i've never heard before."
"Jesse is our first music teacher and my 9 year old son is really enjoying his Ukulele lessons. My favorite thing about Jesse is how often he compliments m
y son during his 30 minute lesson. Practicing has yet to be a struggle and my son looks forward to his lesson. Jesse is able to keep my son's attention and make his lesson fun for him. In 5 lessons my son has learned to read music and several basic songs. It is easy to welcome Jesse in our home for the lesson. We highly recomend him as a teacher. My son wants me to add that when Jesse rides his motorcycle to our house for the lesson it is also super cool!"
The D, D7, and Dm ukulele chords are essential chords all beginners should learn how to play.
For many beginners, the D chord will be one of the first ukulele chords you learn how to play. However, you may not learn at first that the D chord can be played in several different positions, and in variations such as D minor (notated as Dm) and D seventh (notated as D7).
Choosing the best position to use for a particular chord during a song depends on its proximity to the other chords in th …