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.
I studied drums and percussion and obtained a unanimous first-prize at the Seine Saint-Denis drums competition. I also attended workshops under the direction of great drummers such as Max ROACH, Clifford JARVIS and Jack DeJOHNETTE.
I performed in virtually in every major jazz club in Paris (New Morning, Duc des Lombards, Sunset, Petit Opportun, Manhattan Jazz Club, Sunset), in various Jazz Festivals and I also played in Germany and Italy.
At the same time I started teaching regularly in four conservatories (Arcueil, Le Pre-St-Gervais, Epinay and Chevilly) for more than 10 years until I moved to New York. I taught private lessons for drums and percussion, and also numerous workshops for kids, teens and adults.
After a lesson with the legendary Jimmy COBB in 1992 during a visit to the Unite
d States, I decided to move to New York. I was finally able to do so in 2000, and I have been living and performing here since then.
*** Lesson Details *** Motivation is the key that makes everything easier for the student!
*** Studio Equipment *** Drum set and practice pads.
*** Travel Equipment *** I expect the student to rapidly buy at least some sticks and a practice pad, and hopefully a snare drum and then a drum set as soon as possible.
*** Specialties *** Jazz, R'n'B, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music.
Renaud was a great teacher, full of enthusiasm for music and drumming, for passing on his expertise, a lot of fun to learn from and very patient.
He was very flexible with adjusting to my varying schedule.
March 29, 2016
Renaud is an incredibly patient teacher and works very well with our son. They have a great rapport and Bruno has made huge progress over the last couple of years that he's been working with Renaud. His rates are very reasonable (almost too reasonable!) and he conducts himself always in the most professional manner.
March 14, 2012
Renaud is a Great Instructor!
My son, Liam, eally enjoys his drum lessons with Renaud. He comes home excited about what he has learned and goes straight to his drums to show us. Renaud is teaching him the fundamentals, as well as challenging him with new rhythms. Liam's ability to read and write music has improved, as well as his speed. We are very pleased.
My name is Gleb V. I am a professional music instructor and performing musician. I have sixteen years of teaching experience for children and adults of all ages, and have been recording and performing internationally for over thirty years.
Specializing in saxophone, clarinet, flute and piano, I have experience in both public and private after-school programs, as well as in-home lessons settings. My formal music training began at the age of five in Vilnius Lithuania with the famous Vladimir Tchekassin. Since then, I have excelled in my saxophone studies at the Vilnius Conservatory and at the Music Academy in Cologne Germany while pursuing an active performing career. Most recently, in 2005, I followed my passion for teaching music by completing an advanced Instructor program in Instrumental Pedagogy at the Music Academy in Cologne.
I have developed a teaching method that is efficient and creative, and is backed by over thirty years of professional performing experience.
Very knowledgeable and in tune musically and internationally
December 25, 2018
He was just perfect for my daughter! She loves his lesson very much and decided to learn from him. As a parent, i loved how he throughly taught us basic stuff about clarinet, assembling, parts, history, etc..
June 9, 2018
Gleb shares a wonderful energy and deep understanding of music with a practical, hands on style that makes you wish the lesson never ends! Looking forward to continuing!
Learn singing in Mandarin/Cantonese/English with Yun!! Yun H started recording as a singer at a very young age. She has recorded and released 9 albums as a member of “Green Swallows” from 1999 to 2005 and two solo albums in 2004 and 2005. To further broaden her musicianship, she studied composition, arranging and performance at the Berklee College of Music, and completed a Performance Degree. As a versatile performer, she sings in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Her sound is a blend traditional Chinese folk and contemporary jazz / soul music. Yun has performed in music events in New England and beyond, including “Roots and Gospel in Gardner Museum”, “2013 Lunar New Year Concert in Berklee Performance Center”,“Newport Folk Festival 2013”, “Newport Folk Festival 2014”, “Ivy League Spring Festival Gala 2014” and shared stage with Yo-Yo Ma
, Eugene Friesen (four-time Grammy Award-winner), Sandeep Das (two-time Grammy nominee), Mike Block, and Hozier (2015 Grammy Nominee).
Jim Funnell is a jazz pianist/keyboardist and composer. He leads his own ensemble, with which he has released two albums (Word Out and Spirit of the Snail) and won the Composition Prize at the “Trophées du Sunside” in Paris. Jim also co-founded AfuriKo, a colorful and atypical African infused jazz duo, with percussionist Akiko Horii. The unit has produced two albums since 2014 (On the Far Side and Style), both of which were chosen to receive full funding from SACEM (French Society of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers).
Notable performances as a band leader/co-leader include venues and festivals such as Jazz Alley (Seoul), London Jazz Festival, Le Baiser Salé (Paris), Rockwood Music Hall (New York City), Theater Vrijburcht (Amsterdam), JazzLab (Hamburg, Germany), Kathmandu Jazz Festival (Nepal), Kanazawa Jazz Street (Japan), Jazz
en Touraine (France), and Malta Jazz Festival. As a sideman, Jim has also played and recorded with jazz vocalist Jade Choi, percussionist Marcelo Woloski (Snarky Puppy), saxophonist Philippe Lopes de Sa, singer-songwriter Benjamin de Roubaix, electro/nu-reggae artist Flox, and contemporary microtonal jazz-rock guitarist David Fiuczynski.
Since graduating from Berklee College of Music, which he attended on a full tuition scholarship, Jim has been active as an educator, teaching both privately (currently at Lessonface.com) and in workshop/masterclass settings (BRICKS Music Salon in Tokyo, Cardiff University School of Music in Wales, Improphile in France, Koyo Conservatory in Kobe, Euro Institute of Music and Arts in Malta…)
In addition to music, literature, and art, Jim is into nature, languages, anthropology and all things human, shamanism, Taoism, Zen, qigong, jogging, and wholesome food!
----- FunJazz Piano Lessons -----
Do you want to learn about jazz piano, improvisation, harmony, composition, arranging, and be able to sit in at a jam session anywhere in New York City or in your hometown? Be admitted to a jazz school or music college? Build a solid repertoire, become proficient at playing standards, write tunes, and maybe put your own band together or feel comfortable joining an existing outfit?
I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to go through all of these exciting steps in the life of a musician myself, and I’m definitely looking forward to sharing this experience with you. I began to learn jazz piano in Paris (France) as a teenager, and later attended Berklee College of Music in Boston on a full tuition scholarship. I recently moved to New York City to continue to grow as an artist in this utterly inspiring metropolis, full of talent and creativity.
I offer jazz piano lessons that are well suited for:
pianists of all styles (jazz, blues, gospel, pop, R&B…) and levels including adventurous classically trained pianists who feel the urge to explore improvisation, groove, and swing; all other instrumentalists eager to either strengthen their basic piano skills or deepen the practice of improvisation on their principal instrument; vocalists who wish to hone their piano accompaniment skills; and finally writers and computer musicians committed to improving in the areas of jazz harmony, arranging, composition, improvisation, and enthusiastic about incorporating these techniques into their productions.
In addition to the actual lessons, make sure to check out these posts regularly for tips, ideas, transcriptions, analyses, and in depth study of intriguing jazz topics that will help you walk in the masters’ Footprints and make Giant Steps towards your Freedom Jazz Dance!
The repertoire studied during the lessons can be as vast as jazz is diverse. I curate a playlist on Spotify you can dig into entitled “FunJazz Piano Lessons: Essential Jazz," which is a selection of standards, jazz tunes, Latin tunes, rhythm changes, blues, and ballads performed by a wealth of diverse musicians, and covering a wide range of styles and eras. In fact, exploitable melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements for the purpose of these lessons can be drawn from most music, within and beyond the scope of jazz… I’m therefore open to – and encourage – students’ suggestions: practicing a piece one actually knows and enjoys can be a strong motivational factor and often enhances the learning experience.
Tools & Study Material
Jamey Aebersold, Charlie Parker Omnibook: for C instruments (treble clef) (Alfred Music Publishing) Fiona Bicket, The Barry Harris Approach to Improvised Lines & Harmony: An Introduction Miles Davis, Quincy Troupe, Miles: The Autobiography (Simon & Schuster) Charles-Louis Hanon, The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises for the Piano (Schirmer) Michael Hewitt, Musical Scales of the World (The Note Tree) Mark Levine, The Jazz Piano Book (Sher Music Co.) Mark Levine, Jazz Piano Masterclass: The Drop 2 Book (Sher Music Co.) Mark Levine, How to Voice Standards at the Piano: the Menu (Sher Music Co.) Frank Mantooth, Voicings for Jazz Keyboard (Hal Leonard Corp.) Stephen Nachmanovitch, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art (Tarcher/Penguin) Neil Olmstead, Solo Jazz Piano: The Linear Approach (Berklee Press) Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet (fully digitized on jazz pianist Bill Carrothers’ website!) Nicolas Slonimsky, Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns (Amsco Publications) Adam Spiers, Scale Matcher (web application) Kenny Werner, Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Musician Within Forrest Wernick, Eric O’Donnell, Jazz Advice (blog)
Hello! My name's Kevin, and I'm a composer/musician based in Brooklyn. I went to the College of William and Mary where I studied both music and physics. Following that, I received a master's degree focusing in music composition from the University of Chicago.
I would love to help you have a stronger understanding of your instrument and music in general! I started playing clarinet in the 8th grade, and continued playing all through high school, undergrad, and grad school. Clarinet is my primary instrument, but before clarinet I began saxophone, and before saxophone, I began piano. Music has been a central part of my life for such a long time, and I can't imagine life without it!
My primary career pursuit is music composition, so I would love to dive into some music theory with each piece that you learn. I feel that understanding the mu
sic itself builds a stronger appreciation for the act of playing music. I have written a lot of pieces for myself on clarinet, and would be thrilled to help you on your own compositions if that is something your interested in. Contemporary classical music is my passion, but I want to help you explore the repertoire that fascinates you.
I am a professional Saxophonist and Keyboardist, recording and performing on a regular basis worldwide. I graduated with a Bachelor in fine arts, specifically Jazz Saxophone, from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music with honors, And I also have a Diploma in Saxophone with honors from Nice's (France) Conservatory. I have experience teaching kids Classical saxophone a year in Cagnes-sur-Mer's (France) Conservatory. I make my lessons enjoyable by a fun and engaging way in order to make my students achieve their goals, and build a strong basis to help them grow and expand their musicality.
I've had the chance to study Saxophone/Flute/Piano/Music Theory/Counterpoint/Composition in two different Continents (North America, Europe), which allows me to bring the best of the two worlds to my students.
Being a voracious music lover, I
will teach my students how to play in any style by giving them the mastery of the instrument and the ability to understand what they play!
Hi, my name is Emanuele Filippi, I’m an Italian piano player and composer. I was trained at College level in both classical music and jazz, and I’ve thought musicians of all ages and levels though the years.
I want to make the process of learning music fun for the students and help them build a routine which will lead to a quick and steady improvement. My goal is to teach the student how to LOVE music, and by doing that I will keep the student motivated to keep exploring the musical world.
According to Your needs and requests, I can teach: -Fundamentals of piano technique -Classical piano repertoire -Jazz repertoire -Insights into different genres like rock, pop, reggae, gospel -Ear training -Rhythm training -Solfege -Music theory -Composition and arrangement -Reading music -Playing by ear -Following band cues -much more…
Emanuele helped me prepare a recital which included music by Mozart, Beethoven and Prokofiev. He's very knowledgeable on classical music and he was able to make me understand the compositional thought in the pieces.
August 30, 2019
I'm a professional actor and Emanuele helped me learn a song I needed to perform during a play. His approach was very effective and I learned more than I expected!
"Such a wonderful experience. My son Gabriel was so excited and loved his lesson. He came home and started practicing right away. Karen was so patient and
an excellent teacher."
"Diane is a great music teacher. She pays close attention to details."
"Thomas has a great level of patience for students new to music lessons. He has a very enthusiastic approach to each lesson that he teaches. I truly enjo
y how he is able to share his passion for music, often relating piano to other musical instruments during lessons. Since I am someone very new to the world of music, I look forward to continuing my lessons with Thomas with the hopes that I can grow as a musician. I highly recommend his talents as a teacher of music."
"Strong initial start to a series of lessons, to reach a specific audition goal. I will update as we progress through the teaching process. Looking forwar
d to the next lesson."
"Adam made me feel very comfortable while still being honest and offering constructive criticism. I feel confident I will achieve my goals with his guidan
"I have taken a couple different piano instructors and Howard is by far, the best I have worked with. He tailors the instruction to you, your goals, and fr
ames it towards your learning style and creates a lesson plan that's fun, educational, and full of information. He also cares so much about his students and is not just a piano instructor but a friend. I have made huge gains in my piano accompaniment and theory and I owe it all to Howard. Highly recommended!"
"Patti has a great connection with children and provides clear and easy instruction to my daughter!"
"she has great taste of music
she has great taste of music. and you can tell how honest parson she is when you meet her. she will teach you guitar, good g
uitar, you know it is good. she knows good music and saw, heard good music. also she will let you know music is a lot of fun ! have a fun lessen with ayme frye, super frye !"
"Lynzi is very knowledgable with vocal training and an excellent singer as well. I explained issues with my voice and she gave great tips to help strengthe
n my singing. The main thing is that she listened to my needs and heard what was going on with me vocally. I already hear a difference with my singing after one lesson and doing what she told me to do. That’s what makes Lynzi a great instructor."
Nobody likes trudging through difficult music that they don’t like. If a song is too hard, it’s not going to sound good. And if you don’t like the song, why bother putting in the effort?
To solve this problem for you, here’s a very eclectic list of easy songs to play on your acoustic guitar.
DISCLAIMER: Making music is tricky business. There’s a lot of multitasking and it takes time to get things flowing the way that you want to hear them. Additionally, guitarists all have di …