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Hristo V.

San Jose, CA

About Hristo

Hristo is an impressionistic modern jazz guitarist and composer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hristo leads a variety of modern jazz formations, ranging from duets to quintets. Hristo has toured nationally and internationally, appearing at some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, and has also performed guitar clinics in Europe and Japan. He has written more than 270 original compositions, many articles on jazz improvisation, and a book on chordal theory and construction entitled Between the Voicings: A New Approach to Chord Building for Guitaris
ts. The Hristo Quartet’s 2009 debut album, Song for Messambria (First Orbit Sounds Music) quickly received outstanding reviews by the international jazz community and was selected as one of the six best jazz albums of 2009 by E-JAZZ NEWS.
“His sophisticated and adventurous work is imbued with shimmering harmonies and lyrical improvisations.” – JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE
“His multihued compositions are like impressionistic sound paintings.” – JAZZIZ
“You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers.” – Improvijazzation Nation Magazine
“Hristo may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold.” – DIGITAL JAZZ NEWS
“Hristo plays as the cultural end result of his life experiences. Simply put, he plays more so from the heart than he does the head.” – Critical Jazz
“A richly textured album full of strong melodic and rhythmic ideas and with some superb playing throughout.” – THE JAZZ MANN (England)
As jazz critic Edward Blanco describes: “Heis the newest guitarist to enter the national jazz scene and does so with a stunner of a recording in Song for Messambria, one of the finest debut albums I've had the pleasure of appraising this year.”
The record presents a unique blend of ECM-style modern jazz, classical, and Brazilian tone textures, and showcases the completely unique and masterful interpretation of the jazz idiom by each one of its members. In late 2009, Hristo released his second studio album featuring Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago. The Secrets of an Angel is an impressionistic landscape painted by the delightful and graceful conversation between the two instruments (guitar/piano).
As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “On the heels of his impressive debut recording, Song for Messambria, guitarist Hristo returns along with pianist Weber Iago for a wonderful guitar/piano duet recording - The Secrets of an Angel...while the gentle title track shimmers like a glistening iceberg on a cold sea. The delightful two-part ‘The Last Pirate” is a highlight - brilliantly showcasing the exciting romantic bend inherent in his music, while the nostalgic lullaby “Leka Nosht (Good Night)” recalls a faraway youth and rounds out this fine release.”
In 2010 Hristo wrote a large scale jazz work (The Perperikon Suite) especially to be premiered at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival. This 7 movements jazz suite is inspired by the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (located on the territory of Bulgaria), and combines orchestral, classical, jazz, and fusion elements depicting the history and mystery of this enchanting place. The work marks Hristo third album and one of his most adventurous and sophisticated works up to date. For the recording of this project the Hristo Quartet was joined by virtuoso vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist Christian Tamburr.
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Shimmering harmonies resonate throughout these modern jazz marvels, and the soloists work their way around and through this accessible and exciting music with equal measures of taste, technique and spirit. His pieces are peppered with signpost sonorities and ideas that often reappear throughout a given song, creating a sense of continuity and thematic steadiness that develops around individual soloists. While this group ably establishes its own aural identity, which threads its way through the whole album, each movement of the suite has different strengths and a unique sonic footprint. Brought to life as a tale of two cities, The Perperikon Suite ultimately occupies its own wondrous world within the confines of its jazz borders.”
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “There is an incredible warmth to his playing, a fluidity of movement and direction held firmly in place by a stellar quintet that provides ample support for the lyrical imagery created on this release. Aside from the superior sound which almost smacks of a live in the studio recording, there is a true working band feel that he has been able to obtain. He displays an unparalleled versatility moving from the flash of “The Acropolis” to the more introspective “The Southern City” allowing for a wonderfully paced recording. The drumming of Joe DeRose creates a special dynamic tension on the tune “The Great Hall.” A release that ends far too soon. Wonderfully crafted, well paced and a sonic tapestry that stands up as well as any release for this past year.”
As jazz critic Bruce Lindsay describes: “The music, performed by a terrific quintet, is beautiful: it captures images not of a city in ruins but of a city full of life, of vibrant activity. The Perperikon Suite is an impressive creation. Each individual tune is beautifully crafted, but so, too, is the Suite as a whole. His response to the ancient city is remarkable in both its conception and its performance.”
As jazz critic Michael Bailey describes: “Many time motifs are used throughout this suite. Tick-tock ascending and descending figures pass as a thread through cloth, to hold this musical garment—a coat of many colors—together. He achieves this effect with no apparent effort or change in guitar tone or approach. Merely by affecting the time signatures, he makes his magic. The Perperikon Suite is soft-spoken and brainy music that exists out of the ordinary.”

As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “The new songs are the strongest he has written yet, and the addition of Tamburr serves to take the music to an even higher level. Hristo, meanwhile, continues to impress the listener with his addictive blend of jazz with touches of classical, Brazilian and Eastern European influences in both his playing and songwriting. In lieu of visiting the legendary site yourself, listeners are urged to take a musical journey to the ancient location as seen through the senses of Hristo and shared with you through his highly satisfying musical presentation.”
As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: “Hristo and his inspirational quintet provide an all-new experience on The Perperikon Suite, a concept album that is accessible, creative and a pleasure to spin often.”
In 2012 Hristo embarked on yet another musical chapter of his life. Heartmony is the long awaited and highly anticipated follow up to the first duet recording by the guitarist and pianist Weber Iago (The Secrets of an Angel). As the title of the record will suggest, Heartmony explores a truly intimate, honest, and emotional conversation between the two instruments. The music, which transports you from impressionistic landscapes to folkloric tales and from melancholic memories to meditative trances, is simply the purest harmonious sounds he has put on tape up to date. Straight from the heart, healing energy that will embrace you long after you listen to it.
“An absolutely wonderful recording.” – JAZZTIMES
“If ever there were a marriage between classical music and jazz then this Heartmony is it. Hristo and Weber Iago have created a very special experience.” – Grady Harp (
“Both on and off the bandstand, he is an artist who wears his emotions on his sleeve. His new “Heartmony,” a duo session with his frequent collaborator, Brazilian pianist Weber Iago, provides a master class in the way a chord or harmonic progression can evoke a flood of sensations.” – Andrew Gilbert (San Jose Mercury News)
“Guitarist Hristo and longtime collaborator, pianist Weber Iago, have created a work of sublime musicality with Heartmony. Exquisitely lyrical, although a bit too sweet, this opus brings together multiple musical influences into a coherent and cohesive, multilayered narrative, the momentum of which does not slack from the first few notes to the very last. He and Iago interweave long musical threads into a shimmering soundscape of serene beauty.” – Hrayr Attarian (All About Jazz)
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “Heartmony is a sonic mosaic pieced together from heartfelt feelings and emotions carried through time and communicated in an incredibly heartwarming and emotional presentation that exemplifies the zen concept of less is more perhaps as well as any recording of the last decade. The musical sound of one hand clapping. His and Weber's music transcends the more traditional jazz idiom in much the same fashion that their recorded work here is that of a more cohesive unified voice with subtle shadings, lyrical swells and the textured nuances that creates music that is to be experienced. An incredibly beautiful artistic statement of personal experience.”
“Guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago sounds like a perfect match in a musical heaven, if such things exist. What I’m saying here is that this is a duet album that sounds perfect, music made from the heart and soul. There’s warmth, there’s care, and there’s a human quality to this that no machine can replicate, and it is that Heartmony that makes this a powerful album worth listening to repeatedly.” – John Books
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “The eleven originals are all musical offerings from the heart and soul, but this isn't a one-dimensional recital. Some songs are full of life and positive energy, while others have a sense of regret and nostalgia sewn into their being, but they're all painted in sharp, vivid colors, thanks to the skills of both artistic practitioners at play.”
“This set of guitar-piano duets is quietly emotional, always intriguing and quite original. His clear toned guitar blends in perfectly with Iago’s powerful piano and the two musicians often seem to think as one. Heartmony is quite thought provoking and well worthy of many close listens. Highly recommended.” – Scott Yanow
“Hristo and Iago play together with the assurance born of long and fruitful collaboration. They know each other well, and it shows in the skillful way they complement each other. They take a beautiful melody and run with it. They wring every bit of emotion out of it. There are passages in a composition like “Memories in Black and White,” nocturnal moments in “The Last Leaves which Fell in Fall,” that sound like they could have been written by a nineteenth century Polish Romantic. Then there are moments in the same songs where there are glints of French Impressionists.” – Jack Goodstein (
“Hristo is a gifted composer and master guitarist whose stylish approach to the music makes him a hidden wonder of the jazz world. Heartmony is an intelligent musical statement and gentle follow up to his previous works, a relaxing soulful musical experience sure to touch a piece of your heart.” – Ed Blanco (E-JAZZ NEWS)
In January 2013, Hristo released “Familiar Fields” – his 5th record as a leader (and his 2nd quartet recording). The music presented in this session clearly displays the multidimensional tonal evolution of the band and each one of its individual members. The addition of drummer extraordinaire Mike Shannon to the quartet establishes a portal to new sonic landscapes and emotions to be explored in this collection of 9 original pieces by the guitarist. The music, which takes the listener through the realms of impressionistic, classical, jazz, experimental, and new age, always retains the unique sonic footprint that has brought critical acclaim to the quartet all over the world.
“He  paints a vivid pastoral landscape with epic sweep, often recalling the big-sky sound of Pat Metheny. Obviously, these musicians are more than comfortable with one another, as one delicate solo seamlessly segues into another.” – JAZZIZ

“Once again he has produced an immaculately crafted, often supremely beautiful album.” –
The Jazz Mann (England)

“If Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton are considered the kings of impressionistic jazz guitar, then certainly Hristo is a crown prince and ready to lead a palace coup. In fact, “Familiar Fields” easily stands equal to even their greatest albums. Part of the reason for that has to be credited to Hristo’s choice of musicians in the quartet. The musical affinity and effortless grace shines forth on this album like few recordings I have ever heard. They share a single heart and mind that bursts forth in illumination on every track. There is no weak moment or weak player on this album.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)
“Over the past few years, Bulgarian-born, Bay Area-based guitarist and composer Hristo has consistently crafted music of great lyrical beauty. With his self-named quartet or quintet, or in duet with pianist and frequent collaborator Weber Iago, he has advanced a sound that manages to sound intimate and epic at the same time. He does so again on Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds), his latest recording with his quartet, which welcomes new member Mike Shannon on drums. As he has on previous recordings, He makes use of classical imagery and narratives in song titles such as “The Prophet’s Daughter,” “The Mask of Agamemnon” and “Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow,” the last of which is our selection. His instrumental voice bears echoes of the tonal warmth and big-sky sweep of Pat Metheny, as he and Iago, his beyond-simpatico musical compatriot, switch off on leads, riding the rolling hillocks of rhythm provided by Shannon and acoustic bassist Dan Robbins. Shannon proves an exceptional addition to the group, responding to and driving his companions in equal measure.” – JAZZIZ
As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “Bulgaria-born and San Francisco-based Hristo has established himself as a modern day troubadour. His enchanting and fantastical tunes have the feel of medieval ballads abundantly peppered with futuristic sounds. His sixth release, Familiar Fields, presents nine impressionistic originals that showcase his maturing compositional skills as well as the superlative, improvisational talents of his working quartet. With each album he oeuvre ripens and becomes more sophisticated without losing its delightfully spirited edge. Familiar Fields not only stands on its own merit as sublime music but also whets the appetite for what is yet to come.”

“Familiar Fields is a highly intelligent, thought-provoking Impressionistic escapade.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

“This release is a clear statement from an artist comfortable with who he is and where he is going. There are no absolute truths in music but instead there are shades of gray which he and his quartet fill in with the precision of a surgeon and the soul of a true artist. Never caught up in the academics of his works, he instead conducts a sonic exploration with the end result being a release that gives up something new with each subsequent spin. An ebb and flow unmatched, or perhaps unlike him, an ebb and flow that other artists simply can not match. As close to perfect as it gets!” – Brent Black (

“The Hristo Quartet, ladies and gentlemen, is in peak form. They have no competition: no other music in the jazz idiom is quite as satisfying.” – Grady Harp (
“The musical bond between guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago is as strong as that of Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with proof being their two sublime duet recordings, The Secrets of an Angel and Heartmony, as well as three small group sessions under his name. For the Familiar Fields quartet date with regular bassist Dan Robbins and new drummer Mike Shannon, chose nine gems to play from his vault of more than 270 original compositions. As usual, as one listens to his music, the words lyrical, impressionistic, spiritual, and passionate come to mind, and also his term "heartmony," which he defines as the simultaneous combination of feelings and emotions, especially when produced by experiences, memories, and stimulations pleasing to the heart, body, and soul." – Scott Albin (JAZZTIMES)
“The emotional essence of any Hristo recording can be seen before it’s heard via the distinctive oil paintings the guitarist creates for his CD jackets. his artwork for Familiar Fields is impressionistic, haunting and autumnal, the same qualities that characterize his latest collection of tunes. The foursome’s interplay is highly intricate, resulting in emotive tunes that wax and wane in intensity. Whether you call it post-bop or post-fusion, his brand of jazz is passionate and ethereal. He has developed into a formidable guitarist and intelligent composer, and since he’s only 32 years old, his best work may be yet to come.” – Ed Kopp (Jazziz)
“Within his tone and technique, it’s not difficult to hear the influences of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. He is adept at the full range of extended techniques but is most often described - justifiably - as an impressionist.” – Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)
“Of the many attributes that Bulgarian (San Francisco based) guitarist Hristo possesses - refined technical abilities, warm tonality, and expressive soulfulness - his gift to convey beautiful stories through intricate composition is always at the heart of his appeal.” – Mark F. Turner

In October 2013, Hristo released his 6th album as a leader. "Rhodopa" is a beautifully crafted sonic pairing of the extremely emotional and lyrical Bulgarian folklore and the multidimensional and deeply textured world of modern jazz harmony. On his new music journey, the guitarist is joined by virtuoso Bulgarian clarinetist Liubomir Krastev. As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Hristo and Liubomir Krastev cover everything from the mystical to the mournful and the grim to the gleeful on this absorbing duo date.”

“Hristo takes improvisational music to a third dimension of texture you can feel. Rhodopa is my selection for album of the year for 2013. Critically acclaimed guitar virtuoso Hristo started the year with the release of the highly regarded Familiar Fields. With Rhodopa, has now assumed his rightful place as a global virtuoso of unrivaled talent and ability. As artistically gifted as he is technically proficient, Hristo moves to the head of the pack with this stellar outing.” – Brent Black (

“Hristo boldly departs from the group setting and gives the audience even more of what they crave - soulful arrangements and virtuosity with heart. There is a beauty and an elegance that comes through on each and every one of Hristo's recordings. The music he composes, the arrangements he crafts, the musicians that he assembles together and the dignity and reverence of his musicianship speak of the heart of the man and his love of life.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)

As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “The warm, poetic tunes are like fairy tales in verse. They are imbued with nostalgia, and shimmer with a variety of muted colors and sentiments. Krastev's softly undulating tones waver against his vibrating strings in a spiritual celebration of abstract beauty. This thematically unified work is a genre bending, elegant and satisfying opus and a new high for he who continues to excel himself on each fresh release.”

“Modern jazz guitarist, pianist and composer Hristo always refreshes the ear and the soul with his inordinately sensitive, mesmerizing, and beautiful approach to music. He is unique - and artist who explores every avenue of approach to both folk music and jazz and the result is an experience that simply no one else can match.” – Grady Harp (

“With Rhodopa, guitarist/composer Hristo and clarinetist Liubomir Krastev meld musical minds, dive exuberantly into an array of earthy Bulgarian folk material and come up with four hands of beauty. The result is a panoply of aural color, emotion, and technical artistry.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: "Rhodopa is an instrumental serenade of Bulgarian folklore music interpreted by a world-class guitarist and clarinetist. Hristo and Liubomir Krastev deliver an enchanting and relaxing escape from reality with a fifty-three minute encounter of soul-reaching music."

"You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers. With Liubomir’s reeds, they form a cultural jazz experience that can’t be compared with anything else!" – Dick Metcalf (Improvijazzation Nation Magazine)

On top of leading his own quartet, quintet, duo projects, and co-leading the group SEVA, Hristo also co-writes and plays guitar with Joe De Rose and Amici - an energetic jazz/fusion formation lead by drummer Joe De Rose. Hristo has appeared on countless radio shows/programs all around the world.

Hristo has also performed in world-class jazz venues and festivals including Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Oakland, CA), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Half Moon Bay, CA), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), Anthology (San Diego, CA), Catalina Jazz Club (Hollywood, CA), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head Island, SC), Heidi's Jazz Club (Cocoa Beach, FL), Alvas Showroom (San Pedro, CA), The Jazz Station (Eugene, OR), Egan's Ballard Jam House (Seattle, WA), Timucua White House (Orlando, FL), Ivories Jazz Club (Portland, OR), The Herbst Theater (San Francisco, CA), SOhO Jazz Club (Santa Barbara, CA), as well as major jazz festivals including the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA), 2009/2010/2012/2013 AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose, CA), 2010 and 2012 Redwood City “Jazz on Main” (Redwood City, CA), Okazaki Jazz Festival (Okazaki, Japan) and many more.

Hristo holds a B.A. in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA.
He has also studied in the prestigious Roland Music Academy in Caracas, Venezuela.

Students can benefit from Hristo's completely amazing knowledge on the instrument as well as music/harmony theory. He will work and design unique and specific goals tailored to each student's individual interests. His dedication and passion for teaching are first class!!!

*** Lesson Details ***
I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

*** Studio Equipment ***
A specific music room with a few guitars, a keyboard, amps, and recording equipment and music stands

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my guitar and amp.
Students should provide their guitars and amps (if needed)

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation, harmonic studies and theory.
Chord melodies, building lines, phrasing, voice-leading, chordal improvisation, and re-harmonization/substitution.


Kim L. April 26, 2014
Verified Student
Outstanding Performer

Hristo is the most inspirational teacher I've every had the pleasure to learn from. He shares his talent in a way that I look forward to every lesson. His patience and positive reinforcement encourages me to keep practicing. He selects the appropriate music for my level and teaches all genres. Thank you for working with me every week. I hope I get to work with him for as long as I can until he becomes too famous to continue teaching us.
AllenH April 4, 2012
Great Instructor

I've been taking lessons from Hristo for a couple of months now. He is friendly, affable, and extremely patient. I enjoy our lessons, and have learned quite a bit in the short time we have been working together.
JeanetteY March 7, 2012
wonderful instructor and very accomodating. We are appreciative of his talents!!
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Hristo V.

Hristo V.

San Jose, CA 95118
starting at
$65 / 30-min

Samuel C.

Santa Cruz, CA

About Samuel

After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2010 with degrees in Music and History, I spent several years touring and recording with artists on the East Coast, teaching as many as 20 private lessons a week, and studying tabla (Indian hand drums) to keep my own musical education alive and moving forward. I have a passion for music of all kinds, and specifically for drums and percussion. As a result of the diversity of my tastes, I have an eclectic performance background. Over the past decade I have performed with rock and metal bands, jazz ensembles, percussion ensembles, various indepe
ndent singers and songwriters, musical theater productions, African drum ensembles, and even a contemporary dance company. I am excited to be living in Santa Cruz and continuing my own education as a PhD student in Music at UCSC!


Aimee September 12, 2016
Drum · In home
Sam has been teaching our son Sam for a year now. He is an enthusiastic, focused and motivating instructor. What our son loves about Sam is that he is teaching him to play drums through the music that our son loves and relates to. This makes it that much more "fun" to learn.

Sam is always on time, very communicative, professional, passionate about drums and great with kids! We highly recommend Sam as an instructor.
Aimee September 12, 2016
Drum · In home
Sam has been teaching our son Sam for a year now. He is an enthusiastic, focused and motivating instructor. What our son loves about Sam is that he is teaching him to play drums through the music that our son loves and relates to. This makes it that much more "fun" to learn.

Sam is always on time, very communicative, professional, passionate about drums and great with kids! We highly recommend Sam as an instructor.
Jose and Deborah Vasquez July 23, 2015
Drum · In home
Sam is wonderful drum instructor. He is very friendly and my teen son feels very comfortable around him. They worked for several months on drums and Sam even took time to listen to my son's DJ music production. Sam gave him his opinion and suggestions for improvements. We are very happy with how fast my son began to play drums only after the start of a few lessons. We highly recommend him!!!
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Samuel C.

Samuel C.

Santa Cruz, CA 95062
starting at
$30 / 30-min

Melody P L.

Santa Clara, CA

About Melody P

Melody's guitar lesson, include guitar techniques and music theory. Lesson package includes: 35 basic guitar chords, strumming patterns, fingerstyle accompaniment, and students' prefered song as playing and singing exercise. Goal: students will be able to play and sing pop songs with appropriate accompaniment techniques, feel success and accomplishment from the learning experience.
The first lesson starts with assessing the student's needs, ask about students' music style preference, and create students' prefered music learning program.
Also Melody has a BA in guzheng performance from Xi'an
Conservatory of Music in China, one of the nine top conservatories in China. She has taught the Chinese unique musical instrument guzheng for over 10 years for adults as well as children.
In addition, Melody is a board certified music therapist in the US. She holds a Master’s of Music in Music Therapy from Colorado State University, and earned her Certificate in Music Therapy at Shenandoah University, Virginia. She accept students with special needs all age, provide tailored music learning experience for students.


Claire L. July 27, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Before our first lesson with Melody, my daughter was very nervous. While now...she cannot wait to learn from Melody again. Melody is super patient, yet very experienced, to make her lessons interesting. Thank you Melody!
David G. March 29, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
My 10 year old daughter has been taking guitar lessons from Melody for over a year. In the beginning, my daughter had no knowledge of how to play a guitar nor was she familiar with notes or chords. Today she is able to read and play songs ranging from The Beatles to Taylor Swift (one of her favorites). I look forward to more lessons from Melody where my daughter will be able to learn more skills in playing the guitar.
Li C. December 21, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Melody is a knowledgeable teacher, who can answer any questions.
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Melody P L.

Melody P L.

Santa Clara, CA 95051
starting at
$49 / 30-min

Joe M.

Santa Cruz, CA

About Joe

I'm a professional percussionist and educator based out of the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz, CA. I received a B.A. in Music from Humboldt State University and a Masters of Music from Long Beach State University.

Versed in drum-set, hand drums, and Western and contemporary percussion, I've performed professionally in settings ranging from cruise-line house bands and symphony orchestras, to Hong Kong and bay area parades and festivals.

My 20 years of performance experience has given to teaching percussion-appreciation and world-music at summer camps, non-profit youth-group organizat
ions, and after school classes.


Rosemary K. July 10, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
She learned so such and had fun
Chuck P. March 16, 2016
Percussion · In studio
Verified Student
Joe has been super helpful, patient and informative. He brings a special attention detail to his lessons. He is supportive and encouraging at every turn in the process.
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Joe M.

Joe M.

Santa Cruz, CA 95060
starting at
$30 / 30-min

Todd M.

Watsonville, CA

About Todd

Hello there! Are you ready to free the music within? I am a full-time elementary school teacher with a bachelor's degree in music and a master's degree in education. My extensive training and experience in music and education allow me to perfectly tailor every lesson to each student's specific needs, goals, and interests. I specialize in allowing your style and personality to shine through your music, so that lessons are not only about achieving proficiency on your instrument, but about self-expression and personal growth! I love teaching, I love music, and I enjoy every moment that I can use
my education, experience, and expertise to help others free the music within! Let's get started!


Renee February 4, 2016
Opera Voice · In studio
I highly recommend using Todd. He is positive, enthusiatsitc (every lesson feels like a good push in the right direction), attentive, and great at rephrasing something if it doesn't make sense the first time. He's the BEST!
Maikalani January 17, 2016
Vocal Training · In studio
Todd is very knowledgable about music. He has a beautiful singing voice and is very personable. He is very patient and has experience in teaching. Todd has a gift for being able to explain things in a way that is easy to understand and precise. He explains things using analogies that make it easy to grasp. He is very positive and encouraging and makes you believe that you can succeed. I highly recommend him.
Stephanie January 15, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Todd is very knowledgeable and friendly. He is a patient and kind teacher. My son has enjoyed taking guitar lessons with him.
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Todd M.

Todd M.

Watsonville, CA 95076
starting at
$45 / 30-min

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What's the best way to learn guitar? No matter which method you choose, or what style of music you want to play, these three rules from guitar teacher Sean L. are sure to put you on the road to success... Learning guitar can be a daunting task when first approached. For many it is seen as only for the musically adept, but in reality anyone can learn guitar. By following these three simple rules, anyone can become a great guitarist. 1. Set Goals There is no one path to take for learning
The 25 Best Karaoke Songs for Women With a Twist
Want to be the star of your next karaoke night? We've got you covered. In this article, voice teacher Elaina R. shares 25 recommendations for karaoke songs for women -- and a twist that makes them work so well...   Have you ever noticed that guys like Bruno Mars, Sam Smith, and Adam Levine sing so high that barely any other guys can eke out the same notes? What about the fact that female artists like Sia, Ariana Grande, and Katy Perry leave women in the same painful situation? You
How to Prepare for a Singing Audition: Ten Tips for Success
There is one thing that unites all singers, regardless of age, ability, genre, or professional status: the feeling of impending doom that descends as auditions approach.  Even if your ambitions are fairly modest, and don’t extend far beyond finding a fun choir to join, there's a good chance you will have to at learn how to prepare for a singing audition at some point. However, you can do a great deal to improve your chances simply by preparing yourself adequately. Think of a “successful” auditi
Why Pentatonic Scales Are Essential for All Guitarists
 Want to learn scales on guitar but not sure where to start? Guitar teacher Joey I. explains why pentatonic is the way to go... The title of this article says it all: Why pentaonic scales are essential for guitarists. Learning these scales is an absolute necessity. Now is it really necessary to know pentatonic scales to be able to play the guitar? No! A lot of guitarists go their whole career learning riffs, songs, and making up licks based off of the knowledge that they have while enjoyin
The 5 Best Violin Songs of All Time
As a violinist, you're probably aware that there is an abundance of songs that feature the violin. In addition to the classical and baroque styles that brought the instrument to worldwide fame, there are many modern pop and rock songs that highlight the beautiful sounds of the violin. We've selected a handful of the best violin songs that showcase the true versatility of this magnificent string instrument.   1. Bach's Chaconne It wouldn't be a true compilation of the best violin song

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