Niels Sorensen - Electric Bass
Niels Sorensen is a Bay Area native and a recent graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated in 2018, earning a degree in Professional Music with honors Cum Laude. While at Berklee, Niels developed his performance skills while studying various musical styles including, Pop, Jazz, Country, Motown and R&B, Metal, Punk and Rock. In Boston, he played in numerous bands and quickly became a seasoned performer, playing out regularly in the greater Boston area and even on tours that traveled across the United States. Though the stage is where Niels is most excited, he is no stranger to the studio. At Berklee, he contributed to numerous student projects and professional recordings, quickly becoming one of the college's most booked session musicians. In the summer of 2018, he traveled to Nashville with New York's 'Vera Kay' to record on their debut EP 'Pink Roses' with producer Aaron Sprinkle (New Found Glory’s ‘Makes Me Sick’ and One Republic’s ‘Natives’). "Playing bass is about writing a part that compliments the rhythmic aspects of the drummer while harmonically supporting the vocalist and other melodic instrumentalists." This philosophy towards bass guitar continues to drive Niels's passion for his instrument and connect with musicians from all backgrounds. As an instructor, he is eager to teach his students how to emulate their musical heroes, while simultaneously developing their own voice on bass guitar. Outside of teaching, Niels is writing and recording new music with the Indie-Rock band 'Bobtailers' and the Emo band 'Daylily'.
joanne de mars - upright bass, cello, piano
Bay Area cellist, composer, and teacher Joanne De Mars holds her Master's Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Jennifer Culp. Since coming to California from her home in Seattle, she has been an active performer and teacher. Described as “beautiful and hypnotic… thrilling to watch and hear” (SF Music Weekly), Ms. De Mars is a member of contemporary ensemble Wild Rumpus, Merced Symphony, and Bella Rosa String Quartet. As a solo performer, she has collaborated with UC Berkeley Dance Department, St. Mary's Department of Theater, and Stanford's New Ensemble. Joanne's versatile playing lends itself to both classical and contemporary styles. She plays regularly in the Bay Area rock scene as a session player, having performed with Tony Toni Tone, Goapele, Persian master Shajarian, and many other notable bands.
With more than a decade of teaching experience, Joanne’s aim is to inspire students of all ages to experience joy in music. Her private cello, piano, and theory lessons focus on strong technical foundations of playing as a means to create expressive music. Her previous teachers include Raymond Davis, Toby Saks, and Jennifer Culp. Having earned degrees from the University of Washington in Music Theory and History, she incorporates this knowledge into all of her lessons.
Joanne currently lives in Oakland with her partner, dog and cat, and derives inspiration from daily runs in the lush trails of the Oakland hills.