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Simon Russell - Piano/Keyboard/voice

Through the years Simon has developed a musical style that embraces the soulful traditions of the Bay Area with his Jazz/Blues/Gospel/Funk inspired vocals and piano Style. In 1983 Simon spent most of his time soaking up the sounds of the Oakland/Bay Area music scene, where he learned the great art of performance and musicality from a number of local musicians who were gracious enough to bring him under thier wings. One of the most influential musical figures in Simon's career was the multi-instrumentalist Rafael Grinage (bass player for Earl Fatha Hines and Odetta). He taught Simon that "no note should be wasted"! Make every note count or be silent! Those words have stayed with Simon all of his career. Later in his career through a recommendation of a friend Simon was introduced to the great Jim Grantham a Professor at Berkeley Boston and San Francisco State where he studied Jazz Theory. As a musician Simon has had the great honor of performing with The James Brown Band, El Debarge, Anika Noni Rose, Elvin Bishop, Pete Escovedo, Tom Politzer, Kenny Neal,  EC Scott, Alvon Johnson, Kim Waters, John Nemeth, Tommy Castro, David Grissom, Zakiya Hooker, Curtis Lawson, Beverly Stoval  and many that are truly remarkable musical phenoms yet to be discovered on a grand scale commercially.


Clif Payne - Voice

Clif's strength as a teacher is rooted in his musical diversity, experience, patience, encouragement and passion for sharing what he has learned in performance and study to his students. "Sing not just to be heard, but to be heartfelt and believed. Sing to inspire!"  Clif teaches from his years of experience as a pro singer working alongside the world's finest performers. As an Los Angeles resident, he studied voice with Seth Riggs (voice teacher to Michael Jackson and others) vocal coach assistant Chip Hand and Roger Burnley (vocal coach to James Torme). In the San Francisco Bay Area, Clif studied voice with Jane Sharpe. He studied music and performance with David Baker and Margaret Strong at Bloomington's Indiana University. Clif has performed with Freda Payne, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Norman Connors, Bobby McFerrin, Ellis Hall, Sheena Easton, American Idol judge & vocal coach Peggy Blu, Four Play drummer Harvey Mason, jazz fusionists Hiroshima and former Chicago vocalist Bill Champlin. Clif has opened for Dan Siegel, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis and Dionne Warwick. Clif was born in the Harlem Sugar Hill area of Harlem and now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. His eclectic vocals span the genres of jazz, R&B, gospel, blues, rock, folk, pop and classical.


Sage Waters - Voice

Sage has been singing for as long as she can remember. she deeply treasure memories of her mom teaching her to harmonize behind Paul Simon. she has been involved with the music industry for over a decade now and is currently working as co-host of The Brownmark Show. sage has collaborated with the likes of Narada Michael Walden, The Legion (formally known as The Slapboyz), Skyler Jet, Matt Blaque, & The Scribe Project. The opportunities therein enabled her to record countless demos for Pussycat Dolls, Toni Braxton, Jessica Simpson, and Disney. Sage has been composing, writing, and producing along with singing since 1999, and in 2004 she came in Second Place in the Bay Area Big Shot song writing competition on 106KMEL. In addition to singing background vocals for a wide variety of artists, she had the privilege of singing on a compilation album that included Narada, Sting, Santana, and Stevie Wonder. Sage loves singing and writing music that people can relate to. she has written well over 100 songs and is constantly adding to that list as she keeps evolving in her writing and singing styles, while continuing to be inspired by the experiences and people in her life.


Sylvester Burks - Piano/bass

Sylvester began playing piano at the tender age of 9 yrs. old. He became interested in piano when he would go to his Aunt's house and watch her give piano lessons on Saturdays. He quickly found out that he could watch the students and play their lessons by ear. His next early influence was going to a church where two brothers named Edwin and Walter Hawkins who would eventually change the sound of gospel music worldwide and sell millions of records. Edwin recorded the song Oh Happy Day which sold 8 million records. After sitting under them shortly, thereafter Sylvester quickly began to grow as a musician and by the time he was 16 he was playing professionally. He began to receive calls to play for many Gold and Platinum artists like Patti Labelle, Yolanda Adams, Layla Hathaway, and Frankie Beverly just to name a few. Sylvester also had the honor of touring many cities and countries. One of his fondest destinations on tour was opening for Al Green at the famed Apollo Theater and playing at Lincoln Center. Another thrill was when watched the worldwide telecast of the Grammy Awards and was able to see himself on a music video nomination. Although gospel music is his specialty, Sylvester takes pride in playing many different genre's of music such as jazz, classical, R&B and Pop. Sylvester displayed his versatility by being the music director for the wedding of the wedding for, ''Friends'' T.V. sitcom star Courteney Cox, which was attended by such stars as Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Nicholas Cage. His hobbies include playing multiple instruments, being a recording engineer, songwriting, and most all teaching music students!

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Ian Lamson - Guitar

Ian Lamson is a multi-talented guitarist specializing in Blues, Funk, R&B, Zydeco, Rock, Country, Reggae, and Americana. Ian started his musical journey playing acoustic guitar at 14 and moved on to mastering electric guitar. He continued taking lessons and studied Music at Santa Rosa Jr. College with an emphasis on Jazz and Music Theory. Ian actively performs with many bands and has over 25 years of experience playing with many notable artists such as Elvin Bishop, George Thorogood, Steve Miller, Robben Ford, Rick Stevens (of Tower Of Power fame), Charlie Musselwhite, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, and many other local legends. Ian has taught individual lessons for over 10 years. His teaching philosophy allows students to learn at their own pace, exploring multiple musical possibilities. His patient and considerate manner makes him a natural teacher, combined with an effective communication style enabling each of his students to progress individually while receiving a thorough music education. Teaching emphasis on learning and mastering: basic strumming & fingering; chords (triads to embellished chords); rhythms; progressions; scales & modes; comping & accompaniment; soloing; dynamics; freedom of improvising; and tablature as well as traditional music notation.


Scott Martin - Horns/saxophone/clarinet/oboe

Scott has performed all over the world with many artists but is best known for his successful tenure with the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band for over fourteen years, winning a Grammy with the band for 'Best Latin Jazz Performance'. Scott played on over ten of the band's CDs, playing all sax parts and contributing compositions and arrangements for over 10 of the band's CDs.  They traveled all over the world and played such prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, as well as jazz festivals and clubs all over the USA, Asia, South America and Europe.Besides playing Jazz Saxophone and Flute, Scott is a well rounded versatile performerwho has played with many artists and performers such as Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars, Mongo Santamaria, Francisco Aguabella,  Ray Charles, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Maceo Parker, James Moody, Barry Manilow, Dr Dre, Arturo Sandoval, Eddie Harris, Chick Corea, Karrin Allyson, Diane Reeves, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Larry Coryell, Booker T, Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Wayne Henderson, Joey Defrancesco, Eddie Floyd, Sam Moore, Billy Preston, Eddie Palmieri, Ry Cooder, Andy Montañez, Ben Harper, Michael Buble and many others. Scott Martin is also a member of the Martin Brother Horns with his 2 brothers Stan Martin and Andy Martin  and is also a longstanding member of Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars. Scott's compositions and playing have been featured on Television shows such as  "Sex and the City', "As The World Turns", "The Jimmy Kimmel Show", and many more. He has also been an active studio musician playing on Television, Commercials and Film Productions. He also runs his own music production company 'Scott Martin Music'. Scott Martin Latin Soul Band can be seen performing at concerts and jazz festivals all over with his band.  They have performed tours of Malaysia, Japan, Canada, played at the Hawaii International Jazz Festival,  Borneo International Jazz Festival, Temecula International Jazz Festival, Oxnard Jazz Festival, Brea Jazz Festival and concerts all over California. He has also performed with the King of Thailand at His Majesty's Summer Palace.


Billy Johnson - Drums

Billy Johnson was born in Philadelphia Pa. and was involved in Philly's thriving music scene. He worked with many artists including Phila. International producer Dexter Wansel. Through this connection he had the honor of recording with the great Donny Hathaway on the song You Were Meant for Me. Other Philly artists were The First Choice, George Howard, Major Harris, and the great Patti LaBelle. Travelling to New York Billy played with electric violinist Noel Pointer. In 1980 a call from Frankie Beverly and Maze brought him to the San Francisco Bay area where he joined the band. Billy recorded 3 albums with Maze. Joy and Pain, Live in New Orleans, and We Are One. After Maze , he reunited with his old Philly friend George Howard touring and co-writing the title song of George's album Dancing in the Sun. Around 1991 Billy toured with Carlos Santana and recorded the album Milagro. The next call found him touring with MC Hammer on the To Legit to Quit tour. 1994 to 1996 found Billy drumming once again with Santana. In 1997 Billy joined jazz guitarist Joyce Cooling touring and recording, including her Expressions album. 1999 Billy recorded the opening track Yaleo on Santana's Supernatural recording. He later rejoined Santana and toured the U.S. leg of the Supernatural tour. Living in Oakland Ca. Billy has also played with Artist-producer Ray Obiedo, Pablo Cruise, Patti Austin,Robin Ford, Angela Bofill, The Whispers, Rad, and Michael Cooper of Confunkshun. His current passion is the band Groovality. An ultra-funky blend of r&b, blues, jazz and rock. The band is led by Simon Russell's incredible vocals and keyboards. Paul Branon adds his  firery guitar and tenor sax to the mix. Rob Watson's percussive funky bass locking with Billy Johnson's deep pocket create, Groovality.


DANA SALZMAN - Piano/voice

Pianist, singer, composer, producer and musical director Dana Salzman creates funky, flavorful tunes that re-imagine jazz, funk, hip-hop, soul, Latin and R&B music and illuminate her sultry voice, fine-tuned piano technique and talent for composition and arrangement. An enthusiastic collaborator and mistress of improvisation, she blends together fresh beats and lyrics into vivid arrangements that ignite all five senses and explore the intense dimensions of raw human emotion. Salzman began to study piano at age four with her mother (an internationally renowned classical piano teacher) and then went on to earn a degree from the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. Salzman has had the opportunity  to work closely with many celebrated musicians and songwriters during her career, including Mike Marshall (Timex Social Club), Samuelle Prater (Club Neaveau), Tony Flores (Marvin Gaye,. Bobby Womack), Pete Escovedo, Rappin 4Tay, Valerie Troutt, Tiffany Austin, and more. Now based in Oakland, CA, Salzman does all her own production, writing and arranging and is also an in-demand piano and voice teacher.

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Kyle Baldwin - Saxophone

Kyle is currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is teaching students and continues performing with the Kenari Quartet. In the summer of 2016, Kyle graduated from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a bachelor’s degree in music performance. There he studied with Dr. Otis Murphy and Professor Tom Walsh. Originally from Fresno, California, he has also studied with Dr. Alan Durst at Fresno State University and Professor Larry Honda at Fresno City College. He has also studied with some the of the world’s leading saxophonists including Claude Delangle, Arno Bornkamp, Masato Kumoi, and many others. He is a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award Scholarship, a very honorable award given in the Jacobs School of Music, as well as the Marcel Mule Scholarship. At Indiana University, Kyle has performed as a member of the New Voices Opera, the Jacobs School of Music Saxophone Ensemble, and the Symphonic Band. Kyle is a member and producer of the award winning Kenari Quartet. Applauded for their “flat-out amazing” performances and “stunning virtuosity” (Cleveland Classical), the highly acclaimed Kenari Quartet delivers inspiring performances that transform the perception of the saxophone. The quartet aims to highlight the instrument’s remarkable versatility by presenting meticulously crafted repertoire from all periods of classical and contemporary music. The group has earned top prizes at the M-Prize Chamber Music Competition, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition, the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, Chesapeake Bay International Chamber Music Competition, and the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. Much of Kyle’s college career has been devoted to premiering new works for saxophone. He has collaborated with several composers in the Fresno State composition department where he has worked with Joey Bohigian, Luffy Baliey, Dr. Benjamine Boone, and Dr. Kenneth Froelich. He has also had the honor of premiering Benjamine Boone’s Ascencion: An Etho-Historical Cantana with the Fresno State Choir as a featured soloist. Kyle enjoys experimenting with new approaches to classical music through unique instrumentation and new performance concepts.

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REne Escovedo - Drums

At a very early age René started playing drums and percussion, and soon after when he was old enough, he started learning basic rudiments in grade school. For the next few years René spent a lot of time practicing until he was nine years old, when he then received his first full size drum kit. At that time René started listening and learning to play what ever music was popular at the time, most of which was what ever his Uncles where doing. René was very fortunate to be raised in a great musical family, and growing up with his cousins. It also allowed him to be influenced by some of the greatest music of that time and also having experienced first hand some of the bands and musicians to come through the Bay Area. René was lucky enough to see a lot of acts perform up close on the same stages he would later perform on him self. Such venues where the "Greek Theater Berkeley Ca.", The "Fillmore Theater SF. Ca.", "Yoshi's Jazz Club Oakland Ca.", "The Stone SF. Ca." to name just a few. As a self taught musician René spent his younger years listing and learning as many styles of music as possible. Having been born into what would soon be a family full of great drummers and percussionist, René new at a very early age that drumming was in his blood and the overwhelming need to play drums was flowing through his veins. Growing up as a drummer in the post "Billy", "Tony", Buddy", "Steve", "Peter", "Vinnie" landscape of fusion and jazz, its easy to think that everything has already been done. What could possibly top the acid jazz and progressive fusion explosion. For the Oaktown bread drummer, the answer is in his approach and his use of concepts based on melodic timbre, basic grooves, emotional, exciting and powerful performances. For the next several years René spent a lot of hour's wood shedding, self learning the best ways of playing some of the hardest songs, by some of the best drummers around at the time. He continued to work on developing the skills needed for playing more of a melodic style with a direct approach to using basic fundamentals towards any and all genres of music. For quite some time now René has been playing much more aggressive styles of music and started exploring drums and percussion as instrument's of space, dynamics and intensity. He then grew from being a stylistic drummer, to becoming a drummer that learned how too express his musical thoughts more effectively.


Whitt vicena - Guitar

Whitt is a guitarist based out of the Bay Area in Northern California. He is well versed in many different genres of music including Blues, Pop, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Country and Rock and Roll. From an early age, Whitt had a very deep connection with music as it was always around him. His mother was a sound engineer and his father a bass player. In elementary school he saved his lunch money and would buy records and CD's. With an unusual interest in older music such as Chuck Berry, BB King, The Meters and The Rolling Stones, Whitt knew he wanted to play an instrument, but nothing clicked until his sister taught him a few open chords on an acoustic guitar.Whitt started playing guitar at the age of 13. By age 15 he was sitting in at jams and by 16 he was playing paid gigs. At 20 years old he moved to St. Thomas in the Caribbean where he played 5 to 7 nights a week with many different bands, playing a multitude of styles of music. He was also teaching guitar in the daytime at G-Clef Music Academy as well as teaching private lessons. It was in the Caribbean where Whitt had the honor of opening up for Esperanza Spalding. He has since moved back to the Bay Area where he currently plays and teaches.


Wilson Brooks - Drums

Wilson is a master drummer who began playing at the age of two, started his professional career at the age of 11, and has over 40 years of experience.  Wilson participated in the Young Musician Program Alumni and is an Monterey All-Star Musician Alumni.  He has taught students such as Justin Brown, Eric Craven, Altoris Lavar and the late Nathan Hendricks.  Presently, Wilson is a full-time musician/vocalist/drum teacher. Wilson has toured Australia, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Montana.  He is a former member of the Grammy-Nominated Gospel Humming Birds (13yrs.) Currently, he is the drummer/vocalist for other bands which include Beaufunk, The Luther Vandross Tribute Band, Rhonda Benin and the Soulful Strut, The Groovemasters, The Zydeco Flames, The Sweet City Blues Band, The 2wo 4our 1ne Band, and JazSynergy.  Wilson has played with recording artists which include Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Tony Lindsay, and Sista Monica.  He has shared the stage with Stanley Clark, Rance Allen, Billy Preston, B.B. King, and The Clark Sisters.  “Wilson is one of the most skilled and spirited drummers with which I have ever worked,” says bassist Timm Walker.


Christopher Nicholas - Voice

Christopher has taught privately in the Bay Area since 2010, focusing on grounding young singers in practical techniques for careers in diverse genres of music. He has a dual BM from Berklee College of Music in Vocal Performance and Songwriting and an MM in Jazz Studies for voice from the University of North Texas. His biggest joy as a voice teacher has been researching and implementing methods on restructuring the voice when there are clear vocal deficiencies. He has investigated the techniques of the late Cornelius Reid, has studied under Dr. Stephen Austin, and under Kathryn Wright. Outside of his classical training, he has studied with R&B singer Marlon Saunders, a background singer for notable pop giants such as Sting and the late Michael Jackson, as well as acclaimed Jazz educator Paris Rutherford. He is confident he can offer vocal students more than just technical study but also illuminate paths in navigating their careers in the music business. Upon completion of his MM in 2010, Christopher moved to the Bay Area and co-founded a non-profit performing arts organization, Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN) where he currently serves as the executive director. A diverse Hip-Hop orchestra comprised of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, bass, piano, drums, 2 MCs and a lyric soprano, EMN samples Western European classical music and Hip-Hop aesthetics to create something completely new. As the executive director of the ensemble for the past eight years, he has worked with classical musicians of the highest caliber nationally, have organized and oversaw successful PR campaigns with Wall Street Journal, NBC, ABC, NPR, SF Chronicle, SF Weekly, East Bay Express, SF Examiner, and more. He has co-produced all of EMN’s music as well as sang most of the background vocals. EMN has been featured on Pitchfork Media, ESPN, and most recently, produced a theme song for the Global People’s Summit in partnership with the United Nations Office of Partnership.


Greg Jones - Cello/Guitar/violin/voice/harmonica/Ukulele

Greg Jones has been playing music since he was 5 years old. His first performance was for the entire Elementary School on violin when he was in Kindergarten. He is an enthusiastic teacher, and loves to share his vast knowledge and skills to the young and old. He uses a variety of methods and often comes up with his on curriculum to fit the student's needs. 
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and toured with various bands mostly playing guitar and singing. He teaches guitar, bass, violin, cello, ukelele, voice, viola, and mandolin. He has been living and performing in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1995, has performed throughout Spain, England, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Hawaii and most of the US. His diverse talents span the musical spectrum. On a given night, you might hear him performing classical or acoustic-inspired instrumentals, to hard-swinging Latin-jazz; original blues, Celtic, even metal with a rock or funk edge. He is equally comfortable performing with Tempest before 20,000 enthusiastic fans at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Greater Hog Farm Festival of Rock in California, or any small intimate venue. Greg has done many solo entertainment gigs as well as for weddings, receptions, corporate parties, birthdays, anniversaries, store openings, holidays, malls, and more. Greg was the guitar player for world renown Tempest from 2011 to 2015, a Celtic Rock band that is currently touring the US. Greg is currently performing in bay area clubs, cafes, and private parties. 

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Moises Dario Chavez - Guitar

Moises studied classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he received instruction from Marc Teicholz, Larry Ferrara, David Tannenbaum, and Sergio Assad.  He received his B.A. Cum Laude and M.A. in classical guitar performance from Cal State East Bay under the direction of Marc Teicholz. Currently Moises works for Berkeley Unified School District as a music teacher ranging from grades 3rd through 12th, teaching general music, middle school jazz band, several guitar classes, and directing a choir. Moises' teaching focuses on learning music through the guitar.  Songs and exercises from jazz, classical, folk, rock, and flamenco genres are used to improve music, fretboard, and technical knowledge.  His emphasis is to teach beyond a number of songs and instead leave students with a true understanding of the composition of the instrument. With a passion for teaching and over 10 years experience he feels art and music are basic human needs and takes pride and satisfaction in showing people the skill set and information needed to make it possible for anybody to create their own beautiful music for themselves and for others to enjoy.


Roland Sayn - Guitar/Piano/ukulele

Roland has had success using a methodical approach in his guitar/piano teaching. Pulling out short sections of music, he encourages students to learn how to play these small sections on every string and on several different places on the fret. This makes for encouraging lessons because the student is able to accomplish something new every lesson, and quickly gets a feel for all areas of the instrument. Roland has been playing and teaching music for 10 + years, with students ranging in age from kindergarten to adults. His insatiable desire to learn everything he hears has contributed to his vast knowledge and ability to play just about any type of music. His performance credits include venues such as Yoshi’s, Great American Music Hall, the Fillmore San Francisco, Berkeley Playhouse, and Pinole Playhouse. He has recorded with several artists as the session guitarist for their CDs, and became the go-to recording artist for David Mikael, the songwriter/vocal coach for the famous T.V. show Glee.

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Glenda Bates - Oboes/English Horn/Ukulele

Glenda is a multi-faceted musician and teacher whose specialties include chamber music, orchestral repertoire, jazz, historical performance, and contemporary classical. She plays modern and Baroque oboes, English horn, ukulele, and is a jazz vocalist. She is an active freelancer in Baroque, Classical, Contemporary, and Jazz ensembles, and frequently collaborates with contemporary composers to perform new works for oboe and English horn. She has performed with California Bach Society, New Opera New York, Festival Opera Oakland, Symphony Napa Valley, Eldad Tarmu, Ray Anderson, Jazz Mafia, Evanescence, and more. She also curates the cross-genre and multidisciplinary Crossing Over Series at Center for New Music, San Francisco. A well-rounded performer, Dr. Bates is also an enthusiastic and creative teacher.  Bates has been a Teaching Artist at Performing Arts Workshop for five years, designing and teaching preschool music curriculum in San Francisco. She is also a teacher with Music for Aardvarks, and is thrilled to begin teaching Baby Notes classes at Notes Academy. She also teaches oboe, piano, ukulele, and jazz voice lessons. She taught undergraduate oboists at the University of Maryland from 2008-2010, and has university classroom teaching experience in several areas of instruction including music appreciation, music after 1900, rock music, and jazz ensemble. Her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Oboe Performance is from Stony Brook University.


Dillon Vado - Percussion

Dillon is a professional drummer and vibraphonist in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a graduate of the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. His early performance experiences include playing jazz gigs  at places like the Art Boutiki, and Cafe Stritch, and marching snare drum with the Santa Clara Vanguard. He has recorded at Fantasy Studios,  and played with many musicians at The Freight and Salvage, Yoshi’s, and the SF Jazz Center. He has also performed overseas at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy. Dillon has played with Art Lande, Hafez Modirzadeh, Royal Hartigan,  Marcus Shelby, Erik Jekabson, Jeff Denson, Alan Hall, Jovino Santos Neto, Sandy Cressman and Marcos Silva. In 2014, Dillon won 1st place in the Jazz Search West competition on vibraphone. Dillon was also acknowledged as the Most Promising Young Jazz Artist of 2017 from the  Buddy Montgomery Jazz Legacy Awards. He regularly performs on vibraphone with Alan Hall’s Ratatet, on drums with Erik Jekabson’s Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and leads several of his own projects, including Never Weather, The Table Trio, and Beyond Words: Jazz and Poetry. 

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Composer, producer, songwriter, and musical director Jabari Alii creates cinematic soundscapes that blend the structure of classical and orchestral with the emotion of jazz and soul. Over the years Jabari has created a musical style that embraces his jazz roots, classical training, and love for cinematic music. As an Oakland native Jabari is following in the footsteps of his father who is a local jazz pianist and teacher. Growing up in a band family he began playing piano at the age of 5 and composed his first song by the age of 8. He studied Music Education at Howard University and has taught individual lessons and in the classroom for over 10 years. Jabari has traveled all across the country and the UK performing on stage and working in the studio. This experience allows him to take a unique approach with students providing insight into the music industry. His teaching philosophy focuses on a circular learning system that keeps students highly engaged and playing songs they love. His lessons provide the best of both worlds tapping into advanced jazz harmonies and complex classical techniques. Currently Jabari has returned home to Oakland where he works as a composer for TV and Film under his company Cinematic Score. He works with youth across the bay area teaching piano, orchestration, composition, songwriting, and music engineering.


Scott Siler - Drums, Piano

From a young age Scott has had a passion music. He started learning piano at age 6 and went on to learn drum set at age 12. This led to joining high school band at age 14 where he started playing percussion. In high school he realized music would be a life long pursuit. Since then Scott has gone on to receive a Bachelors of Music in percussion music performance for the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music as well as a Masters of Arts in music composition from Mills college in Oakland. Scott plays a wide variety of percussion instruments in many contexts including classical and chamber music, rock/heavy metal bands, jazz, funk and blues. Since moving to the bay area in 2011 Scott has played professionally in percussion ensembles including the William Winant percussion ensemble and the Light Bulb Ensemble. He has played in venues across the U.S. such as, the Freer gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., REDCAT (part of Disney Hall) in L.A., Roulette and Queens College in New York City. He has also played at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., with the Van Ahn Vanessa Vo Ensemble. He has also played at many local venues and universities around California such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Jewish Contemporary Art museum, the De Young museum, the Berkeley Art Museum, Stanford University, and University of Santa Cruz. He has recorded and performed in collaboration with legendary wind player Roscoe Mitchell of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. One of these recordings (Conversations) was on the New York Times classical music best of list in 2015. In addition to performance Scott is a composer. In 2012 he received the first commission given out from the local non profit music group Thingamajigs. This piece, for percussion and steel guitar, was premiered at Mills College. Scott’s approach to teaching is to teach musicianship skills and instrumental technique through getting to know the students and the music that excites them, letting each student grow at their own pace, in their own way. Scott can teach drum set, percussion, piano, music theory, composition and music production.

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Ben Haag - Guitar

Ben Haag is a guitar player, guitar instructor, and band leader who lives in Oakland, California. Ben has been teaching guitar for over 5 years and has a passion for music instruction. Ben has a wealth of experience gained from his previous work performing as a hired guitar player, lead instrumentalist and supporting musician for a variety of artists and producers in the Bay Area and Nashville, Tennessee. With an unparalleled level of playing experience ranging from blues, roots, rock, country, jazz, and neo-soul, Ben is your go-to guitar instructor for whatever get’s your heart beating fast and inspires you. Ben has played in every kind of venue, from small clubs to festivals with 3000+ attendees, including Yoshi’s Oakland. With his fun and exciting real-world player-centric approach to playing, Ben is here to help you reach your wildest dreams as a guitar player, musician, and performer. So whether you're looking to pick up the guitar for the first time, learn your favorite song, rip your first solo, or break out of your first plateau and shoot to the next level, Ben is the guiding hand that will help you get to whatever level of experience you aspire. With an approach that emphasizes a “we’re in this together” attitude, Ben is nothing more than the guitar instructor you have been longing to meet. Ben also serves as an ambassador and associate coordinator for outreach for Notes For Change, Notes Music Academy’s non-profit seeking to provide resources and music education for disadvantaged youth in Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area. 


Ryan Glick - Drums

Ryan Glick is  based out of The Bay Area in Northern California. Been playing for 20 years He performed professionally since the age of 8, playing Drums and Percussion with seasoned musicians in almost every genre of music. Music that Ryan specialize and performed is Jazz, Heavy Metal, Country, Pop, Alternative, Mexican, Classical, Soul, R&B, Pop , Punk, Blues, Electronica, Afro Cuban, Funk and Post-hardcore with some of the Bay Area’s best bands: Pete Escovedo and his Jazz Orchestra, Mic Gilette, Boogie Aces, Freeway, Addiction To Affliction, Fusion 72, Pyrite Sidewalk, Sardonius, Pittsburg Community Jazz band and concert band, Almost Dead, Rh1nos, Double Down, Whiskey dreams The Easy leaves, Triple Treble, Alpha Rhythm Kings, The Rhythm Lords, Clave Rt, Grupo Sesto Elemento,Demon seed, Family Tradition and Natural Blend. Ive also performed in many events and venues London new year day parade 2014, Fiesta Bowl in University of Phoenix stadium , Gator bowl in Everbank field, The Whiskey agogo, The Gilman, Red House, Pico Rivera Sports arena, At&t park, Mcafee Stadium, Pittsburg Creative Arts Building, and many more. After High school I attended The Berklee College in Boston. And after a year he left Berklee and Ive been full time musician playing in all kinds of bands and studio sessions in the bay area. Im also Music Educator in a music store in Antioch appeared as a Guest Clinician at schools, while teaching privately for many years in the East Bay. Many mentors and teachers that I have studied under David Garibaldi, Rod Morganstein, Fernando Lozano , Neal Smith, Bob Kaufman, Jason White, Leo Vigil, Larry Finn, Rob Hamiker, Dave Rokeach Thomas Moran, Jerry Macchia, Henrique De Alemida, Bertram Lehmann, Mark Ferber, Jeff Marrs, Allan Hall, Dezon Claiborne David Elitch,and Glen Sobel

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Helen Orzel - Violin, Viola, Piano

Helen Orzel grew up in a family of classical musicians and learned how to play many different instruments.  In college, she decided to focus on piano, but was convinced to continue to play violin and viola in different ensembles and orchestras.  After playing classical music in Germany and Serbia, she came back to the U.S. and  switched to jazz piano while still gigging as a classical string player.  She currently plays jazz piano, classical violin and viola in many bay area venues.

She has a Bachelor’s of performance and pedagogy from CSUN and a master’s degree from SJSU and has taught for 20 years.


Geoffrey Ullerich - alto Saxophone, piano, organ

Geoffrey Ullerich is a Bay Area musician whose skills and talents include playing the piano, organ, alto saxophone, and writing, teaching, and practicing music.

Geoff began his musical journey as a child in Iowa via piano lessons with Edith "Edie" Ebersole, and continued his journey by gigging at numerous community events throughout his youth. Geoffrey earned his BA in music production from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA, where he participated in the concert and jazz bands, and was selected as saxophonist and pianist for the Iowa collegiate honor band.

In 2014, Geoff relocated to San Francisco to attend Academy of Art University (AAU) where he earned an MFA in music production for visual media in the spring of 2017. Highlights of Geoffrey's music scoring work was featured in AAU's 2017 commencement and spring show, and much of his work is featured on his personal website:

Currently, Geoff is a musician at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, an accompanist for the Mills College Choir, a dedicated piano and saxophone instructor at Scherzo Music School in San Mateo, CA, and a freelance music professional for hire.


Joanne De Mars - 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.


Shana Dinha - voice

Shana Dinha’s identity is a passionate artist, one who grew up invested in her craft. An Assyrian-American born into a musical family, Shana’s parents took her to see the play Phantom of the Opera in London when she was 5 years old. It moved her, and she couldn’t stop singing once it ended – which turned out to be a good thing.

In 2008 she was awarded The Superior Command Solo Performance from California Music Education Association. A year later she claimed an Outstanding Vocalist Award from Music in the Parks. In 2015 Shana won competition Jazz Search West, followed by a sold out “Rising Stars” performance at the iconic California Jazz Conservatory in 2017. She achieved her second consecutive sellout at Piedmont Piano Company in 2018.

Shana carries a tune with angelic excellence, showcased on her EP The Seasons We Carry. Proven to captivate audiences, she’s embraced the spotlight, and has used her talent, faith, and the love in her heart to achieve award-winning acclaim.

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Andrew Snyder - Trumpet, piano, guitar

Andrew Snyder is a performing trumpeter, guitarist, and pianist. He completed a PhD in ethnomusicology at UC Berkeley in 2018 focused on the brass music of Rio de Janeiro's carnival. He is co-founder of San Francisco's Mission Delirium Brass Band, a group that has toured to Brazil, France, Spain, and around the United States.

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Isabelle Wolansky - Flute

Isabelle is a graduate of Oakland School for the Arts (OSA), an Arts Charter School located in the historic Fox Theater building. A winner of OSA’s concerto competition and The Neel Foon Scholarship, Isabelle has thoroughly enjoyed her experiences as a flute performer and hopes to help others find this joy. Isabelle has experience performing in a variety of contexts including orchestral and chamber groups, as well as solo performances. She has performed at the Fox Theater for The Mayor Of Oakland’s “Promise” event, at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, in a 185 student orchestra at Zellerbach Hall celebrating the music of Duke Ellington, and at the annual Sacramento Host Breakfast for former Governor of California, Jerry Brown. Pedagogically, Isabelle is interested in starting with simple songs to spark passion, establishing a solid base from which to build. She has mentored younger flute players at OSA and has taught music production and broadcasting at YR Media (formerly Youth Radio). Isabelle is looking forward to getting to know and sharing her love for music with students.


Mae-Elisa Jean Salvador - Classical piano, classical voice, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba

Mae-Elisa Jean Salvador graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A degree in music. Her main focus was specifically music education. She was involved with her high school marching band and drum line for all four years of her high school career. After graduating from high school, she performed with the Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Percussion playing the marimba. In college, she began to study piano under Dr. Teri Yumae from Solano Community College then later, Dr. Roger Woodward at San Francisco State University. While attending SFSU, she participated in the University Chorus Ensemble and Chamber Singers Ensemble as a Soprano, while also participating in the Wind Ensemble playing concert percussion and clarinet.

Mae-Elisa has been working with children since she was a junior in high school, first starting off as a volunteer teaching music at Oakbrook Elementary School. She continued working as a front ensemble instructor with Crystal Middle School, then John Swett High School, and now Rodriguez High School. Mae-Elisa wishes to be as inspiring as her past music mentors and continue sharing her passion for music with students. She aspires every day to learn more so that she can teach more through her musical journey.