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Name: MingYu (Annie) Chen
I’m from… Beijing, China
I started teaching music in… 2008
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2019
My inspiration: Carmen McRae
Few people know that I… have passion for animals.
Education: Central Conservatory of Music, Bachelor Degree of Arts; Queens College, Master Degree of Arts
I play and teach: Voice and Piano
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Annie Chen Octet (Quintet, Trio)
Biography: Annie Chen is a vocalist, composer, and bandleader from Beijing, based in New York since 2013. Her distinctive style draws on a rich continuum of musical traditions from Asia, Europe, and the Americas. This creative vision – showcased on her releases “Pisces the Dreamer” (2014) and “Secret Treetop” (2018) – is supported by years of experience in China’s jazz, blues, and funk scenes as well as active study and collaboration within New York’s vibrant jazz community.
As a bandleader and composer, Annie has performed extensively in prestigious NYC venues including the Blue Note, Cornelia St. Cafe, Nublu, Flushing Town Hall, DROM, Shapeshifter Lab, and Club Bonafide. In China, she has brought her music to festivals such as Solana Summertime Festival, Chaoyang Music Festival, Beijing Nine-Gates Jazz Festival, CD Jazz Week, and the Shanghai International Jazz Festival, as well as venues such as Blue Note Beijing, East Shore Jazz Club, DDC, JiangHu, Guangzhou Xinghai Concert Hall and JZ Club Shanghai and Hangzhou. At JZ Club Hangzhou she led a band as artist in residence in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Annie’s debut release as a leader is “Pisces the Dreamer,” released in 2014 with a performance at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Festival. The album’s deft traversal of Chinese, Middle-Eastern, Eastern European and Afro-American musical landscapes has continued in 2018’s follow-up “Secret Treetop,” praised by Downbeat as “[a] clear-eyed fusion of East and West with an avant-garde twist,” and by New York Music Daily as “Fearlessly eclectic, soulful and smart.” In 2019, “Secret Treetop” was nominated for Best Vocal Jazz Album by the Chinese Music Industry Committee, an award analogous to a Grammy in the US. Both “Pisces the Dreamer” and “Secret Treetop” were reissued on vinyl by Fusion Music in 2019.
Annie’s main performing and recording ensemble is an unconventional octet featuring Tomoko Omura (violin), Alex LoRe (alto saxophone/flute), David Smith (trumpet), Rafal Sarnecki (guitar), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Mat Muntz (bass), and Jerad Lippi (drums), which developed the music on “Secret Treetop” through years of regular performance.
A lifelong student of music, Annie began her study of classical piano at the age of four, attending Beijing’s prestigious Central Conservatory of Music. After developing an interest in jazz, she traveled to New York in 2010 to study privately with Nancy Marano at Manhattan School of Music. She later obtained a Master of Music degree from Queens College, where she studied with Charenée Wade, Antonio Hart, David Berkman and Michael Philip Mossman.
Annie is also an experienced educator, having offered extensive, recurring masterclasses on vocal jazz performance and jazz appreciation as part of her residency in Hangzhou, China. In addition to online private and group lessons, Annie was recently commissioned by Beijing’s Ear King Music Company to produce Jazz Singing Masterclass Vol.1, an educational video series intended for students in China. As part of her mission to forge connections between distant musical worlds, she is also producing JZ Club on Air, a radio show dedicated to exposing Chinese audiences to the diverse and forward-thinking jazz currently emerging from New York.
I started teaching music in… 2007
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2017
My inspiration: Franz Schubert, John Dowland, Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Alfred Deller, Nick Drake, Dylan Thomas, William Blake, Shakespeare, Anne Carson, Joseph Cornell, Gustav Klimt, Leonora Carrington
Few people know that I… am the goddaughter of astronaut Charles Lacy Veach
Education: Loyola University – Vocal Performance
I play and teach: Piano and voice
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I collaborate frequently with other New York based artists including dancer/choreographer Coco Karol, classical guitarist Colin Fullerton, composer/poet Alaina Ferris, composer John K Stone, and Osso String Quartet. I am currently composing original songs for a Dylan Thomas play entitled The Doctor and The Devils. This New Year’s Eve I will be performing along side Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley for Phantasmagoria at the Brooklyn Bazaar.
Lucia Stavros is a New York-based harpist, singer/songwriter, and producer. Lucia’s projects explore the spiritual and emotional connections developed in music and through music. As described by The Deli Magazine, Lucia’s “show-stealing, often mysterious lyricism, creates an intergenerational atmosphere chamber pop that feels as modern as it does baroque.” Her debut independently produced solo album, Burn You Up, released in September 2023. She has been featured as a vocalist on “Break Your Bones,” with The Eargoggle Regales, “Curva” with Julian Maliandi, and “Spell Against Gods” with Vinicius Castro/Patrick Phillips. Lucia co-produced and co-wrote the EP and self-titled debut album with indie band Green and Glass. Her collaborations include harp performances on recordings with artists such as Ariani Delawari, Lea Bertucci and Nola Ranallo. In addition to the above releases Lucia records and tours with the experimental chamber group Ghost Ensemble. Stavros also performs with S.E.M. Ensemble, New York Repertory Orchestra and in 2023, performed Philip Glass’s 12th Symphony with Brno Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. Lucia attended New England Conservatory of Music and continued on to receive an advanced degree in Harp Performance from L’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris as a Fulbright Scholar in France.
Piano, Harp, Voice
I’m from… Seoul, South Korea
My inspiration: All the people who contribute this planet to be a better place for everyone! People who fought for their rights, freedom, art….
Few people know that I… go by Lim
Education: Berklee College of Music – Jazz Performance
I play and teach: upright bass, electric bass, and piano
My other artistic/musical endeavors: my own band (quintet and quartet), Crooked Trio and about 15 more bands…
Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Piano, Jazz Travelers
From: I grew up in Houston, Texas but have lived in NYC for my adult life
I started teaching music in…1997
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2005
My inspiration: In no specific order… J.S. Bach, Charlie Parker, Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Frederic Chopin, Wynton Marsalis, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Erroll Garner, Chick Corea, George Shearing, Arthur Rubinstein, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Wynton Kelly, Oscar Peterson, Clark Terry, Nat King Cole, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Terence Blanchard, Hank Jones, Kenny Kirkland, Victor Feldman, Don Grolnick, Sonny Clark, The Empire Brass, Phil Smith, Leif Ove Andses, Bud Herseth, Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, gospel music, Donny Hathaway, Cannonball Adderley, Kenny Garrett, Michael Brecker, my teachers Don Jacoby, Bill Fielder and William Daghlian, the radio in the 1980s, my wife and my son, New York City, and many more influences too numerous to mention.
Few people know that I… haven’t owned a car since 1993.
Education: Bachelors in Music – The University of North Texas; Masters in Music – Rutgers University
I play and teach: Piano, Trumpet
My or other artistic/musical endeavors: The Roger Lent piano trio, The Uptown Brass Quintet
Personal Teaching Statement: Practicing music is exercise for the brain and the soul.
Biography: Roger Lent is a versatile, seasoned jazz musician at home with the piano and the trumpet. He is based in New York and has performed throughout North America and many European countries. He has appeared at Jazz@Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Ottawa Jazz Festival, The Aspen Jazz Festival, The Edinburgh Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scotts in London and major jazz clubs and performing arts centers around the United States.
Roger earned a bachelor’s degree in music at the University of North Texas and a master’s degree in music at Rutgers University with full scholarship and teaching assistantship. In New York, he studied classical piano intensively with the master artist teacher, William Daghlian. Since 2012, Roger has played piano for the show “Sleep No More” in Manhattan. He has maintained a studio of piano and trumpet students for over 20 years.
Piano, Jazz Piano, Trumpet, Beginner Piano For Adults
Piano, Jazz Piano
I’m from… New York City
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2009
My inspiration: Musical: Franz Schubert
Other: Barack Obama
Few people know that I… am an avid philosophy reader (Camus is my favorite)
Education: Northwestern University, BM
I play and teach: Piano, Chamber Music
My or other artistic/musical endeavors: I am the artistic director of the Brooklyn Art Song Society, I work regularly with opera singers from the Metropolitan Opera and perform and teach around the country, including University of Chicago, UC-Davis, and Notre Dame University
Biography: Pianist Michael Brofman has earned a reputation as one of the finest vocal accompanists of his generation. He has performed hundreds of songs, from Schubert’s earliest lieder to premieres of new songs by today’s most-recognized composers. He was hailed by the New York Times as an “excellent pianist” and
Feast of Music recently praised his “elegant and refined playing… exhibiting excellent touch and clean technique.” Parterre Box Blog called Mike a “master communicator at the piano,” and Voix des Arts praised his “finesse and flexibility.” Seen and Heard International recently wrote, “Brofman got to the core of each song…delving into their emotional depths.” Opera News stated, “Michael Brofman provided exquisite piano accompaniment.” Highlights of his 2021-2022 season include Finzi’s “A Young Man’s Exhortation” with tenor Dominic Armstrong, Tom Cipullo’s “Of A Certain Age” with soprano Laura Strickling, Britten’s “The Songs and Proverbs of William Blake” with baritone Michael Kelly, and Brahms’ “Four Serious Songs” with baritone Gregory Feldmann. Mike will give world premieres of works by Lembit Beecher, Herschel Garfein, and Reinaldo Moya. In addition, he will present concerts and masterclasses at Cornell University and take part in a tour of North Carolina performing David Ludwig’s “Songs of the Bleeding Pines.”
Mike has championed new works and has fostered relationships with many living composers, including Katherine Balch, Lembit Beecher, Tom Cipullo, Michael Djupstrom, Daniel Felsenfeld, Herschel Garfein, Daron Hagen, Jake Heggie, James Kallembach, Libby Larsen, Lowell Liebermann, David Ludwig, James Matheson, Reinaldo Moya, Harold Meltzer, Russell Platt, Kurt Rohde, Glen Roven, Andrew Staniland and Scott Wheeler. In all, he has premiered over 100 songs, many of them dedicated to him.
Mike is the founder and artistic director of the Brooklyn Art Song Society, an organization dedicated to the vast repertoire of poetry set to music now in its eighth season. His first CD “New Voices” on Roven Records includes four world-premiere recordings and was number one on Amazon’s new releases for Opera/Vocal and debuted in the top 10 of the Traditional Classical Billboard Chart. In this capacity, Mike has curated and performed in surveys of art song repertoire that have included the complete songs of Henri Duparc and Charles Ives, lieder from the last year of Schubert’s life, a survey of all the members of Les Six and much more.
An eloquent and passionate advocate for art song, Mike has been interviewed by Russell Platt for Opera News, for Caught In the Act on Brooklyn Public Television, on the WQXR radio show Soundcheck, on Seattle KING FM 98.1, and for the Linked Music blog. He also hosts his own internet show “Song and Wine.” His writings on music have been published by GPR Records, Sparks and Wiry Cries, and the Linked Music Blog. He is also earning a reputation as a gifted educator and has presented masterclasses at the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Southern Maine.
Mike holds a bachelor of Music from Northwestern University where he studied with James Giles. There he was awarded the Frida A. Pick Award for Piano and featured on Chicago’s classical radio station. He spent several summers at the Aspen Music Festival as a student of Rita Sloan and continues his studies with Robert Durso of the Golandsky Institute. He resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn with his wife, violinist Stanichka Dimitrova, and daughters Julia and Lillian.
Piano, Chamber Ensembles
I’m from… Washington, D.C.
I started teaching music in…1989
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 1989
My inspiration: Thelonious Monk
Few people know that I… play J=hazz in Harlem every week at Chéri Harlem and the Shrine
Education: Oberlin College – BA
I play and teach: Piano
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I teach a Jazz Vocal Workshop at Greenwich House
From: all over the US (Air Force brat)
I started teaching music in… 2002
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2003
My inspiration: Beethoven
Few people know that I… worked on an organic vegetable farm for two weeks in Normandy, France
Education: University of the NC School of the Arts – Bachelor of Music
NYU – Master of the Arts
I play and teach: piano
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I perform with Lake Ruth
From: Baltimore, Maryland
My inspiration: Scott Joplin and Bud Powell
Education: BM Piano, Oberlin Conservatory (1985); MM, Rutger’s University (1990)
I play and teach: Piano
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Regularly performs with Houston Person and Archie Shepp
Personal Teaching Statement: I believe that everyone can make progress as a musician. It all depends on how much they want to do it and of course their natural ability.
Biography: Known as a “go to” pianist by many musicians, Lafayette Harris Jr. currently performs and records with legendary saxophonist Houston Person where he has recorded on three of Mr. Person’s CDs.
Lafayette has toured with some of the greatest musicians of all time including the legendary Max Roach; jazz, funk pioneer, trumpeter Donald Byrd; trombone plunger master Al Grey; John Gordon’s Trombones Unlimited that featured: Slide Hampton, Al grey and Curtis Fuller, amongst others; and the Duke Ellington Legacy Orchestra. He has recorded and toured with four-time Grammy nominee – the late, great, Ernestine Anderson.
Lafayette is currently a regular member of Archie Shepp’s band. He also records and performs with his own bands that include Lonnie Plaxico, Jazzmeia Horn, Willie Jones III, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash. Lafayette has been the musical director for dance tap organization, Taplogy, since 2013 where he orchestrates and conducts the diverse musical ensemble.
Lafayette actually started playing music for money while still a 16-year-old teenager in his hometown of Baltimore with local drummer Willie Kee, who together with other teenagers formed a regularly gigging band – Life Unlimited. Lafayette worked with Life Unlimited even after leaving Baltimore for college at Denison and Oberlin. By the time he graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in 1985, Life Unlimited had disbanded and the R&B scene for bands in Baltimore was over.
One day later that summer, after a few weeks of lazy resting, “my father comes over to me as I’m laying on his sofa, puts his hand on my shoulder and says, ‘So what’s next for you son?’” Without hesitation Lafayette gave his plan: “Well, daddy, this summer I plan to work here in Baltimore as much as I can as a musician and then in September, I’m moving to New York to pursue my career as a musician.” He went on to move to New York and found many inspirations for his musical development including legendary pianist and instructor Barry Harris, Kenny Barron and Walter Bishop, Jr. As he pursued his own self education, he drew on Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock and Scott Joplin for inspiration.
Since then, Lafayette has released nine CDs including his newest, “You Can’t Lose With The Blues,” which was #1 for two weeks on the Jazzweek Jazz Chart in February 2020, and remained on the top ten for 14 weeks.
From: Busan, South Korea
Education: Berklee College of Music; SUNY Purchase – M.M.
Biography: Haeun Joo is a jazz pianist from South Korea. She started playing the piano when she was five years old. While she was studying classical piano, she also played classical and gospel as an accompanist in church. She has great command over classical, gospel and also pop music.
Two of her greatest talents are piano performance and composition. Haeun Joo won the Korean Composition Competition two years in a row when she was in 5th and 6th grades. She studied classical composition in Busan Art High School in Korea and went to Howon University to study pop and jazz. She collaborated with several pop artists in Korea, and she performed as a singer-songwriter after winning a Singer-Songwriter Competition (Yoo Jae-Ha).
She moved to the U.S. in 2011 to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston where she was offered a scholarship. After she graduated Berklee, she received her M.M. from SUNY Purchase. Since then, she has collaborated with several musicians, playing and recording at various venues and recording studios. She is currently living in New York and her debut album came out in August 2021.
Piano, Jazz Piano, Piano Friends
From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
My inspiration: Some inspirations include Thelonious Monk, Olivier Messiaen, Erykah Badu, Adrienne Lenker, Geri Allen, Nicole Mitchell, Mary Lou Williams, Kris Davis, Angelica Sanchez, Pinegrove, Raavi, Scriabin, Bach, John Coltrane. Gwendolyn Brooks, adrienne maree brown, Octavia Butler, Grace Lee Boggs have to make the list as well.
Few people know that I… was the captain of my high school basketball team!
Education: My musical education started in Philly where I attended the Creative Music Program and Settlement Music School. Time spent playing with my jazz trio as a youngster in Philly was my most formative musical education. I also graduated with a degree in Music from Princeton University in 2022.
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Careful In The Sun
Personal Teaching Statement: My musical practice involves stretching, deep listening at the piano, singing everything I play, delving into harmony from Bach, Scriabin and Mompou, learning songs on guitar, embodying polyrhythms, free-writing, making loops on my phone, listening to recorded music and reading scores and trying to figure out what I find beautiful or surprising, transcribing bass lines, composing short piano pieces, reading about artists I love and learning from friends.
Music education (especially white, Eurocentric music education) has been traumatic for so many folks. As a teacher I try to treat music education as a framework in which to help students clarify their own intuition, develop ways of practicing that feel joyous and fun, and deepen their connection with themselves and the world. I also learn so much from students, so if you wanna take lessons with me, just know you’re going to be shaping my intuition too!
Biography: Maya Keren (they/them) is a Brooklyn-based pianist, vocalist, composer and songwriter from Philadelphia. They are interested in the process of environing people, voices, instruments and sounds in ways that invite connection with one’s erotic instinct (to use the language of Audre Lorde), embody compassionate and queer relations with the self and the collective, and destabilize learned systems of domination. These ideas have developed non-linearly throughout space and time, through settings and initiatives like the Creative Music Program in Philly, the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and Mutual Mentorship for Musicians.
Maya graduated from Princeton University in 2022 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music and a certificate in African American Studies. Currently Maya is writing songs, loops and words for their band Careful In The Sun, drawing inspiration from Gwendolyn Brooks, Clarice Lispector, Pinegrove, and the Wissahickon.
Piano, Jazz Piano, Accompanist
I’m from… Sapporo City, Japan
I started teaching music… more than 25 years ago
I started teaching at the Conservatory… more than 20 years ago
My inspiration: I love nature and visual arts, which inspire my writing music.
Few people know that I… Like to make art (painting, sculpting, craft, etc.) I also like to grow plants.
Education: Hokkaido University of Education, Sapporo, Japan – B.A. in EducationBerklee College of Music, Boston, MA – B.A. in Music, summa cum laudeLesley University, Cambridge, MA – Master of EducationTeachers College, Columbia University, NY – Doctoral study in Music Education
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I write music for the media, films, poems, stories, events and perform my compositions in my own quintet.
Personal Teaching Statement: As a pianist and composer, I have been teaching classical and jazz piano for more than 20 years focusing on basic techniques and musical knowledge from children to adults.
Understanding music as life – long learning, that also keeps us growing. I plan lessons based on students’ needs in their learning stages and interests, using these approaches to improve various elements of music making.
Biography: Yoko Yates, pianist and composer, was born in Sapporo City, Japan. She began her keyboard study at age four and was always exposed to variety of music in a music-loving family. In addition to her ongoing classical piano studies, as a student at Hokkaido University of Education, her interest towards “art” education motivated her to study more improvisational music and to find innovative approaches which nurture sensibilities and creativity of people in the US. She was awarded the Cultural Merit Scholarship from Sapporo City and the Professional Music scholarship from Berklee College of Music to further her studies in Boston. Graduating from Berklee with a B.A. in music, summa cum laude, she went on to receive a Master’s degree in education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She then continued her studies at Columbia University, Teachers College in New York for doctoral study in music education, where she was awarded a teaching assistantship and Minority Scholarship.
Yoko has been a member of the piano faculty at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Greenwich House Music School in Manhattan since 1996, along with teaching at numerous other schools. At Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, she served as the Piano Chair from 2011-2013. All through her schooling and teaching years, she has maintained a performing career as a pianist and sometimes as a vocalist, and has been particularly active as a composer in recent years. She has been contributing music to film, media and literacy events, which have been showcased at international film festivals and “Reuters Business Weekly.” Her album “Mystic Life” will be released by SteepleChase LookOut in April 2022.
From: Buenos Aires, Argentina
My inspiration: Here is a list of a few artists that I deeply admire: Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Geri Allen and Martha Argerich.
Education: Master in Jazz Performance at NYU
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Santiago Leibson Trio
Personal Teaching Statement: My main goal as an educator is to engage the students with music. For me, that means to realize that music (and art in general) is another way to communicate with each other. Thus, learning music will not only help you to become a musician but to become a better person, more emphatic and aware of the surroundings of our community.
Biography: Santiago Leibson is a Brooklyn-based, Argentinian-born jazz pianist and composer. His music is situated in the frontier of jazz, improvised music, classical and contemporary music. As a bandleader, he has released five records: “Amon” (2014), “Pendular” (2015), “Out of Orden” (2016), “Episodes” (2018) and “Little Pieces” (2020). JazzTrail says about “Episodes”: “’Episodes’ is a swinging album with abundant evocations of past grandeur. Thence, the trio of performers lay bare their solid command of time and space to create new narratives.”
As an active member of the New York music scene, he has worked with artists such as Tony Malaby, Guillermo Klein, Michael Attias, Francisco Mela, Sean Conly, Gerald Cleaver, Matt Pavolka, Mark Ferber, Oscar Noriega, Drew Gress, Billy Drummond, Jeff Hirshfield, Michael Formanek, Massa Kamaguchi and Cameron Brown.
In 2019 Santiago made his Carnegie Hall debut playing a solo concert of original and classical compositions at the prestigious series “Sophia Rossoff Presents” organized by the Abby Whiteside Foundation. He has also performed at venues such as Cornelia St. Café (New York), Firehouse 12 (New Haven, Connecticut), Jazz Filloa (Spain), Thelonious Club (Buenos Aires), Bourbon Street Music Club (Brazil), among others.
In 2014, he was awarded a grant from the Fondo Nacional de las Arts (National Arts Fund) in Argentina to continue his studies at New York University. In 2012, he won a scholarship to participate in the one-week residency program Encuentro Argentino de Improvisación y Composición Musical (National Meeting of Improvisation and Musical Composition). As an educator, Santiago has been an adjunct instructor at New York University from 2015 until 2016. He has also worked as a piano accompanist for Ballet Hispánico in New York.
Piano, Jazz Piano, Voice
I’m from… Moscow, Russia
I started teaching music in… 1997
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2001
My inspiration: My mother
Few people know that I… am also a singer
Education: Moscow Music College – BMBrooklyn College Conservatory of Music – BA
I play and teach: piano
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I’m an accompanist
Name: Marta Sanchez
I’m from… Spain
I started teaching music in… 2005
My inspiration: I love many musicians. Among the piano players, and just to name some, I will say Paul Bley, Thelonious Monk, Jackie Byard, Vladimir Horowitz, Michelangelo, Geri Allen. Other musicians that inspire me deeply are John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, and many many others.
Few people know that I… also studied to be a film director and I almost became one!
Education: Conservatory of Madrid – Bachelor in Piano and CompositionUniversidad Complutense de Madrid – Bachelor in Image and SoundsNYU – Master of Music in Jazz Piano Performance
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I have my own project, Marta Sanchez Quintet. I play as a sideman with the Wing Walker Orquestra, Yuhan-Su Quintet, Jo Wallfish or Oscar Noriega, among others.
Name: Theo Walentiny
From: Maplewood, New Jersey
Education: The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music
Biography: Pianist, composer and improviser Theo Walentiny was born in 1996 and raised in New Jersey, growing up in an artistic home, his father an abstract painter and his mother an art therapist. He began studying classical music and improvisation from age 6. Eventually, Theo discovered McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea and Charles Mingus, among others, leading him to further study jazz and improvised music. He began to study privately under jazz pianist Oscar Perez and taught himself music technology skills that would guide him toward an interest in scoring films. Theo moved to New York City in 2014 to continue his studies at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, with his teachers including Reggie Workman, Jane Ira Bloom and Kirk Nurock. Walentiny’s world of influences broadened to include Andrew Hill, Cecil Taylor, Tyshawn Sorey, Corey Smythe, Toru Takemitsu and Henri Dutilleux.
Along with being a co-founder of the Aurelia Trio with bassist Nick Dunston and drummer Connor Parks, Theo has led a septet that showcases his compositions, with inspirations ranging from classical Impressionism and Romanticism to modern jazz and his collaborations with visual artists. Theo has performed with Metropolis Ensemble, Arta Jekabsone, Kalia Vandever, Lucas Kadish, Secret Mall among others. Along with playing top venues in the United States, Theo has performed in Israel, Switzerland and China. He released his debut album “Looking Glass” on April 2, 2021. This album is a collection of solo piano improvisations recorded in the fall of 2019.
From: I was born in NYC then moved with my family to Franklin, Tennessee, then to Fairfield, Connecticut, and then back to NYC in 2007 for college.
I started teaching music in… 2011
My inspiration: Canons (musical), tape machines, old instruments, birds, trees, group singing, chess, and Film Forum 🙂
Education: New York University, Steinhardt, BM in Music Theory & Composition; Wesleyan University, MA in Music Composition
I play and teach: Piano, Guitar, Music Theory and Composition
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Relatives and Ian Davis: Rock Band
Personal Teaching Statement: As a teacher my goals are to be responsive to the interests of my students and to provide clear, consistent structure that helps students come away with tangible skills while allowing space for exploration, experimentation and play.
Biography: I began studying classical guitar at a young age with an amazing teacher named Evelyn Pelicane at the Westport School of Music. I studied with Evelyn from when I was seven years old until I graduated from high school. In 2007 I went to NYU where I majored in music theory and composition. While at NYU I met a singer named Katie Vogel and we formed a group called Relatives. Katie and I have recorded and released several records together and toured across Europe and the US – we just celebrated our 14-year anniversary as a band 🙂
I’ve worked as a music teacher with organizations such as the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, The New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program, and the Third Street Music Settlement. I’ve also worked as a freelance orchestral arranger and played in a number of bands. As an arranger, I’ve worked with Daniel Rossen (of Grizzly Bear), Feist, Kazu Makino (of Blonde Redhead), and Cassandra Jenkins, to name a few.
I went back to graduate school in 2017 at Wesleyan University where I studied with Paula Matthusen and Tyshawn Sorey. At Wesleyan, I got into Karnatak music and studied singing with B. Balasubrahmaniyan (whom I also worked for as a TA). I also studied organ with Ronald Ebrecht. I’ve had my own compositions performed by various ensembles including the Mivos Quartet, The SEM Ensemble and the Ostravska Banda.
Guitar, Piano, Music Theory, Composition Club
Piano, Piano Ensemble, Piano Friends
Name: Emile BlondelFrom: Charlottesville, VAI started teaching music in… 2007I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2011Who’s your inspiration, musical or otherwise? BachFew people know that I… also play the drumsEducation: North Carolina School of the Arts – BMNorth Carolina School of the Arts – MMEcole Alfred Cortot in Paris, 2001-2004I play and teach: PianoMy other artistic/musical endeavors: Teaching Artist with National Dance Institute, frequent collaborator with puppetry, theatre and dance projects.
Piano, Accompanist, Suzuki Collaborative Piano
The Wire magazine places Sara Schoenbeck in the “tiny club of bassoon pioneers” at work in contemporary music today and the New York Times has called her “riveting, mixing textural experiments with a big, confident sound.” Sara promotes the bassoon as a colorful and flexible voice in both her own work and in collaboration as an improviser, interpreter and composer. She has been involved in many projects including Anthony Braxton’s 12(+1)tet, Henry Threadgill’s multi-media works, the International Contemporary Ensemble, SEM, Wayne Horvitz’s Gravitas Quartet, Ghost Train Orchestra, Wavefield Contemporary Ensemble and the Michael Leonhart Orchestra. She has performed at major venues and festivals throughout North America and Europe and can be heard on dozens of music recordings and film soundtracks including Matrix Reloaded and on her self-titled record released in 2021 to critical acclaim on Pyroclastic Records. Sara received her BFA from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Sara is currently adjunct bassoon faculty Brooklyn College and has been adjunct faculty at California Institute of the Arts and Citrus College. Sara has given masterclasses on improvisation for bassoonists at Amherst College, Hampshire College, Cornish College, University of Denver, Western Washington University and Sacramento State University.
Music Partners Program Coordinator, Bassoon
Name: Cleave Guyton Jr
From: New York, NY
I started teaching music… 30+ years ago
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 1997
My inspiration: My dad, Muhammad Ali, and all great musicians
Few people know that I… am an avid hunter
Education: Berklee College of Music – BAAaron Copland School of Music at CUNY Queens College – MM
I play and teach: the woodwind family – Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Piccolo
My other artistic/musical endeavors: The original Ray Charles, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Abdullah Ibrahim, Aretha Franklin bands and too many more to mention
Biography: Cleave Guyton is a professional musician who plays the saxophone, flute and clarinet. He has been fortunate to have worked with artists such as: Aretha Franklin, Abdullah Ibrahim, Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Nat Adderley, Abby Lincoln, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Jon Hendricks, The Ray Charles Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, Little Jimmy Scott, Maceo Parker, Spike Lee, Joe Williams, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Ronny Jordan, The Mingus Big Band, Cleo Laine, Chaka Khan, The Boys Choir of Harlem and many more.
Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone
From: Cleveland, OH
I started teaching music in…2009
My inspiration: my cat
Few people know that I… Used to work for a primatologist in Costa Rica
Education: Eastman School of Music – BM
I play and teach: Clarinet/bass clarinet
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I am the founder of Home Audio series, monthly house shows featuring experimental music in Brooklyn since 2011. I perform with the Nouveau Classical Project, Curiosity Cabinet, GABI, Feral Children, Banda de los Muertos and more as a freelancer. For the last few summers I have been a guest artist in Alaska at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.
From: Cologne, New Jersey
I started teaching music in… 1992
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2010
My inspiration: My wife, my daughter, my father, Steve Lacy
Few people know that I… am an excellent cook and work part-time at a wine store
Education: University of Chicago – B.A. with HonorsNew England Conservatory – M.A. in Jazz Performance with Honors
I play and teach: saxophone, flute, and clarinet
My other artistic/musical endeavors: My own groups include musicianer and Ideal Bread as well as solo performances. I also perform with the Nate Wooley Quintet and Anthony Braxton’s Tricentric Orchestra. In the past I was a member of Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and Andrew D’Angelo’s DNA Big Band.
From: Brooklyn, NY
I started teaching music in… 1972
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 1980
My inspiration: Karl Kraber, Julius Baker, Michael Brecker, Johannes Brahms, Thelonious Monk
Few people know that I… sing, play alto and tenor saxophones, and in addition to having made a living as a professional classical flute player, I play many styles of music, including jazz, rock, and electronic music.
Education: Brooklyn College – Bachelor of Science in MusicSUNY Stony Brook – Master of MusicCUNY Graduate Center – Doctor of Musical Arts
I play and teach: all flutes, recorder, alto saxophone, and tenor saxophone
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Principal Flute, Queens Oratorio Society; Music Director, The OMNI Ensemble; freelance flutist in many NYC area orchestras; substitute flutist on many Broadway shows
Saxophone, Beginner Piano For Adults, Piano Friends, Winds
From: Los Angeles, California
My Inspiration: I always return to Duke Ellington, Nina, Simone, and Stevie Wonder when Iooking for creators to inspire me. Ella Fitzgerald, Bjork, Suzanne Vega, Bob Marley, Sade, J Dilla, there are so many wonderful artists who inspire me in a myriad of ways! I adore the marriage of great songwriting, expressive singing and terrific arranging.
Few people know that: I studied Katherine Dunham dance technique for nine years.
I started teaching at the conservatory in: 2020
I play and teach: Piano and Voice.
Education: Harvard University, Bachelor of Arts
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I write, arrange, produce and perform music for my own solo project. I am involved in a few projects that involve writing music for theatrical pieces and also do voice work “for hire” (background vocals, audiobooks, etc). I am currently completing my Certificate in Music Production with the Berklee School of Music.
Personal Teaching Statement: Learning to sing or play an instrument is a long process that can and should feel like a journey. My goal is to create the environment and provide the tools and support to make that journey engaging, rewarding and expansive. Technique is a crucial part of how we learn to play and should always be applied in the service of personal expression. Each student has different needs. My job is to try to understand what the student needs, what their objectives are, and then to create a program to allow us to get there.
Biography: California born and raised, Alexis grew up singing and playing piano. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, she relocated to New York City to pursue music professionally. She has performed with her band at key NYC venues including Joe’s Pub and The Blue Note as well as performed internationally at music festivals in countries including in Spain and Austria.
Alexis is an accomplished performer on the theatrical stage. She has appeared in the Broadway tours of “Rent” and “Whistle Down the Wind,” as well as off-Broadway productions and workshops at New York Theater Workshop, AMAS, Dixon Place, The Fringe Festival and more.
Voice, Intro to Singing For Adults
From: Brooklyn, New York
Few people know that I… am a sci-fi enthusiast!
Education: BA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Florida; MM in Performance and Composition from The New School
I play and teach: Voice
Personal Teaching Statement: I believe all students are unique in their journey in sound. Diving into that uniqueness, I create a safe and experimental environment to build a strong foundation of technique that allows for freeness in both voice and interpretation.
Biography: Shara Lunon is the product of the evolution of Black American musical traditions. As a poet, vocalist, composer and improviser, her art finds the ethereal in the chaotic. With voice as the foundation, Shara’s music is an exploration of text and sound that seamlessly weaves through the ongoing relationship of struggle, resilience and resolution. Her goal is to challenge lassitude and in its place, instill hope.
Shara has performed with leading improvisers including Darius Jones, Chris Williams, Joy Guidry and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Her work has been featured in The Gothamist, Metropolis Ensemble, and has won residency with Amanda + James production company and the 2022 Audiofemme Agenda Grant. She was a featured composer in the 2022 MATA Festival and Metropolis Ensemble BIOPHONY series.
Christine Cornell is a musician, actor, and music educator based in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently the chair of the Vocal Department here at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, as well as, the co-director of Brooklyn Harmonics Vocal Program (Tweens, Teens and Twenty+) with her long-time collaborator, Broadway music director and arranger, Jeffrey Klitz. She has a background in Classical Voice training from Indiana University Jacobs’ School of Music and Manhattan School of Music. Christine is a multi-genre artist and teacher who focuses on solid technique and vocal health throughout amplified and unamplified styles of singing. Students can expect to learn repertoire that they enjoy while strengthening their individualized instruments and performance practices.
This year, Christine is guest artist for the BCCO Fabulous Swing Dance Gala, the Chorale winter concert, and a Quarter Finalist for the American Traditions Vocal Competition in Savannah, Georgia. Last season, she was a guest artist for Sound Symphony in Long Island performing works by Puccini, Gershwin, Lehar, and Mozart under the batons of Dorothy Savitch and Alex Wen and performed a multi-city concert series in Italy with Ghostlight Chorus (music director Dr. Evelyn Troester DeGraf). She was a featured artist for Erik Carlson’s Slowly Expanding Milton Babbitt album (Three Theatrical Songs). She played Sister Margaretta in the Virginia Opera/Virginia Arts Festival Co-Production of The Sound of Music conducted by Rob Fisher. She made her film music debut in Alex Weston’s original score for What Breaks the Ice (Released October 2021). Some other favorite performances include: Joanna Gleason’s Out of the Eclipse (54 Below, Quick Center, Renberg), The Apple and Other Slip-Ups (ARC Stages), The Most Happy Fella (Goodspeed), The Sound of Music (Paper Mill Playhouse, Sacred Heart), Master Class (Gulf Shore Playhouse), A Nantucket Christmas Carol (White Heron Theater), and Four Saints in Three Acts (BAM). Christine is a member of Actors Equity Association and on the roster at Avalon Artists Group.
Voice, Brooklyn Harmonics Tweens, Teens, & Twenty+
Name: Sara Ptak
From: Peru, Illinois
My inspiration: Benita Valente, Karina Gauvin, Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, Indigo Girls, H.E.R., Amos Lee, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Phoebe Bridgers, Raffi, Laurie Berkner
Education: DePaul University, BM, Voice Performance; McGill University, MM, Opera Performance
Personal Teaching Statement: My teaching style is strength based and led by curiosity and play. With both children and adults, I take time to notice what they’re already doing well and build awareness and confidence around that. From that place of confidence, we can build on those skills and create a solid foundation that really honors the whole student exactly where they are.
Biography: Sara Ptak, soprano and Brooklynite (by way of rural Illinois), has her Masters of Music from McGill University with a Bachelors degree from DePaul University. On the operatic stage she has performed roles such as Cleopatra in “Giulio Cesare” and Giulietta in “I Capuleti e i Montecchi,” Gretel in “Hansel and Gretel,” Susanna in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” Lauretta in “Gianni Schicchi,” Juno in Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo,” Pamina in “The Magic Flute,” Donna Elvira in “Don Giovanni” and Almirena in Handel’s “Rinaldo.”
Sara has been a fellow at The Toronto Summer Music Festival studying under Elly Ameling and Julius Drake, The Schubert Institut (Baden bei Wien, Austria) with the likes of Helmut Deutsche, Robert Holl, and Bernarda Fink, Music nelle Marche (Urbania, Italy), Domaine Forget (Saint Irenee, Quebec) with Renata Scotto, The Aspen Music Festival and School and Brevard Music Center.
A passionate teaching artist, Sara performed the roles of Papagena, Third Lady in “The Magic Flute” and Gretel in “Hansel and Gretel” with Martina Arroyo’s opera outreach program. She has since founded Mozart Had A Sister, a recital series centering underrepresented composers and performers in Brooklyn, NY. Her children’s show “Miss Sara’s Music Room,” focusing on social and emotional learning through song, is coming to YouTube in Winter 2021.
Early Childhood, Voice
From: Kenosha, Wisconsin
I started teaching music in… 1994
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2007 (Queens), 2014 (Brooklyn)
My inspiration: Stephane Grappelli, Miles Davis, Trent Reznor
Few people know that I… worked at an amusement park
Education: University of Wisconsin Madison, BMNew York University, MA
I play and teach: Violin, Viola
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Many freelance orchestras, orchestra pits, and jazz with Paul Knopf.
Personal Teaching Statement: Everyone has the ability to learn joyfully!
Biography: Violinist Jennifer Axelson is equally at home in both classical and jazz idioms. After moving to New York City, Jennifer continued to play “classical” music and became an improvisor. Her orchestra pit experience includes playing at Westport Country Playhouse, DiCapo Opera, Lucille Lortel Theater, and the Actors Shakespeare Company along with many other musicals and operas in New York and New Jersey. Jennifer has played at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, David Geffen Hall, Webster Hall, Zinc, Shapeshifter Lab, and many other locations throughout New York City. She has played regularly with the Astoria Symphony, Richmond County Orchestra, and the Firey String Sistas, just to name a few. Chamber music experience includes playing violin in a string quartet on The Holland America Cruise Line. Jennifer has also played improvised music for The Scarab Tale, an off Broadway show. While living in Madison, Wisconsin she played in the Madison Symphony Orchestra under John DeMain and the Dubuque Symphony under Nicholas Palmer.
Jennifer holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison and a master’s degree in jazz from NYU. She teaches regularly and has taught string classes in the NYC public schools for various organizations.
From: Panama City, Panama
I started teaching music in… 1993
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2008
My inspiration: My teachers have been a source of inspiration. The way they transmitted their wisdom and the respect, commitment, and passion that they have/had towards the music, their instrument and their profession has been unmeasurable. Thank you Jorge Vergara, Carmen Cedeño, Cathy Robinson, the Miami String Quartet, Carolyn Huebl, Matthew Dane, Daniel Heiftetz, Atar Arad, Ilya Kaler, James Dunham, Allen Lieb, Craig Mumm, and Mary Ann Mumm.
Few people know that I… worked as a lead salsa singer
Education: New World School of the Arts – Bachelors in Music (Violin Performance)Carnegie Mellon University – Masters in Music (Violin)Carnegie Mellon University – Masters in Music (Viola)Indiana University – Performance Diploma (Viola)University of Oklahoma – Doctor in Musical Arts (Viola)
I play and teach: Violin, Viola, Chamber Music
My other artistic/musical endeavors: La Camerata Washington Heights; Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra; Música De Cámara Chamber Orchestra; Camerata Alfredo De Saint Malo; Isaac Casal’s Ensemblast Project
Personal Teaching Statement: My main goal is to teach my students how to practice, so that they can progress more efficiently at home.
Biography: The Panama News cites: “Panama does have a worthy classical scene, and right at the top of it we find Luis Enrique Casal.” A concert artist in both the violin and the viola, Luis was awarded “Remarkable Citizens of Panama 2015″ by Panama’s National Commission Pro Civic Values and Morals. Luis is vice president of the Sinfonía Concertante Foundation of Panama and adviser to the Alfredo De Saint Malo Music Festival. He has performed and/or given master classes in the Bahamas, England, France, Japan, Italy, Romania, Spain, the United States and Uruguay.
An experienced orchestra player, Luis has held the position of Principal Violist ad honorem of the National Symphony of Panama, Principal Violist of the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Butler Symphony Orchestra in Butler, Pennsylvania, and guest concertmaster of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. He is co-founder and member of the Camerata Alfredo De Saint Malo, and currently performs as concertmaster of the ADCA Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the BCCO (Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra), principal violist of the Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra and violinist of the quartet Ensemblast Project.
His performances have included chamber music and solo appearances in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States, the Bruno Walter Auditorium, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recent commitments have included performances and tour with his brother Isaac’s project, Ensemblast. Luis is also enthusiastic about collaborating with modern composers having premiered pieces by Carlos Bernales, Dinos Constantinides, Alexandra Dubois, Jorge Figueroa, Mikolja Gorecki, Howard Lew, Ricardo Risco, Bartosz Smoragiewicz and Norberto Ulloa.
He has recorded for the labels Earth Cd Partners and Multicultura Media’s Rootstock Recording.
From: Krakow, Poland
Education: Music Academy in Krakow; University of Arts in Graz; School for Strings New York
I play and teach: Violin
Personal Teaching Statement: I start my students under the Suzuki philosophy and pedagogy. I believe in the power of small steps and breaking up the difficulties into easier, “digestible” bits. I believe in music as a tool to creating social connections and sustaining values, such as excellence, solidarity and inclusion. I seek to educate my students in the way that they develop more refined feelings, appreciation for arts, joy of making music and self-confidence coming from doing things well.
Biography: Born in Krakow, Poland, violinist Anna Majcherczyk graduated with honors from the Music Academy in Krakow and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. Within the framework of “Socrates-Erasmus” Scholarship, she studied at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg. As concertmaster of the Krakow Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, she made her debut as a soloist with this orchestra at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. As a member of various ensembles, she has performed in prestigious concert halls such as the Musikvereinsaal in Vienna, the Berliner Philharmonie, Tonhalle Zürich and Paul Hall at the Juilliard School. She participated in master classes given by Thomas Brandis, Krzysztof Penderecki, Ralf Gothoni, Reiner Schmidt (Hagen Quartet) and Peter Goetzel and Volkhard Steude (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra).
From 2012 to 2018 she was associate leader of the second violins of the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2016, during a sabbatical year, she taught violin at the National Institute of Music in San José and other music schools in Costa Rica. She has dedicated herself to the promotion of classical music by creating, in her home country Poland, a series of concerts for families. In 2020 she collaborated with the Fundación Sinfonía Concertante de Panama (FUNSINCOPA) teaching violin classes and being the liaison between FUNSINCOPA and the prestigious Orchestra of the Americas. She also created for the Foundación the successful international masterclass series “Escuela sin Fronteras.”
Currently based in New York, she performs chamber and orchestral music, serves as guest concertmaster at The Bronx Opera and The New York Repertory Orchestra. Aside from her duties as a performer, she teaches extensively at the Opportunity Music Project, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Washington Heights Community Conservatory of Fine Arts. She refines her teaching skills through Suzuki certification at the School for Strings in New York.
From: Elbasan, Albania
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2015
My inspiration: Old players such as Oistrakh, Heifetz
Few people know that I… like building things
Education: New Leaders For New Schools, Emerging Leaders Program, New York University, MA; Eastman School of Music, MM
I play and teach: Violin and Viola
My other artistic/musical endeavors: ISO Orchestra
Personal Teaching Statement: My goal in teaching is to foster a love for music making and high standards for future developments at highest possible levels for all of my pupils.
Biography: Adriatik Sefa, a graduate from two well-known universities – Eastman School of Music and New York University, is the founder of the “Youth music competition.” Adriatik received his first lesson in a small town of Albania called Elbasan. After finishing high school at the “Onufri” music school, he continued his studies at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, Albania. He has performed throughout the world, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and USA.
Adriatik is a member of Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, a full time music director and a new leader at P.S. 65 Mother Hale Academy. In 2003, Adriatik performed at Carnegie Hall as a part of Fiddle Fest which included musicians such as Itzhak Perlman, Jashua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma. Adriatik has studied with well-known teachers such as Uto Ughi, Boris Belkin, Oleh Krysa, Zvi Zeitlin, Roland Xhoxhi, Zhani Ciko and Bujar Sykja.
From: Philadelphia and Indianapolis
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2018
My inspiration: my grandfather
Few people know that I… do yoga everyday
Education: Columbia University – Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Music History and Theory, The Juilliard School – Masters of Music in Violin Performance
I play and teach: I play violin and also teach viola and cello
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I am the founder of PinkNoise, an ensemble dedicated to integrating old and new music with improvisation through electronic and acoustic mediums.
Violin, Violin Friends
From: North Carolina
I started teaching music in… 2012
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2015
My inspiration: Hilary Hahn
Few people know that I… had a college mascot of a Fighting Pickle!
Education: UNC School of the Arts – Bachelor of Music
Hartt School – Masters of Music in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy
I play and teach: Violin
Tell us about any ensembles you perform with or other artistic/musical endeavors that you’re a part of: Handel Festival Orchestra, Chelsea Symphony
From: Born in Houston, TX, but raised in AlabamaI started teaching music in…1997I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2013Who’s your inspiration, musical or otherwise? My brother, Will.Few people know that I… have the “packing gene”Education: Indiana University – BM Violin PerformanceI play and teach: Violin/violaMy other artistic/musical endeavors: Before relocating to NYC in 2014, I performed for 10 years in the pit with OperaTampa, under the direction of Anton Coppola and freelanced in the area, playing for touring productions of Broadway musicals, local plays, weddings, and charity events. I opened my private Suzuki studio in 2000 and taught students ages 4-80 (!) from my home, while also serving as Adjunct Faculty at Eckerd College (2009-14) and the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School (2013-14). From 2004-2007, I taught Suzuki Violin at Gulfwinds Montessori School and Perkins Elementary School for Arts and International Studies, both in St. Petersburg, FL. One of my proudest achievements was the founding and direction of the Summer Strings Violin Camp, where students spent 2 weeks working hard, making music, and having fun!!
Education: BM, New England Conservatory; MM, Manhattan School of Music
I play and teach: Cello
My other artistic/musical endeavors: DARA + KYLE (cello/piano duo)
Biography: Dara Hankins is a bold, innovative artist with a social conscience. She believes in promoting equity through music and is an advocate for social justice. She has performed nationally and internationally with renowned artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Joshua Bell, Kirk Whalum, Big Chief Donald Harrison, Lalah Hathaway and many others. Dara is active as an orchestral musician, soloist, chamber musician and teaching artist. She welcomes collaboration with artists from diverse disciplines.
Dara earned her Bachelor of Music degree from New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts. She went on to earn her Master of Music degree from Manhattan School Of Music in New York City. Dara currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
From: Mahopac, NY
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2016
My inspiration: Francois Rabbath, George Vance, Virginia Dixon, Gary Karr, Tommy Potter, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, John Patitucci and many more.
Few people know that I… lived on a glacier for 2 months when I was 18
Education: Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University – BM in jazz studies; Suzuki Training Books 1-5 with Virginia Dixon; SECE Training with Lynn McCall
I play and teach: Bass
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Nifty Knuckles (early jazz band), Dara & Shayna (cello & bass duets)
Personal Teaching Statement: Music is amazing! Learning bass is fun!
Biography: Shayna Dulberger has been teaching private music and group lessons in New York City since 2006. As a faculty member of Brooklyn Conservatory, Shayna teaches Double Bass, Electric Bass, Group Theory Classes, Piano Classes and Early Childhood Classes ages 0+. She completed her training in 2021 with Suzuki Teacher Trainer Virginia Dixon and is a registered Suzuki Teacher for all of the published Bass Books, 1 through 5. Shayna also completed her level 1 Suzuki Early Childhood training with Lynn McCall, the first teacher trainer for SECE in the U.S. Shayna has put together her own pre-Twinkle book for very young beginners. Her book “Bass Buddies” provides a method that includes movement and keeping a beat with very short, achievable pieces. Shayna’s students have been accepted to New York City’s Frank Sinatra and LaGuardia Performing Arts High Schools.
Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Jazz Explorers, Music Adventures
phone: 718-622-3300 x219
Operations and I.T. Manager, French Horn
From: Baldwin, NY
My inspiration: Albert Einstein
Few people know that I… also studied anthropology/archaeology in college
Education: Ithaca College – Bachelor of MusicSUNY Purchase – Master of Music in Trumpet Performance
I play and teach: trumpet
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I perform with The Curiosity Cabinet and Ensemble Mise-En
From: Arvada, Colorado
I started teaching music in… 2004
Few people know that I… love musicals so much that I am writing one! It is about marching band. If I’m not playing in a brass band, you’ll likely find me sitting in the audience of a newly opened Broadway show!
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, Western Michigan University; Masters in Tuba Performance, Colorado State University
I play and teach: Trombone, Tuba
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Brass by the Slice, Bridget’s Garden (trombone and tuba duet), L Train Brass Band, Brass Queens, and soon the eGalitarian brass quintet.
Personal Teaching Statement: I believe that a high quality education in music is for every student regardless of race, gender identity, or economic status. I believe first and foremost in developing a strong relationship with each private lesson student I have the pleasure of teaching. A relationship built on trust, communication, respect, kindness, and humor creates an environment where young musicians can flourish on their chosen instrument. I get to know each student as a person and then tailor the exercises that they will play to their individual musical goals and needs. I love arranging music for my students that they are passionate about!
Biography: Heather has been enamored with the tuba for 21 years and teaching young musicians to play trombone and tuba for 17 years. Teaching private music lessons has been both her longest held and her favorite job, so she is very grateful for the opportunity to teach at BKCM! She grew up in a musical family outside of Denver, Colorado, the daughter of a percussionist and a bassist. Heather and her twin trumpet player brother both trained to be band directors, following in their music educator mother’s footsteps.
Currently in her sixth year teaching middle school music, Heather moved to Brooklyn in July 2019. In addition to getting middle schoolers excited about being in an ensemble, Heather plays in several ensembles around the city. She is a sought after sousaphone player in the brass band scene, playing for Brass by the Slice, Brass Queens, Brooklyn Delta Jazz Party, New Heights Brass Band and the L Train Brass Band which she has also music directed for two years.
Heather also plays classical tuba in brass quintets, orchestras, and concert bands in the area, including eGaliterian, Brass in the Bandshell, and the Protestra. She has also played trombone in the brass band scene, and is a talented arranger who enjoys arranging music for her private lesson students.
Name: Pablo Masis
I’m from… Cleveland, Ohio
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2014
My inspiration: The music of Miles Davis inspired me to pursue a life of jazz study.
Few people know that I… spent four years of my childhood living on a Native American Reservation
Education: Lawrence University – BM, Trumpet PerformanceUniversity of New Orleans – MM, Jazz Studies
I play and teach: Trumpet
My or other artistic/musical endeavors: My jazz trio is my main ensemble, and I also perform with several large jazz ensembles and chamber music groups around the New York City area.
From: St. Louis, MO
My inspiration: Ancient nameless music-makers; artists with names, from Meredith Monk to Duke Ellington; Olivier Messiaen to Julia Wolfe; Deerhoof to the Art Ensemble of Chicago; Charlie Christian to Sister Rosetta Tharpe; Hildegard Von Bingen to Fred Frith; Avrom Reyzen to Leslie Marmon Silko; J.S. Bach to John Zorn and Arnold Schoenberg; radical political organizers and thinkers like Angela Davis and Anne Braden; my teachers Chris Rosenberg and Paul Caputo; the night sky, a canoe, my daughters and so so much more…how to stop?
Few people know that I… make my own sauerkraut
Education: Columbia University – BA in psychologyBrooklyn College (CUNY) – MM in music composition
I play and teach: Guitar, Ukulele, Music Theory
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I co-lead the 19 year-old irreverent chamber jazz group Gutbucket, which has released 6 CDs/LPs on Cuneiform Records, Cantaloupe Music, Enja, NRW, Knitting Factory Works and our own imprint Gut Records. The group has toured in more than 20 countries and 30+ of the US states.
I lead the avant-Jewish Tzadik Records recording quartet Bop Kabbalah, with a debut CD out in 2014. I also play guitar in Dana Lyn’s Mother Octopus, versions of James Ilgenfritz’s Anagram Ensemble, Jon Madof’s improvising quintet and am a frequent guitarist and composer with Anti-Social Music (ASM). I am an accompanist and song leader in several NYC-area synagogues, including Kolot Chayeinu and CBST, where I work with wonderful cantors and sometimes play with jazz luminaries like Marty Ehrlich and Shoko Nagai, who moonlight in that world.
Personal Teaching Statement: I work with students to develop a lifelong love of music making. In addition to exploring a diverse established repertoire, hands-on music theory and proper technique, I teach improvisation and songwriting, encouraging students to find their own voice in music.
Biography: Ty Citerman is a Brooklyn, NY-based guitarist and composer who writes, performs and teaches music across the spectrum of jazz, rock and contemporary classical. He holds a Master in Music (M.M.) degree in music composition from Brooklyn College (CUNY) and received Suzuki guitar training from Bill Kossler and David Madsen. He is also the proud recipient of a 2018 Brooklyn Arts Council grant to support the creation and performance of new work.
Ty’s nine year-old project Bop Kabbalah explores the juxtaposition of original composition, improvisation and Jewish musical traditions. Its trio incarnation, Bop Kabbalah+Voices (with Sara Serpa and Judith Berkson) released a recording of original settings of Yiddish labor texts on Infrequent Seams, which Eyal Hareuveni (in Salt Peanuts) called “inspiring and moving, and beautifully arranged and delivered.” Bop Kabbalah’s quartet premiered on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records “Radical Jewish Culture” series in 2014, and JazzTimes called the album “…one of the year’s most arresting recordings…”
Ty is a founding member of the irreverent jazz quartet Gutbucket, which has released six recordings of original music and toured across the US and Europe. Guitar Player called Ty’s music for Gutbucket “kinetic punk jazz opuses” that “reveal an explosive concoction containing lethal doses of Ornette Coleman, King Crimson, John Zorn, Black Sabbath, Stravinsky, and Fugazi.”
Ty composed original theme music for the podcast “Tradeoffs” and scored the 2019 St. Anne’s Warehouse Labapalooza! puppetry festival show “To Love What Death Has Touched” by Kevin White. Over the past two decades, he has performed on some of the world’s finest stages, including Carnegie Hall, the London Jazz Festival, Paris Jazz Festival, Belgrade Jazz Festival, Jazz a Vienne, the Bang on a Can Marathon, Earshot Jazz Festival, Jazz Saalfelden and more.
He continues to compose music for various instruments and is an active freelancer in the New York contemporary music scene. When he’s not making music, he’s busy raising two daughters, riding a bicycle, looking for a nice place to swim outdoors or aspiring to cook something delicious.
Guitar, Suzuki Guitar
From: Trinidad and Tobago
My inspiration: My original inspiration was Death Cab for Cutie and Bloc Party. They both released monster albums around the same time and I found myself wanting to get into that style of guitar based indie rock. I learned enough to eventually find myself in a great band playing shows at or close to their level. That experience made me realize that my passion wasn’t only to be in a band. I have a passion for learning the instrument now and it’s way healthier for me.
Education: Private lessons and self-taught
I play and teach: GuitarMy other artistic/musical endeavors: Mon Repos
Personal Teaching Statement: As a guitar teacher, I believe patience is paramount whether learning theory or just becoming comfortable enough to learn and play your favorite songs. I practice and attempt to pass on the habit of active listening which involves intense focus on everything your body is doing while practicing so that no matter the venue, you will be able to perform in a relaxed, comfortable state.
Biography: Originally from Trinidad and now Brooklyn-based, I am a well-traveled performer who has played sold-out shows throughout the US, UK and Europe as a touring member of the band Lewis Del Mar. I have lent my talents to various artists within a plethora of disciplines from live theater accompaniment, to film and TV scores.
From: Washington, D.C.
Few people know that I… love to travel and regularly take solo international trips.
Education: Cleveland Institute of Music (Bachelor of Music); Yale School of Music (Master of Music)
I play and teach: Guitar, ukulele
Biography: Maryam is an award-winning classical guitarist, using her passion for performance and her experience in education to promote guitar in the world of classical music and beyond. She has given performances at diverse venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Cleveland Museum of Art and the U.S. Department of Education. Her experience in education and the public sector includes time working for the Aspen Music Festival & School’s Afterworks program, the nonprofit organization Lead Guitar, the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s Education Program, the Yale University Music in Schools Initiative and the City of New Haven Department of Arts & Culture. In addition, she is a published arranger for guitar, most recently having been commissioned by the Guitar Foundation of America to contribute an arrangement for their Spotlight Series which highlights works by composers of color.
Maryam completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Jason Vieaux and Colin Davin; she received her Master of Music degree studying with Benjamin Verdery at the Yale School of Music. She is originally from the Washington, D.C. metro area and is now living in Brooklyn, New York. Maryam is currently on the faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the Smith School of Music and the Ezra Guitar School.
Guitar, Guitar Friends
Name: Chris Jentsch
From: Cherry Hill, NJ
I started teaching music in…1992
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2002
My inspiration: My wife, Bernadette Jentsch
Few people know that I… used to be a radio DJ
Education: Gettysburg College – B.A. HistoryNew England Conservatory – B.M. Jazz StudiesEastman School of Music – M.M. Jazz StudiesUniversity of Miami – D.M.A. Jazz Composition
I play and teach: guitar
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Jentsch Group (Trio, Quartet, No Net, or Large)
From: Celina, Ohio
I started teaching music in… the 1970s
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2000
My inspiration: boundary pushers, musical and otherwise
Few people know that I… was listed in a top 25 survey of female bassists https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/best-female-bassists/
Education: Ashland University in Ohio – BA in Music TheoryCleveland State University – MA in Musicology
I play and teach: Guitar, Bass, Ukelele (if requested)
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Pere Ubu-bassist; Both Sides Now the music of Joni Mitchell – guitar accompanist; Urban Iguana Productions – my recording/composing studio; Ebow Quartet; Woman of Heart and Mind, a duo that performs the music of Joni Mitchell
Personal Teaching Statement: I am such a big music fan and I love to share what I know, and work with others that are also music lovers. As everyone has different tastes and objectives, I try to uncover each individuals’ musical interests and help bring whatever information is needed to enable them to play what will bring them joy.
Biography: Michele is a guitarist and electric bassist and sometime producer at her project studio Urban Iguana Productions. She is a long time composing, recording and performing member of international/touring recording artists Pere Ubu. In NYC, Michele has played on Broadway, at Lincoln Center, at The Apollo Theatre, the York Theater, Irondale Theater, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, the Fringe Festival, CBGBs, and many other locations. Most recently, Michele and Hannah Reimann, her working partner in Woman of Heart and Mind – a Joni Mitchell retrospective, received a City Artist Corp grant that enabled them to perform at the Village Trip festival in September.
Michele’s Master Thesis was published as the academic monograph, “Middle Eastern Influences on Late Medieval Italian Dances: Origins of the 29987 Istampittas,” which won the Dance Perspective Society’s Jose Rollins de la Torre Buena Prize in Dance Literature for most original new book in 2002.
Michele is a long time music instructor at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. She counts among her former private students multi-Grammy award winning artist Alicia Keys.
Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Beginner Guitar For Adults, Guitar Ensemble
From: Switzerland, Chapel Hill, Brooklyn
I started teaching music in… 1999
My inspiration: Nature
Few people know that I… I’m a good baker
Education:UNC Greensboro – BA in Jazz and Classical Performance
I play and teach: Guitar, banjo, bass, and ukulele
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I’m a member for the surf/punk band The Zolephants; my own project Baby Copperhead with string trio, including: Tom Swafford on violin, Jessica Pavone on viola, and Brent Arnold on cello.
Guitar, Ukulele, Guitar Ensemble
Name: Noel Brennan
From: Calais, Maine
I started teaching music in…2005
My inspiration: Anindo Chatterjee, Flying Lotus, DJ Qbert, DJ D-Styles, Roy Haynes, Eric Harland
Few people know that I… am an Eagle Scout
Education: University Of Southern Maine – Jazz Performance with concentration in Percussion
New York University – Jazz Performance
I play and teach: Drums, DJ and Tturntablism, percussion
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I won the 2017 Keep Skratching contest with Swiftstyle. I also perform with my wife and fellow Conservatory faculty member Patricia Brennan in Antenna and TRYPTIK.
My inspiration: Any and all that intrigue my interest in wanting to understand what I don’t already know.
Few people know that I… was also trained for classical percussion as well.
Education: Peabody ConservatoryBerklee College of Music
I play and teach: Drum set
My or other artistic/musical endeavors: As a freelance musician there is a vast amount of artists I have the opportunity to perform with as well as leading my own groups. Check out my website for detailed info.
My inspiration: Max Roach, Billy Higgins, Philly Joe Jones, Billy James, Grady Tate, Ed Thigpen, Clifford Jarvis, Pat Martino, Don Patterson, Cannonball Adderley, Sam Jones, Trudy Pitts, Kenny Washington, Djavan, Joao Bosco and many, many more.
Education: Escuela de Musica Contemporanea
I play and teach: Drums and Percussion
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I play with my own quintet where we play original arrangements of jazz standards and other genres as well. I also play in two different organ trios where we play soul jazz classics and Latin American music. I also freelance a lot.
Biography: Agustin (Augustine in English ) is an Argentinean born musician residing in Brooklyn, NY. He began playing music (drums) at age 15 and continued his formal education at Escuela de Música Contemporánea (Berklee International Network) in Buenos Aires. He decided to move to the US in 2013 with the intention to study with the living masters of the music called jazz as well as to immerse himself in the vibrant NYC music scene. He has performed at David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, the Airtrain Jazz Festival, Harlem Arts Festival, Showman’s and many other music venues throughout the tri-state area.
He also performs for East Coast Contemporary Ballet and the Fred Astaire Dance Studio.
Jennifer Taylor is a Brooklyn-based event manager, educational administrator, music educator and student. Jennifer attended Elon University before earning a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in Music Education. While Jennifer isn’t a fan of performing music, she is passionate about sharing her love for music and teaching with her students and colleagues.
Jennifer has worked for non-profit community music schools across NYC since 2017, writing unique curricula for students ages 2 to 12. Her favorite things to teach are preschool music and movement and elementary-level ukulele. Jennifer’s journey at BKCM began as a camp counselor then faculty member in the Music Partners program before she began focusing on event staff work. In September 2022, Jennifer joined BKCM’s staff as the first Events and Marketing Associate. Since becoming a full-time member of the team, Jennifer has continued to lend her skills as food and beverage manager for BKCM’s biggest and smallest events, worked alongside fellow faculty members at open houses and recitals as well as leading production of events like World Refugee Day and the Midsummer Night concert series. Jennifer has played a critical role at BKCM’s two annual fundraisers, House Party and Open Stages. At Jennifer’s first House Party, she arrived just in time to serve mystery drinks out of a huge mason jar in the “speakeasy”. Since then, she has managed the various catered spaces, the extensive bar team and helped plan the many eclectic spaces that make the event unique.
When Jennifer isn’t working or practicing violin at the Conservatory, she can be found embarking on a cooking project in her apartment or dancing at a rock concert somewhere in NYC.
phone: 718-622-3300 x257
Events Associate, Early Childhood, Ukulele
From: New York
I started teaching music in… 2010
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 1
My inspiration: Katie Traxler (Music Educator at PS 51)
Few people know that I…really don’t like to eat olives.
Education: NYU English Major/Philosophy Major/Music MinorPace University (Masters in Elementary Education)Hunter College (Masters in Music Composition)
I play and teach: guitar, piano, ukulele, voice
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Singer-Songwriter (solo and full band), Bluegrass Jams all over
From: Bonita Springs, Florida
My inspiration: William Wade
Few people know that I… once took a stand-up comedy class, and it was terrifying
Education: University of South Florida – BA Theater Performance
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I teach Sing for Parkinson’s Disease through Mark Morris Dance Center, perform and work with Gallery Players in Brooklyn, teach and perform with Broadway’s Babies, and am collaborating on a music improv/sketch comedy project with other artists from Magnet Theater.
Musical Theater Workshop
Sing & Play
From: Doylestown, Pennsylvania
I started teaching music in… 2012
Who’s your inspiration, musical or otherwise? Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell
Few people know that I…have synesthesia
Education: BFA Musical Theatre – The Hartt School
I play and teach: Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Voice
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I wrote and produced a solo show called Born MYdentity. I perform for children around the city with Stomp and Shout, and I also present drama workshops on drug and alcohol abuse prevention in middle and high schools with a non-profit theatre company called Improbable Players.
Personal Teaching Statement: Meet each student where they are, and take them where they want to go 🙂
Biography: Mary Jo began taking piano lessons at the age of five: Fun fact— She learned to read music before she learned to read words!
Mary Jo began her teaching career as a children’s performer in 2011, schlepping her guitar and instruments throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. She is now in her fifth year teaching the Early Childhood class Sing and Play onsite here at BKCM, is a music director for the Brooklyn Children’s Theatre, and has a fierce group of private piano students on the side!
As a theatre performer, MJ has presented her original work in Manhattan festivals like United Solo and Emerging Artists Theatre New Works Festival, played leads in several regional Philadelphia musicals, and will be bringing her newest solo show to the Edinburgh Fringe this coming August at Greenside’s Forest Theatre @Infirmary Street. Stay tuned for crowdsourcing solicitations 😉
Mary Jo Verruto Mcbride
From: Sanford, ME
I started teaching music in…1991
My inspiration:Too many to list.
Few people know that I… am an amateur NYC historian.
Education: Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester – Masters of Music in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media (performance emphasis)
University of Southern Maine – Bachelor of Music in Performance
I play and teach: saxophone, clarinet, improvisation, composition, counterpoint, and arranging
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Hanks Roberts Sextet, Stew, Davalois Fearon Dance, Dana Lyn’s Mother Octopus,
Winds, Early Childhood
Name: Amos Kwaku Gabia
I’m from… Ghana
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 2013
My inspiration: Mamady Keita, Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, Babara Bangoura,
Few people know that I… have done shows where I eat fire and perform other tricks with fire.
I play and teach: djembe, dun dun, and other instruments from West Africa
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Salaka Dance Ensemble, African Beat,Telema Ensemble, Drum Cafe, Wasa Pan Africa Orchestra, Riclis Multicultural Entertainment, Akwaba Ensemble.
Flute, Flute Ensemble, Brooklyn Band Academy
Bass, Jazz Lab
I started teaching music in… 20
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 5
My inspiration: too numerous to list
Few people know that I… am a 5-star cook
Education: Yale, BA chemistry, music
I play and teach: violin
My other artistic/musical endeavors: FLUX Quartet, Tom Chiu’s Ensemble Metrix
I’m from… Brooklyn
I started teaching music in…1977
My inspiration:Johann Sebastian Bach
Few people know that I… know too much about computers
Education: The Juilliard School – B.A.The Juilliard School – M.M.
I play and teach: Double bass and chamber music
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Principal Bass, Stamford Symphony; Berkshire Bach Society; Curator and Host of BPL Chamber Players at the Central Branch of the Bklyn Pub Library. Frequent contributor of recordings to Performance Today.
Name: Joy Askew
From: North of England (originally) Brooklyn lately
My inspiration: Brad Mehldau, Bonnie Raitt, Miles Davis, Russell Brand.
Few people know that I… co-wrote 2 songs with Quincy Jones
Education: Newcastle College of Jazz & commercial Music (Diploma)
I play and teach: Voice, piano.
My other artistic/musical endeavors: My own band both brass and rock. The Sirens of Brooklyn.
Songwriting, Vocal Class
From: Berkeley, CA
I started teaching music in… 1974
My inspiration: Cecil Taylor, Roscoe Mitchell, Lamine Konte
Few people know that I… not sure what people know?
Education: Creative Music Studio ’77
I play and teach: Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Piano, Electric Bass, Drums, Percussion
My other artistic/musical endeavors: New York Hieroglyphics (leader/composer/sax/keys)Sparkler (leader/composer/sax/keys/vocals)Peter Apfelbaum/Marcus Rojas/Cyro Baptista Trio (sax/keys/percussion/flute)Revelator with Bill Laswell (sax/keys/percussion/flute)Bill Laswell & Method Of Defiance (sax/keys/percussion/flute)Dafnis Prieto Quartet & Sextet (saxes/melodica/percussion)Dafnis Prieto Big Band (saxes/melodica/percussion)Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra (saxes)CMS Legacy Ensemble (sax/flute)Sana Nagano & Smashing Humans (sax)Omar Sosa Afreecanos Quartet (saxes/flute/percussion)MIchael McGinnis Quartet (organ/piano)Peter Apfelbaum/Josh Jones Duo (keys/sax)Alma Matters (Musical Director/keys/sax)Kamikaze Ground Crew (composer/saxes/clarinet)Creative Music Foundation (Artistic Director/Clinician)
Biography: Berkeley, California-born and based in New York City since 1998, saxophonist/pianist/drummer and composer Peter Apfelbaum is best known as leader of the genre-mashing big band, Hieroglyphics, which he formed while still in high school in 1977. The ensemble, which began to attract international attention in the 1980’s for its unique fusing of elements of world music with the aesthetics of the jazz avant-garde, received a Grammy nomination in 1991 for the album “Signs Of Life” (Antilles) and helped launch the careers of fellow Berkeleyans Joshua Redman, Benny Green, Craig Handy and Steven Bernstein, among others. The current version of the ensemble, now in its 43rd year and known as New York Hieroglyphics, released “It Is Written” in 2005 and toured an extended work, “Aural Histories” (commissioned by Chamber Music America), throughout the U.S. in 2008-2009.
An influential figure in new jazz for over three decades, Apfelbaum has worked with some of the leading figures in contemporary music, including the late Don Cherry (whose group, Multikulti, Apfelbaum was Musical Director of from 1989-1995), Cecil Taylor, Harry Belafonte, Omar Sosa, Bill Laswell and Phish. He has been commissioned by the Kronos Quartet and the National Swedish Radio Orchestra, among others. In 2013 he formed Sparkler, an electronica-based, vocal-driven sextet, which released its debut EP, “I Colored It In For You,” on Laswell’s MOD Technologies label in 2015 and premiered the commissioned work “The Ambidextrous Nature Of The Universe” at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2016.
He currently performs with Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra and Dafnis Prieto’s Sextet. In 2017, Apfelbaum was named an Artistic Director of Creative Music Foundation, an organization dedicated to offering workshops by improvising musicians from diverse backgrounds. CMJ New Music Report has called Apfelbaum “A visionary, galvanic composer like few others of his time.”
Big Bad Brass Band, Jazz Instrumental Lab
From: Denver, CO
My inspiration: Beáta Salomon, an amazing fiddler and teacher of Hungarian folk music.
Few people know that I… Love houseplants!
Education: University of Michigan, B.M. in violin performance and music educationIthaca College, M.M. in music education
I play and teach: Mainly violin, although I use ukulele, recorder, euphonium, brácsa and bass to teach
My other artistic/musical endeavors: I’m a founder of Tsibele, a 5-person klezmer band as well as Farnakht, a violin/accordion duo focused on Eastern European music.
I’m from… Storrs, CT
I started teaching music in… 1980
My inspiration: Willa Cather, Wassily Kandinsky, Martha Graham, Duke Ellington, Caroline Shaw/Roomful of Teeth, Stephen Sondheim
Few people know that I… love soccer, still love playing.
Education: Yale, B.A. in music
I play and teach: Piano, arranging for voices
My other artistic/musical endeavors: writing a music theater piece with collaborators
Brooklyn Harmonics Teens, Tweens, Twenty+
From: Los Angeles, CA
I started teaching music in…1999
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… Just starting this September
My inspiration: Former voice teacher, Naomi Farr
Few people know that I… Have a Scuba certification and went diving with sharks in Palau
Education: University of California, Irvine, BA in English, Manhattan School of Music, MM in Voice, Rutgers University, DMA in Choral Conducting
I play and teach: Choral Conductor, Voice, Piano
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Conductor for the National Children’s Chorus and Music Director at St. Saviour Church, Brooklyn. Just finishing composing the score for the feature film, When the Moon Was Twice as Big.
Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale Director
I’m from… Lueneburg, Germany
My inspiration: Wayne Shorter, my friends, my colleagues
Few people know that I… used to be very good at rhythmic sports gymnastics
Education: Jazz Institute Berlin, Jazz Education & Performance; New York University, Master’s in Jazz Performance
I play and teach: Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet
My other artistic/musical endeavors: Wood River, Lisbeth Quartett, Asterids, Marta Sanchez Room Tales, Duo w/ Simon Jermyn, Anna Webber/Angela Morris BigBand, Matt Pavolka’s Horns Band, The Choir Invisible, Sooner
Biography: Charlotte Greve is a Brooklyn-based alto saxophonist, composer, and singer originally from Germany. She has released eight albums as a leader, two of which received the ECHO Jazz Prize (the German equivalent of a GRAMMY).
Charlotte’s Brooklyn-based indie-pop influenced band Wood River released their Debut LP in 2015 and released their second full length album “More Than I Can See” on Yellowbird Records in 2020. Her large-scale multi genre piece “Sediments We Move” was released on New Amsterdam and Figureight Records in October 2021 and received significant attention:
“Best 25 classical tracks of 2021” – The New York Times“Greve is definitely her own artist, and the blend of approaches here manages to surprise while also feeling carefully thought through … Greve displays a tight focus on arrangement and composition, with all the aesthetics at her disposal.” – The New York Times, 5 Classical Albums to Hear Right Now“A stirring composite of choral hymns, progressive rock, and free jazz … rich in detail, but never overwrought. Instead … a fluid cycle of matter as sound: building, dissipating, and crystalizing once again.” – Pitchfork, 7.5
Further projects in New York include the trio The Choir Invisible and the ambient duo Sooner. As a side-woman, Charlotte continues to collaborate with different artists such as Chris Morrissey, Marta Sanchez and Vinnie Sperrazza.
Charlotte has received several awards for her work, including the 2012 and 2018 Echo Jazz, the 2010 JazzBaltica Award and the 2008 Praetorius-Musikpreis.
Since 2010 Charlotte has been touring with her own projects in the US, Europe and South Asia and has played at several major jazz and pop festivals such as Jazz Baltica, Jazzfest Berlin, Haldern Pop and Jazzfest Kolkata.
Born in 1988, Greve began playing classical flute at the age of eight and picked up the saxophone at age the age of sixteen. She received her undergraduate degree at the Jazz Institute Berlin in 2012. The same year, she moved to New York City to pursue a graduate degree at NYU Steinhardt.
I started teaching at the Conservatory in… 1999
My inspiration: Duke Ellington
Few people know that I… play in a metal band!
Education: Virginia Commonwealth University – Bachelor of Music
I play and teach: guitar, bass, composition, theory
My other artistic/musical endeavors: The Four Bags and my own trio called SUN TIGER
Guitar, Ukulele, Recorder
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