A distinguished faculty of renowned musicians and music educators leads all instruction, imparting practical knowledge and skills gained in the studio and on the bandstand. Our teachers have performed and recorded with a truly mind-boggling array of jazz, blues, R&B, pop and world music legends including those listed here and many others.
Joe Bagale (drums)
Eastman School of Music (1.5 years) currently lead vocalist, keyboardist, guitarist with Mickey Hart Band. Leads Joe Bagale band, performs with Jazz Mafia, Hot Einstein, Disappear Incompletely.
Rob Ewing (trombone)
Jazzschool Community Music School Director. Jazzschool Summer Youth Program Director. B.A., Naropa U.; 2 years, Berklee College of Music. Leader of Disappear Incompletely — The Radiohead Project. Performances with STS9, Marcus Shelby Orchestra, Vinny Golia, Latin Giants of Jazz, Ray Vega, Wayne Wallace, Graham Connah, Joe Bagale, The Barr Brothers, Les Gwan Jupons, John Schott’s Typical Orchestra, Jazz Mafia Symphony, Oakland Active Orchestra, Half of Half, Leslie Helpert, Rebecca Griffin, Naytronix.
Kyra Gordon (voice)
B.Mus. (in progress) Jazzschool Institute. Vocalist/keyboardist with hip-hop collective The Freeze. Performed on the soundtrack for the feature film, Owned.
Dave Gregoric (trombone)
Recorded with Pete Escovedo, Andy Narrel, Buddy Montgomery, Cab Calloway, Della Reese, and Ray Brown, among many others. An instructor for 16 years at Valley Christian Schools in San Jose, CA, Mr. Gregoric’s groups have received acclaim in many jazz competitions, including Reno, Monterey’s Next Generation, Folsom, San Jose, and Campana jazz festivals. Studied at Cal State Long Beach, the L.A. Jazz Workshop and graduated from William Jessup University with a B.S. in Theology with a minor in Jazz Performance.
Erik Jekabson (trumpet)
M.A. in Composition, SF Conservatory of Music; B. Mus. in Trumpet, Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Toured with John Mayer, Illinois Jacquet and Galactic, and has composed for film and dance projects. Released several albums as a leader. Currently teaches at Berkeley City College and Los Medanos College.
Ellen Johnson (voice)
M.M. in Vocal Performance, SDSU. B.Mus. in Vocal Performance, American Conservatory of Music, Ph.D studies/Expressive Arts, UHS, UCLA Extension/music business, acting Northwestern University. Chicago Actors Center. Performed, recorded or studied with Sheila Jordan, Bobby McFerrin, Charles McPherson, Louie Bellson, Pete Christlieb, Roy McCurdy, Billy Drummond, Larry Koonse, John Stowell, Cameron Brown, Hugh Martin. Willie Pickens, John Clayton, Jay Clayton, Gene Aiken, Marni Nixon and Rick Helzer. Faculty at USD, CalPoly University Pomona, Old Globe Theatre’s MFA.
Keith Johnson (trumpet)
M.M. in Music Education, CSU East Bay, B.A. in Trumpet and Music Education, San Jose State U. Founder and Director of the award-winning Jazzschool Studio Bands; Director of Bands at El Cerrito High School; Groups under his direction have won multiple awards including Downbeat Magazine’s Outstanding Large Ensemble Award and first place at the Next Generation Festival. His groups have performed at multiple jazz venues and festivals around the world.
Kasey Knudsen (saxophone)
B.A. Berklee, faculty member at Sonoma State U., Stanford Jazz Workshop, Lafayette Summer Music Jazz Workshop. Performs with her own sextet, The Holly Martins, The Knudsen-Arkin-Coleman Trio, has toured the world with Tune-Yards and can be seen performing with such bay area luminaries as Ben Goldberg, Fred Frith, Graham Connah, Adam Shulman, Ian Carey and more.
Wayne Wallace (trombone)
National and international performing artist, composer, arranger, educator; faculty, San Francisco State U., Stanford Jazz Workshop, San Jose State U., UC Berkeley, Jazz Camp West; grants, N.E.A., Zellerbach Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, Creative Work Fund; recording artist, producer, arranger for Angela Bofill, Celine Dion, Con Funk Shun, Pete Escovedo, Chris Isaak, Santana, Sister Sledge; performed with George Duke, Joe Henderson Big Band, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Bobby Hutcherson, Irakere, Dr. John, Eartha Kitt, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Tito Puente, John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, Sonny Rollins, The Temptations, James Taylor, McCoy Tyner Big Band, Los Van Van, Tony Williams, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Winwood and Stevie Wonder.
Mike Zilber (saxophone)
Ph.D. in Composition, NYU; M.M. in Composition, Tufts U.; B.Mus. in Composition, New England Conservatory. Currently co-leads a quartet with guitar great John Stowell, and is completing a recording project in New York with Mike Clark, James Genus and Rachel Z. Co-led a group with drumming legend Steve Smith for 8 years. Has performed, toured or recorded with everyone from Dave Liebman to Dizzy Gillespie, including Miroslav Vitous, Bob Berg, Eddie Henderson, Fareed Haque, Geoffrey Keezer, Donald Harrison, John Handy, Dave Douglas, Barry Finnerty, Bruce Barth, and Clarence Penn.