Meet Our Instructors
We have a large roster of multi-talented instructors. Let us know what you’re looking for and we will pair you with the right teacher.
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Over the past decade, Michael has managed to balance a busy schedule of teaching private lessons, creating an after school program called GrooveLab, and performing within the local music scene. Michael has had the pleasure of performing on stage with his favorite musicians at historic venues such as The Great American Music Hall, Fox Theater, The Independent, The New Parish, The Chapel, Elbo Room, Slim’s, Boom Boom Room, Fillmore Jazz Festival, The UC Theatre, Sweetwater Music Hall, Ashkenaz, and the Rickshaw Stop.
As a performer, Michael has toured with the Grammy-winning artist Jody Watley and has opened for such legends as Bernie Worrell, George Clinton, and Leo Nocentelli. Michael is a long-time member of the 12-piece Oakland-based band Strike Iron and the Bay Area funk powerhouse, Kuckaw!. Michael’s commitment to musical versatility has allowed for diverse musical opportunities in a variety of styles from gospel music at church, funk and jazz at local clubs, summer festivals throughout California, and to corporate/wedding gigs throughout the Bay Area.
Weber became enthralled with the African roots of percussion and began intensive studies of the music of Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, and Cuba. After university, he began playing with Los Rumberos De Montana, an afro–cuban drum and dance group. He travelled with this group to Havana, Cuba and played at the famous Callejon De Hamel with the group Clave Y Guaguanco. While in Cuba, he learned congas, timbale, bongo, cajon, and the rhythms of the sacred Bata drums.
Jesse helped found The First Day Project, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing music and dance to the masses. Jesse has been studying, teaching, performing, and living music, in San Francisco since 2002. He has shared the stage with Bay Area’s superstars including Sandy Perez, Carlos Aldama, Jose Francisco Barroso, Chris “Flaco” Walker, Michael Spiro, Jesus Diaz, Colin Douglass, Matt Lucas, Javier Navarette, Carlitos Medrano, Patricio Arguello, and Toby Ghaster. Jesse is currently pursuing several musical projects covering a wide variety of musical styles.
CelloJoe records live on stage with a loop pedal and produces intricate tapestries of harmony, melody, and rhythm.
His beatboxing (vocal percussion) and funky cello grooves form a rich soundscape for intelligent lyrics and his music spreads love, joy, laughter and conscious vibrations. By beatboxing, throat singing, singing, plucking and bowing the cello, CelloJoe can mimic many styles of music from dubstep to folk to rock to classical to hip hop. CelloJoe is the world’s first long distance musical bike touring cellist. He has ridden his bike over 10,000 miles in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia.
A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston and currently accepting students in the east bay for cello, piano, guitar, beatboxing, and live looping lessons, Cello Joe is well trained in theory, classical piano and cello, and improvisation. His specialty is teaching improvisation.
Cello Joe is patient and has a relaxed attitude toward teaching with an emphasis on a balance between having fun while learning and developing the methodology of practice and discipline. Lessons are taught at Soul Graffiti Studios.
Through performances and lessons, he is able to convey his teachings to others in an easy and unique manner. Each lesson is intended to directly communicate with the passion and inspiration of the student, inspiring to learn theory and classical techniques through a fun and engaging environment.
Connecting with our deeper nature and the nature around us has been a constant theme in Heather’s activism to protect and preserve the wildness within and around us. Rolling rhythms of fingerpicking on the banjo, mandolin or guitar drive the melody and message of her music, which is delivers with a timeless, soulful voice.
He has spent years performing Balkan folk music with La Peche, Broken Shadows, and Incognito Express.
As an arts administrator, he served for a year as the Director of Performance Programming at the Red Poppy Art House, and currently directs the Diablo Jazz Company in public and private events.
Alex was the orchestra guitarist for the 2013 production of Les Miserables by Tahoe Players in the Reno/Tahoe area. He spent 2014 as the touring guitarist for L.A. based singer-songwriter, Jessica Fichot and performed at the 2014 Francofolies festival in Montreal with her band.
Alex moved to the bay area in 2013 and became a regular sub in many gypsy jazz bands and founded the Alex Hand Band, an acoustic quartet. “Gettin’ Cattywampus with the Alex Hand Band,” an EP of original gypsy jazz, was recorded on tour in 2015 and released later that year.
Alex recently travelled to the Balkans to study Bulgarian and Romanian music. The Alex Hand Band, now an electric folk/jazz/funk quartet with drums, performs these styles regularly in the Bay Area. He also performs as a solo acoustic guitarist playing classic repertoire and instrumental adaptations of folk and pop songs for private events and is available for private lessons and session work.