MASTERCLASSES: A History
Over the years we have invited professional musicians/educators to bring their expertise to our students. Please click on the buttons to go to websites, Youtube, etc.
Eva Simontacchi is an Italian singer/educator who ran a vocal workshop for our students in March 2012. She is a member of A.I.C.I. (Italian Voice teachers Association) which is a member of E.V.T.A. (European Voice Teachers Association). A.I.C.I. is also a member of I.C.V.T. (International Congress of Voice Teachers).
She is, at present, Head of the Voice Courses and vocal technique instructor at the Accademia Vivaldi in Bollate, Milano.
She has an extensive body of work which can be seen on her website by clicking the link button with her name on it above her album cover.
Angela Baggi is an Italian jazz vocalist who also brought her experience to the Vocal Masterclass we hosted in March 2012.
She has collaborated with leading Italian jazz artists such as Alfredo Golino, Patrick Fariselli (Area), Antonio Faraò, Christian Meyer, Demo Morselli, Massimo Colombo, Paolino Dalla Porta, Mario Rusca and Gianni Basso.
She has toured extensively with artists such as Ron, Giorgia, Fausto Leali, Matia Bazar, Loredana Berte, Gloria Gaynor, Anthony Lee Roy Johnson, Miguel Bosé and Gemini.
Angela has had numerous television appearances over the years and is also known for the many advertising jingles she sings in Italy.
You can find out more about her extensive body of work by clicking the button with her name.
Michele Piemontese is a professional drummer, percussionist and teacher from Milan, who gave our students a drumming and percussion workshop. Check out the link to the class by pressing the button above.
Richard Bornman also known as The Funky Professor, has a masters degree in music from the Sydney Conservatorium and teaches at the Australian Institute of Music.
His Fusion infused guitar leads and soulful licks, combined with awesome harmony vocals are amazing.
Richard has been playing live since 1985 in a wide variety of genres.
His credits include:
Theatre : Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, Me and My Girl, Carpenters, Rocky
Jazz : Played with most well-known Sydney jazz musicans.
Cover Bands/Duos: Many Rock/pop cover bands, duo’s and solo gigs
Patrick Kunka is a drummer, composer and bandleader from Scotland currently based in Manhattan, New York City.
After auditioning for and being awarded a scholarship at theage of 18, Patrick attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music from 2006-2009, and graduated Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors) having gained several performance and achievement awards and the highest possible instrumental ratings given by the college.
In 2009, Patrick was accepted with scholarship for graduate study in Jazz Performance at Boston’s prestigious New England Conservatory, which he graduated from in 2011 with Academic Honours.
While at NEC, Patrick held the drum-chair in the NEC Jazz Orchestra for two consecutive years.
He visited us in 2009, running a workshop and giving a performance to our students.
Leah Gough-Cooper won an international scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, graduating in 2009. She then received a scholarship for a two year Masters in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston.
In 2007 Leah was a finalist at the BBC Radio Scotland Young Jazz Musician of the Year and the only girl in the whole competition. Placed a very close second, the judges awarded Leah a special commendation, and impressed reviewers.
She currently leads her own group, Human Equivalent, and participates in various projects in New York, NY.
Martin Nessi is a Producer, Mixer/Engineer and Arranger. Has worked with Ricky Martin, Faith Evans, Jorge Drexler, Alex Campos, Desmond Child, Spike Lee, etc.
He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a Dual Major in Music Production and Engineering and Contemporary Writing. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and was the recipient of the McDSP Award from the Music Production and Engineering Department, as well as obtaining a partial scholarship through the World Scholarship Tour. He was also the recipient of the BAS Scholarship during his time at Berklee.
Martin was one of a handful of student arrangers working for the YO Team on the Berklee produced shows. He also arranged for shows honoring Grammy award winning artists like Juan Luis Guerra, Smokey Robinson, Paco de Lucia, Linda Ronstadt, Gamble and Huff, Kenny Barron and Angelique Kidjo, just to name a few.
He has participated as an engineer on two important albums at the last Latin Grammys, the Ricky Martin album MAS, nominated for Record of the Year with “The Best Thing About Me Is You” and the album “Lenguaje de Amor” by Alex Campos, winner in the Best Christian Album Category. He has engineered/mixed/arranged or produced on six independent albums in the past year and has also worked with other Grammy winning professionals Desmond Child, Claudia Brant and Jorge Drexler, just to name a few.
Unnur Sara Eldjárn
Unnur is an innovative singer/songwriter.
She is a storyteller with a clear enchanting voice and honest, tasteful guitar accompaniments.
She exudes a fresh and quirky character through her music with a distinctive Icelandic flavour - drawing strong influences from folk, to theatrical classical pop, to jazz.
She captivates her audience with an assured, professional performance.
Old soul Katie J White is a young Australian singer, bass player, song writer and inspirer.
She leads her original rock based, funk, soul and world music super group. A heavy rhythmic sound, driven by Katie J's extraordinary bass playing & powerful vocals.
"My music is a direct reflection of who I am, passionate, honest, down to earth and bursting with feminine power."
Katie is now based in London and is playing at UK festivals and top London venues including Ronnie Scott's, Passing Clouds and Proud Camden with her new band of up and coming stars from around the world.
"Katie J White has that raw passion and emotional honesty which we all crave in an age filled with plastic and 'fluff'. Her performance was energy driven, great arrangements, fantastic band and always communicating her unique original music and feelings with a dance frenzied audience" — Peter Keelan, International music festival coordinator.
"....sinewy bass lines with just the right amount of embellishments ! You're a great bass player Katie, a really great one ! The album is a very worthy offering from an emerging powerful force to be reckoned with in the new musical landscape of world music today!" - Lez Karski, Australian producer (ACDC, Midnight Oil)
Katie has supported and performed with many Australian and international acts includingThe Soul Rebels (USA)The Waifs, Grace, Barbe Mama, Kin, Rob Hurst (Midnight Oil)
Ali and the tiger horse are equally at home playing funk to folk, campfire to dance floor, drinking songs or love songs.: singer/songwriter Ali is a charismatic Funk & Folk crossover between art and riot. Alex, a freelance bass player, is part of the trio that is Ali and the tiger horse. Travelers can happen upon the strangest things. Daring Adventure, unexpected friendships or love: this is the essence of the songs of "Ali and the tiger horse".
The Singer/Songwriter Alina Möllmann's musical roots began in her hometown Wetter (Ruhr) where she was involved in various gospel choirs. Finally, through her love of funk and soul music she established the cover band "Ashtray". Whilst touring, a desire to stand on the big stage with her own songs was kindled.
On their subsequent travels through Australia, Greece, Central America and many other countries, she experienced countless impressions, emotions and stories which inspired her to write a wide range of material for "Ali and the tiger horse".
In 2010 she released her debut album "ten stripes".
Bryan comes from Liège in Belgium. At the age of ten, he started playing drums at primary school with Frederic Dessard who played with the famous Micheal Jones (Jean-Jacques Goldman).
In 2006, everything changed… He had always been in love with the bass guitar, that at the time wasn't the most popular instrument to play. He spent three years being taught by Alain Rinallo (Wendy Nazaré, Benjamin Schoos, Jean-François Maljean, Christophe Maroye).
He began to explore a variety of musical genres, and developed, in particular, an interest in Pop, R’n’B, Jazz and Experimental music.
In the same year, Bryan formed a rock and progressive band called 'Today' with some friends, performing locally and they produced two EPs (« Your Soul » co-production with Studio 5 and « Time R(e)volution » in full autoproduction).
With the completion of this project Bryan became a freelancer, adding Blues, Funk, 70’s Rock, Electronic music and Dubstep to his repertoire. During this period he was also stage manager for Wendy Nazaré.
Since 2010 Bryan has been the bass player and arranger for the Belgian pop’n’blues band 'Maybelline'. They have performed all over the country, recorded live, broadcast and on radio.
He has recently join the line-up for Aprile (with Patrick Schouters on drums), a talented young Belgian singer who has played in well-known festivals such as Francofolies de Spa, Bel’zik Festival, Fiesta City and more.
Bryan is composing for Lula Bay, an ambiant pop, folk project.
He has also recently began performing as a session musician for various artists.
Bryan enjoys teaching and has developed his own YouTube channel where he shares tips, advice, covers and technique for bass players ! themselves in the Belgian music scene.
Bryan is also an endorser for Ramsay Musical Instruments and studies Communications at university.
Christian Bourdon and Andre Nkouaga: Cameroonian Musicians
Nana Ntiamoah is co-founder of Society Dance (see there website on the link below). He has a tremendous amount of experience in dance and as a musician / vocalist.
Having worked with young people for many years, he is an inspiration teacher.
The video on the left is a showreel of his work. The video on the right shows his masterclass with Groove Academy. It was a huge it with our young people.