Steven Gizzi                                         

Steven Gizzi 1

Steven Gizzi is dedicated to two passions in life – the art of musical creation, and the joy of kindling that spark in others. He is a Los Angeles-based composer, producer, performer, and educator who has focused his professional career on writing music for film, television, and video games. His goal as a musician is to weave together richly crafted webs of transformative emotion and immerse the listener within an authentic storytelling experience like no other.
 
Steven began his lifelong musical journey fourteen years ago as a classical pianist. In 2007, he became a founding member of the Richmond School of Rock in Virginia, where he helped to bring other students’ musical dreams to life through energetic band rehearsals and public rock concerts. He spent four years at the University of Miami studying under Academy Award-nominated composer Chris Boardman, and graduated in May 2015 with a degree in Media Writing & Production and a double minor in Music Business and Creative American Music.
 
In the summer of 2013, Steven composed the score for “Gwyndor”, a short film directed by David Crabtree (“Psych”, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”). The film has gone on to receive high praise, winning the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 HollyShorts Film Festival. He is currently working under BMI TV Music Award recipient Jay Vincent as an additional composer and music editor for the much-loved Cartoon Network show “LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu”, and has also contributed music to the upcoming sci-fi film directed by Rajeev Dassani (“Covert Affairs”, “Scandal”). In March 2014, he released his debut album as a solo artist, entitled “The Terrestrial Orchestra”. It was a project of passion in which he attempted to harness the fundamental elements of nature to create a musical journey like no other. His most recent project involved collaborating with colleague David Krystal on an original soundtrack for “Catalyst” – a puzzle game app available for iPhone and Android.
 
As an educator, Steven recognizes the tremendous power of self-expression through music, and works diligently with all of his students to develop their own unique musical journey. He strives to pass on to each student a universal set of skills that will allow them to adapt to any style of music. He is always on the lookout to work with new students who share his passion!

Carla Buffa

 

 

 

CArla

Carla attended the Berklee College of Music and finished at The New England Conservatory of Music. She studied composition with jazz great George Russell and contemporary composer William Thomas McKinley. Carla was elected as a member into the Pi Kappa Lambda Society. She graduated with academic honors and a degree in music.

 

Carla was the vocalist, songwriter, lyricist, & lead guitarist for Earthwurm.  Earthwurm recorded 2 independently released studio CD’s, Sex & Anxiety & Blank The Same. “I Wait For You”  a track off “Blank the Same”,was chosen to be featured on a compilation called “Octaves Beyond Silence” featuring Ani DiFranco, Sarah Mclachlan & The Indigo Girls.

 

For 3 years Carla played the Chappman Stick for the off-broadway sensation, The Blue Man Group.  She was the 1st  female band member of the NYC show and the  2nd female in the entire company.

 

Carla has performed & toured as a lead vocalist and a back ground vocalist for many artists, such as: Danny Vaughn (Tyketto/Vaughn), The Party Dolls, Richie Canatta ( Billy Joel), Allison Miller (Annie DiFranco, Natalie Merchant & Brandi Carlile), Sheryl Bailey, Lucy Arnez, The Newyorkettes and many Vegas style tribute acts.

 

Carla still takes an occasional lesson and her teacher is the private vocal coach for Arianna Grande, Megan Trainer and many Broadway artists.

 

Carla and her husband PJ are the writing team known as “The Alphabet Astronauts” and they write music for TV, Film and original artists.

 

Jaki NelsonIMG_0965

Click to hear Jaki’s music

Jaki Nelson was born to an entertainment family. She began learning piano at the age of 8 and has continued her study of the instrument to this day. She has taken vocal lessons from the best, including Rosemary Butler, Monica Margolis, Alexis Lopez, and Hannah Ferber. She began her recording career at the age of 17 with a song she engineered herself, titled “Take My Hand” that went worldwide, debuting on BBC radio, and getting picked up by Mau5Trap Records, a partner of Capitol Records. Jaki has begun her teaching career at Monster Music Lessons and looks forward to taking on new students to help them explore their creative instrumental and vocal abilities.

 

Coco York

Beginning and Intermediate Classical Piano

Coco York has performed for President and Mrs. Bill Clinton twice, royalty, dignitaries, State Departments around the world, members of the Dutch Government and she has also authored a book: Simple Vocal Technique with Inner Engineering. Hailing from Strong, Arkansas, USA, where she was born, Coco has made her way to New Orleans, Australia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Asia, Africa, Europe, leaving her mark in music across the globe.

CoCo has shared the stage with artist such as McCoy Tyner, Dianne reeves, Tanya Marie, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Toots Thielemans, and many others. She has appeared in theaters, recorded, and has extensive television and radio experience from around the world.

Born Guinevere Henry and nicknamed CoCo because of her penchant for drinking hot chocolate, she earned a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree in Music from Southern University in Louisiana. She studied Opera with Matiwilda Dobbs then subsequently returned to Southern University to continue her education. She has since earned a Masters Degree in Psychology and a Masters Certificate in Music Therapy.

Coco has worked as a Music Therapist at Links High School in Montreal, QB with developmentally challenged children, as well as in geriatrics at the St. Andrews Long Term Care Facility (also in Montreal, QB) with adults who suffered from autism, Parkinson’s, stroke and other ailments. Additionally, Coco has served as a Substitute Teacher at a number of schools in the LA County, has taught Master Classes all over the world, and has held permanent positions at both the Aboriginal School of the Arts in Sydney, Australia and the prestigious Rotterdam Conservatory of Music in The Netherlands.

When asked about her teaching style, Coco responds: “My teaching style is extremely simple: I always meet a client where they are. I assess to find out what their individual needs are and join them there.”

Coco is available for private beginning/intermediate piano lessons on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays.

 

Derek Buechel

Jazz and Rock Piano

Click here to watch an acoustic performance of Derek w/ his bank “Hey You!”

Click here to watch Derek perform w/ his band at The Viper Room

Derek John Buechel is an honors graduate of Columbia College in Chicago where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree. While attending Columbia, Derek based his studies in the jazz and rock/fusion guitar idiom, and had private lessons with Chicago greats Frank Dawson and Peter Lerner. Through his studies and training, Derek attained a solid foundation in all aspects of music including composition, theory, technique, production, sight-reading, and ear training. While at Columbia, Derek was surrounded by many of the businesses’ finest musicians including blues greats Koko Taylor and Fernando Jones, jazz greats Pat Martino, Jon Faddis, and John Pizzarelli, and funk legend Fred Wesley.

While maintaining a solid rock n’ roll foundation, Derek’s style is described as an eclectic mix of jazz, rock, blues, funk, and psychedelia. Part of the reason for his unique style is his involvement in a number of different musical outfits. Derek was a member of almost every different ensemble Columbia had to offer including Jazz Guitar, Blues Ensemble, Pop Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, and Groove Band. He was also very involved in Chicago’s theatre and comedy scene, working as Music Director for a production based out of Chicago’s legendary 2nd City and also playing lead guitar for the Apollo Theatre’s Baby Wants Candy, the most popular improv-comedy sketch in Chicago.

Since moving to Los Angeles in late 2008, Derek has built a solid musical foundation for himself through teaching lessons, and his rock band, Hey You!. Hey You! has been lighting up Hollywood, constantly playing some of L.A.’s best venues such as the House of Blues, Key Club, Viper Room, and the Troubadour, and has even won a couple of awards along the way (RAW Artist Musician of the Year, Project Rock Warrior winners). The band happened to catch the ear of Producer/Engineer Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses, Heart, Metallica), and is currently in the studio recording their debut album with him.

While performing with Hey You!, Derek has still kept his love for teaching alive. He has received much praise for his teaching of all age groups, but specifically with children. He has been involved with childcare and education since high school, and this can be seen in his teaching style with kids. Some of his students have even given him the nickname “Happy”.

 

Andreas Farmakalidis

Classical and Pop Piano

Check out more media and info on Andreas’ Website!

Andreas Farmakalidis is a professional performing musician, published musical author as well as educator with national as well as international touring experience.

He is primarily known as an electric bass player. He was fortunate enough to record with notable musicians such as Grammy award winning guitar player Marty Friedman,Megadeth, aika (J-pop top10), Neilaproductions, among others. In addition, he supported many well known artists and he has shared the stage with the likes of Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, WAR, Greek x factor and super idol artists among many others.

He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music as well as a MA degree from Brandeis University . In addition, Andreas is a Rotterdams Conservatory alumnus, where he was studying Jazz bass Performance as well as Music Pedagogy. Moreover, he has a performance grade degree in piano from Trinity College in the UK.

Lastly Andreas is a staff writer for the renowned bass magazine. His First music book, which is published through academic publishing, focuses on observations and analyses in the music of Ornette Coleman. His second book (hip hop bass lines), which is going to be published through bassline publishing, will be out early 2012.

Andreas is available for private lessons on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

 

 

Alexis Stone Lopez

Beginning Piano & Piano for Vocal Accompaniment

Click here to watch Alexis compete on American Idol!

Alexis was born in August 1984 in Modesto, CA. She attended Woodrow Elementary, Somerset Middle School, and Fred C. Beyer High School.

Shortly before graduation from high school, she decided to audition for the first season of American Idol. So, at 17, she skipped school just before finals to drive more than 300 miles alone to Los Angeles for a 40-second audition. Although competing with more than 10,000 Idol-hopefuls, she made it all the way to the final Wildcard competition, before leaving the show.

After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music interests. She attended Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA, where she studied Linguistics and Music, and then went on to earn a full scholarship to the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA.

Alexis has been working in recording studios since she was 14 years old, not only as an artist and studio vocalist, but also as a recording engineer and a producer. Although her primary focus has been on her education, she has also managed to tour with several major acts at venues including MGM Grand, Cal Expo, Universal Amphitheater, and other major locations across the U.S.

She is currently back in the studio full time, working to complete a volume of songs, to draw from for her upcoming album.

Alexis has limited availability for Private Lessons