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.
Dave Eshelman (trombone)
From 1984 to 2007, Dave Eshelman served as Director of Jazz Studies at California State University, East Bay (formerly Cal State Hayward). Eshelman has performed extensively with many jazz groups in the Bay Area and has worked as a featured soloist in the big bands of Ray Brown, Joe Henderson, Tito Puente and Gerald Wilson. Various artists across the United States and Europe — such as Joe Henderson, Don Ellis, Bill Watrous, and Stan Kenton, the Swedish Radio Orchestra and the Airmen of Note — have performed his compositions and arrangements.
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.
Kenneth Helman (voice)
BM Piano Performance, Peabody Conservatory. Post grad fellowship Manhattan School of Music, accompanying program. The Juilliard School, post grad fellowship, American Opera Center. Westminster Choir College, Advanced Voice Pedagogy. Tanglewood Festival Vocal Fellowship. Has maintained teaching studios for 35 years. As a performer, has appeared as singer/pianist in numerous venues, including Carnegie Hall, The Town Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, et al. Has worked extensively with Sting in numerous projects, including stage and recording. kenhelman.com
Colin Hogan (piano)
B.A. Cal State East Bay. Performances with James Moody, Peter Erskine, Bob Brookmeyer, Roy Ayers, Maria Schneider and hip hop luminaries such as Too $hort, DJ QBert, Dan the Automator, and Lyrics Born. Performed with electric bass revolutionary Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone at the 2004 California Music Awards. Pianist and featured soloist on accordion with the Tommy Igoe Big Band in its first-ever weekly residency at Yoshi’s San Francisco. Currently involved in various projects including hip hop/R&B group Dynamic, jazz/ groove/experimental collective the Jazz Mafia, international cafe music group Trio Zincalo and jazz/funk/fusion band The Hogan Bros., with brothers Steve and Julian.
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.
Sista Kee (piano)
Pianist, songwriter, composer, vocalist, producer, and teacher. Over 18 years teaching private piano lessons, ensembles, theory, improvisation, and songwriting. Instruction to beginning and advanced, for children and adults. Alumni students include Ambrose Akinmusire and Justin Brown. Professional career began at age 16 as the pianist and musical director for the Faye Carol Group and the leader of the Kito Gamble Trio & Sextet. Recorded and/or performed with Billy Higgins, Amiri Baraka, Albert King, David Murray, Pharaoh Sanders, Archie Shepp and Steve Turre.
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.
Eddie Mendenhall (piano)
B.M. in jazz composition from Berklee College of Music. Extensive studies in conducting at Colorado State U and Ohio State U. Faculty at Monterey Jazz Festival Educational Programs, at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, and San Jose Summer Jazz Camp. Performances on west coast and in Japan with musicians “Senator” Eugene Wright, Ray Drummond, Pete Christlieb, Ray Brown (trumpet), Mark Sherman, Gary Meek, Manhattan Jazz Quintet, Ali Jackson Jr., Tommy Campbell, James Mahone, Enrique Iglesias, Peter Yellin, Virginia Mayhew, Paul Contos, Vince Lateano, Scott Steed, Steve Houghton, Akira Tana, John Shifflett, Dottie Dodgion and others.
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.