Professional California Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential (Instrumental Music). California State University, Los Angeles, June 1998
Bachelor of Art in Music. California State University at Los Angeles, March 1994
Associate of Arts East Los Angeles College, June 1980
Private Instrumental Instructor, 1980-Present
South East Symphony Association Saturday Conservatory, 2007-2011
LAUSD, Gage Middle School Instrumental Music Teacher (Gage Middle School Music Dept. Chair), 1999-Present
LAUSD, Local District 6 Arts Teachers, Middle School Point Person for Music 2005-2007
LAUSD Local District Arts Teachers (LDAT) Advisory Team 2005-2007
Saturday Conservatory of Music, Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena, California 2000-2006, 2011-2012
Dr. Azadeh Raoufi, pianist, harpsichordist, conductor is the founder and school director. She earned two Bachelor’s Degrees in Piano Performance and Computer Science and a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from University of Iowa in Iowa City. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Early Music from University of Southern California. Dr. Raoufi has been the keyboardist of Baroque Sinfonia Ensemble from 2009 to 2015, the ensemble that won the Early Music Festival Young performers for five consecutive years. She has performed in different groups such as Harpsiolin and Concitato 415 with which they won the Beverly Hills Music Auditions. As part of her last project for her doctorate degree, she started developing series of Music Theory apps for Android and iOS called “Miss Azi’s Music Maze”, “Miss Azi’s Little Pianists”, “Miss Azi’s Clef Master” and “Miss Azi’s Scale Master.”
Max Naseck is a recent graduate of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California with a degree in Jazz Studies. While in school he studied with many notable musicians and instructors including Alan Pasqua, Vince Mendoza, Peter Erskine and Russ Ferrante. His combo, the USC Composers Collective (led by Vince Mendoza), won first place at the 2017 Next Generation Jazz Festival. Along with jazz, Max has experience playing and teaching pop, r&b, classical, afro-cuban and many other styles of music. Max is also an assistant engineer at Blanck Records, working in studio environments such as the John Williams Scoring State to create recordings for film and TV projects as well as producing sound design and other recording projects for major labels such as Sony BMG.
Jazzly Moné is a classically-trained violinist, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, continuing her venture in learning alternative styles of music on both acoustic and electric violins. Miss Moné obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Arizona State University where she studied with violin professor, Dr. Katherine McLin. In addition to classical music training, Jazzly has had the opportunities to study with and be mentored by creative string players such as Christian Howes, Randy Sabien, Mike Block, and Darol Anger. This led Miss Moné to gain experience with other musical styles such as Country Fiddling, Pop, Rock, and Jazz genres, to name a few. Miss Moné has recently relocated to Los Angeles, California and has continued to widen her musical palette by picking up singing, mandolin, and viola. An advocate for encouraging creativity and improvisation along with classical studies, Jazzly is actively performing and collaborating with other artists in a variety of music genres.
Sara Carreras is a vocalist and guitarist, with extensive performance experience through many avenues. She has been singing in the worship band at her church since childhood, and was trained as a choral singer and solo vocalist all throughout high school as a member of her school’s most advanced mixed choirs. She received her undergraduate degree in May 2017 from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia with a major in Theater Studies and a minor in Music.
While in college, she chose to focus on developing her songwriting and performance as a solo artist. She played solo gigs throughout her college career, accompanying herself with her guitar, but also liked to put bands together and collaborate creatively with others whenever she could. During her last year of school, she volunteered at a non-profit free music school for the children of refugees, where she taught guitar and started her own voice class. She has a passion for creating music collaboratively and educating young children on the foundations of music performance and theory. She currently teaches Mama-and-Me and Do-Re-Mi.
Playa Music Lessons
Baritone Joel Nesvadba (pronounced “nes-VAHD-ba”) is a passionate performer of early music, especially that of the Medieval and Renaissance eras. He has toured both nationally and internationally, singing with The Boston Camerata, The Broken Consort, Bach Collegium San Diego, and The Texas Early Music Project. Last year, he was soloist with the Boston Camerata’s “The Night’s Tale”, a show The Boston Globe praised for its “rousing theater” and exclaimed “…very few evenings are as rewarding.” He has also performed at the San Francisco Early Music Society's Berkeley Festival and Exhibition, the Amherst Early Music Festival, and the Boston Early Music Festival with Early Music America's Young Performers Festival Ensemble. In addition to early music, Joel is active in contemporary popular music. He has worked with the electronic artist and DJ Moby as a background vocalist, guitarist and pianist. He is currently completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Early Music Performance at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music.
Cece Wen is an award-winning film composer, songwriter, and music producer. After graduating from NYU film scoring program with a Master's degree in 2012, Cece has been scoring for all kinds of multimedia, including games, films, musicals, and songwriting. Her works have been nominated to many international film festivals including Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, NYC Indie Film Awards, Chinese American Film Festival, etc. Her work for indie games also been exhibit in international game shows including Tokyo Game Show, GDC China, Indicate, etc. Ceceis a multi-instrumentalist playing piano and guitar, currently a keyboardist in Los Angeles based rock band Angry Donkey. Cece won Laurent in Donne in Musica XII international composition contest and California Independent Film Festival Scoring competition in 2017.
Jospeh Muskat has been playing Percussion and Drumset since the age of 12. He graduated from Cal State Northridge with a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance and then continued his education at the University of Southern California where he earned a Masters Degree in Percussion. Currently he works as a freelance percussionist in Southern California playing in orchestras, musical theater and recording. Ensembles he has played with include the Golden State Pops, the Redlands Symphony, the American Youth Symphony, the Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra, Video Games Live, the Santa Monica Symphony, and YMF Debut Orchestra. Performing on many of the stages in Los Angeles including the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall, the Microsoft Theater, Gibson Amphitheater, the Ford Amphitheater, the Shrine Auditorium and Royce Hall, he has appeared with Itzhak Perlman, Jack Black, LeVar Burton, Jennifer Garner, Paul Sorvino, Jon Secada, Il Volo, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Black Uhuru, Steve Bartek from Oingo Biongo, Mike Einziger from Incubus, Dave Lombardo from Slayer, and with film composers Alan Silvestri, Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, David Newman, John Debney, John Powell, Randy Edelman, Cliff Eidelman, Peter Bernstein, Christopher Young, Stu Phillips, Bear McCreary, Brian Tyler and Richard Sherman.
The American pianist and painter, Yolanda Klappert, studied at the Ravel Academie in St. Jean-de-Luz, France and Fontainebleau Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France. She earned a B.M. at the Univeristy of Cincinnati : Conservatory of Music; an M.M. and M.M.A. from Yale University; and a D.M.A. from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Music.
A classical concert pianist for 25 years, Yolanda Klappert has won numerous musical awards and scholarships and recorded frequently. One of her favorite composers is J.S. Bach. She has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Buffalo Philharmonic, Cincinnati Philharmonia, Yale Philharmonia and Concerto Avenna Warsaw. She has particpated in music festivals, including Tanglewood, Yale in Norfolk, New College, Piccolo Spoleto, Fontainebleau Ecole, Ravel Music Festival, and Rome Festival
After a performing and recording career as a classical concert pianist for 25 years, Yolanda Klappert was excited to discover she could express complicated and interdisciplinary ideas on a multitude of levels, simultaneously. The computer became her keyboard, camera, and paintbrush. Most significantly, she experienced a profound joy in creating “something from nothing” while combining my instincts as a musical and visual artist with the sophistication of “cutting edge” technology. Three modern-ear artists have influenced her and demonstrate an artist expression similar to J,S. Bach’s. Each of the artists, Escher, Durer and Van Gogh, worked within the conventions of art - respectively using pen and ink, watercolors and oils - yet each transcend the implied boundaries of their media by creating innovative forms and styles.
Omar Torrez’s musical brew is equal parts post-modern rock, Mexican and Cuban Son, gutbucket blues, spiced with stunning guitar wizardry and irreverent yet accessible songwriting.
His latest release, A Night of Serious Drinking, was produced by Tony Berg (Michael Penn, Aimee Mann, Bob Dylan, Pink, Public Image Ltd.). The single “Marina” won 3rd place in the Latin category of the International Songwriting Competition. It will be released on the famed Mexican label Discos Intolerencia in 2014.
Among the artist’s career highlights – he was the guitarist on Tom Waits’ Glitter & Doom world tour.
The Mexican-American artist first gained notoriety as a finalist at the Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition at the Bumbershoot Festival, using a borrowed guitar. Since then, Torrez has won fans worldwide through international festivals and humanitarian work. In addition to Tom Waits, Torrez has shared the stage with Buena Vista Social Club, Jethro Tull, Tony Levin, Bill Laswell, Kinky, Sidestepper, Pancho Sanchez, Mumiy Troll, Nortec Collective, Francisco Aguabella and many more.