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.
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.”
Voice (all levels), Piano (beginner to intermediate), Guitar (beginner), Harp (beginner)
Styles: Classical, Jazz, Pop, Soul, etc.
Nailah Middleton is a Caribbean-American musician, visual artist, writer, and educator from Los Angeles, CA. She grew up singing in church, and after beginning her studies as a piano student at the age of four, Nailah continued on to study harp, guitar, and drum set. She discovered her passion for teaching music in high school and has been teaching private piano, voice, and guitar lessons ever since. In recent years, she has taught K-3rd grade music lessons at West Creek Elementary School and beginner harp lessons with her Harpsicle Harp. Graduating with a BFA in vocal performance from the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), she sings in a variety of styles and languages including Italian, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Javanese. She has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Troubadour, House of Blues Hollywood, and KCRW's Desert Nights at The Standard Hotel. Currently, she plays out around the city as a solo artist & with her harp and electric bass project, Bashful Creature.
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
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.
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.