Teachers

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Sean King

Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Jazz Band Director

[spoiler title=”Read bio” open=”0″ style=”1″]Director Sean King picked up the saxophone at age fifteen. Two years later he was playing in the All-City High School Band. King attended the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, where he met composer and pianist Glenn Black , composer and guitarist Angelo Branford. While attending Brooklyn College, King also studied at the Jazz Mobile Workshop.He, being influenced by such greats as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Mickey Bass, Cecil Bridgewater, Charles Davis, Frank Foster, Joe Henderson, Miles Davis and Branford Marsalis to name a few.King has played in numerous bands that covered many styles of music ranging from Jazz, Funk, Classical, Swing, R&B, Latin and was a member of the Metal Fusion group, A Turn Beyond.

Besides being the Director of IPMW, King teaches Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute and is the jazz band director at In Performance Music Workshop (IPMW) in Brooklyn NY.[/spoiler]

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Angelo Branford

Guitar, Bass, Improv, Music Theory

[spoiler title=”Read bio” open=”0″ style=”1″]Angelo Branford started his musical journey when he was given a guitar for his 14th birthday.  His first lessons were in high school with Mr. Norman Speiser who transformed the music appreciation class into a guitar workshop. Mr. Branford continued studying with Mr. Speiser in the Mixed and Madrigal chorus class while taking private courses with Mr. Sam Sunshine at the Flatbush School of Music. He attended Brooklyn College where he studied sight singing, theory, and analysis with Robert Starer, Carol Oja, Noah Creshevsky, and Bunita Marcus among others.After leaving Brooklyn College, he continued his studies in workshops led by composer/bassist William Parker, trombonist/composer George Lewis, alto saxophonist/composer Steve Coleman, and pianist Barry Harris. He also continued studying the guitar privately with Mr. Robert Dellafuricio (Bob Dee) at The Harlem School of Music.  During this time period he distinguished himself in two music groups within the world peace organization SGI: The Brass Band (as Woodwind Section Chief) and The New Millenium Ensemble (as Music Director).Mr. Branford has also worked in the theatre. He was Assistant Musical Director for the Love Creek Theatre’s production of “Sextet” (1997) and used his composition, arrangement and accompaniment skills for a production of Tenessee William’s play “Purification” (1998). As well as leading and participating in many types of musical aggregations (ranging from rock, blues, & reggae to jazz, R&B, and Hip Hop), and conducting large improvising ensembles such as SuperString Theory and The RUCMA Orchestra, he is also a composer who has had his works performed by  ensembles in both the US and Europe (Some of these works can be heard on the CD “Wonderful Sound” by his quartet). He is also a teacher of guitar, bass, improvisation, and theory and has taught both in Europe and the US. Angelo Branford is a member of the board of Y’all of New York, a non-profit musician’s organization & is a member of Fair Pay Music, a musician advocacy group.[/spoiler]
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Robert Schulslaper

Piano

[spoiler title=”Read bio” open=”0″ style=”1″]Robert Schulslaper has played the piano since early childhood—family lore has him sitting at the piano at the age of one and a half and composing little pieces from the age of three. While his studies weren’t as consistent as they should have been, eventually he “got serious” and attended the Juilliard School, where he was a pupil of Rosina Lhévinne (best known as Van Cliburn’s teacher, along with his mother) and her assistant, Howard Aibel. After Robert received his diploma, he pursued graduate study at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music where his teacher was Agustin Anievas (head of the piano department) whom Robert knew of as an impressive pianist from Anievas’ many recordings.

In general, as a teacher Robert concentrates on the classical repertoire as I feel it provides the best technical foundation. However, I’m flexible and feel comfortable playing in any style. I enjoy teaching and take satisfaction from my students’ progress and I firmly believe that music is an essential human attribute that should be encouraged both at the personal and cultural level.Besides playing and teaching I write about music for Fanfare magazine (a well-respected journal that has been published for the past thirty-five years), conducting interviews with a wide variety of musicians, anyone from rock stars (John Lord, founding member of Deep Purple) to prominent instrumentalists (Jerome Lowenthal and many others) and composers (internationally renowned Kaija Saariaho: again, merely one among many), and reviewing CDs and DVDs. I initially began my tenure at Fanfare by reviewing Indian film scores, something I mention merely to indicate my eclectic tastes but since have gone on to cover releases more related to my formal education. (Anyone interested in reading samples of my work and in forming an impression of Fanfare is invited to visit www.fanfaremag.com)[/spoiler]

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Alexander Schlessingerman

Guitar

[spoiler title=”Read bio” open=”0″ style=”1″]Alexander Schlessingerman started playing playing music after his dad brought him his first guitar for his 15th birthday. Since then it has been an passion to excel, and express himself on this instrument. In my early years, I listened to all the greats of rock, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, and Van Halen  Then of course into heavier sounds of Metal such as Metallica, Guns and Roses, and Iron Maiden.  As time went I started listening to other instruments and other genres, and saw a whole new world of sounds ahead.  Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Tower of Power, Coltrane, Brecker Bros, Greg Howe, ZZ Top, Chick Corea, and many others are always on my iPod ready to inspire me. I currently incorporate, various techniques, and styles, Rock, Jazz, Fusion, Finger-style, Funk, Gypsy-jazz, Anything is cool if gots that swing or that infectious groove.  I have 9 years experience in teaching.I strive to make learning a sometimes difficult and demanding instrument accessible and, most of all fun. I have helped many of my students to enter into various music programs in Junior and High school level. If you are willing to work a little, I can help you turn the key to unlock your talents, and open a door into your hidden potential.[/spoiler]
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Tom Swafford

Violin & Piano

[spoiler title=”Read bio” open=”0″ style=”1″]Tom Swafford (b. 1972) has been active as a violinist, pianist, composer and teacher in New York since 2007. He performs and composes in a wide variety of styles including classical, jazz, experimental, folk, rock and musical theater. He has presented concerts of his music at The Stone, Roulette, iBeam, Barbes, The Douglass Street Music Collective and PS 217 in Ditmas Park (for which he received a Brooklyn Arts Council grant). He leads the 15 piece ensemble String Power, with many of New York’s talented and versatile string players, and performs frequently with pianist Emile Blondel. Tom was the house musician at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park in the summers of 2012 and 2013. In 2012 Tom toured Europe with Aram Bajakian’s Kef, whose debut CD on Tzadik Recordings has received rave reviews.Tom grew up in Seattle, WA. He attended Tufts University where he studied violin with Magdalena Richter and composition with John McDonald. He received a Ph.D. in composition from the University of California, Berkeley, where his principal teacher was Ollie Wilson. He studied composition with Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. He has performed with a wide variety of artists including composer/conductor Butch Morris, composer/pianist Wayne Horvitz and trombonist Stuart Dempster. Tom received an Eisner Prize and a Hertz Traveling Fellowship from U.C. Berkeley, a Charles Ives Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a CityArtist and a 4Culture grant from the city of Seattle and a Community Arts Fund grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council.Tom has taught violin and piano to all ages since 1993.www.tomswafford.com [/spoiler]

Michele Smith

Flute and Beginning piano

[photo of Michele] [spoiler title=”Read bio” open=”0″ style=”1″]Trained in Suzuki Method for students as young as 4 years old
Advanced professional flute studies both classical and jazz
Training:
BM Flute Performance, Kent State University 1996
MFA Musicology, Brooklyn College 1998
Recent and Current teachers:
Vasillis Kyriakou former flutist National Symphony
Robert Langevin, principal flute, New York Philharmonic
Barry Harris, Patience Higgins, Charles Davis, Craig Bailey, jazz improvisation
Paulina Fain, Arturo Schneider, Edourdo Tami, Leonardo Suarez Paz, tango flute
Rodrigo Ursaia, Cesar Garabini, Philip Galinsky, Brazilian choro and percussion
Current Performance Groups:
Tom Blatt Project, T. Ericson Ensemble, Richard Kelly Duo, Tri-State Alliance Latin Conjunto, Arturo O’Farrill’s Brooklyn College Big Band, Duetti Brillanti classical ensembles
Other projects:
Theater work with DadaNewYork Cabaret Re: Voltaire with new music for Cocteau’s “The Wedding Breakfast” by Julie Harting and Joelle Wallach; and “America America” an Italian play produced by Teatromania with original score by Domenico Capotorto; the Reverend Billy Stop-Shopping Gospel Choir which has toured throughout the US and London; the Pan-African Music African Ensemble, directed by: Kazadi wa Makuna
Professional Affiliations:
Member of local 802 American Federation Of Musicians, OWS affiliation group Musicians Solidarity Council, and the New York Flute Club [/spoiler]