Meet Our Teachers
James Delano Zollar began his musical career at age 9 playing bugle in his hometown, Kansas City Missouri. At 12, he graduated to the trumpet where he began to discover his musical voice and focus. After high school he continued to study at San Diego City College and then the University of California at San Diego. In 1972, Zollar moved to San Francisco and he studied with the great jazz trumpet player Woody Shaw to study jazz improvisation.
In, 1984, he moved to New York City and played with the Cecil McBee Quintet for five years and then recorded with Tom Harrell, with Weldon Erving and Sam Rivers.
He remains New York based where he stands out in a wide range of musical settings. Today, he’s playing with The Duke Ellington Orchestra, working with several of Don Byron’s Bands, and also working with NYC Blues Devil.
Hi I’m Bryce Collins and I’m looking forward to working with you as your private drum lesson instructor. I’ve been playing music for a total of 13 years and 8 of those years the drums have been my primary instrument. While in high school, I played for the school jazz band and in the pit orchestra for numerous musicals. I play a wide range of music such as Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz, Gospel, Rock, Soul, Afro Cuban, Brazilian, R&B, Blues, Fusion, Reggae, and many more. I just completed a 37 city tour with the indie alternative band “From Indian Lakes". I’ve recorded albums and singles for various artist. I attended the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music for a few years before leaving to work on my career as a professional drummer. I am currently performing in various venues around NYC and teaching private drum lessons. I’m looking forward to helping you develop your skills as a drummer.
Composing & Arranging Teacher
Born in Springfield, Illinois in 1952, Dennis Luxion is a jazz pianist, composer and educator. He is currently on the piano faculty of Columbia College Chicago and an active member of the Chicago jazz scene.
Studying with Soulima Stravinsky student Roger Shields led to his subsequent studies of Classical Composition with Frederic Rzewski, Philippe Boesmans and George Flynn; of East Indian music with Swami Nada Brahmananda; of Latin Drumming with Geraldo de Oliveira; and of West African Drumming as a member of the Chicago Gahu Club under the tutelage of Midawo Gideon Foli Alorwoyie.
Currently Luxion teaches private piano lessons and keyboard classes at Columbia College Chicago, where he has been instrumental in developing the jazz piano and keyboard curricula. He has written or co-written several textbooks, most notably a book on beginning jazz piano harmony, Seventh Heaven and a survey of harmony for piano Ambulatio Per Harmoniam. Previously he taught piano and improvisation privately and at the Alan Swain Music Studios in Evanston and piano, composition, rhythm, improvisation, and ensemble classes at the Halewyn Jazz Studio in Antwerp, Belgium, and at the Séminaire de Jazz of the Royal Conservatory of Liège, Belgium. He has also been a piano accompanist and theory instructor at the Janice Borla Jazz Vocal Camp in Naperville, IL.
Luxion can be heard on the play-along CDs for Greg Fishmanʼs Educational publications: Jazz Saxophone Etudes, Jazz Saxophone Duets and Jazz Phrasing.
Matt Hall is a West Coast based Jazz/Bebop Trombonist who leads many musical projects all over the world. He holds a BM in Jazz Studies from SUNY Purchase. Purchase College is a liberal arts school in upstate New York.
More to come soon ...
There are great guitar players….then there are true musicians that are great guitar players. Vinnie Zummo is most definitely the latter. Just by exchanging a bunch of emails and listening to his music you get the sense that Vinnie is literally a walking vessel of music. I imagine if you handed Vinnie a few common everyday items he could create an album that would make your head spin and make producers and engineers scratch their heads….!!! Oh, but give him a guitar and watch out!!!
He was Joe Jackson's guitar player, who composed the soundtrack for the 1988 movie, Tucker: The Man and His Dream.
"He is a super nice guy" in the words of Billy Penn, from 300 Guitars, and Vinnie is a passionate and dedicated teacher.
Art Lillard grew up in Miami, where his jazz roots include playing with the great master Ira Sullivan and studying with pianist/composer Wally Cirillo.
Art studied at Karl Berger’s Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York. Subsequently, he graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a bachelor’s degree in composition and arranging, having garnered multiple scholarships and honors along the way.
For many years Art has also been a respected teacher and mentor to his many students. He has taught privately, at several community music schools, and at Long Island University.
It was Nick’s father Neil, who bought Nick his first saxophone at the age of eight years old, when he spotted it in the window of an old music shop in Brooklyn as they were walking by. Nick would go on to attend the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts founded by the great Tony Bennett, spending four years in the jazz band led by Bill Stevens. It was there that the fire began to grow, as he learned about the great American art form of Jazz music. Nick was deeply influenced by recordings of masters like Lester Young and Charlie Parker. Nick attended masterclasses held by the keeper of the Bebop flame Barry Harris every Tuesday night while in high school, he also traveled to Rome to study with Harris twice. At the age of 17 Nick met one of his idols of the alto saxophone Charles McPherson he would become a close mentor to Nick. In 2014 Nick was accepted into S.U.N.Y. Purchase College’s Conservatory of Music studying under Gary Smulyan, he would earn a Bachelors in Music Performance as well as a Master’s Degree after studying 6 years there. Nick’s close friend and “Uncle” master percussionist Mino Cinelu gave Nick the name “Bebop Ninja”.
Fred Jacobs is available for teaching opportunities: jazz improv workshops/clinics, ensemble direction melodic improv, jazz Harmony & Rhythm, Hear training.
Freddie Jacobs, Jazz Trumpeter, Composer and Educator has seen the music business from many sides, touring with jazz greats such as Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, Sam Jones/Tom Harrell Band, Eddie Palmieri, Jimmy McGriff, Judi Silvano, Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers.
“Jacobs’ Ladder” is Freddie Jacobs’ second recording, bringing a jazz recording with stellar musicianship, uniquely expressive sound and soaring musical imagination.
He published a workshop analysis in DownBeat of Freddie Hubbard's solo on “Sing Me A Song Of Songmy” (Ilhan Mimaroglu, Atlantic) and Best Of Freddie Hubbard, liner notes.
Fred Jacobs, the jazz trumpeter/composer, “sounds as bright and assured as Freddie Hubbard or Woody Shaw, but with verve and a smooth, fluent originality," said Robert Spencer in All About Jazz.
Composing & Writing Teacher
Selected by Variety as one of “20 Creatives to Watch,” Diamond wrote the score for the immensely powerful film The Believer, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Drama at Sundance, written and directed by Henry Bean. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone singled out the film, as well as “Joel Diamond’s haunting score.” Kirk Honeycutt’s Hollywood Reporter review noted the film’s “first- rate craftsmanship, especially a moody and edgy score by Joel Diamond.”
Diamond's Danza Caprichosa, a string quintet recorded by Orquesta Nova on Chesky Records, received a Grammy nomination.
An early advocate of Cuban music, the Cuban National Ballet has commissioned four pieces from him, among them, After Pandora, with choreography by Suki John.
Seasons, a work commissioned by the Compañia de la Danza Narciso Medina, premiered in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series.
An experienced studio producer and musician, Diamond produced the scores for Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse and David Mamet’s Oleanna. In addition, Diamond has performed on hundreds of recordings as a studio musician and toured with a wide range of performers, including Mick Taylor, Graham Parker, Jane Olivor, and many others.
Saxophonist and composer Nathan Bellott cut his teeth with jazz masters Charli Persip and Hal Galper. A semi-finalist in the inaugural Michael Brecker International Saxophone Competition in 2019, many around the world are starting to take note of Nathan’s beautiful sound, expression and unique artistry.
He teaches at Lower Manhattan Music Studio & privately. He is also on the Winds Faculty at Turtle Bay Music School in Manhattan and Brooklyn Music School. Nathan attended SUNY Purchase College and the New School. His own studies with masters include Jon Gordon, David Binney, Hal Galper, Jaleel Shaw, Dave Liebman, Bob Mover, Charles McPherson, Mark Shim, Jacob Sacks, Dan Weiss, Andrew Cyrille, Andy Milne and others have given him a unique approach to the instrument and music.