Biography
Since coming to New England a few years ago, Saxophonist, Pianist, and Composer Aaron Gratzmiller has been very active with freelance appearances on multiple albums, EPs, local television programs, radio shows, and nightclubs. He recently graduated from Berklee College of Music (Summa Cum Laude, Performance) in Boston, developing a playing style that incorporates contemporary music into his jazz and blues background. Before college, Aaron began playing piano at age 6 and saxophone shortly after, later going on to work and study in the Pittsburgh area with some of the top regional and touring performers.
Performance Highlights:

Album credits: “Sing for Japan, Vol. 1” (compilation, 2012 Capumo Records), “The Escape” (The Chroma Concept, 2011), “Mile 524″ (Thinkin’ Big Band, 2012).

 

Biography

Yaman Akdoğan is a Turkish Bass Player, Composer and Arranger living in Boston. He started music by playing guitar in middle school. After playing in different rock bands in his youth, he switched to the Bass in high school. Later in high school, borrowing some jazz recordings from his pianist friend, he started to get into jazz music. While completing his studies in college, he studied jazz music theory and performance privately, with well-known Turkish jazz pianist and arranger, Omur Gidel. He performed in several jazz clubs and festivals with different local jazz bands around Turkey.

In 2008, he participated in Berklee Umbria Jazz clinics and studied bass with Miroslav Vitouš andOscar Stagnaro. In the same year he participated in Berklee College of Music Auditions in Athens, Greece as an accompanist bass player, recognized by the audition team and was invited to audition, whereupon he was accepted into Berklee College of Music as a scholarship student. In 2010, he received a scholarship to participate in the Siena Jazz Academy Summer Workshop, where he studied with great jazz musicians such as Avishai CohenFerenc NemethScott ColleyAnders JorminRiccardo Del Fra, and Furio Di Castri. In 2013, he graduated from Berklee College of Music, where he studied jazz performance on electric and upright bass with great musicians as Ed TomassiWhit BrowneLincoln GoinesRon MahdiDaniel MorrisJohn PattituciGeorge GarzoneHal Crook and Tia Fuller. Currently he is working as a professional Bass Player, performing in jazz clubs and festivals.

Performance Credits:

Biography

Christopher Dzengelewski is an alumni of Berklee College of Music (Performance) and Professional Drummer and Educator, who has been playing the drums live and in the studio for over a decade. He has performed all over the United States and Europe. While pursuing his B.A. at the Berklee College of Music he was approached by an Army recruiter with an opportunity to audition for the prestigious United States Army Band. After completing Basic Combat Training he graduated from the Army School of Music in Norfolk VA where he studied orchestral, rudimental and contemporary percussion.

Performance Highlights

 

Teaching Philosophy:

“Equipped with both the passion and the technical instruction in music, I am certain that I can bring structure, theory, and a demonstrated passion that will positively influence students. I am of the belief that a career that has no impact on the community is not worth spending the time doing. There is no better way to influence the world than music and teaching. I plan to continue instructing and developing high performing students and performance groups.”

 

Biography:

Emily Miller is a Boston-based singer, songwriter and arranger. After graduating from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Vocal Performance, she delved into the local performance scene while remaining active in the Berklee community as an administrative staff member until 2015. In 2012, she joined forces with the “Thinkin’ Big Band”, acting as conductor and producer for their first album, “Mile 524”. The latest Thinkin’ Big album, (Kaleidoscope, 2015) features her voice and she continues to collaborate with the ensemble.

Over the last decade, Emily has had the privilege of sharing the stage with many notable musicians including:

  • Bobby McFerrin,
  • Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire),
  • Paula Cole, Lalah Hathaway,
  • Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones),
  • Steve Bailey, and many more.

Emily’s broad musical background has spanned numerous genres resulting in her unique, eclectic soulful-jazz sound. She has extensive experience in both solo and ensemble vocal jazz, a-cappella ensembles and background singing. Emily remains an active performer in the New England area with her function band “Boston Common Band” and her solo career.


Teaching philosophy:

Robert Fountain once said, “The vocal folds that create speech and song are located halfway between your brain and your heart. Great singers use both.” 
Singing is an experience that fuses physical, emotional and intellectual processes. It’s my goal to give my students not only the techniques needed to make the sounds they want to make, but also assist in developing the emotional connection they have with the songs they sing.
Learning to balance healthy sound production, while still conveying emotional content allows the student to enjoy the practice of singing not only for themselves, but to move and inspire their listeners as well… with tremendous impact.

 

Biography:

Skuli Thorsteinsson is a professional guitarist, teacher, and performer living in Boston. A versatile musician, he is equally comfortable playing old-school jazz as he is playing hard-hitting funk. Skuli's first experience with music began with the violin at the age of 3, performing in youth orchestras and chamber groups throughout his childhood. At the age of 13, Skuli started playing the guitar and quickly began playing in local rock, jazz, blues, and funk bands. He eventually moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music, studying with renowned musicians such as Jeff Lockhart, Bruce Bartlett, and Tim Miller. 

Since moving to Boston, Skuli has performed with notable artists such as Nigel Hall (Lettuce) and Nikki Glaspie (Chaka Kahn, Jay Z, Dumpstaphunk) and performed original material throughout the Northeastern US with his funk band, Congress. Skuli continues to play straight-ahead jazz with the Beantown Swing Orchestra, and pop/funk repertoire with the Boston-based wedding and event band The Hub.

Education:

  • Berklee College of Music, BA in Jazz Composition/Guitar Performance, Class of 2014


Teaching Philosophy:

"I strive to keep things simple and fun. I find that focusing on one thing at a time and making sure the student really understands what we are working on before moving on to something else brings the fastest progress. 

I try to intertwine learning techniques with songs and music that the student is interested in -this gives the student context for the use of various techniques and also more motivation to learn them.   Focusing on the music that my students are interested in is more fun for them, and at the end of the day, if playing music isn't fun, what's the point?" 

 

Biography:

Hailing from Biloxi, MS, James Auburn is an accomplished keyboardist and graduate of Berklee College of Music. He has been playing piano since early childhood and was a top-ranking pianist in Mississippi. Also a longtime musical director, James has led R&B, Funk, Hip-Hop, and Rock bands since the mid-1990’s. He has played at very high profile venues across the eastern seaboard and opened for artists such as: 

  • Amel Larrieux
  • Missing Joe
  • Vertical Horizon
  • Devin the Dude
  • Royce da 5’9″,
  • Joe Budden, 
  • Dre Robinson

His current band, Velvet Stylus backs some of Boston’s best MCs on a regular basis as well. James is also a noted Hip-Hop Historian who has lectured at Berklee, Suffolk University, Fisher College, and at youth events across Boston. He has advised students from Emerson College, Boston University, Boston College, Harvard University, and others about Hip-Hop history and culture. He recently served as a songwriting competition judge alongside Hip-Hop luminary DJ Premier and executives from XM Satellite Radio and VH1. As a journalist he’s written for The Mississippi Sun Herald, Okayplayer.com, The Noise, and MusicBizAdvice.com.

James is an avid record collector and appraises vinyl in Hip-Hop, Soul, R&B, and Funk. He teaches Music Theory and arranging at Boston University’s Center for Design and Imaging Arts in the Recording Arts Program and serves as Co-Founder and Resident Hip-Hop Historian for The Boston Hip-Hop Alliance.

 

Biography:

Marco Perfetti is a singer-songwriter, voice teacher and Berklee College of Music alumnus. He started his career in Italy, winning national competitions like the Tour Music Fest, and participating to the first edition of the talent show “The X-Factor”. He graduated at the University of Pisa in “Music, Cinema and Theatre” and he also has a diploma in “Modern singing” at the Lizard Academy of Florence, and one in “Performance” at the CET (Centro Europe di Tuscolano) one of the most prestigious music schools in Italy. 

He worked as a voice teacher in music academies and high schools for nine years now.

He performed at important venues and festivals all over the United States and Italy, like the Piper Club in Rome, the Umbria Jazz Festival, Canadian Music Week Festival in Toronto, The Cotton Club in New York, the Independent Music Conference in Los Angeles, Noda Summer Music Fest in Charlotte (NC), Launch Music Festival in Lancaster (PA), Elm City Music Fest in Hamden (CT), and many more.

He currently performs with his Boston based project Perfect Mark, and he released the album “Flesh & Voice”, for which he wrote, arranged and produced all the tracks.

 

 

 

Teaching Philosophy:

The voice is one of the most interesting and fascinating instruments because of its infinite variety of sounds, and for the fact that every single voice is unique. In my classes, I help students to explore their instrument beyond the simple concept of learning a melody and repeating it, showing them how to use their voice at its full potential of expression. I like to teach the technique together with the interpretation, going through every musical style. I firmly believe that there is something to learn from every genre, and I think that the listening process is an essential step to find our own personal voice. 

There is a whole world hidden behind what we think “singing” is; in my class I like to guide the students through this discovery of their personal inner musical talent, in order to become a real singer and not just a mere vocalist.

Biography:

Jeff Fogleman is a bassist/private music school administrator/trombonist living in Boston, MA. A Brevard, North Carolina native, Jeff moved to Boston in 2009 to attend Berklee College of Music, where he studied performance in jazz, funk, rock, classical, and latin styles while also taking classical composition coursework. In addition to being an administrator and teacher, Jeff is active in the New England music scene as a professional bassist and with his instrumental rock trio, Gigantic Ant.

 

Education: 

  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Diploma with Trombone Performance Concentration, Class of 2009
  • Berklee College of Music, B.A. in Bass Performance, Class of 2014