Teaching Artists

Our teaching artist staff consist of  international performing artists and accredited teachers with degrees in the Suzuki method, classical, traditional styles and Jazz improvisation. Our students vary in age from 4 to 70+ yrs. We prepare students for the professional stage, chamber, orchestral settings, Jazz bandstand or simply to enjoy playing music.

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Eddie Allen

Trumpet, Jazz band

Eddie Allen- (trumpet),  Studied music, theory and arranging at Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and University of Wisconsin. Upon moving to the east coast, he attended William Paterson and the University of New Jersey where he received a Bachelor of Music degree. On the New York scene he's worked with such jazz greats as; Art Blakey, Billy Harper, Randy Weston, Dizzy Gillespie, Henry Threadgill, Bobby Watson, Jon Faddis, Benny Carter, Panama Francis, Joe Henderson and Steve Turre. He has recorded, performed with and composed for: Louis Hayes, Lester Bowie, Jack McDuff, Etta Jones & Houston Person, Mongo Santamaria, Chico Freeman, Charli Persip, Vanessa Rubin and Muhal Richard Abrams. His orchestral credits include: Ain't Misbehavin', Black & Blue, Side Show, Jelly's Last Jam, Five Guys Named Mo' and Rollin' On the T.O.B.A. Eddie has written an instructional method book, "An Introduction To The Bb Concert Blues," which is published by Charles Colin Publishing - N.Y.C. Eddie is currently leading a quartet, a quintet, a Latin/Brazilian project and a large ensemble which brings together acoustic and electric/electronic instruments. He also leads a big band which not only plays his compositions and arrangements, but also the music of such jazz greats as Jimmy Heath, Bobby Watson, Muhal Richard Abrams and Rufus Reid as they come to lead the band. "One the 'brightest lights' on the New York music scene today."


Dana Hanchard

Voice, choir

Dana Hanchard, enjoys a career that embraces many styles and genres of music. Her work in the Baroque, popular and jazz idioms, has garnered much praise from audiences and critics alike. This season includes appearances with Reinhard Goebel and Musica Antiqua Köln in a USA tour. She will also appear with Nicholas McGegan and the Washington Bach consort as  Queen of Sheba by G.F. Handel ( Solomon). Dana returns to San Francisco with Nicholas McGegan for her 7th season to perform J.S. Bach's Johannes Passion (BWV 245) with the Philharmonia Baroque. Ms. Hanchard has  performed at Joe's Pub/Public Theater in New York City  featuring her own songs from her CD "Once Canciones" and music by dynamic composers like Cuban composer, Tania Leon. Apart from regular engagements with Nicholas McGegan and Reinhard Goebel, Dana Hanchard has collaborated with conductors; John Eliot Gardiner, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christopher Hogwood and Jane Glover. Dana has participated in several highly acclaimed productions: singing the title role in Monteverdi's L' incoronazione di Poppea for Glimmerglass Opera and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (directed by Johnathan Miller). More roles include  Eurydice in Gluck's Orfeo  at BAM and at the Edinburgh International Festival (directed by Mark Morris); as Romilda in G.F. Handel's Xerxes for the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, and the world premiere of Meredith Monk's Atlas for Houston Grand Opera. In addition to opera, Dana Hanchard has performed orchestral and chamber music with numerous organizations in North America and Europe including, the New World Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, English Baroque Soloists, DaCamera of Houston, Göttingen Händel Festival, Tanglewood Festival, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Boston Camerata, Four Nations Ensemble, Musica Antiqua Köln, Arcadian Academy, Bang on a Can Festival and New York Festival of Song. 2000-2001 brought Dana Hanchard to Houston with the American String Quartet, to Tel Aviv with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The rest of the season she could be heard around the country in recital and orchestral appearances. Dana Hanchard can presently be heard on the Harmonia Mundi, Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv, Erato, ECM, and Lyrichord labels.

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Pam Hamilton

Violin, viola, voice

Ms. Hamilton is an inspirational figure in the realm of creative music. She is an accomplished vocalist who has played violin and viola since grade school. Ms. Hamilton's professional diploma is from the Mannes College of Music/New School. She is a certified teacher of the O'Connor Method, American School for String Players. Pamela is currently a Jazz violin instructor for the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s middle school program.  For 10 years, Pam has maintained her position at Promise Academy/Harlem Children's Zone, developing string orchestras and ensembles for all grades. Pamela has additional certification for string and Jazz vocal studies from Stanford University Jazz (Palo Alto, CA), Miami University (Oxford, OH) from New York , North Carolina and California. Her greatest experiences, however, are in the professional performance fields. Pamela has performed and shared the stage with a variety of luminaries from the Jazz, R&B, and Gospel worlds. These artists include Mark O'Connor, John Blake, Jr., Darol Anger, Turtle Island String Quartet, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Newport Jazz Festival with Louis Bellson, Stephane Grappelli, Oscar Peterson, Earl Klugh, Spiro Gyra, gospel artists Kim Burrell, Hezekiah Walker, Donald Lawrence, R&B artists Al Green, Bette Midler and War. Pam is currently performing with her own jazz ensemble, the Pamela Hamilton Group,  in and around the New York City area.


Kuriko Tsugawa


Born in Tokyo (Japan) Kuriko Tsugawa started playing bass at the age of fifteen. Soon after she joined what would become her first jazz ensemble experience, the Tomisato High School big band, affectionately known as “The Mad Hatters”. As a member of “The Mad Hatters”, she had the opportunity to perform at major festivals throughout Japan. For three consecutive years Kuriko’s “Mad Hatters” shared bill with visiting artist Monterey High School Big Band in an annual festival held in Tomisato, Japan. This enriching annual encounters were the spark that ignited Kuriko´s passionate decision to pursue jazz music in the United States as a career. In 2001, she auditioned for Berklee College of Music and won a scholarship to attend the college starting in 2002. Since her arrival in Boston she had the opportunity to study with renowned jazz educators like Hal Crook, Dave Santoro and Herb Pomeroy, and she played with jazz legends like Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Delfeayo Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Yellow Jackets founder Russ Ferrante, Makoto Ozone and Danilo Perez. Besides her many inspiring mentors Kuriko found in Boston a vibrant generation of like-minded young musicians who have been as crucial for her development as any of her professors. Her time in Boston paid off, and her quick improvements lead to a really busy performing schedule. Besides such Boston musts as Wally’s Jazz Café and Ryles Jazz Club Kuriko performed in a variety of festivals around the New England area and in 2006 was selected as a member of a quartet representing Berklee in Lucca Jazz Donna Festival in Italy. Kuriko has gotten increasingly active in the fervent New York jazz scene such as Blue Note New York, Smalls, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Fat Cat, Cleopatra’s Needle and many more. She has performed with Anthony Wonsey, Walter Blanding, Marcus Printup, Lee Pearson, Tia Fuller, Rodney Green, Mike LeDonne, Jeb Patton, Warren Wolf and Daisuke Abe. In 2008 Kuriko launched a new band, which he co-leads and produces, UoU, a quintet made up of members originally from Japan. UoU’s debut, “Home” (Tippin’ Records), was released in 2010. “This debut exudes a polished distinctiveness, clear abilities and original compositions,” (AllAboutJazz.com, September 2010). “Home” also notably climbed to #1 for two consecutive weeks on the JazzWeek World national radio charts.

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Yoojin Park

Violin, viola, Jazz improvisation

Yoojin Park  hails from Brooklyn, by way of Seoul, South Korea. Playing the violin from the early age of 4, after graduating from The Korea National University of Arts, her continuing ardor for learning music moved her beyond the conventions of classical music and led her to study Jazz Performance at the Berklee College of Music in 2006. After graduating summa cum laude from Berklee in 2009, she moved on to earn a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance at Queens College, NY. Yoojin has established herself as a bandleader, playing in many famous venues in New York City , such as the Blue Note Jazz Club, Rockwood Music Hall and Jazz Gallery. In 2013, Yoojin signed with Universal Music International and released her debut album, “West End.” Jazz Times acclaimed, “A new jazz violinist appears like beacon.” Yoojin has collaborated with such renowned artists as Antonio Hart, Lonnie Plaxico, Jon Cowherd, Montez Coleman, Jeb Patton, Victor Gould, Tivon Pennicott and Godwin Louis. She was also a part of David Binney's String Project at the Jazz Gallery as well as Myron Walden's Group with Strings at Smalls Jazz Club and Mezzrow Jazz Club. She also toured India Sunburn Festival, Ultra Singapore and Ultra Korea with KSHMR in 2017. Yoojin is a teaching artist at the Kuferberge Center for the Arts, John Bowne High School , New Jersey Symphony Orchestra "CHAMPS"  and at Philip's Academy Charter School.

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Marvin Dolly

Guitar, jazz band

Passionately driven to create good music; arranger and composer Marvin Dolly combines his love for jazz with broad influences from calypso and Brazilian music to create his signature style. Originally from the beautiful Island of Trinidad and Tobago, Marvin started playing the guitar at very young age studying the classical guitar and taking part in various music festivals in the Caribbean. Gaining popularity Marvin began touring extensively throughout the Caribbean, United States, Canada, and Europe. Marvin moved to London to study at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance where he had the opportunity to study with great musicians from around the world.  Marvin was hired by the University of the Southern Caribbean as a guitar tutor, teaching over a hundred students a week and holding master classes to help students to develop their improvisation skills in a live situation. Marvin has played with top musicians like: Regina Carter, Lonnie Plaxico, Mcclenty Hunter, Freddie Bryant, Wess "Warndaddy" Anderson, Ben Williams, Jon Coward, Dayna Stephens, Renee Neufville, Paul Beaudry, Neal Smith, Nioka Workman, NirFelder, Luques Curtis, Mark Shim, Alvester Garnett, Willerm Delisfort, Obed Calvaire, Etienne Charles and Mimi Jones just to name a few. 

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Edsel Gomez

Piano, Jazz Theory

Edsel Gomez is a multi-Grammy nominated composer, pianist, arranger, educator, producer and musical director. Mr. Gomez is a citizen of the world. Based in New York City since 1996, he was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Edsel is a Berkelee College of Music Alumni. He resided in Brazil for 10 years, later establishing professional residences in France and South Korea. Mr. Gomez’s collaborations include work with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jack DeJohnette, Richard Bona, Don Byron, David Sanchez, Antonio Sanchez, Miguel Zenon, Freddie Bryant, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Dave Valentin, Eddie Palmieri and Eric Bennett (which reached platinum sales).

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Jim Ferraiuolo


Jim Ferraiuolo is a native New Yorker. He holds a Master's Degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Oboe Performance from the Mannes College of Music with a Bachelors Degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Jim has appeared with many orchestras including the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, the Garden State Philharmonic and the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea. Jim appears on Broadway in productions like The Producers, Gypsy, The Wedding Singer, A Class Act, Seussical, Avenue Q at the Apollo Theater in a production of Dream Girls and at Radio City Music Hall. Jim enjoys dancing salsa and playing chess tournaments in his free time.

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Colin Benn

Suzuki, Violin, viola

Colin Benn is an active solo, chamber and orchestral violist performing recitals, workshops, and teaching individual and group lessons in violin, viola and bass.  Colin received a Bachelor’s in Music from the Juilliard School, a Master’s Degree at Longy School of Music of Bard College, and is currently pursuing a Master's in Music Education from Teachers College Columbia University. As a violist Colin has performed in orchestras throughout New York, in Italy at the Spoleto, Umbria and Multipromo Opera Festival Orchestra, Florence, as we well as the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Rio de Janeiro and the São Paulo Symphony where he toured Brazil and South America. He was the resident violist of Music Haven and a member of the Haven String Quartet from 2009 to 2015, and served as Senior Resident Musician, where he designed and directed the Music 101 after school program from 2015-2017.  He is currently a strings teacher at Fairfield School of Music in Connecticut and a strings and music teacher at Washington Heights and Inwood Music Community Charter School.

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Jim Nolet

violin, viola, jazz improvisation

Mr. Nolet holds degrees from the Jazz department at Cornish Institute and the Classical studies department at Juilliard. These experiences have bolstered Nolet’s strong teaching methodology in instrumental technique, music theory, jazz improvisation and composition. Jim has given workshops in classical, world and Jazz idioms around the world. Mr. Nolet is a teaching artist with “Music for the People NYC”, and The “Composers Improvisors Workshop” (CIW, originally founded by Jim Nolet and Bern Nix). At CIW, Jim teaches Jazz composition, improvisation, Harmolodics, Harmo-rhythmics and world influences of Modern Jazz. Mr. Nolet brings his experience as a composer/improviser to his work. He has performed with Jazz greats, David Murray, Cecil Taylor, among others. His private studies with master double bassist Gary Peacock helped fuel his current teaching style.

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bass, guitar, jazz band

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Melissa Slocum


Melissa Slocum has been performing worldwide since 1982 and has worked with such legends as Art Blakey, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis, Woody Shaw and Hank Jones. Comfortable in genres ranging from duo to big band, traditional to avant garde, she has recorded with Charli Persip and Superband, Ralph Peterson and the Fo'tet, Howard Johnson, Dakota Staton, Kevin Mahogany and the all woman big band DIVA, among many others. Ms. Slocum performs regularly with many area orchestras, Baroque period ensembles and Broadway musical productions. For the past twelve years she has been the bassist for the Broadway production of the, "Phantom of the Opera". Ms. Slocum is an avid teacher as well. She holds a DMA in Double Bass Performance from SUNY at Stony Brook where she taught the undergraduate bass class and coached ensembles for several years. She has taught at M.S. 54 and the Juilliard School MAP Program and continues to maintain a private studio. 

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Clifton Anderson

Founder, brass,jazz programs

Clifton Anderson is considered one of the leading trombonists and composers performing in music today. Throughout his career Clifton has shared the stage and studio with a diverse array of musical luminaries - icons from; Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, and Lester Bowie to Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards, Paul Simon, The Mighty Sparrow and Merv Griffin among others. He has performed on Broadway in "Dreamgirls" and "Nine" and was Artist In Residence at Duke University from 1999 -2001. Clifton was born in Harlem, New York City into a musical family and showed an affinity for music at an early age. At 7 yrs. old he received his first trombone from his uncle, Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins. Clifton attended the prestigious Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and is a graduate of The Manhattan School Of Music. Clifton recorded his first CD for Milestone records (now Concord) in 1997 entitled Landmarks. In 2009 Clifton released Decade on the DOXY/UNIVERSAL label. Decade garnered critical acclaim and led Clifton to a nomination for "Trombonist Of The Year" from The American Jazz Journalist Association. With the success of Decade Clifton left Sonny's group in 2009 to establish himself as a leader. Clifton's most recent offering And So We Carry On was voted "One Of The Top Jazz CD Releases Of 2012" by Jazz Inside Magazine & reached #4 on US Jazz radio, remaining in the top 20 for months. Clifton's live shows have followed the standard set by his recordings & he continues to play to very enthusiastic and appreciative audiences. Clifton showcases his stellar groups (quartet, quintet & sextet) interpreting a variety of swinging originals, high energy straight ahead, calypso, funk and American songbook standards.

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Nioka Workman

founder, director of firey strings company

Nioka Workman comes from a family of celebrated Jazz bassists. 'The world is your classroom', is a motto that took her  around the world at a young age experiencing many different cultures, including a year Japan. She attended the High School of Music & Art, Interlochen and All City High School Orchestra as a teen. Upon graduation, she joined several professional organizations including the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Connecticut Grand Opera, New York Women's Ensemble, Opera Ebony and the Kitchen House Blend. Nioka is very comfortable with playing diverse style of music. Her performance credits include appearances with Jazz artists, actor Avery Brooks, Craig Harris, Cassandra Wilson, David Murray, the Uptown String Quartet ,Greg Osby, Steve Coleman and Cooper Moore. She has recording and television credits on Oxygen, Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live and Canal+ France. Her soundtrack credits are with Maid of Manhattan, PBS, Nickelodeon and on the CDs of R&B celebrities India Arie, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Joe, Kanye West, Jay-Z. With her own ensemble Firey String Sistas!, Nioka has co-produced the critically acclaimed independent CD; That's What She Said.  Nioka has a BM degree in classical cello  from Queens College, credits from the New School Jazz Program and Suzuki cello certification from the School for Strings. She has taught at HSA, Queensborough College, Brooklyn Conservatory, and as musical director at the Noel Pointer School of Music. Nioka is co-founder of Music For the People and founder of the Firey String Company.