Dr. Susan Levasseur has three degrees in music and is an award winning dancer and poet. She is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She premiered four songs of Hidemi Matsushita using her original poetry and taught voice and guitar at Arapahoe Community College for five years. Susan has conducted Master Classes in the U.S. and Europe and taught in many conservatories, colleges, and private music schools. Her speciality is voice performance Master Classes and she has extensive training in musical theatre, opera and improvisation.
Dylan started playing guitar at age 6 and grew up in a very musical background. With years of experience in Jazz performance, Dylan studied music theory all throughout high school and college. Being part of many musical groups he learned various instruments in addition to Guitar. Trumpet, Piano, Bass, and Drums were soon to follow. He attended The Hartford Conservatory in Hartford Connecticut and also studied the Recording Arts. He has taught music from Connecticut to California, has been working with kids for over 15 years and has been teaching for over 13. After a short visit to Denver, has has been with us ever since.
Max is a recent graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in music performance. He studied under the direction of Greg Banaszak. While attending school Max was a member of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Baldwin Wallace Jazz Band, jazz combo groups, and the Baldwin Wallace Saxophone Quartet.
Bridget Hartman is a saxophone player based in Denver. She is currently getting her degree at the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver in jazz performance. She is also a member of Sol Burial, a local band just starting out in the Denver area. Her true love for music comes from composition and education. She composes for large and small ensembles, and teaches piano, clarinet as well as saxophone. Learning the foundations of music to create your own world of sound is an amazing gift to be shared.
Alex Tripp is a drummer from Denver. After playing in the jazz band at Thomas Jefferson, and All-City jazz group at CEC in high school, he went on to Adams State College and played in the big band there for two years. Then he attended Berklee College of Music. At Berklee he got the opportunity to study with some of the best musicians in the industry. He also learned a lot about music theory there, and became proficient in piano as well. After graduating from Berklee with a degree in performance, Alex moved to New York for a year, where he played and taught. He moved back to Denver in September, 2015 and has been teaching and playing in numerous groups around the Denver area.
Zack, who began his own music production company in 2015, has experience not only in teaching private lessons and giving clinics (10+ years), but also as a contributor to the ever-changing commercial music industry. He has written musical arrangements for some of the world’s premier vocalists and instrumentalists, as well as for various entertainment programs on board Princess Cruises vessels, including The Voice (of the Ocean), Festivals of the World, and Magical Mystery Tour where he also has played in the fleet’s Showbands. Off the cruise ship, Zack has frequently performed at popular venues in and around the Denver area, as well as on Denver’s esteemed public radio station, jazz89 KUVO. He has even had the pleasure of performing in pit orchestras for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (drums) and Urinetown (trombone) -both with Stage Flight Theatre. Specializing in the genres of Jazz, Rock, and Pop music.
Zack firmly believes that a solid foundation in music theory and composition are critical to the success of any musician, thus all students are encouraged to create and share their own work as they progress. Zack graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2014 where he obtained a degree in Music Business, but whether or not the goal is to become a professional musician, Zack aims to help all his students realize their full potential and enjoy life through music!
Brett has a passion for music, and loves to see other people get as much joy out of it as he has. Fun and improvising are very important to him in his lessons. After all, if someone is not enjoying themselves in learning to play music, they won’t be motivated to continue on with their instrument. He plays jazz, funk, rock, hip hop, and blues around Denver in two original projects. Guitar, bass, ukulele, and piano are the instruments that he focuses his time on teaching. Brett also does audio engineering with a philosophy that knowing how sound works in general, can lead to being a better musician. Overall learning to play an instrument gives you more than just the ability to play an instrument; It also leads to more confidence, math skills, memory, and happiness.
Jonathan Zimny is a trombonist, vocalist, and educator from Sacramento, California. He was fascinated by music from an early age and raised in a musical household by two band directors.
In 2010, he moved to Colorado to attend the University of Northern Colorado where he received his BM in Jazz Studies. While there, Zimny studied with Dr. Nat Wickham and performed with UNC Jazz Lab Band 1 under the direction of Dana Landry. He also sang in UNC’s top vocal jazz group, the Northern Colorado Voices under the direction of Kerry Marsh and played euphonium in UNC’s Wind Ensemble. During his time with Lab 1, the band received the best graduate jazz ensemble award from Downbeat magazine. Zimny has performed with other Downbeat award-winning jazz ensembles as well, including the Folsom High School “A” Jazz Band, Folsom High School “A” Jazz Choir, and the Folsom Middle School Jazz Band.
Zimny recently finished his master’s degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder with an MM in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy where he studied with Paul McKee, Dr. John Gunther, Brad Goode, and Jeff Jenkins. Zimny currently works with the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts as an administrator and educator, has performed with a multitude of artists, toured China and Costa Rica, plays with the Broncos Stampede, performed on cruise ships, and can be heard of the song “Faith” recorded for the popular motion picture Sing.
Jonathan's passion for teaching began when he started teaching brass for the local Drum and Bugle Corps Blue Knights in 2014. He currently teaches for the Phantom Regiment in Rockford, IL but Zimny prefers the one on one teaching experience. There, he is able to give each student the attention they need to not only progress on their instrument, but to grow their understanding of music, and most importantly, to have fun.
Stephen Valeriano is a Denver based guitarist, composer, session musician, and music educator. Valeriano began playing guitar at the age of twelve after hearing the guitar work of Jimi Hendrix, and from that moment on, he knew that music was his calling. Valeriano moved to Denver in 2013 to pursue his Bachelor’s in Music,and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2017 with degrees in guitar performance and music composition. During his time at MSU Denver, Valeriano studied privately under renowned Colorado musicians and composers including Alex Komodore, Jeffery LaQautra, Cherise Leiter, Dr. David Farrell, and Dr. Fred Hess. Outside of his studies,Valeriano has been an active performer and music educator, and has run an active guitar studio for five consecutive years. Valeriano has been the recipient of the Kappa Theta Chapter of the National Music Honor Society. As a composer, Valeriano’s work has been featured on the annual Colorado Composer Concert. numerous honors including the Altman Guitar Scholarship, MSU Denver’s Provost Honors Award, and MSU Denver’s 371 composition prize. In the fall of 2017, Valeriano was inducted into the Kappa Theta Chapter of the National Music Honor Society. As a composer, Valeriano’s work has been featured on the annual Colorado Composer Concert.
Eric Anduha is a multi-instrumentalist born and raised in Denver, Colorado who has studied genres spanning Jazz, Romania and Middle Eastern music, Rock, Folk, classical, and bluegrass. He plays guitar, piano, violin, drums, mandolin, oud, ukulele, bass guitar, and some accordion. Including performance for audience large and small, Eric also has experience with independent music production and engineering. He currently holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Guitar performance.
His future plans include working towards a Master’s Degree in Jazz performance, continue performing in bands, playing music abroad, composing more music, maybe picking up a few more instruments, and eventually teaching music at a college or university.
Ike Spivak is a DownBeat Award winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator, and producer from Denver, Colorado.
For over a decade, Ike has pursued an adventurous career dedicated to experiencing humanity and authentically projecting it through improvisation and the creative arts.
Ike's journey began in junior high at Denver School of the Arts where he was exposed to some incredible people. After four years, he decided to take a path less traveled by attending the Jefferson County Open High School; there he was able to focus on more uniquely personalized goals.
In 2014 and 2015 Ike was selected to join the Telluride Jazz Student All-Stars where he worked under the direction of Bob Montgomery and Joshua Quinlan. He later went on to pursue a jazz performance degree at the University of Denver.
While attending DU, Ike was honored with first place in the college big band division of the Next Generation Jazz Festival as well as a DownBeat Student Music Award for best graduate level small group. In 2017 DU presented Ike with the Sterling Nelson Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Jazz Studies.
Raised in Denver's rapidly growing music scene, Ike has enjoyed sharing stages and teaching under the direction of many world-class musicians such as Greg Gizbert, Paul Romaine, Eric Gunnison, and Bijoux Barbosa. In addition to performing, he works as a mentor for young musicians at the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts. Ike has also had the privilege of performing in other parts of the world including Scotland, Italy, Jamaica, and New York City.