RICK STACK - Owner of St. Paul Guitar Studio. Rock, Blues, Fusion Instructor
Available: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs, Sat
Born in Boston Massachusetts and also having lived in Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA and New York City, Rick currently lives in St. Paul, Mn. Rick began playing the guitar at age 11 and was playing professionally by age 15, and teaching professionally at age 16. Rick has played over 3000 Rock, Blues, Jazz and Funk gigs throughout parts of the US, Mexico, Caribbean and Cuba over the last 27 years for crowds up to 10,000 people.
A graduate of Musicians Institute, Hollywood, CA Rick has studied with Paul Gilbert (Racer X, Mr. Big, solo), Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck), Mike Ward (The Wallflowers, Ben Harper, John Hiatt, School of Fish), Scott Henderson (Tribal Tech, solo), Nick Nolan, Norman Brown, Paul Hanson, Russ Parish (Fight), Bruce Bouilett (Racer X), Gary Hoey, Steve Trovato and Keith Wyatt. Outside of Musicians Institute Rick has continued his studying with Iconoclastic guitarist David "FuZe" Fiuczynski (Screaming Headless Torsos, Kif, Hiromi, solo).
Rick Stack's music is a distinctive and exciting blend of Jazz, Rock and Funk, with influences from Indian, Middle Eastern and Latin music. Rick's debut solo album Reconstruction features 12 songs written, arranged and produced by Stack. He is currently writing songs for his second album and can be seen playing around the Twin Cities with his Trio and Quartet.
Rick Stack is the owner of St. Paul Guitar Studio. Rick is one of the instructors and has taught over 60,000 private lessons, averaging 50 students a week for 26 years. Rick enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities, incorporating a lesson plan that goes through 12 levels. The first level is for the absolute beginner, up to level 12 for the advanced player. Rick also welcomes customizing this plan based on the individual students musical interests. Rick has plans to open up Minneapolis Guitar Studio in the Fall of 2011.
Eight White Elephants
Jeff Ray is an innovator of the acoustic blues and folk music styles, specializing in slide-guitar and applications of unique alternate guitar tunings.
Ray started his career when he moved to Memphis, TN at the age of 17 and began performing on the infamous Beale St. with local Memphis musicians. In the late 1990's, Jeff moved back to the North and began focusing on the acoustic guitar, influenced by folk and blues musicians like Nick Drake, Bob Brozman, Mississippi John Hurt, Duane Allman, and Bukka White, to name a few. In 2004, he was inspired by local Minnesota-based resonator guitar players like Charlie Parr, Cam Waters, Steve Kaul, and Pat Donohue and picked up a National Resonator guitar and began perfecting the art of acoustic-blues finger-style slide-guitar. Since taking up the resonator guitar, Jeff Ray has also studied with Indian musicians like the famous Indian slide-guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya and has been incorporating elements of Indian classical music into his songwriting and performances.
Jeff Ray has since released four original full-length CDs and has toured the country and has been featured on radio and in international publications. He regularly performs locally and across the Midwest. He was one of the first instructors to join the St Paul Guitar Studio and has had a dedicated cadre of students learning the acoustic guitar ever since.
Jeff is comfortable teaching all ranges of expertise, from beginners to advanced players. He is also open to teaching many different styles of acoustic guitar, from acoustic rock and blues, to folk, singer/songwriter and country. For advanced students, he specializes in acoustic finger-style Blues guitar and slide-guitar as well as improvising, theory, songwriting, alternate guitar tunings, and performance.
Jeff's teaching style focuses on learning concepts and techniques through songs. The song selections are selected based on style and student requests. This method keeps lessons fun and interesting and helps the student feel like they are making progress and that they are not lost or bogged down.
In High School Todd gained much experience and many awards as a Trumpet player. He is a self taught drummer and was the Jazz Band’s bass guitarist. After High School graduation Todd began teaching guitar at a music store in West St Paul, Minnesota. After 2 years of teaching a full schedule of students and gigging with local favorite band’s “The Regime” and “Hurricane Alice”, Todd decided to further his musical education at the Guitar Institute of Technology, (GIT) in Hollywood California. (One year earlier Todd was a runner up in the Fender Guitar, GIT, Eric Clapton Scholarship Contest. He won a Fender Strat and Twin Reverb.)
At GIT, Todd studied with many great guitar players including Paul Gilbert, Frank Gambale, Jeff Berlin (Bass), Scott Henderson and others. There he immersed himself in his studies of guitar, gigged in various bands, did studio session work, and eventually taught lessons at the school. Todd even appeared in a Pepsi commercial! During this time Todd was also recording and sending out home recorded demos that showcased his unique guitar playing and songwriting skills. Some of these demos showed up on internationally released compilation CD’s, and gained him international exposure. It eventually lead to his debut solo record on the highly regarded guitar instrumental label Shrapnel Records.
After a 6 year stay in California, Todd was asked to become the Head of the Rock Guitar department at The American Institute of Music, located in Vienna, Austria. Todd stayed for 2 years then moved back to Minnesota to teach at Music Tech of Minneapolis. (now called McNally Smith) Todd now teaches a weekly schedule of around 40 private students of all ages, levels and styles. He has since recorded 3 instrumental CD’s;”Omnipresent”, “Eccentricity”, and “Electric Cartoon Music from Hell” with his multi-international side project Electrocution 250. Guitar World magazine named Todd the 3rd fastest guitarist in the world July 2008! Todd also gigs and records with the local band Common Ground.
Zeb has been performing professionally since age 15, and teaching guitar since 1994. He has taught at several locations around the twin cities, with as many as 55 students per week, ranging in age from 6 to 70+ years old. Zeb is also a graduate of McNally Smith College of Music, with a bachelor's degree in guitar performance.
He is proficient in many styles of guitar playing, and has extensive knowledge of improvisational soloing, various rhythm guitar styles, music theory, composition, transcription/notation, reading, as well as fingerstyle and classical guitar.
Zeb can be seen performing in the metro area with his classic rock/R&B band The Brute Squad, his acoustic duo Jess & Zeb, or any number of other solo/duo/band side projects or fill-in gigs.
Nicholas Champeau is an accomplished guitarist/teacher/composer who recently relocated back in Minneapolis after completing his Master's of Music degree at the University of Southern California in Studio/Jazz guitar. While living in Los Angeles, Nick performed regularly at top clubs in town, recorded guitar for multiple professional projects, and taught both classes and private lessons at USC, in partial fulfillment of his Teaching Assistant position.
Guitarists that Nick has studied with include Tim Sparks (jazz and fingerstyle), Jim Flagel and Jeffrey Van (of UMN), Adam Del Monte (classical and flamenco), Richard Smith (jazz, pop, funk), Pat Kelley (blues, jazz), and Steve Trovato (country, gypsy jazz).
Nick began teaching professionally at 18 and continues to see his students succeed with their own music, including one student of his that was recently awarded a prestigious scholarship to study guitar performance at McNally Smith College of Music. No matter what your playing style is (rock, folk, country, jazz, blues, metal, classical, etc.), Nick can help you reach your musical dreams!
Someday My Prince Will Come
Nowhere is Somewhere to Me
BENJAMIN KUNKEL - Classical and Beginning Acoustic Guitar
Classical guitarist Benjamin Kunkel, a native Minnesotan, began playing guitar at the age of nine. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 2007, studying under guitarist Jeffrey Van. He earned his Master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2009, studying under world-famous guitarist Jason Vieaux. While at CIM he was twice awarded the Rosalia Ablan Memorial Prize in Guitar. After enjoying success as a guitar instructor and performer in Cleveland, Ohio, Benjamin returned to Minneapolis in 2011.
Benjamin is an active solo and chamber musician and has given many concert appearances, including recent performances presented by the Minnesota Guitar Society, Cleveland Classical Guitar Society, Cleveland Composers Guild, Greater Cleveland Flute Society, Edinboro University, The Music Settlement, and Chamber Music Midwest. While passionate about the traditional guitar repertoire, Benjamin is also a strong advocate of new music. He frequently premieres new works, collaborating with composers to expand the classical guitar’s repertoire.
A dedicated teacher, Benjamin brings excitement, expertise, and an understanding of the learning process to his instruction at St. Paul Guitar Studio. He offers solid experience teaching students of all ages and ability levels, having previously served on the faculty of The Music Settlement and Fairmount Center for the Arts in Cleveland, Ohio. Lessons are designed to develop sound technique, music-reading skills, rhythm and musicality, helping students become both skilled guitarists and excellent musicians. His aim is to help you find and reach your goals in music.
JOEL SHAPIRA - Jazz, Classical, Latin, Blues, Rock
Joel Shapira is a top performing jazz and classical guitarist based in the Twin Cities. His educational background includes studies with some of the world's great players and teachers including jazz legends Joe Pass and Tal Farlow. He studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Mannes School of Music in NYC and currently studies classical guitar with Alan Johnston. He performs regularly with many top Twin Cities jazz players and vocalists including notable instrumentalists Phil Hey, Pete Whitman, Tom Lewis, Dave Schmalenberger, and many others, as well as vocalist Charmin Michelle with whom he has recorded two highly regarded CDs. For twelve years he was one third of the modern jazz trio Triplicate who released two CDs that received national airplay. He is currently a member of swing band Vic Volare and the Volare Lounge Orchestra, plays public and private solo guitar gigs extensively, and leads his own quartet which released their first CD Open Lines this past year to glowing reviews in JazzTimes and on the Jazz Police website. He has over twenty years teaching experience with students of all ages and experience levels, and has a wealth of knowledge and insight to help all aspiring guitarists develop to their full potential.
Hit on Twelve
The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
DREW HURST - Rock, Metal, Classical, Jazz/Fusion, Guitar and Electric Bass
Drew is a guitarist, instructor, and composer based out of St. Paul, MN. He has been teaching and performing professionally since the age of 16. He currently performs in his own group, Arrhythmogen: an instrumental progressive-rock trio for which he serves as lead guitarist and primary composer. In addition, Drew is the lead guitarist for the touring stage productions, Power Balladz, Rock Sirenz, and Mudshark and often fills in on guitar duties for various rock, funk, country, and blues groups. Drew has played hundreds of gigs all across the country and abroad and carries this practical experience into his teaching approach.
Drew graduated Magna Cum Laude with his B.M. in Guitar Performance from McNally Smith College of Music and is currently finishing up his M.M. in Guitar Performance (also at McNally Smith). While most of his studies have been rooted in contemporary music, Drew has also studied classical guitar. He has taught hundreds of students of all ages and experience levels and has college classroom experience. In addition to guitar, Drew is experienced in teaching music theory, composition, and performance techniques in both private and group settings.
Michael Ziegahn has been involved with music and the guitar since graduating from Highland Park Sr. High School ……. a while ago. He started teaching himself to play songs of Woody Guthrie and Donovan but switched to the solo nylon stringed guitar upon hearing recordings of Andreas Segovia and Manitas de Plata, classical and flamenco masters respectively.
He went on to study with Michael and Tony Hauser, Paul Berget, Dan Glass, James McGuire and Pedro Cortes Jr., locally and Luis Marvilla, Antonio Andrade and a group class with the great Manolo Sanlucar, in Spain.
For the past several years he has been class guitarist for the Anda Flamenco dance school as well as accompanying their student shows and the 2005 fringe festival show Dona Quixote. Other groups he has performed with include Rincon del Flamenco, Zorongo Flamenco, dancers Collette Illarde and Sachiko as well as his own group Sendero Flamenco.
He is also a past president of the Minnesota Guitar Society as well as having performed in their first Flamenco Guitarathon in 2007.
Mike believes that a thorough understanding of the flamenco guitar involves an appreciation of the song, dance and lifestyle of the flamencos of southern Spain, the birthplace of the art form.
His only requirement would be that a student have the appropriate nylon stringed classical/flamenco guitar.
Dan Schwartz is an acclaimed acoustic guitarist with a degree in American Finger-Style Guitar Performance from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music/University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Dan began teaching at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music's Young Guitarists Program in 1992. As a part of the Milwaukee Foundation for Guitar Studies, and Stropes Editions, Ltd., Dan is at the forefront of developments in the transcription, notation and editing of finger-style guitar music. This work has been published in Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, Fingerstyle Guitar and the Italian guitar magazine Chitarre. He has written and released six CDs, and has been featured on several acoustic guitar compilations including the Internationally released Narada compilations: Masters of Acoustic Guitar, and Guitar Fingerstyle 2. Dan is an active performer, producer, recording engineer and teacher in the Twin Cities area. He is also the parent of three young Suzuki students.
The Suzuki Method has helped hundreds of thousands of young children throughout the world experience the joy of music and develop musical skills. Here are a few key elements of this approach:
• The Suzuki Method is based on how children learn their native language.
• Suzuki teachers believe that musical ability can be developed in all children.
• Students begin at young ages (from age 3).
• Parents play an active role in the learning process.
• Students learn from and motivate other students in group lessons.
• Students regularly listen to repetoire recordings to internalize music.
• Technique is taught in the context of pieces rather than exercises.
• Pieces are refined through constant review.
• Students get comfortable with their instrument before reading music.
• Students perform frequently, individually and in groups.
For more information on the Suzuki Method please contact Dan at 612-616-0396, or visit the Suzuki Association of the Americas website: www.suzukiassociation.org
Nick Haas has a music performance degree from Hamline University, where he studied classical guitar with David Crittenden. Since graduating in 2001, he has also studied jazz guitar with Joel Shapira and flamenco guitar with Scott Mateo Davies. Nick has performed in a wide variety of settings, ranging from solo and duo guitar, to combos and big bands. Currently he plays with, The Nick Haas Trio, SayLovey, Bankrupt In Panama, Headspace, and Quarteto Mateo. You can often find Nick playing at Minnesota's two premier Jazz clubs, The Artist's Quarter in St. Paul, and The Dakota in Minneapolis.
Haas enjoys teaching beginning and intermediate guitar students of all ages and abilities. His strengths in teaching are teaching students to read music, improvise, understand the fundamentals of music, and have fun.
Currently Haas is available for lessons on Thursdays and Saturdays.
AL VORSE - Rock, Funk, Jazz, Beginning Upright Bass
Born in Florida, bassist Alan "Al" Vorse has been playing bass guitar for over 20 years. After graduating from Jefferson High School in Bloomington, Al went on to study music at Normandale Community College and Allegheny College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Upon returning to the Twin Cities area, he went on to study with area bassists such as Anthony Cox (John Scofield, Joe Lovano), Chris Bates (Atlantis Quartet), Jim Anton (Johnny Lang, Greazy Meal) and Ron Evaniuk (Eric Gravatt).
Al has performed and recorded with many local bands since 1997 including regional touring with country artist Rebecca Leland. He is currently playing upright bass and bass guitar with local folk/roots artist Thomas Kivi and the Immigrants (http://www.reverbnation.com/thomaskivi). He can be heard on Kivi's debut album Crying Child that received airplay on 89.3 The Current.
An experienced rock and R&B player, Al also enjoys playing jazz, Latin, Brazilian and world music. An upright bassist for the last 5 years, Al can also help students interested in making the transition from bass guitar to upright bass.
Born and raised on the East Coast, Michael Carvale moved to Minneapolis, MN in the early 90's to attend The McNally School of Music (formerly Music Tech). Over the years, his bass playing has landed him all over North America and Northern Europe and has been featured on radio, film and television all over the world.
Michael is well versed in a number of styles, ranging from Rock, Pop, American Roots, Blues, R & B and Jazz. His teaching places an emphasis on versatility, stressing the importance of being comfortable playing bass with anyone, regardless of their style or background. Specializing in electric and double bass, he puts particular focus on theory, reading, fingerboard knowledge, technique, composition, improvisation and ear training. Michael has been a professional musician for 20 years and has taught all styles of music to all ages. Aside from teaching and live performance, Michael has been featured on countless recordings as a session player for some of the Twin Cities' top performers. Residing here in St. Paul, MN he is thrilled to be a teacher at The St. Paul Guitar Studio.
Carvale has received numerous Readers Poll Awards for his performance and contributions with different artist, including
Two Life Time Achievement awards for his work with The Lamont Cranston Band over the years and the prestigious "P.O.P. Award" from the Minnesota Music Academy.
In August 2006 Michael was inducted in the Minnesota Rock & Roll/Country Hall of Fame.
Some of the artists Michael have shared the stage with: Davina and The Vagabonds, Lamont Cranston, Buddy Guy, Bo Diddley, Paul Schaffer, Keb Mo, The Blues Brothers, Wilson Picket, Pinetop Perkins, Yes, John Hammond, Gatemouth Brown, John Lee Hooker, Jeff Healy, Ruth Brown, Taj Mahal, Little Richard, Delbert McClinton, Hubert Sumlin, Booker T and the MG's, James Hunter, and Dr. John. For a more extensive resume, please visit: http://www.mcarvale.com
Mike Hedding has been playing mandolin with some of the Midwest’s top bluegrass groups since discovering the mandolin. Steeped in the bluegrass tradition of Bill Monroe, Mike now studies with Grammy Award winning mandolin player Mike Compton and teaches workshops in the Midwest. Mike also has an extensive knowledge of music theory and rhythm which plays a large role in how he teaches mandolin.
Picking up the banjo a year after the mandolin, Mike has also been traveling around the Midwest playing in the bluegrass group The New North String Band with fellow instructor Ryan Kimm. Mike’s banjo playing is now being heard on bluegrass radio stations across the country since The New North String Band released their debut album May 30th, 2009. Mike plays Scruggs/Crowe style as well as melodic banjo.
Up Above The Timberline
Lonesome Moonlight Waltz