Sabrina Dias took her first drum lesson at age 9 and immediately fell in love with drumming and music. Six months later she began playing in church and at 14 was accepted to Arts High School in Newark, NJ as a percussionist. Sabrina played in the Arts High jazz band for four years and also performed at the United Nations for the Inauguration of International Jazz Day, hosted by Herbie Hancock. There she met Sheila E and Stevie Wonder. During this time she also began teaching drums at her local church. In her senior year Sabrina was the first place winner of the Star Ledger/NJPAC Scholarship and went on to attend Kean University. She is now pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Music at New Jersey City University. Sabrina is looking forward to sharing her passion for music with her students here at Sam Ash, Springfield, NJ.
Derek Plavin began playing guitar just before his twelfth birthday and has been passionate about playing the instrument ever since. With an early appreciation for the complexities of music, Derek learned to play many different styles on the guitar and went on to study at the University of Miami Frost School of Music with a focus on jazz guitar. During Derek’s time as a student he also began to gig and teach guitar privately. Through his experience as a performer and instructor, Derek began to appreciate the emotion and creativity that go into playing as well as the attainment of technical proficiency. This influences his approach to teaching in that Derek structures his lessons with the student’s musical interests and goals in mind while making sure the student attains the best overall musical knowledge.
Andre Sims found his love for music at the early age of three and by nine years old was playing classical music by ear. He went on to attend a local music school learning basic reading skills and music theory. In his teenage years Andre was introduced to jazz and began his professional career at 17 when he accompanied artist Regina Bell. Recognized for his musical skills and technique, Andre has since graced the stage with world renowned artists such as Bobbie Humphrey, Herbie Hancock, Roy Ayers, The Boston Orchestra, Quincy Jones, and Stevie Wonder. In addition to to performing with some of the biggest names in the industry, Andre is also a solo pianist and composer orchestrating piano performances and workshops throughout the world including Tokyo, London, Australia, Italy, and South Africa.
Cristian Paez has been playing the guitar since he was eleven years old. He started with two years of private lessons in former Sound-Waves Studios. Cristian worked with several bands focusing on various projects and improvisational skills. He took one year of Jazz Studies with Jazz House of Kids in Montclair NJ and played the local Jazz Festival. Cristian has also taken a couple of small tours through New York, New Jersey, and Philly with rock and jazz-fusion bands. Cristian worked in Customer Service and in the Guitar Department at Sam Ash before becoming an instructor here at the Springfield, NJ store. He is currently accepting new students and will gladly teach and collaborate on song writing, guitar and bass studies, as well as improvisation and interpretation of music.
Duane Kilgore’s interest in music began when he was recruited to play string bass for his middle school’s band program. In high school he played the electric bass in orchestra and realized the relationship between the classical bass lines he learned to the rock music he listened to and played. Duane then attended Montclair State University’s Prep School where he studied music theory, composition, and ensemble playing. He later attended the University itself majoring in music theory and composition. At MSU Duane studied classical harmony, counterpoint, form, and orchestration. He also has vocal and keyboard experience in church music as a choir singer, organist, and also in organ repair, building, and maintenance. Duane teaches students at all levels and is now taking students here at the Sam Ash in Springfield.
Jazmine Andes graduated at the top of her class in 2015 at Rahway High School while serving as woodwind section leader, first-chair flute for concert band, Drum Major of the award-winning marching band, and was also in the Jazz Ensemble, Indoor Percussion Ensemble, and String Orchestra. She has performed at the Beacon Theater for Cyndi Lauper’s Home for the Holidays Concert, Walt Disney World, and in MetLife Stadium for competitions and the NFL. Jazmine has played in the pit orchestra for the musicals 42nd Street, Little Shop of Horrors, and Crazy for You on the flute, piccolo, and alto/tenor saxophones. She has also worked with the Rahway High School Band Program as a Front Ensemble Percussion Tech, Brass and Wind Visual Tech, and as Baritone player for the world class Drum Corps, Fusion Core.
Jerrell Battle is a multi-instrumentalist with 30 of years experience in performing, teaching, and producing music. His experience covers all styles of music from classic rock to country, blues, and pop. Jerrell teaches audio production using Pro-Tools, Reason 8, Cubase, Ableton Live 9, and Sonar X, and also teaches synth programming and sound design. Jerrell’s keyboard method emphasizes development of speed and flow, dynamic articulation, and polyrhythms. He also teaches guitar, bass, and hand percussion. Jerrell has worked with some of the most respected R&B, Pop & Dance producers including, Wyclef Jean, Tom Moulton, Nick Jones, DJ Jose’ Burgos & Hippie Torales. He has also received Gold, Platinum & Grammy nominations for his work with Interscope Recording Artist, ‘City High’.
Kevin Acevedo started out as a self-taught musician. He comes from a long line of musicians and started his musical journey at 2 ½ years old when he became his church’s official drummer. Kevin won his first tri-county talent show at 3 playing the drums. Later on he started expanding his musical talents learning new instruments such as bass, guitar, piano etc. Kevin studied Music Education at Kean University and also performs live as the lead guitarist for bands such as Blessed to Bless, AUNR and has been called to play in big state concerts such nationwide. It is Kevin’s goal is to pass on what he’s learned to his students and to learn along the way with them. He can speak Spanish and English and also understands Portuguese and German.
Jeanne Carno-Rosenberg hails from a musical family and learned to play the drums from her father at age 11. She played in school band, the local marching corps, then went on to play in numerous rock bands and played her first gig at the legendary CBGBs rock club in New York City. To this day she is one of the most in-demand drummers in the downtown NYC rock and roll scene and gigs regularly.
Jeanne started working at the Springfield Sam Ash in 2012 where she worked in the drum department, customer service, and warehouse operations before taking on her current positions as Lesson Coordinator and Drum Instructor. Jeanne enjoys welcoming musicians of all ages and backgrounds to the Sam Ash Learning Center and matching them up with the teachers best suited to meeting their musical aspirations.
Daniel Hutchinson has performed as the principal saxophonist of the Kean University Wind Ensemble and the lead alto saxophonist of the Kean Jazz Ensemble. Additionally, he has performed three times as the principal saxophone of the New Jersey Intercollegiate Wind Ensemble. Along with Daniel’s extensive ensemble experience are numerous awards that he received as a soloist. In his senior year of high school Daniel served as the Drum Major for the Carteret High School Marching Band. Daniel currently performs, composes, and arranges with several rock and independent bands and is also the founder of the 4 of a Kind Saxophone Quartet. Daniel has studied with Andy Fusco, former lead alto for Buddy Rich, and Walt Weiskopf, the current saxophonist for Steely Dan.