After graduating from New York University with a B.A. in Film Production & Music Production, Carl Restivo was introduced to Wyclef Jean. They bonded instantaneously and began writing, producing, and recording songs for Wyclef’s album The Preacher’s Son, resulting in the song “Linda”, that they wrote together, which also features Carl on guitar and co-lead vocals. 

During this time, Restivo was also teaching music to kids at the School of Rock in New York City. At the request of founder Paul Green, Carl accepted the Music Director position of the new School of Rock in Hollywood, CA. Carl served as Music Director for 5 years, and directed young musicians age 7-17 in over 100 shows.

During his time as MD of The School of Rock Hollywood, Carl was asked to join the band Satellite Party by Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction) and Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme). Restivo served as Music Director, bassist, and backing vocalist of the group, which performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Carson Daly before touring across Europe, UK, and USA. 

Shortly following Satellite Party, Restivo joined Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) to be the Music Director of his two bands The Nightwatchman and Street Sweeper Social Club, with The Coup’s Boots Riley. The band went on tour in the US with Jane’s Addiction and Nine Inch Nails. Restivo continues to work with Tom Morello, and has been MD for Morello’s solo projects since.

Over the following years Restivo landed a spot as a guitarist for Rihanna on her promotional tour for her record Rated R. The tour spanned from SNL and Good Morning America live performances in New York, to the United Arab Emirates’ capital Abu Dhabi, with many stops in between in US and UK. Carl also had the pleasure of performing on guitar with Jason Derulo on The View (ABC) & The Teen Choice Awards (FOX), as well as Taio Cruz at Anaheim Angels Stadium and in England at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend Festival to a crowd of over 70,000 people.

Restivo also co-founded The Rock School Scholarship Fund which is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that raises money for students who want to attend a rock music school, but whose parents can’t afford it.

Carl’s song “Go All the Way (Into the Twilight)” was on the Twilight Soundtrack, which he co-wrote with Perry Farrell. The soundtrack was Grammy Nomintated, and has sold 4.5 million copies worldwide to date.

Recently, Restivo just completed the end credit song “The Promised Land” for the Martin Scorcese film Revenge of the Green Dragons which was released late last year.  Restivo’s guitar work can be found throughout the soundtrack and score to Sony Playstation 4’s “Infamous – Second Son”.

Carl continues to write, produce and record his own music and regularly performs and collaborates with up-and-coming artists and songwriters, while still finding time to compose for television and film.



Marisa is the CEO and Co-founder of Paramount Academy of Music. She is a proven leader having co-founded Vita Nova Arts and Mosaics with her husband Rodger Gariano. At Vita Nova she served in numerous capacities including CEO, project and design director, and associate director on some of the most iconic hotels and resorts worldwide including The Bellagio (LV), The Wynn (LV), and The Plaza (NY). Marisa served as president of various parent associations from Woodland Hills Private School to Topanga Elementary Charter School and a parent liaison for the Gifted and Talented education program at Hale Middle School, as well as being a parent of a teen musician.

All the experience from Marisa’s diverse background combined with her great passion for music, support of young musical artists, and an understanding of the music community, converged in the founding of a Paramount Academy of Music. Having had first hand knowledge of life as the parent of a teenage singer-songwriter, she understands the importance of not only a good music education, but also the value of what a musical community of friends and mentors who share the same determination can do for an aspiring musician.

Marisa’s fervor for music began in her youth while singing for local bands throughout the Los Angeles area. This love fueled her fascination of the impact music has in the development of the brain and its long lasting effects. This awareness deepened when both her parents recently entered assisted living due to diminishing memory issues. Introducing music back into their lives created a marked improvement in their memory recall with lyric memorization and past music-memory association. To Marisa, it was clear that she needed to make sure that the accessibility of music education was available to others to create life long changes, whether through students focusing on a musical career, or by simply giving them the opportunity to have a companion in music for life. So, through passionate determination she has partnered with individuals who share this common goal and thereby created Modern Music Conservatory.



Rodger Gariano’s background is in the fine arts. After selling his business in 2007 he became involved in numerous charity organizations revolving around improving the lives of children.

Rodger’s interest in co-founding Paramount Academy of Music (PAM) has always been for him to serve as the “Scholarship Ambassador” for the school. His specific goal is to make certain that no child is turned away because their parents cannot afford to send them to PAM. To this end Rodger will spearhead fund raising events, engage community outreach, and shamelessly reach out to corporate sponsors.

Through Rodger’s work with Wendy Winks of the Rock School Scholarship Fund, PAM now has it’s own branded nonprofit called Paramount Academy of Music Scholarship Fund. In this way all donations are tax deductible to the donor.

Stay tuned to Rodger’s work in raising money for our students!

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