Stu Hamm

Through his innovative work as a solo artist and his contributions as a sideman to Joe Satriani andSteve Vai, Stuart Hamm has firmly established himself as one of the most influential electric bassists of the past half-century. Extending the non-traditional function of the electric bass previously revolutionized by Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke in the 1970s, Hamm helped to reshape the contemporary concept of the bass guitar as an unaccompanied instrument with the utilization of polyphonic, two-handed tapping, slapping and popping techniques, chords, and harmonics. He was the first bassist to have a Signature Model Electric Bass with Fender, and has designed sounds and gear for the Hartke, Washburn, Zoom and Korg musical corporations. As one of today’s leading bassists, Hamm has released six critically-acclaimed studio recordings and has enjoyed recording and touring stints with guitar icons Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Greg Howe and Frank Gambale. His long-time associations with Vai and Satriani garnered him award-winning recognition on a global scale, and as a result, Hamm has received an extensive list of accolades such as being voted “Best Jazz Bassist” and “Best Rock Bassist” multiple times in magazine polls conducted by several major print publications worldwide. As an educator, Hamm has released multiple best selling instructional courses and taught at the Berklee School of Music. For more information visit WWW.STUARTHAMM.NET.

Michael Eisenstein

A member of Letters To Cleo from 91-00, Michael Eisenstein has also worked as a guitarist with Melissa Etheridge, Tonic, Nina Gordon, Our Lady Peace, Lisa Loeb, Juliana Hatfield, The Damnwells, Rob Dickinson (Catherine Wheel) and more. After working with Bob Rock, Babyface, and Peter Collins, he relocated to Los Angeles in 2003 adding “Producer/Engineer” to his credits. He also co-leads The Reigning Monarchs, an instrumental surf-ska band.


Drummer Bryan “Brain” Mantia has played with some of rock’s more cult/fringe artists (Praxis, Primus, Tom Waits, Buckethead, Godflesh), as well as more mainstream/renown ones (Guns N’ Roses). He acquired the nickname “Brain” while playing in a high school concert band, due to his obsession with the complex Anthony Cirone book, “Portraits in Rhythm.” Mantia continued to perfect his drumming skills, by studying at such music schools as the Percussion Institute of Technology in Hollywood.

From there, Mantia played with a variety of other outfits, including Tom Waits (Bone Machine), before co-forming the funk/experimental supergroup, Praxis. Included in the group were Parliament-Funkadelic veterans Bootsy Collins (bass) and Bernie Worrell (keyboards), as well as masked guitarist Buckethead and producer Bill Laswell. Brain continued to work with Buckethead even outside of Praxis — playing on such solo Buckethead albums as Giant Robot and Monsters and Robots.

The late ‘90s saw Mantia appear on releases by Godflesh (Songs of Love and Hate, Love and Hate in Dub), and longtime friends, Primus. He toured extensively with the trio and played on such albums as The Brown Album, Rhinoplasty, and Anti-Pop.

Shortly thereafter, Axl Rose invited Mantia to join his overhauled version of Guns N’ Roses (at the insistence of Buckethead, who was brought onboard as Slash’s replacement). Mantia appeared with the group throughout sporadic live dates in 2001 (the Rock in Rio II Festival) and 2002 (the MTV Video Music Awards), while continuing to lay down tracks for the oft-delayed new Guns N’ Roses studio release, Chinese Democracy.

His trip-hop/dub project Fullcone has had songs released on Axiom’s Valis-Destruction Of The Beat, Volumes I and II and Tetragramatron-Submerge compilations.

Brain has released an Instructional drum video/DVD for Warner Bros. (Shredding Repis on the Gnar-Gnar Rad) and was a regular columnist for Drum! Magazine. Additionally, Mantia recorded and produced his own Beat DVD-R Brain: One Stroke Done (Big Fish Audio), consisting of 8 GIGs of 24 bit multitrack Pro Tools drum sessions.

Melissa Reese

Melissa Reese is a musical powerhouse. She began singing and playing piano classically at the age of four. By 14, she was writing her own songs, then at 18 taught herself Pro Tools, Reason and Logic to write, arrange, produce, perform, engineer, and mix her own recordings.

Television has been captivated by the cinematic quality of Melissa’s music. “Ooh La La”, “Pretty Please” and “Old Skool” three of the tracks from LISSA, earned a place in several network cable series’ – Showtime’s “Inside the NFL”, ABC’s “Mistresses” and “Cashmere Mafia”, E!’s “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, The CW’s “Gossip Girl” and “Privileged”, and FX’s “Dirt” to name a few. Melissa’s song “Girlfriend” was also used as the theme song for the Just Fab Shoe commercial campaign, which can be seen on TV as well as online. She has recorded tracks and several commercials with legendary funk artist Bootsy Collins, performed backing vocals for rapper Chuck D and pop singer Vanessa Carlton, co-wrote and produced music for artists like Taylor Swift, neo-soul artist Goapele, and Universal artist Allan Kuo from China. In addition to many other projects of this nature, Melissa has also written/composed music and performed vocals for gaming giants Sony Playstation, EA Games, Xbox.

On the artist’s side, Melissa has been hard at work co-producing and writing songs with Mannie Fresh and Grammy award winning producer Drumma Boy both for her new upcoming album, and for other notable artists. She can also be seen singing the national anthem at several major sporting events for teams like the LA Clippers (at Staples Center), Cleveland Indians (at Progressive Field), the Sacramento Kings (at Sleeptrain Arena), the Chicago White Sox, and the Oakland A’s to name a few. In addition, she was recently honored, having been asked to perform at the 34th annual UNICEF Gala 2015/16 tour in Germany, as a recording artist/ambassador for the United States.

Neil Rambaldi

Neil Rambaldi is an acclaimed instrumental solo artist, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer/songwriter, and producer. He is also an acclaimed guitar and music theory instructor. He possesses a B.A. in Music from William Paterson University, and also attended Berklee College of Music’s Guitar Sessions program, taking classes with the greats Jon Finn and Jack Petersen.

Neil has two solo albums under his belt, which have received rave reviews internationally, along with radio airplay in over 15 countries, and T.V. and Film licensing placements of his music in dozens of countries more for National Geographic, ESPN, and AMC TV among others. His playing styles range from Rock to Blues, Classical, Pop, Folk, Funk, Jazz, Latin Jazz, Fusion, Country Blues, classic Rhythm & Blues, and even some Electronic. Neil has also performed, toured, or recorded with several artists including former Universal recording artist and WWE personality Lilian Garcia, Kenny Simmons of Motown’s The Commodores, and many others, including live regional and national T.V. performances, as well as Music Director and backing vocal duties. Formerly, Neil was also the Assistant Music Director at the School of Rock in Burbank.

Michele Gruska

Acclaimed professional vocal coach. Michele has recorded with singing legends such as Barbara Streisand, Natalie Cole, and renown producer David Foster. Recent Top Ten recording artist Colbie Caillat thanked Michele for her vocal coaching, saying, ” You trained my voice to sound like it does today. You taught me to sing and make it look effortless, and to believe
in what I sing.”

Tim Pedersen

Tim Pedersen is a musician, educator, songwriter, producer and writer. Tim was the Director of the Drum Program at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA for over 12 years. He has recorded and performed with Ron Wood, Mick Taylor, Michael Thompson, Leland Skylar, Tim Bogart, Jeff Pilson, Johnny Nash, Mark Lindsay, Del Shannon and many others. His instructional DVD’s have sold more than 50,000 copies and his YouTube drum videos have nearly 600,000 views. Tim was also the content creator and musical director for Jason Bonham’s Instructional DVD as well as Steven Adler’s “Getting Started With Rock Drumming”.

Steve Ferlazzo

Steve Ferlazzo, a Berklee College of Music Alumni is the current Music Director and keyboardist for multi-platinum recording artist, Avril Lavigne.
Ferlazzo has had a long and well established touring and recording career including tours with Avril Lavigne, Adam Lambert, and Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party, as well as numerous recording sessions with acts such as Cypress Hill and Die Antwoord.
Steve has done synth programming and Live Playback Production for Weezer, Macy Gray, Adam Lambert, Josh Groban, Nelson, and Cassadee Pope. Ferlazzo is also known for his skills on Ableton Live, Apple’s Logic Pro X, and MainStage.

Michael Klooster

Michael Klooster, best known as the keyboardist for the group Smash Mouth, is also a multi instrumentalist and songwriter. Michael also is a talented producer and engineer and works with Pro Tools and Logic. He also fronts his own band, Klooster.

Jake Hayden

Influenced by his drummer Uncle, Jake Michael Hayden wanted to play drums as a young boy. With money being tight, he convinced his mother to buy him a drum kit by spending many hours a day beating on literally anything he could make a drum set out of (paper plate hi-hats, broken electric drums, a milk crate throne, a card table “rack,” and air-drumming double bass). By 12 years old, Hayden had memorized many of his favorite records playing on this makeshift drum kit. Mom was convinced. She brought home a drum set and Hayden blossomed.

During high school, he took his talents to the international stage at the WGI Winter Guard International Sport of the Arts finals in 1998, 99, and 2000. Hayden won three World Championships as a Marimba player, quickly gaining the attention of such icons as Dennis Delucia (Drum Corps International Legend), Gifford Howarth (Instructor of Percussion at Penn State), and Scott Johnson (Instructor for the Blue Devil’s Drum and Bugle Corps). While acquiring a reputation as an orchestral player, Hayden was teaching himself to play the drum set. He loved the drum set so much he took his studies to the highest level, learning from renown drummers Kenwood Denard (Jaco Pastorious), Dave DiCenso (Duran Duran, Hiromi, Josh Grobin), and Mike Mangini (Dream Theater, Steve Vai) at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In 2001 Mangini provided Hayden with his first opportunity playing drum set at the national level, referring him to the 80’s New Wave pop icons, and Frank Zappa alumni “Missing Persons,” replacing one of the legendary drummers of our time Terry Bozzio. In 2004 Hayden Graduated from Berklee with a degree in Professional Music focusing on a mixture of Performance and Business.

Hayden relocated to Los Angeles, CA and in 2009 teamed up with Trev Lukather to form the bands “Slideaway,” and “Intelligent design,” recording with producers Tom Fletcher (Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Lukather) and later, Ross Hogarth (Van Halen, Doobie Brothers). Hayden shared the stage with several acts with those bands including Steve Lukather, Rick Springfield, Tom Waits, and the famed sunset strip rock/comedy act Steel Panther. In 2010 Hayden was hired by American Idol Judge and legendary bass player/producer/A&R executive Randy Jackson to play and record with “The Canyons,” featuring Alisan Porter of “The Voice.” They supported Adam Lambert on his “Glamnation Tour” and performed at the LA Food and Wine Festival, hosted by Wolfgang Puck and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In 2011 Hayden successfully toured South Korea with the 1970’s pop star Leif Garret. In May of 2012 Hayden traveled to Macau, China to perform at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino as the music director and drummer for the burlesque band “Corset Crush.” In 2013 Hayden completed a US tour with the former “Runaway’s” singer Cherie Currie. Between tours in ‘013 Hayden became the Musical Director for the R & B/Contemporary Pop sensation, “Katrina.” Shortly thereafter, Hayden teamed up with Sam Endicott (former frontman of The Bravery) to complete the LA based band, “The Mercy Beat.” In 2014 Hayden joined up with the 2000’s pop icon Ryan Cabrera. Together they co-headlined the “Radio Revival Tour” with “Second Hand Serenade,” appearing on “The Today Show,” “Perez Hilton TV,” and “Hollywood Today,” in 2015. Other notable artists Hayden has played for are Powerman 5000, Paul Rey (Epic Records), Katt Nestel (American Idol), and Magic Giant.

Hayden consistently works with some of the biggest producers, session, and touring musicians in the music business and has quickly become a recognizable name in the drumming community in Los Angeles. Jake Hayden has nearly 20 years of wide ranging stylistic experience as a Touring and Session Drummer, Session Singer, Producer, Musical Director, Band Leader, and Educator. As an artist he proudly represents the Vater Drum Stick, Paiste Cymbals, and Kelly Shu brands.

Eric Gardner

Eric Gardner is a professional session/touring drummer and TV composer.  He’s known for playing drums in Gnarls Barkley, Tom Morello’s band and his own band, Dot Hacker.  He’s recorded and toured with many other artists including; Morrissey, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Moby, Norah Jones, KT Tunstall, Cypress Hill, Ben Lee, The Motels, Wayne Kramer, Clint Mansell to name a few.  He’s played on many records and film scores such as Silver Linings Playbook and has scored for TV shows on MTV’s. Eric grew up in Boston where he studied privately with Alan Dawson, who also taught Tony Williams, Vinnie Coliauta and many other legendary drummers.  Eric was later named a recipient of the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts award in jazz performance.  He then went on the study at the University of Miami School of Music where he double majored in Studio Music and Jazz and Music Business.

Andre LaFosse

Andre LaFosse (pronounced ON-draye laugh-OSS) is a guitarist, producer, and chronic deconstructionist. His ongoing experiments with gene-splicing his own musical DNA involve the intersection of live looping, rock, free improvisation, jazz, avant-garde, film scoring, electronics, and contemporary classical. He has shared bills and/or performed with Mike Keneally, David Torn, Michael Manring, Henry Kaiser, Don Preston, Chris Opperman, and many others.

Allee Futterer

Allee Futterer is a Los Angeles based session bassist and writer. She has worked with artists such as Kiesza, Sonnet Simmons, and Redd Carterand has performed at notable venues such as Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall. In addition to live performances her playing has been featured on many advertising campaigns and television shows.

Allee mentored with legendary session bassist Carol Kaye before attending Berklee School of Music where she studied under Whit Browne and Danny Morris. Post Berklee Allee spent three years working under composer, Jonathan Elias at Elias Arts Santa Monica. She currently plays in The Suffragettes, Westisde6 & the Astronots. Allee also writes for several publications including; Bass Musician Magazineand Verge Magazine.

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