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NORTH SHORE MUSIC INSTITUTE

400 Central Ave  Suite 003  Northfield, IL 60093          (847) 441-4150        

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BETH REINSTEIN

 

NSMI INSTRUCTORS

are vetted for high level musicianship

and exceptional teaching ability

 

Not all musicians are great instructors, and not all instructors are great musicians. We demand both.

 

NSMI requires all instructors pass a state and federal background check

Beth Reinstein is a singer living the dream in the Chicago music scene.  She began her singing endeavors at the age of eight when she joined her synagogue’s youth choir on a whim and from there she was smitten.  She decided to continue her music education at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. There she studied with Jeff Morrow & Cheryl Wilson and received Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz & Contemporary Voice.

 

While in school, Beth discovered her love for songwriting.  Drawing inspiration from No Doubt, Amy Winehouse, Sara Bareilles and Ella Fitzgerald, Beth began to grow a collection of her own songs ranging in all different subgenres of pop.  From there she created her solo project under her stage persona, Elle Casazza.  As Elle she was named “8 Young Chicago Artists Making a Dent in Music” in Paste Magazine.

 

Since graduating Beth has performed all over the city of Chicago including the House of Blues, the Auditorium Theatre, the Jazz Showcase, Daley Plaza, Schubas, Martyrs and many more.

 

You can check out more at www.ellecasazza.com. 

Reinsteind 640x960

Mike Harvey is a singer, writer, arranger, and producer who with his own band, became one of the first ‘Up and Coming Artist’ for New York City’s Verizon Wireless’ very first music festival in Bryant Park. He has worked steadily in Chicago and NYC for 24 years. His most recent high profile gig was contracting and singing background for Stevie Wonder’s ‘Songs In the Key of Life’ tour in Chicago and Detroit. For the 17 years that he lived in NYC, he sang on many projects for television that included Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and several TV specials. His voice can be heard singing background on many records that include two Grammy winners, and countless commercials. He also has done voiceover work for major clients that include Comcast and McDonald’s. His most recent gigs includes lending his voice to a few dates on the Stevie Wonder's 'Songs In the Key of Life' tour and singing background for the hit Fox TV show 'Empire'. Mike is extremely versatile and is one of the very few vocalists that can also be a music director for a band or artist.

 

ALBUMS

Sting, Diana Ross, Steely Dan, R. Kelly, Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson, Luther Vandross, Ricky Martin, Anita Baker, Randy Brecker, Jose Mari Chan, Linda Eder, Donald Fagen, Rob Mathes, Matthew Morrison, Billy Porter, Jane Kelly Williams

 

TV APPEARANCES

Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’ Brian, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock,  PBS special featuring Shelley MacArthur and George Perris, John Lennon Tribute ‘Imagine’ @ Radio City Music Hall NYC, The Steve Harvey Show,Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Rosie O’ Donnell Show

 

LIVE PERFORMANCES

Seal (Human Being Tour), Stevie Wonder ‘Songs In the Key of Life’ tour 2014 (Chicago/Detroit), Sting’s Rainforest Concert at Carnegie Hall NYC, Al Green ­ Hillary Clinton’s birthday Bash at Roseland, NYC, One night @ Wembley Stadium in London: Mary J Blige, Toni Braxton, Jon Bon Jovi, Chaka Khan, K.D. Lang, Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood, Beyonce (Queen Mary II, NYC), Roberta Flack (San Diego, CA and Central Park Mass in NYC), Korn (Live Album recorded at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC), Nathan Lane, Rob Mathes (featured soloist), Robin Thicke (NHL Awards Show), Threepenny Opera (Ballad singer ­ took over for recording artist, Cee­Lo)

 

MOVIES

Anastasia, Hoodlums, The Last Days of Disco, The Love Guru, Sparkle (2012 remake)

MIKE HARVEY

Joel Baer is an active performing and recording drummer in the Chicago area. Joel gained an interest in drums at an early age after watching his father Jeff play at church on a weekly basis. At the age of 11, he began formal instruction from drum educator Jack Brand in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois. Under Brand’s guidance, Joel developed his love for Jazz.  

 

This led to a B.M. in Jazz Studies from Elmhurst College and M.M. from DePaul University where he studied with Bob Rummage and Dana Hall. Joel is an in-demand sideman in the Chicago Blues scene. He’s worked extensively with blues guitarists Pistol Pete and Jimmy Nick, playing throughout the midwest and competing in the International Blues Challenge in 2012 and 2013. He also performs with the Corey Dennison Band, with whom Joel performed and was interviewed for WYCC’s concert series on PBS in 2014. Over the past five years, Joel has been fortunate to perform with blues legends like Buddy Guy, Eddie Shaw and Sam Lay. 

JOEL BAER

SEAN O'KEEFE

Sean O'Keefe is a record producer and mixer from Chicago IL. He earned his first gold record at the age of 23. Since then has produced 2 more gold and platinum records and his productions have been nominated for multiple Grammy awards including best song of the year as well as reaching #1 on billboard and iTunes charts

 

Sean started out playing in bands in high school. That led to his interest in the recording process. As soon as he graduated New Trier he applied for an internship at a studio in the city. After multiple rejections they finally gave him a meeting and he started work the next day. He quickly "graduated" from intern to assistant to engineer and started producing local bands on his own. His first production at that studio landed the band a record deal and he was able to produce the rest of that record. Later he would go on to produce a song called "Hey There Delilah" for that same record company making that their largest success to this day. 

 

Right after that first project completed he started working with his friends Patrick and Pete's brand new band they called "Fall Out Boy". The demos he did for them also landed them their record deal. Sean produced the rest of that record landing him his first gold record and also brought that record company their largest selling record at that time. One year after that he produced a record for a brand new band called Hawthorne Heights.  That record went platinum and again brought that record company their largest selling record to this day.

 

Since then Sean has produced and mixed countless other successful recordings. He is known for finding raw talent and developing it into something the world can enjoy. He has made a number of independent records that have ended up being sold to major label record companies such as Sony, Columbia, and Wind-up Records as well as many independent companies, therefore landing those bands their record deals. 

 

His instruction is intended for any musical artists, including musicians, engineers, mixers, producers, and more to teach a wide variety of areas of music production that explore key concepts of effective producing, including professional recording techniques, creating different styles and moods, production techniques from different eras, recording basic tracks, developing tracks with layers and sound design, professional mixing techniques, and more.

 

"What Sean has to teach you could be the difference between being a basement band and a platinum-selling or critically acclaimed artist/producer."

-Patrick Stump

Fall Out Boy

 

"It is a rare thing to find someone who can operate comforatbly on both sides of the glass. That comes partially from many years of experience, which Sean has, but also from an innate understanding of the creative process."

-Matt Walker

Smashing Pumpkins

Louie Zagoras is the founder, lead singer/lead guitarist and primary songwriter for the band ROLLOVER.  Louie and the band toured the country extensively in the 90's when the band's first record broke big on Chicago's 93.1 WXRT-FM radio.  Louie's song "Shipwreck" was the break-out single.  Louie was the first Chicago rock artist to be signed by the legendary Bill Graham Management (Santana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Neville Brothers, Joe Satriani, etc.). With the popularity of ROLLOVER's debut CD growing, Bill Graham Management put the band on the road supporting top rock acts like The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Satriani, Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler, The Neville Brothers, John Hiatt, Hot Tuna, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Robin Trower, Cheap Trick, Eddie Money, and many others.

 

Louie lets his music speak for itself and by his own choice always adds plenty of Guitar.  He loves and has been influenced by the music of Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Tom Petty and other classic bands and artists.  His sound is described as "roots rock meets the blues".

 

In 1995, Louie's song "Shipwreck" was featured on A&M Records "H.O.R.D.E. CD Sampler".  They were constantly on the road, sometimes spending months traveling from L.A to New York and back again.  This gave the band a chance to really develop their sound and tighten up their already exciting live shows.  The band did many tour dates supporting Joe Satriani and performed with him in the U.K for a month of sold out shows in 1996.  Upon returning to the states the band did two more sold-out nights with Joe at the famous Fillmore in San Francisco.

 

Louie's songs have been used for TV shows (CBS’s The Rachael Ray Show, Nash Bridges, Spelling Productions etc.) and movies (Lost and Confused).  For the last 17 years, he has been writing songs with Roy Marinell.  Roy co- wrote “Werewolves of London”, “Excitable Boy”, other hits with the late great Warren Zevon. Roy also recently co-wrote “All Summer Long” with Kid Rock.  Louie is also a Producer, Recording Engineer and Session Musician.  He produced all of the ROLLOVER CDs as well as the new “Twenty Fingers” solo CD.  He has also produced many other artists including 9-year old Guitar Wizard, Tallan T-man Latz. Louie is a multi-instrumentalist who also plays piano, bass, drums, sitar, harmonica, Hammond B-3, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, percussion and many other instruments.

 

After three nationally distributed CDs and countless tours with ROLLOVER, Louie has released his first solo CD, “Twenty Fingers” on Isis Records.  Produced by Louie and The Herron Brothers, it features top Chicago musicians Jay Davenport on Drums, Ed Stevenson and Mark Gleed on keyboards and former Black Crowes/Jimmy Page bassist Greg Rzab.  Joe Satriani says "Twenty Fingers" is a joy to listen to.”

 

 

Check on Louie on Reverb Nation

LOUIE ZAGORAS

DAVID BERGER

Dave has been playing guitar longer than he can remember. Although a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago and a former member of the American Conservatory of Music, he has still managed to perform professionally his entire life, and is fluent in a wide range of styles. Highlights include a stint touring with the Staples Singers, some time backing up Otis Clay, and performances on Italian television and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Toronto Gospelfest. For the past several years David’s original music trio Blue Soul has played the Taste of Chicago as well as local-area clubs. In addition, he has played innumerable jazz, rock and society gigs with local Chicago groups. He also works for several production companies promoting and producing original music for other artists. You can hear Dave on many blues, gospel, and jazz recordings, including the 2014 released Michael Fiorino Ensemble 456.

Tristan Warwick comes from a family of musicians and educators, and is passionate about carrying on that tradition. Studying music and playing piano for more than 20 years, he has captivated audiences and judges alike with his performances and interpretations of all the great classical standards. A veteran performer, Tristan has experience not only playing live concerts and competitions, but also live radio and live television. 

 

Having won over 100 first place awards from various piano competitions and festivals, earning multiple degrees from some of Chicago’s best universities, and teaching students of all ages and abilities for over a decade, Tristan is equally ready and at home performing at your next special get together or big event, or teaching you everything from the basics of how to play the piano to the most advanced of musical techniques and artistries.

 

Tristan was taught piano and music theory in the early years of his life by renowned pedagogue Edward Parker. Tristan then went on to study at DePaul University where he earned both his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance, studying the entire time under world famous concert artist Eteri Andjaparidze. While there, he was a frequent solo performer on the AmerKlavier series of concerts, gave performances on radio WFMT, and was part of various chamber ensembles and orchestras. Tristan went on to continue studies at Roosevelt University’s CCPA where he could be found giving solo recitals in Ganz Hall, premiering new works of music, and again performing with many of the ensembles and orchestras that the school had to offer; all the while earning a Performance Diploma under the tutelage of acclaimed pianist Jorge Federico Osorio.

 

A passionate teacher, Tristan has been helping to raise the next generation of Chicago pianists and musicians for over a decade and is ready to share all of his knowledge and experience with you!  Students always come away from lessons having not only learned about the music they are studying, but having had a lot of fun doing it! As your instructor, Tristan will help guide you along your musical journey in a way that is custom tailored to your own unique needs, abilities and preferences so that you are always learning material that is fun, relevant, and educational.

TRISTAN WARWICK

Desi Tantchev holds BM and MM from the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria and has been performing with leading European orchestras in Bulgaria, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Italy, Switzerland.

She is currently a member of Symphony Quartet and is principal violist for the Orchestra of Exploration, Whiting Park festival Orchestra and performs regularly with the Illinois Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and Northbrook Symphony.

Ms. Tantchev teaches both Traditional and Suzuki methods and is on the faculty of MCMC in Crystal Lake since 2002. She also teaches at Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North High schools and NSMI in Northfield.

DESI TANTCHEV

Dan Pierson is a pianist, composer, educator, and audio engineer from Chicago, Il. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.

During his studies he performed with Greg Tuohey, Kevin Turner, Ron Bridgewater, Tito Carrillo, Chip McNeil, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, and internationally recognized erhuist Yang Ying. Pierson toured China with Yang Ying in the Fall of 2011.

Upon moving to Chicago, Pierson has become involved in a myriad of artistic projects in and around the city. He co-founded improvisational piano trio Rooms with whom he has developed a large repertoire of original music. The trio draws on a range of influences that span jazz, classical, rock, and electronic music. Aside from Rooms, Pierson is an in-demand freelance pianist and audio engineer.

Pierson has studied the piano with Emilio del Rosario, Alan Swain, Ron Perrillo, Joan Hickey, Nic Meyer, Marta Aznavoorian, Jeremy Kahn, and Jim Pugh. Pierson is passionate about music education and has been an active music educator for the past twelve years.

DAN PIERSON

Myra Hinrichs is a recent graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory.

Now relocated to the Chicago area, you can see her on stage with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Finger Lakes Opera, and the Madison Symphony as well as with groups such as the new 42nd Parallel orchestra. She has spent her summers performing in music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra. During the summer of 2013 she went on tour with the jazz band deturtle. She is a member of Chartreuse, an ensemble devoted to performing contemporary music. In addition to performing, she teaches private lessons in the Chicago area.

MYRA HINRICHS

CHRIS FORTE

Chris Forte is a musician and teacher of many talents.  He has performed all over Chicago, toured nationally and internationally, appeared on national television and taught guitar for over 12 years.  As a member of Sam Cockrell & The Groove, Chris won the prestigious Albert King Award for Best Unsigned Blues Guitarist in the country in 2000 and later recorded with the world famous Memphis Horns.  He has performed in theater shows such as Tiny & Tina's Wedding, Grease and Little Shop of Horrors, as well was featured multiple times on The Jenny Jones Show as a roaming singer/song-writer.  Chris has performed in 6 different countries and more than 27 states with all kinds of bands, including his own group, The FORTE Band, which is getting ready to record their 2nd CD with music available on iTunes.  He has also been featured on Dean Richard's WGN radio show, the WGN morning news several times and his guitar stylings are well-documented on more than a dozen full-length CD's.  As an educator, Chris currently teaches guitar techniques and Jazz Guitar Ensemble at Columbia College (for 5 years now), directs the Chicagoland Jewish High School Jazz Band (for the last 8 years) in addition to having taught literally hundreds of students in the north suburban area for the last 10-plus years.  Currently, Chris would claim his greatest accomplishments have been finding his wonderful wife, Kristin, and having their first child, Annabelle, who is the apple of her father's eye.

 

 

 www.theforteband.com

Whether he’s playing Jazz, Blues, Latin, Big Band, R&B, Fusion, Zydeco, or Rock and Roll, ask any sound engineer at any studio he’s recorded in, any bartender at any club he plays, or any fellow musician he’s performed with and they’ll say Larry Beers is a master of his craft. Ah, but once he was just a prodigy.

Being a drummer was in his blood. Following in the footsteps of his father and uncle, five-year-old Larry envisioned his destiny when he first set eyes on Uncle Jim’s red Sparkle Roger’s drum set. He started playing at the age of six and was taking lessons by seven.

High school, 1978, Champaign, IL. Larry Beers plays his first original rock band Edna Skoog. In his senior year, he is selected to join The McDonald’s All- American Marching Band and Jazz Band. He travels across the country performing at various functions including nationally televised events such as Tournament of Roses Parade, the Macy’s Day Parade, and on The Jerry Lewis Telethon. Throughout most of high school and all the way through college Larry follows his inspirations and play jazz and R&B. He hones his skills performing big band, bebop and free jazz.

1983, at age 19, we find Larry in the studio with CBS recording artists Champaign recording “Woman in Flames” featuring their third hit single “This Time”. The following year is spent on the road with their U.S. tour.

 

Moving to Chicago in 1986 Larry plays with various artists in multiple genres with some diverse characters. Some of those musicians include: Latin jazz pianist Bobby Enriquez; Composer Fred Simon; Ghallib Ghallob; Cooly Cool featuring Rolling Stones bassist Daryl “Munch” Jones; Action Figures featuring Mars Williams, Buddy Miles; Angus Thomas and Kevon Smith; Chameleon Records recording artists The Way Moves; and blues legend Melvin Taylor.In 1991 when Larry teams with high school band mates The Charming Beggars are born. The Beggars spend the next six years recording and performing in and around Chicago and the Midwest. In 1993, Larry is brought into the studio to lay down tracks for Arista recording artists Crash Test Dummies’ album “God Shuffled His Feet”. Continuously seeking out original projects in 1996 Larry joins The George McRae Trio. They record two albums and can be heard playing locally. That is also the year he joins The Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra. In 1997, Numbers, another original jazz quintet is formed with “LB” in the driver’s seat. From 1997 to 2002 Larry records and tours the United States and abroad with Capricorn/Calliope Records R&B recording artists Sonia Dada. During this same time Larry performs with the Freddy Jones Band. He records “Marigold” with Marty Lloyd for Razor and Tie Records and forms a recording and performance alliance with Wayne Healy both members of the Freddy Jones Band.Let’s back track to 1996. Always looking to stretch his creative wings, when Larry joined The Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra he “found it to be just the right challenge for his evolving style.” Since becoming a member of the band, Larry has recorded six albums and has been involved with all five Waltz benefit concerts for Heartland Alliance’s Neon Street performing with dozens of legendary artists that graciously participated in those events. This is an on going project that is near and dear to Larry’s heart.

 

2005 Larry stumbles into an opportunity to become a found member and drum section leader for the now renown 30 piece circus punk marching band Mucca Pazza. All of a sudden he finds himself on the Conan O’Brian Show, at Lollapalooza, on a Weeds episode and a host all manner of huge engagements. Mucca continues into there eighth year of wowing audience and there seems to be no stopping them.Chicago’s busiest drummer Larry Beers spends his nights playing drums with current and continuous projects including: Mucca Pazza, Michael McDermott; The Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra; and a host of singer/songwriters including: Dan Navarro, Ezra Ferman, Ben Joseph, Brad Peterson, Anne Soltys and the Familiar, Jennifer Hall, Sam Wahl, He math rocks it with and Bad Forum; World beats it with Ulele, and sets the rhythm for Ralph Covert’s various projects including Bad Examples and Ralphs World. His days are spent recording award-winning commercials, upcoming albums with the aforementioned artist among others, and sharing his craft with future drummers. On occasion, Larry is known to fly off and join in concert with Dennis DeYoung of Styx fame, has had the pleasure of performing with George Clinton; and spends time in European working with Angus Thomas and Blondie Chaplain.From prodigy to master, his is an ever-evolving musical tale with legendary possibilities.

LARRY BEERS

Robert Dicke is a drummer who knows no boundaries behind a set of drums. When asked what kind of music he plays, the most common response is, “I just play drums”. Robert completed his Masters in Jazz Studies at DePaul University where he found a major inspiration in his playing through drum teacher Dana Hall. Robert was a two year member of the DePaul Jazz Ensemble with whom he had the opportunity to perform with the like of Jimmy Heath, John Fedchock, Randy Brecker, and drum great Jeff Hamilton who he got to rub elbows with on a week long tour by bus from Chicago to New York and back.

In 2014, Robert was awarded a fellowship with the Luminaries Cultural Foundation through the Union League Club of Chicago. This is a city wide jazz improvisation competition open to anyone, on any instrument, under thirty years old. Five people are selected each year for the fellowship. The foundation was instrumental in helping Robert release his first album as a leader with his group Calamity Flamtet. Robert is also an in demand freelancer and can be found hauling his drums around Chicago just about every weekend.

ROBERT DICKE

Ever since Nathan began playing melodies on the piano by ear at the age of five, music has been more than just an integral part of his life - it is his life. While piano was his first instrument, the guitar has become his primary musical voice. "I spent many nights in my youth listening to my father play song after song on his guitar," Nathan says. "He really inspired me to become actively involved in music. After seeing my dad get so much enjoyment out of his playing, how could I resist?"

 

Nathan can be seen playing with his band The Kingfish most weekend nights. What began as a collaboration with a friend from elementary school ten years ago has grown into a successful wedding/party band, that can be seen in bars, clubs, and casinos throughout the midwest. Nathan takes an active role in the musical development of the band. When he's not busy with The Kingfish, he spends his time composing, recording, and teaching his students everything they need to know to succeed as musicians. All of his experience allows Nathan to give his students the complete package. "Knowing how to play the guitar isn't always enough," Nathan says. "If a guitarist wants to enter the larger world of professional playing, he or she needs a broad skill set. I love to share lessons I've learned while navigating the business. If you want to make the guitar your passion too, let's work together to get you there!"

 

For over twenty years, Nathan has developed his skills on the guitar. His knowledge of the instrument increases every day, and he loves to share that knowledge with students of all ages.

 

www.nathanniederkorn.com

NATHAN NIEDERKORN

Cody Siragusa is a gigging bass player in the Chicagoland area. He has been performing in various musicals for the past 7 years including Million Dollar Quartet, The Color Purple, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. In 2009 he graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with a BFA in instrumental performance. He also currently plays with the band Old Grand Dad. Cody has opened for a diverse range of musicians from Huey Lewis to Joss Stone to Bernie Worrell.

CODY SIRAGUSA

MICHAEL POUPKO

Michael Poupko has been playing guitar for almost 30 years and teaching music for almost 20. Mike is happy to share his knowledge and is proficient in Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Recording and Music Production. Prep for a gig, a big audition or just learn a fun skill.

 

MIKE’S MUSIC IN TV AND FILM

Networks and Corporate: Disney, NBC, FOX, BBC, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, Food Network, Cooking Channel, HGTV, WGN, DIY Network, MGM, Universal, Bose, Relix Magazine, Rutgers University and more.

Notable Shows/Movies: Dateline NBC, Design On A Dime, Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, Made In America (Emmy winning), Rehab Addict, So You Think You Can Dance, New In Town (Renée Zellweger, Harry Connick Jr.)

Where: US, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Russia, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Scandanavia, Spain, Portugal, UAE…

 

PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE

Notable Venues: House Of Blues, World Music Theater, The Metro, CBGB's, Double Door, Park West…

Shared the bill with: Tom Petty, The Black Crowes, The Wailers, Soul Asylum, Soul Asylum, Cracker, Fishbone, Blind Melon, Victor Wooten, Rachel Yamagata, and more

Performed Live With: Frankie Avalon, Nely, Jeff Mauro (Food Network), Jim Peterik (“Eye Of The Tiger,” “Vehicle”), and more.

Theater: Tony & Tina’s Wedding, Hair, Footloose, and more.

Countries Performed In:  Most of the US, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Canada and more

 

AWARDS

Chicago Music Award - “Best Rock Album” – Punsapaya – Prepare to Qualify

Chicago Music Award – Punsapaya nominated a second time for “Best Rock Album”

Chicago Music Award – Punsapaya nominated 3 years in a row for “Best Rock Performer”

Elmhurst Jazz Fest – Outstanding Soloist award 2 years in a row.

 

EDUCATION

Bachelor's degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University in 2001.

 

Mike is also proud to be the director and part owner of NSMi since 2010.

Olivia Flanigan is a singer, music educator, writer, and arranger based out of Chicago. She was born into a musical family, and music has always been an enormous part of her life. She started her training as an instrumentalist, and later found her true passion was voice. She began her classical career as a high school student, touring with the St. Charles Singers. She began studying classical voice at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but quickly changed her focus to jazz. After receiving her Bachelors in Jazz Studies, she continued on to receive her Masters, as well. During her time at the U of I, she arranged for and directed the Jazz Vocal Ensemble, as well as led combos, and oversaw and taught the voice studio.

 

Olivia performs jazz gigs with her quartet, writes and arranges her own material, and performs frequently at weddings with Hutson and the FX Project. She is truly passionate about teaching, and appreciates all different styles of music. She is dedicated to healthful singing, and encouraging self expression.

 

Olivia Flanigan

Chris is a Guitarist and Music Teacher in the Chicago-land area. Initially attracted to the blues, Chris was heavily influenced by Eric Clapton, Steve Ray Vaughan, and Derek Trucks, as well as rock groups including the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Foo Fighters.  As his tastes in music developed, he grew a love for jazz, being influenced by the guitar greats such as Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, and Anthony Wilson.  He also grew an appreciation for composition from the likes of Duke Ellington, Bill Holman, and Bob Brookmeyer.  

 

He earned his degrees in Jazz Studies and Music Business, as well as a Performance Certificate in Guitar, from Elmhurst College.  While at Elmhurst, Chris spend five years with the Grestch Electric Guitar Ensemble and three years with the highly esteemed Elmhurst College Jazz Band. His time in the Jazz Band provided invaluable musical and professional experience that included weekly jobbing gigs and tours of Western Canada, Prague, and Chile. He recorded three studio albums with the Jazz Band, two of which won “Outstanding Performance” Awards by DownBeat Magazine.  The Jazz Band also gave him the opportunity to perform with incredible musicians including Bill Holman, Michael Abene, Bobby Shew, Wayne Bergeron, Steve Wiest, Denis DiBlasio, Patrick Williams, Gary Smulyan, Dennis Mackrel, Bobby Floyd, Byron Stripling, Tom Scott, Simone, among others.

 

In addition to his responsibilities at NSMI, Chris keeps a busy schedule in other facets of the music industry.  He spends his days at BeatMix Music, a music house based out of Northbrook, primarily working as the company's music librarian.  He is also on staff at Elmhurst College where he serves as a coordinator for the annual “Elmhurst College Jazz Festival,” the largest collegiate jazz festival in the country.  You can see Chris perform with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Players, Time Chicago, and a variety of other side projects.  

CHRIS PARSONS

Baer website Baer website Beers website Beers website Dicke website Dicke website Berger website Forte website Harvey website Harvey website Berger website Forte website Hinrichs website Hinrichs website Niederkown website Niederkown website O'Keefe website O'Keefe website Parsons website Parsons website Pierson website Pierson website Poupko website Poupko website Thomas website Warwick website Warwick website Siragusa website Siragusa website Zagoras website Zagoras website Merar website Merar website Reinsteind 640x960

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Cellist Veronica Nettles is a versatile performer and instructor with a heavy focus on Chamber and World Music. Recently described as “..alluring..” in the Wall Street Journal, she has performed throughout Canada and the USA, nurturing an interest in innovative collaborations in addition to the standard classical repertoire.

 

Such cross-genre projects include an NPR broadcast of live performance with Paquito D’Rivera, a Chicago premiere of Brazilian composer Miguel Kertsman’s O Saci with the Ondas Ensemble, performing with Cuban ensemble Charangueo, as well as collaborations in Tango, Jazz and Indo-Jazz styles.

 

In the classical realm, Nettles is most passionate about chamber music.  Currently a member of the Ursa Ensemble and Ondas Ensemble, she was also a founding member of the Kaia String Quartet actively performing with the ensemble rom 2009 until 2015, Nettles was cellist of the Blume Quartet which was awarded the Felix Galimir Award in 2007. She has had the opportunity to play for the Guarneri, St. Lawrence and Borromeo String Quartets in addition to other world-renowned chamber musicians.

 

Nettles began cello at the age of nine in Upstate New York.  Three years later, she immigrated with her family to Canada where she eventually settled in the greater Vancouver region and began her cello studies with Harold Birston. As a student and participant in several youth orchestras, jazz/concert bands, choirs and chamber ensembles, Nettles had the opportunity to broaden her outlook of the cello and all of its capacities. This outlook has shaped her quest for diversity and innovation in her music.

 

Nettles received her Bachelors Degree from the University of Toronto under Shauna Rolston and David Hetherington, her Graduate Degree at DePaul University under Stephen Balderston and Performers Certificate for String Quartet Performance with the Avalon Quartet at Northern Illinois University.  

VERONICA NETTLES

Nettles website Nettles website VERONICA NETTLES

PREMIUM INSTRUCTORS have made high level accomplishments in their area of expertise, and the cost of lessons with these instructors are different from our standard lesson rates. There may be additional requirements to study with these instructors, such as auditioning or having certain skill sets aleady in place. Contact us for more details.

BASS

Paul Merar has done extensive work in recording projects and live performances, earning two platinum records for his work on the Stayin’ Alive and Rocky IV soundtracks.

 

Paul is adept at playing all styles of music from Jazz and Rock to Classical (string bass). His work in jingles for national corporations includes the Wall Street Journal, Tropicana Hotel, Toyota, Target, McDonald's, Levis, and numerous others. His television and film appearances include the Golden Globe Awards, Merv Griffin, Solid Gold, Stayin' Alive and Dance Fever. He has toured with Stix Hooper from the Jazz Crusaders, Iyo Matsumoto, Arbors, Chevere, Faith Pillow, and numerous other projects. Paul received his B.A. in Music Theory from DePaul University in Chicago.

PAUL MERAR

CELLO

DRUMS AND PERCUSSION

GUITAR

PIANO

RECORDING AND PRODUCTION

Dan Pierson is a pianist, composer, educator, and audio engineer from Chicago, Il. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.

During his studies he performed with Greg Tuohey, Kevin Turner, Ron Bridgewater, Tito Carrillo, Chip McNeil, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, and internationally recognized erhuist Yang Ying. Pierson toured China with Yang Ying in the Fall of 2011.

Upon moving to Chicago, Pierson has become involved in a myriad of artistic projects in and around the city. He co-founded improvisational piano trio Rooms with whom he has developed a large repertoire of original music. The trio draws on a range of influences that span jazz, classical, rock, and electronic music. Aside from Rooms, Pierson is an in-demand freelance pianist and audio engineer.

Pierson has studied the piano with Emilio del Rosario, Alan Swain, Ron Perrillo, Joan Hickey, Nic Meyer, Marta Aznavoorian, Jeremy Kahn, and Jim Pugh. Pierson is passionate about music education and has been an active music educator for the past twelve years.

DAN PIERSON

Pierson website

VIOLIN AND VIOLA

VOICE

MANDOLIN AND BANJO

UKULELE

DAVID BERGER

Dave has been playing guitar longer than he can remember. Although a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago and a former member of the American Conservatory of Music, he has still managed to perform professionally his entire life, and is fluent in a wide range of styles. Highlights include a stint touring with the Staples Singers, some time backing up Otis Clay, and performances on Italian television and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Toronto Gospelfest. For the past several years David’s original music trio Blue Soul has played the Taste of Chicago as well as local-area clubs. In addition, he has played innumerable jazz, rock and society gigs with local Chicago groups. He also works for several production companies promoting and producing original music for other artists. You can hear Dave on many blues, gospel, and jazz recordings, including the 2014 released Michael Fiorino Ensemble 456.

Berger website

Louie Zagoras is the founder, lead singer/lead guitarist and primary songwriter for the band ROLLOVER.  Louie and the band toured the country extensively in the 90's when the band's first record broke big on Chicago's 93.1 WXRT-FM radio.  Louie's song "Shipwreck" was the break-out single.  Louie was the first Chicago rock artist to be signed by the legendary Bill Graham Management (Santana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Neville Brothers, Joe Satriani, etc.). With the popularity of ROLLOVER's debut CD growing, Bill Graham Management put the band on the road supporting top rock acts like The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Satriani, Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler, The Neville Brothers, John Hiatt, Hot Tuna, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Robin Trower, Cheap Trick, Eddie Money, and many others.

 

Louie lets his music speak for itself and by his own choice always adds plenty of Guitar.  He loves and has been influenced by the music of Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Tom Petty and other classic bands and artists.  His sound is described as "roots rock meets the blues".

 

In 1995, Louie's song "Shipwreck" was featured on A&M Records "H.O.R.D.E. CD Sampler".  They were constantly on the road, sometimes spending months traveling from L.A to New York and back again.  This gave the band a chance to really develop their sound and tighten up their already exciting live shows.  The band did many tour dates supporting Joe Satriani and performed with him in the U.K for a month of sold out shows in 1996.  Upon returning to the states the band did two more sold-out nights with Joe at the famous Fillmore in San Francisco.

 

Louie's songs have been used for TV shows (CBS’s The Rachael Ray Show, Nash Bridges, Spelling Productions etc.) and movies (Lost and Confused).  For the last 17 years, he has been writing songs with Roy Marinell.  Roy co- wrote “Werewolves of London”, “Excitable Boy”, other hits with the late great Warren Zevon. Roy also recently co-wrote “All Summer Long” with Kid Rock.  Louie is also a Producer, Recording Engineer and Session Musician.  He produced all of the ROLLOVER CDs as well as the new “Twenty Fingers” solo CD.  He has also produced many other artists including 9-year old Guitar Wizard, Tallan T-man Latz. Louie is a multi-instrumentalist who also plays piano, bass, drums, sitar, harmonica, Hammond B-3, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, percussion and many other instruments.

 

After three nationally distributed CDs and countless tours with ROLLOVER, Louie has released his first solo CD, “Twenty Fingers” on Isis Records.  Produced by Louie and The Herron Brothers, it features top Chicago musicians Jay Davenport on Drums, Ed Stevenson and Mark Gleed on keyboards and former Black Crowes/Jimmy Page bassist Greg Rzab.  Joe Satriani says "Twenty Fingers" is a joy to listen to.”

 

 

Check on Louie on Reverb Nation

LOUIE ZAGORAS

Zagoras website

MICHAEL POUPKO

Poupko website

Ever since Nathan began playing melodies on the piano by ear at the age of five, music has been more than just an integral part of his life - it is his life. While piano was his first instrument, the guitar has become his primary musical voice. "I spent many nights in my youth listening to my father play song after song on his guitar," Nathan says. "He really inspired me to become actively involved in music. After seeing my dad get so much enjoyment out of his playing, how could I resist?"

 

Nathan can be seen playing with his band The Kingfish most weekend nights. What began as a collaboration with a friend from elementary school ten years ago has grown into a successful wedding/party band, that can be seen in bars, clubs, and casinos throughout the midwest. Nathan takes an active role in the musical development of the band. When he's not busy with The Kingfish, he spends his time composing, recording, and teaching his students everything they need to know to succeed as musicians. All of his experience allows Nathan to give his students the complete package. "Knowing how to play the guitar isn't always enough," Nathan says. "If a guitarist wants to enter the larger world of professional playing, he or she needs a broad skill set. I love to share lessons I've learned while navigating the business. If you want to make the guitar your passion too, let's work together to get you there!"

 

For over twenty years, Nathan has developed his skills on the guitar. His knowledge of the instrument increases every day, and he loves to share that knowledge with students of all ages.

 

www.nathanniederkorn.com

NATHAN NIEDERKORN

Niederkown website

DAVID BERGER

Dave has been playing guitar longer than he can remember. Although a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago and a former member of the American Conservatory of Music, he has still managed to perform professionally his entire life, and is fluent in a wide range of styles. Highlights include a stint touring with the Staples Singers, some time backing up Otis Clay, and performances on Italian television and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Toronto Gospelfest. For the past several years David’s original music trio Blue Soul has played the Taste of Chicago as well as local-area clubs. In addition, he has played innumerable jazz, rock and society gigs with local Chicago groups. He also works for several production companies promoting and producing original music for other artists. You can hear Dave on many blues, gospel, and jazz recordings, including the 2014 released Michael Fiorino Ensemble 456.

Berger website PERCUSSION SONGWRITING

SONGWRITING

COMPOSITION

Dan Pierson is a pianist, composer, educator, and audio engineer from Chicago, Il. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.

During his studies he performed with Greg Tuohey, Kevin Turner, Ron Bridgewater, Tito Carrillo, Chip McNeil, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, and internationally recognized erhuist Yang Ying. Pierson toured China with Yang Ying in the Fall of 2011.

Upon moving to Chicago, Pierson has become involved in a myriad of artistic projects in and around the city. He co-founded improvisational piano trio Rooms with whom he has developed a large repertoire of original music. The trio draws on a range of influences that span jazz, classical, rock, and electronic music. Aside from Rooms, Pierson is an in-demand freelance pianist and audio engineer.

Pierson has studied the piano with Emilio del Rosario, Alan Swain, Ron Perrillo, Joan Hickey, Nic Meyer, Marta Aznavoorian, Jeremy Kahn, and Jim Pugh. Pierson is passionate about music education and has been an active music educator for the past twelve years.

DAN PIERSON

Pierson website

Louie Zagoras is the founder, lead singer/lead guitarist and primary songwriter for the band ROLLOVER.  Louie and the band toured the country extensively in the 90's when the band's first record broke big on Chicago's 93.1 WXRT-FM radio.  Louie's song "Shipwreck" was the break-out single.  Louie was the first Chicago rock artist to be signed by the legendary Bill Graham Management (Santana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Neville Brothers, Joe Satriani, etc.). With the popularity of ROLLOVER's debut CD growing, Bill Graham Management put the band on the road supporting top rock acts like The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Satriani, Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler, The Neville Brothers, John Hiatt, Hot Tuna, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Robin Trower, Cheap Trick, Eddie Money, and many others.

 

Louie lets his music speak for itself and by his own choice always adds plenty of Guitar.  He loves and has been influenced by the music of Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Tom Petty and other classic bands and artists.  His sound is described as "roots rock meets the blues".

 

In 1995, Louie's song "Shipwreck" was featured on A&M Records "H.O.R.D.E. CD Sampler".  They were constantly on the road, sometimes spending months traveling from L.A to New York and back again.  This gave the band a chance to really develop their sound and tighten up their already exciting live shows.  The band did many tour dates supporting Joe Satriani and performed with him in the U.K for a month of sold out shows in 1996.  Upon returning to the states the band did two more sold-out nights with Joe at the famous Fillmore in San Francisco.

 

Louie's songs have been used for TV shows (CBS’s The Rachael Ray Show, Nash Bridges, Spelling Productions etc.) and movies (Lost and Confused).  For the last 17 years, he has been writing songs with Roy Marinell.  Roy co- wrote “Werewolves of London”, “Excitable Boy”, other hits with the late great Warren Zevon. Roy also recently co-wrote “All Summer Long” with Kid Rock.  Louie is also a Producer, Recording Engineer and Session Musician.  He produced all of the ROLLOVER CDs as well as the new “Twenty Fingers” solo CD.  He has also produced many other artists including 9-year old Guitar Wizard, Tallan T-man Latz. Louie is a multi-instrumentalist who also plays piano, bass, drums, sitar, harmonica, Hammond B-3, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, percussion and many other instruments.

 

After three nationally distributed CDs and countless tours with ROLLOVER, Louie has released his first solo CD, “Twenty Fingers” on Isis Records.  Produced by Louie and The Herron Brothers, it features top Chicago musicians Jay Davenport on Drums, Ed Stevenson and Mark Gleed on keyboards and former Black Crowes/Jimmy Page bassist Greg Rzab.  Joe Satriani says "Twenty Fingers" is a joy to listen to.”

 

 

Check on Louie on Reverb Nation

LOUIE ZAGORAS

Zagoras website

BETH REINSTEIN

Beth Reinstein is a singer living the dream in the Chicago music scene.  She began her singing endeavors at the age of eight when she joined her synagogue’s youth choir on a whim and from there she was smitten.  She decided to continue her music education at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. There she studied with Jeff Morrow & Cheryl Wilson and received Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz & Contemporary Voice.

 

While in school, Beth discovered her love for songwriting.  Drawing inspiration from No Doubt, Amy Winehouse, Sara Bareilles and Ella Fitzgerald, Beth began to grow a collection of her own songs ranging in all different subgenres of pop.  From there she created her solo project under her stage persona, Elle Casazza.  As Elle she was named “8 Young Chicago Artists Making a Dent in Music” in Paste Magazine.

 

Since graduating Beth has performed all over the city of Chicago including the House of Blues, the Auditorium Theatre, the Jazz Showcase, Daley Plaza, Schubas, Martyrs and many more.

 

You can check out more at www.ellecasazza.com. 

Jennifer is a Chicago-based singer/songwriter with a love and passion for all genres of music and styles. She began her training as a classical vocalist at the age of 11, and later realized her love for the freedom and vibrancy of jazz/R&B/contemporary music in her time at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. It was then that she began attending jazz jam sessions around the city and performing with other local musicians. In 2010, she performed at the Civic & Arts Foundation Union League Jazz Improvisation Competition where she placed 3rd in her division, and won the “People’s Choice Award”.

 

Inspired by the soul and depth of artists such as Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson, Jill Scott and Amy Winehouse, she began songwriting at age 15 and also began arranging and lyric writing. She then continued her training at the University of Miami Frost School of Music as a jazz vocal performance major where she performed in various vocal ensembles and studied jazz piano, ear training, music theory, music technology, and jazz history.

 

In 2011, Jennifer was signed as a recording artist to OneSun Entertainment where she continued writing and recording her own original music. She also began recording and playing around the city of Chicago with her quintet, and hosted a benefit concert for the Wounded Warrior Project in autumn of 2012.

 

Jennifer is also very passionate about teaching and helping others achieve their highest capabilities. She believes in teaching solid vocal technique as a foundation for her all of her students, and also aims to help each student embrace their own artistic freedom to achieve all of their musical goals.

 

straedmusic.com

JENNIFER MANSKE

Manske website Thomas website Reinsteind 640x960

Rachel Sarah Thomas is a vocal coach with a background in pop and musical theater performance. She studied in the classical voice program with Luretta Bybee at the University of Michigan and is now finishing her degree in Contemporary Voice and Composition at Roosevelt University. After studying classically, she shifted her focus  to contemporary music and original composition. In her recordings she has worked with Grammy Winners Tha Bizness and internationally renowned rapper Talib Kweli. She has songs licensed by the Adult Swim programming block on Cartoon Network as well as the Wrigley Corporation.  She has opened for the likes of Femi Kuti @ Millennium Park, Thievery Corporation @ Milwaukee Summerfest, and K. Flay @ the House of Blues. She also works with starbeat studios in Deerfield, Il lending her voiceover and writing skills to various nationally and locally syndicated jingles including Celebrity Scoop for WGN radio, American Weather-makers, and Tri-State Carpet and Floor. 

She believes using the foundations of classical technique towards the stylized and emotional realm of pop&contemporary performance creates formidable singers. She is taking students of all ages, and is happy to accept vocalists who want to work on writing their own songs. 

RACHEL SARAH THOMAS

Thomas website

Rachel Sarah Thomas is a vocal coach with a background in pop and musical theater performance. She studied in the classical voice program with Luretta Bybee at the University of Michigan and is now finishing her degree in Contemporary Voice and Composition at Roosevelt University. After studying classically, she shifted her focus  to contemporary music and original composition. In her recordings she has worked with Grammy Winners Tha Bizness and internationally renowned rapper Talib Kweli. She has songs licensed by the Adult Swim programming block on Cartoon Network as well as the Wrigley Corporation.  She has opened for the likes of Femi Kuti @ Millennium Park, Thievery Corporation @ Milwaukee Summerfest, and K. Flay @ the House of Blues. She also works with starbeat studios in Deerfield, Il lending her voiceover and writing skills to various nationally and locally syndicated jingles including Celebrity Scoop for WGN radio, American Weather-makers, and Tri-State Carpet and Floor. 

She believes using the foundations of classical technique towards the stylized and emotional realm of pop&contemporary performance creates formidable singers. She is taking students of all ages, and is happy to accept vocalists who want to work on writing their own songs. 

RACHEL SARAH THOMAS

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Michael Poupko has been playing guitar for almost 30 years and teaching music for almost 20. Mike is happy to share his knowledge and is proficient in Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Recording and Music Production. Prep for a gig, a big audition or just learn a fun skill.

 

MIKE’S MUSIC IN TV AND FILM

Networks and Corporate: Disney, NBC, FOX, BBC, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, Food Network, Cooking Channel, HGTV, WGN, DIY Network, MGM, Universal, Bose, Relix Magazine, Rutgers University and more.

Notable Shows/Movies: Dateline NBC, Design On A Dime, Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, Made In America (Emmy winning), Rehab Addict, So You Think You Can Dance, New In Town (Renée Zellweger, Harry Connick Jr.)

Where: US, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Russia, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Scandanavia, Spain, Portugal, UAE…

 

PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE

Notable Venues: House Of Blues, World Music Theater, The Metro, CBGB's, Double Door, Park West…

Shared the bill with: Tom Petty, The Black Crowes, The Wailers, Soul Asylum, Soul Asylum, Cracker, Fishbone, Blind Melon, Victor Wooten, Rachel Yamagata, and more

Performed Live With: Frankie Avalon, Nely, Jeff Mauro (Food Network), Jim Peterik (“Eye Of The Tiger,” “Vehicle”), and more.

Theater: Tony & Tina’s Wedding, Hair, Footloose, and more.

Countries Performed In:  Most of the US, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Canada and more

 

AWARDS

Chicago Music Award - “Best Rock Album” – Punsapaya – Prepare to Qualify

Chicago Music Award – Punsapaya nominated a second time for “Best Rock Album”

Chicago Music Award – Punsapaya nominated 3 years in a row for “Best Rock Performer”

Elmhurst Jazz Fest – Outstanding Soloist award 2 years in a row.

 

EDUCATION

Bachelor's degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University in 2001.

 

Mike is also proud to be the director and part owner of NSMi since 2010.

Flanigan Website OLIVIA FLANIGAN Flanigan Website