Burnett Thompson Music: Education, Piano Classes and Lessons

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Group Performance Class

Performer/Educators from 2009-2017

On the first Sunday of each month, all regular students meet as a group for a very informal performance session. We invite one of the many remarkable performers who make Washington, DC and New York their home.

pic   Oct.1, 2017 Our guest Eri Yamamoto is one of jazz's most original and compelling pianists and composers. Her music portrays a wide range of her experiences from joyful to introspective, reflecting the vibrancy of New York City, while exploring mysteries of nature and memory. has toured the U. S., Canada, Australia, Europe, and Japan, with appearances at major festivals.
"Her virtuosity never gets in the way of playing it straight from the heart." DownBeat
pic   June 6, 2017: Nicole Saphos has performed at such venerated venues as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Strathmore Mansion, and The Kimmel Center. Since 2012 she has led her own trio, which has coalesced around drummer Ele Rubenstein and guitarist John Lee. Nicole Saphos recently released her debut album, Tiptoe, a collection of imaginatively arranged standards and originals organized around a journey of personal revelation.
"Saphos has an impressive rapport with her trio and a creative attitude towards her music that leads her to create a uniquely hazy and funky ambiance.” All About Jazz
pic   May 7, 2017: Our guest is a graduate of this studio, Sam Revaz. Sam is a junior at Steinhart School of Music's jazz program at NYU, and has already collaborated with prominent jazz artists Drew Gress, Alfonso Adan, and Paul Shaw. He is taking classes with Alan Broadbent and Andy Milne. In high school, Sam performed with the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra and the National Jazz Workshop.
pic   March 5, 2017 Marty Nau one of the finest alto saxophonists in the country today. Marty has played an outsized role in the D.C. music scene, both as leader of the sax section of the US Navy Commodores Jazz Orchestra, and in performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, and appearances with Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Daniels, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Ethel Ennis, Nancy Wilson, Maureen McGovern.
pic   Feb 5, 2017: Our guest educator Sarah Hughes is a rising star in the DC/NY firmament. Sarah recently completed her master’s degree at New England Conservatory in saxophone and jazz studies. She plays a leading role in the jazz scene, and in fact will be headlining at Twins Jazz after our class. See www.twinsjazz.com for info. I will be attending her performance.

Photo: Diriki Rice

pic   January 8, 2017: Tom Teasley is a globe trotting percussionist, three-time Helen Hays award winner, composer of theater and film scores, and a supremely effective educator.
pic   Dec 5, 2016: Dr. Darden Purcell is director of the jazz program at George Mason University. Dr. Purcell has appeared with countless ensembles and major artists, including the Air Force Airment of Note, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, in venues including Blues Alley, the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, etc. Dr. Purcell is a highly sought after educator in major universities nationwide.
pic   Nov 2016: Jazz Trombonist and educator Matt Niess Our guest educator for the upper group is trombonist Matt Niess. Matt is the lead trombone player for the U.S. Army Blues jazz orchestra. He is the director of the National Jazz Workshop, and is very busy nationwide as a performer and educator. We have collaborated occasionally over the years, and I am very pleased to welcome him to our studio.
pic   Oct 2, 2016 Our guest artist is the great pianist Yoko Miwa. Ms. Miwa is a professor at Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA, and already has a half dozen CD's to her credit. Performance and recording credits include Slide Hampton, Arturo Sandoval, George Garzone, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lynne Carrington, Sheila Jordan, and Kevin Mahogany. “Miwa plays with the confidence and fluidity of a seasoned jazz musician, with the enviable ability to play in any context with authenticity, clarity, and spontaneity…” JazzTimes
pic   March 6, 2016 Our guest artist is multi-woodwind artist Joseph Cunliffe, master of silver flute, saxophones, and Native American, Irish, Asian, and South American folk wind instruments. Joseph Cunliffe is a noted composer, distinguished recording artist, and music educator. From concert stages at the Kennedy Center to an amphitheater at a remote Mayan archeological site, his music transcends all cultural boundaries and blends classical, ethnic, folk and jazz styles
pic   Feb 14, 2016 Our guest educator is the great drummer Kevin McDonald, the latest arrival to the US Navy Commodores jazz orchestra. Kevin is a graduate of both Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He spent 5 years working in NYC before landing the highly coveted Commodores position. Kevin will bring a special energy to our class.
pic   May 10, 2015 Our guest artist is the exciting young drummer Sanah Kadoura . Already a mainstay of the NYC jazz scene, Sanah is playing regularly with major artists and is host of several sessions at Smalls and Fat Cat jazz rooms in Manhattan, when not leading the Sanah Kadoura Quarchestra. She appeared recently at the Harlem Stage, Saratoga Jazz Festival, Burlington Jazz Festival
pic   Mar 15, 2015:I am pleased to announce that our guest artist/educator is the extraordinary vocalist/composer/pianist Alison Crockett. Alison has had an extensive career in both New York and Washington, and her schedule includes travels worldwide with various artists. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, Alison is a multitalented artist, and an imaginative educator. More on Alison at www.alisoncrockett.net
pic   Feb 1, 2015: Our guest artist/educator is the young percussionist Danny Villanueva. Danny appears regularly at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony in addition to other orchestras, performs with visiting Broadway shows, etc. He has appeared onstage with artists ranging from Stevie Wonder and Ben Folds to Mstislav Rostropovich and Lorin Maazel. Danny is a doctoral candidate at U. of Maryland.
pic   Dec 7, 2014: Our guest educator for the upper group is the noted pianist and arranger Tim Whalen. Tim plays a major role as performer and arranger in the heart of the DC jazz scene. He is a powerful onstage presence and I will ask him to discuss his activities as orchestral and jazz ensemble arranger.
pic   On Nov 2, 2014 we are joined by Shannon Gunn who plays a leadership role in the DC musical community as an educator, performer, and bandleader. Her all-women big band The Bullettes, her regular appearances with the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, numerous small ensembles and position as teacher of music technology in public schools combine to make a busy and productive schedule.
pic   On Oct 5, 2014, we are joined by Allyn Johnson, a Washington native who is active as a pianist, composer, arranger, and producer. Mr. Johnson divides his time between two cities, appearing at the Blue Note, Village Vanguard, Dizzy’s, and Birdland in New York, and Blues Alley and Bohemian Caverns in his home town. He is Director of Jazz Studies at University of the District of Columbia.
pic   June 1, 2014: Anna Maria Mottola joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 2003 and was appointed principal and section leader in September 2013. Anna Maria spends much of her professional as pianist for the the White House.
pic   May 1, 2014: Trumpeter Karl Mailand had a 25 year career with one the U.S. Army Band at Fort Myer. He has performed countless times at the White House, as well as on national television for White House functions and the annual July 4 celebrations at the Washington Capitol.
pic   April 6, 2014: Trombonist Doug Elliott is known worldwide as a teacher, clinician, and mouthpiece maker. Doug was solo jazz trombonist with the USAF Airmen of Note and curretnly performs with the Artie Shaw Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.
pic   Mar 2, 2014: Reed player Brad Linde takes pride in his role as founder of the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, as well as the curator of the Atlas Theatre jazz series. Brad keeps a 7-day/week schedule as performer and educator in D.C. and NYC.
pic   Feb 4, 2014: Pianist Helen Sung is firmly established in the international jazz scene. Recent appearances at the Shanghai Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center, Dizzy's in New York, Sculler's in Boston, make it all the more amazing that she could set aside time to be with us for an evening in February.
pic   Jan 12, 2014: Pianist and composer Noble Jolley maintains an active schedule between a studio in L.A., performances in Washington, DC, and his activities in New York City. “…Noble… was fiercely talented and full of promise. Pianist Noble packs a Tyner-ish wallop and his solos shone a real knack for textural drama.” JazzTimes magazine
pic   Dec 8, 2013: Bassist Steve Novosel is one of the greatest artists to have lived and worked in Washington, DC over the last 40 years. Steve began his career as house bassist with Blues Alley in the 1960's and continued to play with an endless parade of jazz artists from then to the present. Steve and I have been friends and colleagues since 1981.
pic   Nov 8, 2013: Pianist Chris Johnston is a conductor, pianist and educator who directs the Music and Computer Tech program for Fairfax County. His expertise includes composing, recording and film software and techniques. He has influenced and prepared countless young people as they move into music and music technology fields.
pic   Oct 6, 2013: Pianist Kamilla Arku recently made her London solo debut recital in the St. Martin-in-the-Fields 'Pianists of the World' Series. A Thomas Jefferson HSST grad, she studied at Yale University and the Royal Northern College of Music. Kamilla currently lives in London, performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician, and is an active teacher and charity fundraiser.
pic   June 9, 2013: Saxophonist Marshall Keys has played a large role as leader in the Washington jazz scene over the last 3 decades. He is a featured artist in this year's DC Jazz Festival, and has worked with me on the Shakespeare Sonnet Song Cycle, among other projects.
pic   May 5, 2013: Saxophonist Bill Mulligan has played lead alto and clarinet with the U.S. Navy Commodore Big Band for the last 15 years. He performs regularly with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, for major theatrical productions in the DC area, and keeps an active teaching studio.
pic   Mar 3, 2013: Our guest artist/educator is the young bassist and violinist Gavin Fallow. He first met Gavin when he was living in China, working as a bassist with several of the top musicians in Shanghai. He preceded his China experience with a stint in the Netherlands. Gavin is currently focusing on his classical violin career, but is know as a composer and multi-instrumentalist.

pic   Feb 10, 2013: Our guest artist/educator is the young percussionist Danny Villanueva. Danny appears regularly at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony in addition to other orchestras, performs with visiting Broadway shows, etc. He has appeared onstage with artists ranging from Stevie Wonder and Ben Folds to Mstislav Rostropovich and Lorin Maazel. Danny is a doctoral candidate at U. of Maryland.
pic   Jan 6, 2013: Saxophonist/Composer Jonathan Parker is finishing a Masters Degree at Eastman after spending a couple years in Shanghai and New York City. He is an Oberlin grad, and a very active performer.
pic   Oct. 28, 2012: Pianist, Vocalist & Composer Amy K. Bormet is emerging as an essential figure in the emerging young jazz scene in Washington, DC. Amy is a recent grad of Michigan Univ. and Howard Univ.
"Bormet's voice will catch your ear, her playing will get under your skin" Hill Rag

pic   Sept 30, 2012: National Symphony Orchestra Principal Percussionist Emeritus Tony Ames began his career with the NSO in 1967. He has performed with virtually every major performing artist over the last 45 years, from Leonard Bernstein to Dizzy Gillespie, Aaron Copland to Marvin Hamlisch. A founder of the 20th Century Consort and numerous other adventurous ensembles, Tony has long played a role in the development of music performance in Washington.
pic   June 7, 2012: Steel Pan Virtuoso Victor Provost is already a veteran of major world performance venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Umbria Jazz Festival. Victor is a native of the Virgin Islands, and is known in the Washington, DC area as an innovative educator.
pic   May 6, 2012: Versatile violinist Robert Spates, lives on two continents, performing with creativity and authority in jazz, rock, Irish, and classical genres. He has appeared on countless concerts and recordings with jazz groups, rock stars, country singers, and orchestras alike. It is a great honor to welcome Robert.
pic   March 6, 2012: Jazz Trombonist and educator Matt Niess Our guest educator for the upper group is trombonist Matt Niess. Matt is the lead trombone player for the U.S. Army Blues jazz orchestra. He is the director of the National Jazz Workshop, and is very busy nationwide as a performer and educator. We have collaborated occasionally over the years, and I am very pleased to welcome him to our studio.
pic   Feb 5, 2012: Jazz vocalist Jamie Broumas has toured to national acclaim since graduating from Vassar College and attending the Berklee School of Music. She was Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore and performs regularly at Blues Alley. Jamie and I have collaborated on countless occasions, including a televised feature on her career. Jamie is also the Director of the Fortas Chamber Music Concerts at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
pic   Jan 15, 2012: Bassist Paul Langosch Paul has been with Tony Bennett since the 1980's, recorded 6 CD's with the singer, while performing as many as 200 concerts each year worldwide with him and numerous other luminaries.
pic   December 2011: Since 1989, Tony Nalker has served as the pianist for the U.S. Army Blues, the premiere jazz ensemble of the U.S. Army. In addition to compiling dozens of recordings, Tony is the pianist for the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and has performed on countless educational recordings for Hal Leonard Publishing.
pic   November 2011: Tom Teasley is a globe trotting percussionist, two-time Helen Hays award winner, composer of theater and film scores, and a very effective educator.
pic   October 2011: Dan Lamaestra is the pianist for the Commodores, the U.S. Navy jazz orchestra. He lives several musical lives as pianist, composer, arranger, impresario, and deejay.
pic   September 2011: James Richardson has been playing lead guitar and drums for MGMT, one of the hottest bands currently on the circuit. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music as a French horn player, James brings a rich and eclectic view of music to the table for the class.
pic   May 2011: Pete Wallace has been the music director for Julio Iglesias and successful bands in South America and the U.S. He writes songs for artists from Jessica Simpson to Pink, and maintains a production studio in Miami. Pete was a student of mine and I am very pleased to have him return.
pic   April 2011: Vocalist Nicki Gonzalez a leader in the D.C. Brazilian music scene.
pic   March 2011: Library of Congress Specialist and radio personality Larry Appelbaum
pic   Feb 6, 2011: Pianist Jean Baptiste, known for her long association with Frank Sinatra and Frank Sinatra, Jr.
pic   January 9, 2011: Renowned bassist Michael Bowie
pic   December 5, 2010: Vibraphonist and drummer Chip Bubeck, recording artist and director of the Woodson High School Jazz Band.
pic   Nov 6, 2010: Pianist Wade Beach
pic   October 3, 2010: Scott Weinhold, member of the U.S. Army Band ad Fort Myer and director of the Mclean High School Jazz Band. Scott is an old friend and colleague.
pic   May 7, 2010: Vocalist Lena Seikaly Our guest educator/ performer is the extraordinary young opera and jazz vocalist Lena Seikaly. Lena has appeared at jazz festivals in Europe and the U.S. and is an artist in residence at Strathmore Hall
pic   August 7, 2008: Shanghai native Xu Xing , erhu soloist and teacher. Mr. Xu attended the Shanghai Conservatory and performed with the Shanghai Traditional Orchestra. He appears regularly with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in performances of traditional Chinese music.
pic   March 14, 2010: Jennifer Krupa, trombonist with the U.S. Navy Commodores Jazz Orchestra. A graduate of the Julliard School, Jennifer is active worldwide as a performer and educator.
pic   February 7, 2010: Janelle Gill, Pianist, a rising star in the tradition of Washington jazz pianists. Janelle was recently commissioned by the Phillips Collection museum to compose an original composition for an exhibition in summer of 2010. Upcoming appearances include the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival and a tribute to Women In Jazz for the Smithsonian. Janelle has worked with established artists including Marshall Keys, The Blackbyrds, Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake, and Delfeayo Marsalis. Janelle attended Howard University, and is a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts
pic   January 10, 2010: Chris Vadala , Our guest is the great multi-reed artist, Chris Vadala. Chris is currently the director of Jazz Studies at Univ. of Maryland, and is one of the top reed players and educators in the world today. Chris has a great sense of humor and has been working with young musicians worldwide for over 20 years
pic   December 6, 2009: Longtime colleague and friend Jim Carroll. Jim is the director of the Geo. Mason Univ. jazz department and the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. He is a suberb sax and flute player. Jim travelled with Stan Kenton, and was with the U.S. Army Blues Big Band prior to joining the GMU faculty.
pic   Nov 6, 2009: Charlie Young has been the lead alto saxophonist with the traveling Duke Ellington Orchestra for over 20 years, while serving on the faculty at Howard University. Mr Young is equally at home in the classical sax repertoire and I have had the distinct pleasure of performing in both settings with him over the years.
pic   Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009: Pete Barenbregge, former leader of the Air Force Airmen of Note Jazz Orchestra. Pete is editor-in-chief of Warner/Alfred Jazz Publications. Pete is an old friend and colleague.