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Austin West

Electric Bass, Upright Bass

Austin West is a versatile bass player who is excited to share his knowledge and passion for music to the students of JAMS music. With over ten years of playing and performing experience on bass and guitar, Austin enjoys teaching students of all ages. His lessons are catered to each individual skill level and musical interest to ensure that his students are always pushing themselves to improve their skills as a musician while still having fun. Austin enjoys playing a wide variety of music including jazz, funk, R&B, and rock. With an extensive knowledge of music theory and a focus on improvised playing, Austin can help you unlock your full capabilities as a musician. Skills learned in lessons include proper technique, ear training, music theory, composition, and, his favorite, improvisation. A graduate of Sonoma State University with double major bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Jazz Studies, Austin started learning how to play music when he was in middle school. He pursued music as a profession at Las Positas Community College, where he was awarded the ASLPC Outstanding Musician and Composer scholarship and won the 2017 L.A. Signal Lab Composition Competition. Then, he transferred to Sonoma State University and where he studied electric bass with Cliff Hugo, and played in numerous ensembles of different styles, including Latin, big band, Rock Collegium, and various small jazz combos. Before graduating, he was awarded Distinguished Graduate in the Field of Jazz. Whether you’re just starting out on your instrument or you’re looking to take your playing to the next level, Austin is excited to work with you! He is available for lessons...


Jenna Countryman Mauro


Jenna Countryman Mauro is very excited to teach flute at JAMS Music.  Ms. Countryman Mauro has taught private flute lessons since 2008 to all ages and skill levels, and her extensive training in flute pedagogy helps in preparing her students for auditions of all types. A number of her students have been or are currently students at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco. Jenna‘s teaching philosophy acknowledges that every student is different, and different learning styles and personalities benefit from different teaching techniques. She has a wide array of exercises to choose from and uses student feedback to gauge understanding of concepts, making sure students know how to utilize exercises and concepts during home practice. Jenna holds a bachelor’s degree of music in flute performance from Florida State University, where she studied with Professor Eva Amsler, and she has completed all coursework for a master’s degree of music in flute performance from San Francisco State University, where she studied with Linda Lukas. Her previous flute teachers include Rhonda Cassano, Patrice Hambelton, and Kathy Meyer.  In addition, she’s extremely experienced in solo, small ensemble, band, and orchestral playing. She also has experience in jazz, Afro-Cuban, and early music. As a Bay Area native, she started on the flute at nine  years old. She is an alumnus of the Berkeley Youth Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra in Jacksonville, Florida. She won the Berkeley Youth Orchestra concerto competition at the age of 13, and the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra concerto competition at the age of 18. Ms. Countryman Mauro is available for private...


Dr. Jessica Rugani

Clarinet, Saxophone, Beginning Piano

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Jessica Rugani traces her musical development from an early interest in piano, to a focus in clarinet and woodwind performance, as well as music composition.  She earned a doctorate and masters degree in music composition from New England Conservatory (M.M. 2011) and undergraduate studies from California State University East Bay (B.A. 2006). Jessica has long been interested in music instruction, both individual and in the classroom. She taught private music lessons in the Bay Area for nearly ten years to students aging from 5 to adult, on clarinet, saxophone, flute, bassoon, piano, and composition. Each lesson is tailored specifically to a student’s needs and ability level. She is also a lecturer for the music department at CSU East Bay’s Concord Campus. Compositionally, Dr. Rugani has written for varying ensembles, from the unusual bowed piano ensemble to the more traditional full orchestra, as well as much chamber music. A recent commission by Mary Matthews entitled To Laugh Often and Much (2013) for flute and piano was premiered at the National Flute Association convention in August. Dr. Rugani has worked with members of the San Francisco Symphony and the Kronos Quartet, and studied composition with Robert Carl and Michael Gandolfi, as well as clarinet with Diane Maltester and Joel Jaffe. She is nearing completion of her doctoral dissertation at the University of Hartford’s Hartt...


Austin Graham

Cello, Music Theory, Composition

Austin Graham is excited to bring is passion and enthusiasm of teaching cello to JAMS Music. Austin has been proudly teaching cello privately in the San Francisco East and South Bay Area for over six years. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at California State University, East Bay in Music Theory and Composition. Students can expect lessons to focus on technical attention-to-detail, fundamentals of music theory, performance etiquette, and melodic mastery. Lessons are given at a relaxed and mindful take-at-your-pace setting. Beginning students start with a Suzuki method book chosen to fit the student’s abilities to acquaint them with technical fundamentals and memorization. Duets and concertos replace method books for intermediate students after Volume 4, with heavy emphasis on melodic development and higher-level technique. Advanced students have more freedom of performance material and technical focus, depending on what musical path they wish to pursue. Austin also offers one-on-one lessons in music theory and songwriting. These lessons are a boon for students wanting an edge in their music performance classes, and for aspiring artists looking to discover their musical voices early. Students aged 8 years and older welcome. Austin is available on...


Michael Solomon

Piano, Guitar

Michael Solomon is a Royal Conservatory Music (RCM) certified piano instructor with over 15 years of experience of teaching and working in the music industry. In addition to beginning, intermediate, and advanced piano students, Michael is a high-level classical guitar instructor. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2007 at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, CA, and Royal Conservatory of Music Instructor Certification in Toronto, Canada in May 2017. He loves working with students of all ages and skills set who are dedicated and motivated to improve their musicianship. You will get a well-rounded education including music theory, sight reading, technique, and improvising. Whether you’re looking for classical and Baroque styles, Jazz, Blues, Latin, or Contemporary Pop, Michael will keep you excited and engaged during the learning process. Photo coming...


Steve Smyth

Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar

Steve Smyth is a highly skilled guitar instructor with over 30 years of private and professional experience.  As a guitar instructor, he has prepared hundreds of students for university level music courses with over 40,000+ lessons and workshops taught around the San Francisco Bay Area, and throughout the United States and Europe. His reputation and instruction is highly sought after for those who take learning seriously, and equally want to have fun with music. Steve enjoys working with students of all ages, skill levels and music styles to help improve a student’s technique, theory, sight reading, and improvisation. His areas of specialty include heavy, progressive and fusion rock music. Occasionally, Steve teaches Master Workshop Class for groups of students, and facilitates recital performances for his private students performing solo and group pieces. In addition to his vast teaching experience, Steve has extensively toured and recorded with various international groups including, Nevermore, Testament, Forbidden, Dragonlord and Vicious Rumors. He is the current lead guitarist/songwriter/founder of Scarlet Records recording artists One Machine, and is also a member of The EssenEss Project, a progressive rock instrumental duo co-founded by Steve. Through his real-life experiences as a performing and recording artist, Steve can help guide students along the key aspects of becoming a professional musician. Steve’s commitment is to his student’s success and enjoyment of guitar to better prepare them for a lifelong love of music. Whether you’re looking to just get started on guitar, or push yourself to the extreme, Steve is a great option for you. Call the store to get signed up with Steve today. Available Wednesday &...


Joel Jaffe

Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone

JAMS Music is excited to have Joel Jaffe, one of the premier clarinet and saxophone instructors in the San Francisco East Bay, teaching at our store. Having more than twenty years of professional teaching experience with students of all ages and skill levels, Joel’s enthusiasm and positive teaching style has produced numerous successful players who have gone on to college and professional careers. Joel specializes in classical chamber music, jazz, and Klezmer styles. He is knowledgeable and familiar with the styles and pieces of music used in elementary, middle, and high school band programs, and has extensive experience working with students preparing for university entry exams. As a fourth grader, Joel was drawn to the sound and versatility of the clarinet. He soon ventured into saxophone and other woodwind instruments as he expanded his musical interests. After attending college at Indiana University where he studied under notable clarinettist James Campbell, Joel completed a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Cal State University, Hayward. In addition to teaching at JAMS Music, Joel has a studio at his home in Newark, and works as a woodwind coach with a number of schools in the East Bay. A frequent performer of solo repertoire, he can also be heard with various orchestra and musical theater groups throughout the Bay Area. He’s played with Lionel Hampton, Donald O’Connor, and Natalie Cole among other respected musicians. His outside interests include theater and opera, viticulture, and model...


Jimmy Zeigler

Guitar, Bass Guitar

Jimmy Zeigler is a well-established guitar instructor who has been teaching in the Tri-Valley for over 20 years.  He’s known for being “on the edge” of inspiration at all times, and brings his passion and experience to his students at JAMS Music. He always brings fresh energy and ideas to his lessons. His style and talent is “one-of-a-kind.” He has a bold rock style, and the skill to infuse jazz, fusion, country, and pop effortlessly and at will. Beyond those styles, Jimmy adds another dimension of expression through his breath-taking performances on acoustic guitar.  It’s through this talent Jimmy is able to help aspiring musicians of all age and skill level to bring out the best of their abilities. In addition to building student’s confidence with their playing, Jimmy focuses on music theory, sight reading, composition, and improvising to improve your playing. As a recording artist, Jimmy has worked with many artists and groups with platinum record sales, such as Huey Lewis, Brad Gillis/Night Ranger, Terry Haggerty, Tommy Castro Band, Pat-Thrall, Dave Meniketti/Y & T, Tower of Power, Mark MCBee/Allman Brothers, to name a few. His repertoire includes over 500 original songs, both alone and collaboratively, including recordings with EMI, A&M Records, Goston Music, and Cambia Records. Jimmy is excited to work with you, and looks forward to building a great musical...


Kyle Bates


Kyle Bates is a well-established guitar instructor who has taught in the Tri-Valley area for over twenty years. A native of Oakland, Kyle because interested in guitar at the age of 10, his love for guitar and music has never swayed. Kyle focuses on his students strengthening their technique, theory, improvisation and overall musicianship. Music is about being creative, expression, and above all, fun. It’s important to Kyle that his students enjoy their lesson and benefit from the instruction. Students ages eight years old and over all welcome, and Kyle works with students of all skill levels. His diverse repertoire includes, rock, blues, country, and jazz playing. In addition to his A.A. degree in music from Chabot College, Kyle has worked at the College of Recording Arts in San Francisco, and many notable musicians including Frank Sumaras, Doug Doppler, Paul Papus, MC Hammer, and Derrick Davis. Give us a call to start your music endeavors with...


Sophie Powers

Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone, Tuba, Beg. Trumpet

Sophie Powers is excited to be aboard the JAMS Music teaching team. She welcomes students of all ages and abilities to help them in their musical pursuits. While her primary instrument is trombone, she teaches other low brass instruments including euphonium, baritone, tuba and beginning trumpet students. Whether your goal is to learn how to play for the first time, prepare for an audition, work on music for a school or community band, put on a recital, improvise, or just have fun, Sophie looks forward to helping you achieve your very best. Her musical journey began when she was 7 years old, when her parents enrolled her in piano lessons and a church choir. As she grew older and started elementary school band, she was captivated by the sounds of the trombone. She followed her musical passion throughout high school and college, earning a degree in Humanities and minoring in Music with an emphasis on trombone from San Jose State University studying under Tom Hornig. Sophie has a diverse musical foundation of New Orleans’s style brass band, brass choir, trombone choir, pep band, folk, jazz, rock, and musical orchestra pit playing, as well as classical solo trombone and symphony repertoire in educational, community, and professional settings.  She’s performed with the Jazz Mafia, Lydia Pense and Coldblood, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Black Market Jazz Orchestra, the 415’s, the Ron Gariffo Orchestra, night club jazz combos, and semi-professional musical orchestra pits, just to name a few. When you sign up with Sophie, you know you’ll be with an instructor who’s passionate about learning and helping students become the best they can be with their musical talents. Call JAMS today to set up your...


Helen Orzel


Helen Orzel has great enthusiasm for sharing the fun and freedom of music that has been passed down to her through her family, her education, and her own experiences.  Helen pursued a B.A degree in Classical Piano Performance at Cal State University, Northridge, and then further studied at the Trossingen Conservatory in Germany.  She holds a M.A. in Music Education from San Jose State University where she completed her thesis on stress and its effects on music students. She has performed in Los Angeles, Germany, Serbia, and frequently as a freelance pianist in the Bay Area. Over the past 15 years, Helen has taught many kinds of students of different ages and abilities. She has extensive experience working with students of various special needs ranging from cognitive to physical challenges. Her positive attitude, patience, education has helped many students who normally struggle with private instruction. After extensive time studying and performing classical music, Helen expanded her repertoire into jazz and funk.  Moving into different genres allows her students the freedom to learn what appeals to them while still giving them solid fundamentals.  She feels strongly about helping students build a solid foundation of music theory and history so that they can fully appreciate what they are involved in to find their own musical style. Both Helen’s parents were prominent, professional, classical musicians in the Bay Area.  She also plays a variety of other instruments and performs in local jazz clubs. In her time off, she enjoys hang gliding and...


Alex Attard


Alex Attard is an accomplished piano and saxophone instructor and excited to be part of the JAMS Music teaching staff. An incredible talent, Alex has been teaching private piano and saxophone lessons in the Bay Area for over ten years, and playing for over fifteen years.  His strong work ethic and commitment to his student’s excellence and enjoyment has made him a sought after instructor. He has a unique way to connect with students starting as young as five years old to bring out the most of their ability and help develop an appreciation for music. While keeping the learning experience enjoyable, Alex focuses on proper technique, ear training, music theory, music history, and improvisation. He is equally interested and a confident instructor in classical and jazz styles of piano. You’ll get a comprehensive, well-rounded education of piano or saxophone when studying with Alex. Alex most recently earned his Masters Degree in Saxophone Performance from Cal State University, East Bay after completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jazz Saxophone & Flute Performance also from Cal State University, East Bay. He’s studied privately with top saxophone instructors in the Bay Area including Guido Fazio and Dann Zinn. Alex is available Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at JAMS Music. He looks forward to helping you achieve your musical...


Margret Scranton


Margaret Scranton has played guitar ever since she was a young girl. With over thirty years of professional playing and performance experience, she’s taught privately for almost fifteen years to enthusiastic guitarists in the East Bay of all ages and skill levels. She’s always expanding her knowledge of guitar and music by studying under numerous instructors over the years. Her teaching style focuses on each student’s interests, technique and building confidence. She’ll work on melodies, chords, music theory, songwriting and improvisation with material that keep the student engaged in learning. Not all students learn the same way, and Margaret uses different tools to help students grasp new concepts in a way they can use. As a writer and composer, Margaret has played in multiple groups including four all female groups; Mother Earth, Crazy Daisies, Honeyshot and the Hormones (a Ramones tribute band).  In 2007, she formed her own group called, Scranton, writing and playing lead guitar. She was written up in Guitar Player magazine in 2009 for a song on her solo EP “Born Ready.” Margaret’s energy and positive attitude comes across in an encouraging environment for learning music. She looks forward to sharing her passion for music with...


Noel Catura

Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute

Award winning saxophonist, Noel Catura has been teaching and performing professionally in the Bay Area for over 30 years. His musical knowledge and talents have helped hundreds of students ranging from beginners to professionals. You’ll get a solid foundation in music theory, sightreading, improvisation, and more. Noel makes music fun and helps you express your creativity. Noel has performed nationally and internationally at such prestigious festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), The Gospel and Rhythm and Blues Festival (New York), The Notoden Blues Festival (Norway), Belgium Rhythm and Blues Festival, the West Palm Beach Festival (Florida), Bumpershoot Festival (Seattle), San Francisco Blues Festival and Sacramento Blues Festival. Notable artists Noel has worked with include Verve recording artist, Joe Louis Walker and Mo’ Muscle recording artist, Sista Monica and was instrumental in the success of the critically acclaimed Chris Cain Blues Band. He has shared the stage with renowned artists such as Dave Weckl, John Lee Hooker, Wayne Wallace, Ernie Watts, Russell Ferrante, Charles Brown, Eddie “Clean Head” Vinson, Albert King, Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Pat Ford, Ike Turner, Robben Ford, Bobby Womack, Ron E. Beck,  Joey DeFrancesco, Duke Jethro, Don Menza, Jeff Lorber and a host of others. Noel is a Selmer-Paris endorsing artist in the Noel Catura Band, Nineteen Big Band and San Francisco dance band, Big City...


Dillon Vado

Drums, Drumline, Mallet Percussion

Dillon Vado’s diverse background in drumming helps guide his students through a journey of musical exploration starting at any level! He’s drummed professionally in the Bay Area since age 16. In addition to teaching drums, he teaches drumline percussion and mallet percussion. Dillon offers lessons that are fun and listening based, so the focus is on learning about music as a whole. In this way, the music informs the drumming, not the other way around. You’ll get all the fundamentals to make you a strong and confident drummer and get exposed to styles like Jazz, Afro Cuban Jazz, Brazilian music, R&B, and funk. While primarily playing the drum set, Dillon is also well versed in “Latin” percussion, and is an active jazz vibraphonist, so students can choose to study drum set and mallet percussion. Dillon marched snare drum with the Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Drumline, and also taught drumline at local high schools. Some professional groups with which he’s participated with include Alan Hall’s Rata-Tet,  The Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, Erik Jekabson’s String-tet, The Santa Clara Vanguard, and concerts with Art Lande. He studied with a multitude of private instructors on different instruments including Marimba/Vibraphone, Drum set, and Latin percussion. He was the winner of the 2014 Jazz Search West Competition on vibraphone. He studied at West Valley Community College, Jazz Camp West, and currently completing his B.A. in Music with an emphasis in Jazz Studies at the California Jazz Conservatory in...


Michael Mullen


Michael Mullen is excited to bring his skill and wealth of expertise of violin to JAMS Music. Trained as a classical violinist since he was five years old, Michael has performed and recorded many styles of music for decades. He has more than than 25 years for private violin and fiddle teaching experience. For the past few years, Michael has taught violin at various charter schools in the Oakland School District. Though he is a fiddler by trade, Michael teaches his beginner and intermediate students violin technique from a violin method that yields results — good technique is good technique regardless of what kind of music you play. As a student, you’ll straighten your fundamentals in sight reading, theory, and composition to become a confident player. Whether you’re just starting out in your school orchestra, preparing to study classical violin in college, interested in Celtic music, or traditional Americana fiddle, Michael will give you the tools you need to grow. Learning to play a musical instrument can be both fun and fulfilling, and the violin is one of the most expressive of musical instruments. Give it a try...


Lance Dresser


Lance’s enthusiasm for music and playing drums comes out in his teaching. Along with working on drum rudiments, learning to read music, developing proper technique, a student must have fun in their musical journey. You’ll be exposed to various styles of music to help grow your musicianship. Get ready to start your own musical journey with Lance today. Growing-up in the Bay Area in the 1960’s, Lance was exposed to many diverse styles of music. His older siblings filled the house with music from the Beatles, Hendrix, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, and many local bands that were coming on the scene. This was the catalyst for his love of music and that soon led to drum lessons at age six and the piano at age eight. Lance started in school band in the 4th grade and followed that path through High School, Santa Rosa Junior College, California State University, Hayward, and then his intensive jazz performance studies at Cal Arts in Valencia.  After graduating with a BFA, Lance landed the drum chair in Maynard Ferguson’s Big Band and toured the Bay Area and Japan. In the early 90’s, Lance returned to the Bay Area, playing as many local gigs as possible, and establishing himself as a drum teacher. Soon, he was touring and recording with Grammy nominated vocalist, Maria Muldaur, touring with Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, and performing in the production, Love, Janis – the story of Janis Joplin. Later, playing in the backing band for the Pebble Beach Pro Am, he played with Huey Lewis, Michael Bolton, Kenny G., Glen Frey of the Eagles, Darius Rucker, and T-Bone...


Chris Barnes


Chris Barnes is a full-time professional trumpet instructor and player known throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His incredible talent makes him in high demand as an extremely versatile freelance musician.  Chris’ flexibility allows him to cross over a variety of styles, so on any given day he is performing in the pit of a Broadway show, leading the brass section of a symphony orchestra, playing lead in a jazz big band or doing dance steps with a rock band.  He frequently performs with national touring acts, at concerts, festivals, churches, weddings and corporate events.  Chris’ performance versatility also keeps him in high demand as a recording musician. His extensive education in music was earned at California State University, Hayward, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as countless hours of real world experience. He is as passionate about mentoring young players as he is about performing.  Chris has taught in the East Bay for many years where he’s maintained a full load of students weekly with ages ranging from nine to seventy-nine and professionally for over twenty years.  Lessons are available for beginners and seasoned pros. Several of his students are principal players in their school ensembles, and many have been accepted into local and state honor groups.  Chris frequently assists as trumpet coach for schools and youth ensembles, and frequently gives workshops throughout the Bay Area. If you’re ready to take your trumpet playing seriously, you’ll be thrilled to work with Chris just as much as he is to work with...


Amy Kahn

Oboe, English Horn

Amy Kahn has extensive teaching and performance experience in the Tri-Valley area assisting many of the aspiring Oboists in the local schools prepare for collegiate studies in music. She brings a wealth of knowledge about double reed instruments and classical and contemporary music. Amy also teaches double reed making seminars for students interested in making their own reeds. Amy has a Bachelor of Arts degree with emphisis in Oboe Performance and a Certificate of Music Theory and Harmony from the Berklee Music College. She studied with notable oboists including, Tom Nugent  (University of Pacific Conservatory of Music), Ellenore Dusté (Former San Francisco Ballet), and Lenore Gillard (Former Principal Oboist with the Oakland Symphony), and Amy Likar and Tambre Thompson for Flute. In addition to teaching, Amy has performed with of a number of community orchestras including Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, the Woman’s Community Orchestra, Holy Names Orchestra and plays with the Diablo Symphony Orchestra, Contra Costa Wind Symphony, Livermore-Amador Symphony Pit Orchestra and Valley Dance Company. Call today to sign up with...


Matthias Montgomery

Drums & Percussion

Matthias Montgomery has had a highly successful twenty year career in drum instruction and touring nationally with famous groups. His multiple studio recordings with a list of high profile artists such as : Michael Schenker (Scorpions/UFO/MSG) and Brad Gillis (Ozzy Osbourne/Night Ranger)  . He graduated with honors from The Musician’s Institute College of Contemporary Music in 1987 in Los Angeles, and has worked extensively in the San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas metropolitan areas. Matthias’ positive attitude advances each student’s individual needs by utilizing a unique and enjoyable comprehensive study of rudiments, basic sight reading and independence, as well as building confidence through the art of drumming. His diverse background in music enables him to help with all styles of music and all skill levels. Matthias has taught drum classes at many of the learning centers in Contra Costa County, and various clinics for the Acalanes School District. He is a Yamaha endorsed artist and Company Leader/Drummer for Bay Area Show Band, The Spazmatics. Yamaha recently asked Matthias to work along side drum legends Steve Gadd and Billy Cobham. In addition to his teaching duties at JAMS Music, Matthias owns and operates his own “Red Room Studios” where he writes, records, engineers and produces for artists...


James Schulz

Double Bass, Electric Bass

James is available for orchestral double bass, upright bass, and standard electric bass. James works with students of all ages and is just the right person to help you advance your skills. He earned his Master in Music for Orchestral Double Bass from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his BA in Music and Double Bass from Cal State University, East...


Steve Kritzer

Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo

Steve Kritzer is a veteran of the Bay Area music scene. He has entertained audiences around the world, , recorded 5 award winning CD’s, and has been a highly-respected teacher for over 25 years, known for his professional yet friendly teaching style and ability to mold lessons to each students personal needs and abilities. His teaching abilities include acoustic and electric Guitar (specializing in folk, Travis picking, bluegrass, swing, Celtic, and classic pop and rock), Mandolin, Banjo, Ukulele, Bass, Songwriting, ensemble playing, Contemporary Christian repertoire, and theory, welcoming everyone from beginners to advanced on all instruments. He looks forward to working with you on your musical...


Francisco Hernandez


Francisco Hernandez is an experienced and versatile professional musician with many years of performance under his belt. He currently holds an A.A. in Music from Ohlone College and is currently studying for his B.A. in Music at CSU East Bay.  Francisco has experience playing in bands covering many different genres including jazz bands, theater pits, top 40 bands, rock and blues bands, and classical ensembles. He currently plays in The Chops Big Band based out of Fremont and also plays in various cover bands. Students can expect to learn and strengthen their reading, theory, technique, musicianship, and learn songs from many different styles of music. If you are a beginner or an advanced player, Francisco can help bring your passion and playing to the next...


David Hawley

Guitar, Bass Guitar

David Hawley has been teaching in the Tri-Valley area for over 15 years. He brings his passion, positive attitude, and energy with him to every lesson. Whether you love rock or blues, or just starting your journey as a guitar or bass player, Dave can help you out with technique, theory, composition, improvisation, and ear training. Come in or call today to get signed up with...


Heidi Dahms

Violin, Viola, Beginning Cello

Heidi Dahms is pleased to be the new beginning violin, viola and cello instructor for JAMS Music. Ms. Dahms holds a Master of Music Education degree from Boston University, a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting, with Honors, from Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, Arizona), a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Violin Performance) and a California State Teaching Credential from California State University, Hayward (now East Bay) and an additional credential in Administration and Educational Leadership. Ms. Dahms has over 25 years teaching experience working with musicians of all age levels and abilities. She is currently the Director of Orchestras for the Castro Valley Unified School District. During her 18 year tenure her teaching duties have included conducting the Castro Valley High School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and as Musical Director for the high school musical productions. She conducts the Canyon Middle School Beginning and Advanced String Orchestras, the Creekside Middle School Beginning and Advanced String orchestras and the Symphonic Band and teaches beginning instrumental music to Castro Valley’s fifth grade elementary school students. For three years she served as Music Director and Conductor of the Young Performer’s String Orchestra, a multi-level string orchestra training program of Civic Arts Education in the city of Walnut Creek, CA. During her tenure the groups’ membership tripled! She is currently a violinist with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Dahms has performed as violinist in numerous ensembles throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Diablo Symphony, Woodminster Theater, and the Peninsula Civic Light Opera (now Broadway by the Bay). She was guest conductor of the NAU University Orchestra, Musical Theater productions and Symphonic Band and was the Assistant Conductor and Manager of the Flagstaff Youth Orchestra. She has also worked as...


Jason Countryman

Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo & Mandolin, Voice

Jason Countryman is an accomplished professional musician with over ten years of teaching experience. He holds a B.A. in Music Composition and Classical Guitar from Cal State University, East Bay, but has extensive experience in a variety of music genres including jazz bands, folk groups, theater pits, experimental electronica collaborations, and as a finger style and classical solo player. Jason can help strengthen your music theory, songwriting and technique in order to bring your playing to another level. In addition to his busy teaching schedule, Jason sings, writes and plays in Farewell Typewriter and Park St Trio. Come take lessons with him. You’ll have...


Remember that First Guitar


"This is my go-to music store. My two kids have taken guitar lessons here, and both loved it...I would give them six stars if I could."

Mark K.
San Ramon, CA

"Just used JAMS Music to repair my daughter's flute. Ian, the brass & woodwind repair tech is excellent. He knows what he's doing and is very ethical. I won't hesitate to bring my future business back there!"

Linda K.
Dublin, CA

"It was about time for the Tri-Valley to get a really top-notch music store.  I have been going to JAMS Music for a little over 2 years, and the place gets better every time I go in...I am a very happy and satisfied customer, and recommend JAMS Music to all my musician friends.  It an absolutely wonderful and friendly environment, and they are very easy to do business with.  

Gail E.
Livermore, CA

"All of the staff were welcoming and always answered my questions thoroughly.  I highly recommend these guys."

Steve B.
San Ramon, CA

"I commuted here all the way from Stockton because of the high praise this place has on Yelp. From my recent experience, JAMS Music has totally exceeded my expectations."

Andy D.
Ripon, CA