In addition to being experienced teachers, all MUSICWORKS faculty are accomplished musicians active in the NYC music community. Check out their links to see when and where they are playing and/or purchase their music online!
Jesse Neuman (founder/director) holds a B.Mus. from NYU and an M.S.Ed. from Hunter College. A student of Laurie Frink and Ralph Alessi, he has performed Brooklyn Qawwali Party (devotional Sufi music from Pakistan), Samita Sinha and Kaash (Hindustani fusion), Josh Ritter, Ursa Minor, Rhoda Viva, Rob Jost (singer/songwriter), Pete Robbins and silent Z (electric jazz fusion), The Barbarians (funk, soul), Matisyahu (hip hop), Sessione Senese per la Musica e l'Arte Orchestra and Brass Quintet (western classical), ZDS (electronic trumpet quartet) at such venues as NPR, Lincoln Center, the Public Theatre, the Blue Note, Birdland, the Knitting Factory, and Brooklyn Museum of Art. He has also performed as a sideman with Bobby Bare Jr, Melomane, and Josh Ritter, and done sound design for the Multimeteorchestra and annandalexxmakedances. As an educator, Mr. Neuman has taught pre-K through college levels for over 10 years, and has held programs with MUSICWORKS for special needs populations, senior citizens, and as a volunteer in Latin America. His latest release as a leader, The World Has Time to Bloom is available at JesseNeuman.Bandcamp.com
Elizabeth! (vocals/trombone) has toured with Michael Bolton and performed at the Kennedy Center. She is a graduate of Harvard University and the City University of New York, and her recordings Hot and Silver and Brainchildren feature unique original songwriting and vocals steeped with informed tradition. She lives in LA with her husband and pet bear, Herschel.
Liam Hurley (drumset) tours with renowned singer/songwriter and author Josh Ritter, playing alongside the Boston, Dublin, and New York Symphonies He is also an accomplished puppeteer who has performed and directed work at Yale University and The Public Theatre. He is a firm believer that puppets aren't as creepy as they seem.
Oscar Rodriguez (guitar/music production) led the influential indie rock band Nakatomi Plaza for over 10 years, and is the driving force behind the expandable solo juggernaut Ghost Robot Ninja Bear. He is also an accomplished studio technician. He has broken several pairs of eyeglasses onstage.
Rob Jost (bass) is one of NYC’s most sought out musicians, having performed with Bjork, Imogen Heap, Jesse Harris, the Saturday Night Live band, and the Sesame Street Band. He is also a volunteer French horn instructor at youth camps in Haiti. He is a verbal pun master.
Grey McMurray (guitar/vocals) leads the sensational Knights on Earth, and has performed with Jerseyband and Meshell Ndegeocello. His guitar playing and vocals are soulful and dynamic, evocative of Jeff Buckley and Donovan. He is a fan of turquoise jewelry.
Ryan Keberle (trombone/music theory) is the director of Jazz Studies at Hunter College, and holds the lead trombone chair for Maria Schneider’s Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed with the Saturday Night Live band and Sufjan Stevens. He has cooked his way through almost all of Mario Batali's recipes.
Robert DiPietro (drumset/percussion) is a multi-instrumentalist, having performed and recorded with Norah Jones, Jesse Harris, and Alex Cuba. He is also a talented engineer, and has written and produced solo albums Ordinary Boy and Bad News Bobby. He is proud to be from Long Island.
Elizabeth Pupo-Walker(percussion) plays congas, bongos, cajon and electronics. Mainly influenced and studied in Afro-Cuban/Latin Jazz, she also plays Brazilian music, experimental Jazz, African Jazz/Soukous, pop, rock, hip hop and soul. She loves dragging her congas on the subway.
Ann Robideaux (dance/movement) is the founder of Asana Alphabet, which trains teachers and produces yoga and movement for children. She is an established choreographer and has produced site-specific works and films at the Lilac (1940’s light-ship), Galapagos Art Space, and Chachama. She meditates regularly with her cats, Greedy and Special.
Jon Natchez (woodwinds, brass) plays more instruments than we can list here, and has proven it with Beirut, Arcade Fire, Skavoovie, the Silent League, and Escort. NPR calls him “indie rock’s most valuable sideman.” He is a surprisingly agile dancer.
Jeremy Beck (keyboards / voice) is a NYC based musician, singer/songwriter, and producer and the owner of Beck Productions LLC. He has produced music for Jack Zerby, Rachel Zoe, and MTV. He owns more gear than a moderately sized Radio Shack.
Todd Spiegelman (drumset) was a member of the New York State Jazz Ensemble as a high school senior, and graduated from Princeton University. He is a volunteer instructor for MUSICWORKS’ scholarship lessons program. He is ranked at level 28 on Call of Duty.
Noah Jarrett (bass/world music) has toured with African Kora virtuoso Mamadou Diabate, and is a founder member of the Pakistani-Sufi inspired Brooklyn Qawwali Party. He teaches gamelan (Indonesian mallet percussion) to elementary school general music beginners. He usually makes pink pancakes for his daughters on Saturdays.
Eric Biondo (trumpet/vocals/songwriting) is an accomplished trumpeter who has toured with The Monkeys and the inspiration for Broadway’s Fela, Antibalas. He is also an avid songwriter, having written and produced 10 albums (most recently Gold Tone) performs with Superhuman Happiness. He's also allergic to pets.
Dan Voss (saxophone/composition) is a disciple of jazz saxophone greats Jackie McLean and Lee Konitz. He is currently writing his thesis in classical composition and theory and regularly performs his own composed fusion of improvised and classical music. He prefers German beer to Belgian beer, most of the time.
Jeff Davis (drumset) holds degrees in both jazz performance and classical percussion. He has performed around the world with the likes of Tony Malaby, Eivind Opsvik, Pedro Giurado’s Jazz Orchestra, Chris Speed, Ralph Alessi. He misses Colorado.
Michelle Casillas (guitar/vocals/piano) is an accomplished singer/songwriter whose sultry vocals and driving guitars lead the indie rock band Ursa Minor. The band has received substantial acclaim for their records Silent Moving Picture and Showface. Her mom bakes the best enchiladas in NYC.
Ryan Ferreira (guitar/electronics) creates ambient soundscapes with a dazzling command of live electronics coupled with a subtle artistic grace. He has recorded several solo and duo albums and recently was awarded a residency at the prestigious Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. He can grow facial hair at an alarmingly fast rate.
Tony Scherr (guitar/bass) is an incredible musician, having played bass and guitar with Maria Schneider’s Jazz Orchestra, Bill Frisell, Willie Nelson, Ani DiFranco, John Scofield and Norah Jones. He has also penned and performed two solo albums, Come Around and Twist in the Wind. He misses analog tape.
Gary Glazner (poetry) is the founder of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, a groundbreaking organization which engages senior citizens suffering from dementia with the rhythm and lyricism of written verse. He wears a fedora like nobody's business.
Simon Jermyn (6-string electric bass/guitar) is a genre bending composer and performer who holds a Masters Degree in jazz performance from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, and has performed at the Sligo New Music Festival for BBC Radio 3. He is married to Mrs. Jermyn.
Lauren Hecker (oboe/saxophone/clarinet) is completing her graduate studies in music education at Hunter College. She is an avid singer as well, and a volunteer instructor for MUSICWORKS’ scholarship lessons program. She once worked as a bagel specialist.