Adam, 33, asked for piano lessons at age 4, but unfortunately had to wait ten years to begin formal instruction! In the meantime, he was told to teach himself, which resulted in an early inclination toward improvisation. At age 10 Adam began composing electronic music, and at 14 decided to devote his life to Composition, beginning formal studies in Piano, Theory, Voice, and Composition, progressing most quickly in Composition and Music Theory. His piano skills also accelerated rapidly, as he completed two RCM piano grades per year, leading to his acceptance into the competitive UofT Music Composition program at the end of high-school, by which time he had already gained experienced conducting and composing works for chamber ensemble and for orchestra, as well as teaching piano and theory privately. (Only one other student was admitted as a composition major the year Adam was.)
After arriving in academia, Adam's interests shifted to more theoretical matters for some time: In addition to his studies in Composition, Piano, and Music Theory, he took up studies in Mathematics, Analytic Philosophy, Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence, and was very deeply involved in student politics and a wide array of community-building efforts for the relatively young interdisciplinary Cognitive Science program at UofT. 2.5 degrees worth of credits later, Adam worked in a Music Psychology lab and for Music Software start-up as a software developer, going on to teach software development to teens and children, continuing his private teaching in various subjects, including teaching piano, with a focus on theory and classical improvisation.
While Adam's musical focus was originally not on performance, or improvisation, but on composition and theory, ironically it was partly his other academic studies that led him back to the world of performance and improvisation: One thing that unified Adam's studies was a constant focus on language and communication, and a paper he eventually wrote for a Psychology of Development class, on the interrelation between music aquisition and language aquisition, would form the basis of his "Cognitive Music Improv Group", a community experiement in blurring the lines between music and language.
While this group is based around eliminating the audience/performer distinction, as would have been the case in humanity's earliest musics, which would have been improvised, conversational, and practised by everyone in a community, Adam began, after a few years of this, performing live keyboard improvisation in a more conventional perfomer-and-audience setup, and has recently added improvisation using a keyboard-controlled 'harmonizer' to his live routine. Adam sings and plays the keyboard into this device, which 'copies' his voice to the pitches he plays! In addition to Cognitive Music Improv Group and "INFORMAL HOUSEPARTYCONCERT", a series of live concerts he holds in his home, almost weekly you can see Adam, joined by a drummer, poll an audience for short English phrases that he turns into improvised progressive rock epics before their very eyes!
Trained at age 12 in classical guitar through the Royal Conservatory of Music, Brian developed the base for his music career. Soon after, he ventured into different genres of music, immersing himself in Blues, Jazz, Rock, Reggae and Country, which landed him his first teaching gig at age 15. At age 18 Brian started to play professionally, quickly becoming a staple of the Calgary music scene. After playing in Calgary for 8 years he felt it was time to move to a city with more musical prospects then moved to the GTA. In no time at all, Brian had become a popular session musician, focused on Rock and country, while earning a diploma in Marketing from Sheridan College with a 4.0 average. Brian has had the pleasure of playing with some of Ontario’s top musicians, allowing him to open for huge Canadian acts such as Tebey, Ill Scarlet, Hollerado and Colin James. He has preformed at festivals throughout Canada, including the Calgary Stampede, as well as a spot at Boots and Hearts, Canada’s largest Country music fest. Brian has no plans of slowing down in the future.
Daniel Stefan is an emerging saxophonist, woodwind doubler, bandleader, and educator in the Toronto music scene. A graduate from the Humber College Music program Daniel has collaborated with artists across the GTA and beyond in performing, writing, and recording original works.
Born in Newmarket Ontario. He has studied under the tutelage of many esteemed artists such as Kirk MacDonald, Pat Labarbera, Alex Dean, Justin Gray, Mark Promane, Shirantha Beddega, John Macleod, and Hilario Duran, developing strong sensibilities in the genres of swing, latin jazz, funk, and Indojazz. A versatile musician, he has performed in many major jazz venues in both Canada and the United States including the Canadian Opera Company, Old Mill Inn, Beaches Jazz Festival, Undergraduate Jazz Festival, Snowbird Extravaganza, and Rex Hotel. Recently, Daniel performed on a recordin session for composer/pianist Julia Mermelstein, recording her original compositions written for a dance production from Nostos Collectives.
A notable educator, he has taught students in both a one on one setting as well as classes as large as seventy or more. With an emphasis on tone production, technique, reading, improvisation/harmony, and jazz phrasing/time feel, he specializes in nurturing a student's underlying love of music. Through teaching now and in the future, he hopes to inspire a love and dedication to music in his students, as well as gaining insight into his own playing. In particular, an exploration into the roots of how musicians view their own playing, how teachers/audience members view live music, the universal fundamentals of all music, and how he can personally improve and progress as a musician.
David Richards is one of the most sought after musicians in his home country, Trinidad and Tobago and has represented his country at various jazz and music festivals both regionally and internationally. Throughout his career as a drummer, David has been afforded the opportunity to open for and share the stage with world-class acts including Spyro Gyra, Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton and Joe Sample, to name a few. Having developed a passion for jazz and music indigenous to his homeland, David decided to improve his craft by studying at Humber College, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music. At Humber, David had the opportunity to study closely with world-renowned drummers Larnell Lewis and Mark Kelso and his outstanding work and musical talent earned him many awards. He is currently active in the music community in Toronto, playing with reputable Canadian musicians including Eddie Bullen, Andrew Stewart, Jeremy Ledbetter and Juno Award winner Liberty Silver. He is also an avid bassist and can be seen as the Musical Director on several projects past and present. What makes David unique is his organic approach to his playing and music, in general. His Caribbean heritage coupled with his knowledge of contemporary music allows him to offer unique yet versatile perspectives, both as a musician and as a music educator.
Award-winning Toronto based drummer, Jacob Aylward, is a graduate of Humber College’s Bachelor of Music program and is a full-time professional musician.
Jacob currently plays with KC Roberts and the Live Revolution and co-leads an exciting original project called GridLocK. Jacob is a well known gigging drummer, session musician, teacher, and arranger who prides himself in versatility and extreme musicality.
Jacob enjoys meeting new people, inspiring others, and sharing his musical talents with the world.
Jack-James Lemaire is a Toronto based bassist highly in demand in the Indie-Rock scene. His strong sense of rhythm and tone has kept him busy performing since the early 2000’s.
Jack has had a varied career since moving to Toronto. He has worked in music theatre at the Lower Ossington Theatre, performed world music with Mozayic, and has played Bollywood classics with Bajha Brass Band. Jack currently tours with indie-rock group Luke Austin Band, singer-songwriter Jeremy Volts (Voltswagon), classic rock group Angora, and rock act Big Frasier.
Jack holds a DEP in Professional Music and Song-Writing Techniques from CEGEP Vanier in Montréal and a Bachelor’s of Music from Humber College in Toronto.
Jesse grew up in Port of Spain, Trinidad surrounded by a rich heritage of music. Being the grandson of one of the islands’ calypso veterans, Clifton Ryan, aka the “Mighty Bomber”, perhaps it is no surprise that he has steadily earned his place as one of Trinidad’s bright, young stars. In 2008, he received a partial scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, and is currently completing his studies at Humber College, Canada. At Humber he has had the opportunity to study and interact with some of Toronto’s finest and world-renowned musicians and educators including Nick Morgan, Kirk Mac Donald, Pat La Barbera, Luis Deniz, Hilario Duran, Geoff Young and Neil Swainson.
Jesse has played many of the major festivals and venues around the across the island of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean and Toronto including the annual Jazz Artists on the Green’s, Tobago Jazz experience, Mt. Irvine Jazz on the Beach, Virgin Gorda Jazz Festival (British Virgin Islands), Beaches Jazz Festival (Toronto), The Rex (Toronto) and the Jazz Bistro (Toronto). Last summer, Jesse had the distinct pleasure of sharing with stage with New York based, Canadian saxophonist Seamus Blake and jazz piano legend Harold Mayburn while attending the Youth Jazz Canada Workshop, and just this spring he had the opportunity to perform and recorded with saxophonists Joe Lovano and Donny Mc Caslin, playing lead alto with Humber’s studio jazz ensemble.
His passion for music extends beyond the bandstand though, as he is a strong believer in the transformative potential of youth receiving a music education. He currently teaches saxophone and piano at T-Rox Music in Port Credit. His soulful sound continues to capture audiences all over as he reflects on his source, God, the Great Musician. Ryan say’s, “I consider myself to be bilingual; music is my second language and is the universal language of the soul. Nothing else moves people like music does”
Jessica started learning piano at the age of 7 although she was 15 when she realized that she wanted music to be a big part of her life.
Jessica started her practical examinations with the Royal Conservatory of Music at Level 2 piano and then continued on with examinations from Level 5 – 9 and continues to enhance her experience with the RCM. Along with her practical, she has also completed theory examinations with the Royal Conservatory up to Grade 3 Harmony which was completed with honours before heading off to university.
Jessica was always involved in musical extracurriculars starting in elementary school. Being part of concert bands, jazz bands, vocal ensembles and the Mississauga Festival Youth Choir broadened her knowledge and experience with music. Throughout these journeys she has also learned how to play other instruments such as the Clarinet and the Guitar.
Jessica graduated in June 2013 with an Honours Bachelor of Music from McMaster University. Her experience with studying music was unforgettable and she discovered a hidden passion for music theory, analyzing and developed a love for the works of Beethoven and Rachmaninoff. Having taught piano for over 3 years now, Jessica’s intention as a piano teacher is to make learning music an experience. She truly believes that the process of learning and performing should be fun and enjoyable!
Kirk is a working musician, a graduate with honours from Seneca College, and he began teaching guitar to students in 1991.
From as early as he can remember, Kirk has had a deep passion for music. He started with private piano lessons as a young child, which he continued into his late teens. Inspired by the intense guitar-driven music of that era, Kirk fell in love with the instrument and applied himself to mastering it. In his early twenties, Kirk studied jazz guitar, improvisation and modal playing under Steve Sherman, a local legend.
Although he is happy to instruct a student in guitar technique, Kirk believes that playing well is only the first step in a life-long journey with music. Like writing a good story, a songwriter must understand not just the language and theory of music, but also how to structure a composition properly. For the student that wants to progress beyond the enjoyment of playing, Kirk’s songwriting and recording experience can be a valuable resource. To date he has contributed to 5 full-length CD recordings, and released a self-titled debut album of his own in 2011. He continues to perform in and around the greater Toronto area, and has played many shows in other parts of Canada and in the United States.
Always eager to share his experience and wisdom with others, Kirk’s approach to teaching involves a patient accommodation to what the student would like to achieve, employing structured lesson plans as well as tips, tricks and jam techniques as the student advances.
Kirk is excited to join the T-Rox staff. In addition to teaching, Kirk provides musical accompaniment to improvisational dance classes at George Brown College, is a paid studio musician, and has performed classical and ambient guitar compositions for corporate events and weddings.
Sam has been surrounded by music his whole life, performing with various bands, and production companies developing a wide array of musical knowledge and awareness. Music is his passion and he strives to share it with the world. He is a vocal graduate of the Humber College Contemporary Music degree program, and has been training in the music fields of jazz, classical, and contemporary for over 8 years. Through his time at Humber, Sam has studied with various musicians, such as Rik Emmett (Triumph), Ian Terry and Denzel Sinclaire, learning the ways of songwriting, performance, production, music marketing, and music business. Sam was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He was brought up in a musical family and has been surrounded by music all his life. At 12 years old he started singing. He began to develop a love for rock and pop music, through watching his icons, Michael Jackson and The Beatles perform. Music started to become apart of his everyday life. It became a way of communication for Sam, instead of writing in a journal, he would write songs. He learned to love the stage at a young age as well, performing at many events around Thunder Bay. Up north, he also started a pop/rock band with a couple of friends. Singing lead, Maraday Park started to dominate the Thunder Bay music scene. They went on to win The City-Wide Battle of the Bands and open for many numerous touring artists: April Wine, Trooper, Marianas Trench, The Arkells, The Sheepdogs, Said the Wale, and Faber Drive.
Since graduation, Sam has been busy performing Musical theatre with the Lower Ossington Theatre, starring in their performances of RENT and Jesus Christ Superstar, where he played Roger and Judas. He has also been steadily teaching vocals, guitar and piano back home for many years and is excited to continue to invigorate the talented young musicians here at T-Rox Music Academy. Sam knows how important music is to himself, and he loves the opportunity to share that drive with the future performers of our generation.
Shealagh is a singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, now based out of Toronto, Ontario. With influences from Joni Mitchell, Laura Marling, Fleetwood Mac, and many more, Shealagh specializes in the folk/pop genre where she writes her original music. Her background is based on musical theatre, jazz, and classical, where she completed her Grade 8 RCM certificate in Spring 2012.
Shealagh’s budding interest in music began when she was a child, studying violin at 8 years old and putting on concerts for her family in her basement. After dabbling in several other instruments such as trombone (where she performed in various big bands including the Hamilton Rising Stars), guitar, and basic piano (self-taught), Shealagh decided that her true passion lay in voice.
Shealagh recently received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music (Honours) from Humber College. She has had the pleasure of studying with various talented musicians such as Rick Emmett (Triumph), Juno award-winning vocalist Sienna Dahlen, Christine Duncan, and Colleen Allen. More recently, she was honored to work and record with producer Ken Scott (David Bowie, The Beatles) during the producer-in-residence held at Humber College.
Shealagh can be found performing her original music (under the name Shealagh Rose) in the GTA as well as with the gypsy jazz pop cover band “Hotline Swing”. She hopes to inspire and share her passion for music with the young and brilliant minds at T-Rox.