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Musical Mentors

Holly Jamieson

Holly is the keyboardist and backing vocalist in the popular award-winning indie band, The Monowhales​. She has been an active member of the Toronto indie-rock scene since 2010, when she became a creative influence with the band, ​Wide Eyed Tour Guide​. A self-taught piano-player-turned-synth-player, Holly has quite a varied musical background, including vast training as a classical violinist and as a decorated vocalist. Holly has earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice. She is a Lead Musical Mentor with The JamLab and teaches beginner to advanced piano and vocals, beginner to intermediate ukulele, beginner to intermediate violin and also teaches Musical Exploration classes and school programs. Holly is one of our best-received Musical Mentors who embraces all opportunities to ​facilitate lessons with students of all ages.

Nadine Navarre

Nadine is a bilingual (French and Italian) vocal sensation, who ​in addition to her own shows has performed as a guest vocalist on stage and in the studio for the Toronto funk house bands ​God Made Me Funky, King Sunshine, Alpha Q​, and ​Novacosm​. She lends her voice on anything from debut albums to film scores to performing with her own funk band and has also performed extensively with ​Symmetry Studios​, a popular nine piece Toronto cover band. Nadine pursued a successful international career recording feature tracks in London and Italy where she also performed live to rave reviews. Her works have been released on major recording labels like Shines Records, Plusgroove Records, Consortium Music and Sole Channel Music. Nadine studied classical jazz and piano at Humber College and music at the renowned Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts in Toronto, focusing on theory and harmony.

Nadine is a Lead Musical Mentor with The JamLab teaching beginner to advanced piano, beginner to advanced vocals, beginner to intermediate brass instruments and beginner to intermediate violin. She teaches all ages and abilities of students, including our youngest set and is particularly adored by adolescents. She has led glee clubs and adult pop up choirs, including The JamLab’s popular Local Vocal. Nadine is known for her engaging and encouraging approach to teaching and her excellent sense of humour.

Quinn Jacobs

Quinn is a producer and performer in an experimental music company called ​Din Of Shadows​. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance and Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music, a Masters in Music Composition from the Netherlands’ Utrecht Conservatory and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Music Arts in Composition at the University of Toronto. Quinn is a Lead Musical Mentor with The JamLab and teaches our Music Exploration classes, as well as beginner to advanced piano, beginner to advanced songwriting, beginner to advanced composition, beginner to advanced guitar bass, ( as well as ukulele and other string instruments) and beginner to intermediate drums. Quinn is a thoughtful and creative educator who endears himself to students of all ages with his quirky sense of humour and unbridled passion for music.

Yanick Allwood

Yanick was a child prodigy, raised on music in a family consisting of accomplished musicians. An award winning classical pianist recognized for his extraordinary vocal range, Yanick currently spends most of his time as the frontman of his band ​After Funk, sharing the stage with bands like ​Lettuce, Snarky Puppy, Dumpstaphunk ​and the Nth Power​. Yanick successfully completed a Bachelor of Music in Classical Music from The University of Western. He is a Lead Musical Mentor with The JamLab and teaches beginner to advanced vocals, beginner to advanced piano, (including keyboard and organ) and is also available for songwriting and composition classes. Yanick is known for making his classes fun and engaging while inspiring students to learn music they love.

Duncan Symonds

Raised in British Columbia, Duncan Symonds made his way to Toronto after years of playing and soaking in the rich musical tradition of New Orleans and the American South. Duncan is one of our most versatile Lead Musical Mentors and can be seen touring both locally and internationally, playing the guitar, dobro, bass, pedal steel, mandolin and banjo. He is also a vocalist and songwriter and knows his way around the piano and drums. Duncan has played with some of Canada’s musical icons including Jim Cuddy of ​Blue Rodeo ​and Ed Robertson ​of the ​Barenaked Ladies. He has recorded and produced his own albums and the works of others and successfully published his written works on music education. Duncan currently plays in a roots-rock band called ​The Actual Goners​. Duncan completed a Masters in Music from Louisiana University in Baton Rouge where he also taught privately. He is a Lead Musical Mentor with The JamLab where he teaches a variety of string instruments, drums, songwriting and vocals to students of all ages. Duncan is gentle and engaging in his approach and is known to form strong, long-lasting relationships with all of his students.

Bob Wiseman

Bob is a Canadian singer-songwriter, producer, pianist, p​roducer, folk songwriter, guitar-pop singer, filmmaker, published author and improvisational jazz pianist. He won five Juno awards with Canadian recording artists, ​Blue Rodeo, of which he was a founding member before leaving to pursue a solo career. He was later nominated for a Juno for most promising vocalist and a Gemini for Twitch City music. He was also granted a lifetime achievement award from the CBC. He has discovered and/or produced many artists including Ron Sexsmith, ​The Lowest of the Low​, Bruce McCulloch ( ​Kids in the Hall​), Edie Brickell, Jane Siberry, Serena Ryder and toured and/or guest performed with ​Feist​, ​Wilco​, ​The Hidden Cameras​, ​The Wallflowers​, Ashley MacIssac, the ​BareNaked Ladies ​and Jimmy Carl Black of Frank Zappa.

Bob is a Lead Musical Mentor with The JamLab and can teach up to advanced piano, songwriting and beginner to intermediate guitar. ​Bob has been working with The JamLab for over two years, and although it is difficult not to be impressed by his accomplished musical and theatrical career; it is genuinely his songwriting workshops and rock band coaching where he shines within our musical community. Bob engages students of all ages with his warm sense of humour and non-judgmental instructional style. He has been teaching classrooms of all ages, from primary to post-secondary, both with The JamLab and as an educator in private academia.

Alec Sherman

Alec works in the recording industry at a start-up record label in the heart of Toronto’s bustling music scene and is an accomplished singer/songwriter. His musical influences stem from pop-rock and folk singer/songwriter, but extend as far as rap and broadway (simultaneously, thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda). Alec studied chemistry at Western University but it turned out he had more in common with the Music Business program at Humber College. Alec teaches beginner to intermediate vocals, beginner to intermediate piano, beginner guitar and songwriting. Alec’s sense of humour and enthusiasm delights his students and makes him a wonderful instructor for students of all ages.

Scott Neary

Scott is an international touring musician and award winning guitarist, composer and arranger currently residing in Toronto. He received his BA in Jazz Studies from St. Francis University and a Masters degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, where he was a teaching fellow. ​Scott is a Lead Musical Mentor with The JamLab and teaches beginner to intermediate piano, beginner to advanced guitar, beginner to advanced bass, beginner to advanced drums, as well as brass and woodwinds. He is also capable of teaching songwriting and facilitating rock bands. Scott can engage students of all ages and abilities, and his students can’t say enough wonderful things about him.

Phil Tessis

Phil has the reputation of being one of the most sought after guitar players in the Toronto area, recognized by fans internationally as the lead guitarist in the popular Toronto based funk band, ​After Funk​, where he has shared the stage with bands like ​Snarky Puppy, Dumpstaphunk, Lettuce, ​and the ​Nth Power. Phil graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Humber College and is a Lead Instructor with The JamLab, teaching individual students up to advanced and expert levels while also devoting his time to rock band coaching. He teaches beginner to advanced/expert guitar, beginner to intermediate piano/keyboard and beginner to intermediate drums, with a particular focus on more experienced and mature students.

Trevor Cape

Trevor is an accomplished songwriter and bandleader. His band, Trevor Cape and the Field, features a rotating cast of inspiring musicians who through original, jam and classic music inspires openness, connectivity, joy and dance. His monthly concert series, Grateful Sunday, brings people of all ages together and fosters community spirit in Toronto neighbourhoods. Trevor is a loving father and an accomplished coach in the corporate and private sector. Trevor is available to teach group musical jams for our toddler and younger set and facilitates school programs and private drum circles with The JamLab.

Avery Florence

Avery is a solo singer/songwriter and touring performer, recognized for her visually captivating music videos. Avery has played such notable venues as The Dakota Tavern, The Troubadour, ( London, UK), The Rivoli and in a self-produced showcase called The Secret Garden. She was awarded a Toronto Arts Council recording grant in December of 2016, and is a constant on Season 2 of CTV’s The Launch. She has also played major festivals like the CMW, Pop Montreal and Festival de Sainte Therese. Avery graduated from Dalhousie University and went on to study business management at The Harris Institute, until she discovered a full time music career was really her life calling. Avery teaches beginner piano, guitar, vocals and songwriting. She is an engaging and dynamic music educator and enjoys working with students of all ages. Avery is known for her warm personality and ability to engage students of all ages, particularly those who might need some extra encouragement in finding their musical confidence .

Damon Richardson

Damon is a drummer and multi-instrumentalist with 25 years of live and studio experience. Damon has played with a number of artists including ​Danko Jones​, ​Hayden​, ​Change of Heart, Danny Michel, Sarah Harmer and Juliana Hatfield. He has toured nationally, and internationally, with such acts as ​The Tragically Hip​, ​Blue Rodeo and ​Motorhead​. Damon has also composed several pieces of music for film, television and commercials. Damon teaches beginner to advanced piano, beginner to advanced guitar, beginner to intermediate vocals, and of course, advanced level drums. He has a gentle and encouraging approach to teaching which makes him a wonderful instructor to students of all ages.

Jesse Klein

Jesse Klein, also known by his recording and stage name PHASE, is a multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Toronto. With a focus on hip hop, r &b and rock, Jesse operates his own recording studio and plays session guitar and keyboard for various artists. Jesse has a Bachelor’s Degree of Kinesiology from Queens University and a degree in Audio Production from the Harris Institute. Jesse has been teaching with The JamLab for the past four years and works with students from as young as five to mature adults. Jesse teaches beginner to intermediate piano, beginner to intermediate guitar, beginner to intermediate drums and songwriting. Jesse is adored by his students who love his easy going and fun natured approach to music.

Claire Harris

Claire is an accomplished musician from London, England. Prior to moving to Toronto, she worked at the Royal College of Music in London, accompanying recitals, competitions and masterclasses and was the studio pianist for Rosa Mannion, a world-renowned singer and professor of voice. Claire has also worked with companies including the ​English Touring Opera​, the ​Rossini Young Artists’ Festival​, ​Opera Alumnus​ and the ​Academie de La Roche D’Hys ​annual opera workshop. In 2018 she was a chamber music coach at the Dartington International Summer School and Festival and an adjudicator for the Dulwich Music Festival. Claire holds a Masters in Performance from the Royal College of Music, London, UK, specializing in vocal accompaniment, graduating with distinction in 2015. During her studies, she was awarded the Violette Szabo GC Memoriam Prize, the Soirée d’Or Award and the John and Marjorie Coultate Award. She also won the accompanist prize in the national Maggie Teyte Competition. Claire has worked with many leading soloists and ensembles throughout London, the UK and Europe and has performed at prominent venues including Cadogan Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall. Claire teaches beginner to advanced vocal and piano with The JamLab. Claire is sweet natured and wonderful with students of all ages.

Mike Evin

Mike has earned a devoted following throughout North America, and among some of Canada’s most renowned musicians, like the ​Barenaked Ladies ​and Ron Sexsmith. His songs have charted on CBC Radio and his song, “ Al Green” reached number one on Sirius XM’s, The Verge. Mike supported the Barenaked Ladies on their Spring 2017 US tour and has also toured with Ron Sexsmith, Dan Mangan, Sarah Harmer, Royal Wood and Jill Barber. Mike recently just released a new album called “Evin on Earth” which is getting rave reviews from critics. Mike teaches beginner to advanced piano, beginner to advanced guitar and songwriting. Mike is just as inspiring to his students from The JamLab, as he is to his many fans.

Gideon Litvin

Gideon is a Toronto-based guitarist, composer and songwriter. He started playing in local bars and clubs at the age of fifteen, as both a lead guitarist and bass player and has remained active in Toronto’s live music scene ever since, both as a solo artist and accompanist. As a songwriter and composer, Gideon has worked on both artistic and commercial projects. He has written and composed songs for artists such as SavannahRé, Aiden Myers, Melanie and composed music for use in advertisements, television shows and movies across North America, Europe, Asia and South Africa. Gideon has also managed to keep up an active teaching schedule over the years and has experience teaching students of all ages and skill levels, in a variety of genres. Gideon can teach beginner to advanced piano, beginner to advanced guitar, beginner to advanced bass and a variety of string instruments, as well as drums and vocals. Gideon forms strong connections with students of all capabilities and brings enthusiasm to all of his classes.

JESSICA STUART

Vancouver born, Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist/composer, Jessica Stuart has spent much of the last decade touring the world with the indie soul-project, The Jessica Stuart Few. An accomplished guitarist, vocalist and koto player (13-stringed traditional Japanese harp), Stuart has been described by The Globe&Mail as ​“endlessly charismatic​”, and has an international Independent Music Award for Best Album and a Top 40 single in Japan under her belt. She has currently released a new album under her new stage and recording name, Jessa.

When Stuart isn’t leading her own ensemble, she’s a sought after as a songwriter/composer, (finalist with honourable mention in the 2017 & 2018 Canadian Songwriting Competitions) and as an instrumentalist and vocalist for groups like Idioteque​, ​Civil Wray​, ​Projektor and in the studio as a member of ​The Element Choir.​. Jessica is a Lead Musical Mentor and teaches beginner to advanced guitar, beginner to advanced vocals and beginner to intermediate piano, as well as the koto and songwriting. Jessica is taking on limited individual students but is available for songwriting classes, school and corporate instruction, pop up choirs and other opportunities she finds inspiring.

ROB KIRSCH-SPRING

Rob a certified educator in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers and an active gigging musician. When he isn’t focusing on teaching, Rob performs and records both locally and internationally, joining bands and artists like Jordan Benjamin of ​Grandson​, Robbie Wulffson and Robert Lee. Rob successfully completed his Bachelor of Arts with Honours and completed a Degree in Music from the University of Guelph. Rob is an experienced music teacher who also works with special needs and high risk youths and has extensive classroom and summer camp experience. Rob’s primary passion is the drums but he is a versatile artist who can teach a wide range of instruments, including beginner to intermediate piano, beginner to intermediate guitar, beginner to advanced dums, music theory and composition. Rob is amazing with all students and shows an extraordinary level of patience with those students who need it most.

MAX BORNSTEIN

Max Bornstein is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Toronto. Max plays in an innovative musical quartet called ​Goodbye Honolulu and has played sold out shows all over Canada. Max successfully started his own record label and music collective, Fried Records. He discovered a love for music early on, graduating from Rosedale Heights School of the Arts and moving on to Centennial College where he studied Music Performance and Music Business. Max can teach beginner to advanced drums, as well as beginner to intermediate guitar, beginner to intermediate bass and a variety of other string instruments. He is wonderful with students of all ages and abilities.

EMMA CASTELLINO

Emma is an accomplished performer, trumpet clinician, music director and educator. ​Presently based in Toronto, Emma is a member of the ​Vox Aeris Brass Trio​, ​The Achromatics​, ​Groove Marmalade ​and freelances with several chamber, pop, and orchestral ensembles in the GTA. She also arranges music (from Brian Eno to RJD2) in various instrumental combinations and is the Director of Music at Our Lady of Sorrows Church. ​Emma is from​ Salt Spring Island, BC, where she began studying trumpet with Dawn Hage and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Music from McGill University, where she studied with Russell DeVuyst and Edward Carroll. ​Emma teaches beginner to advanced trumpet and beginner to advanced piano with The JamLab.

COLIN JAMES-GIBSON

Colin James Gibson is a professional guitarist/singer with over twenty-five years of performing experience. He works in many different styles, and plays both solo and as a sideman for various artists. A musical polymath, Colin is experienced with a wide variety of genres: jazz, folk, blues, classic rock, soul, funk, r&b, even ambient and classical music. He is a versatile and multi-faceted guitarist who lets his curiosity lead the way. Colin can teach beginner to advanced guitar, bass and other string instruments. Colin makes an instant connection with his students.

Kat McLevey

Kat McLevey is a multi-instrumentalist from St. John’s, NL who has been gigging professionally as a solo singer/songwriter and electric bass player since she was fifteen. Kat is a graduate of Berklee College of Music where she studied electric bass and jazz composition with some of the most respected music educators in the world, expanding her musical language and skillset tenfold. In 2015, Kat commercially released her first full-length album, Evergrown, earning her the awards of Emerging Artist of the Year and Female Artist of the Year from the MusicNL Awards, and a nomination for Rising Star of the Year from the East Coast Music Awards, and features on national radio and television. As a recent transplant to Toronto, Kat is excited to continue learning and building her craft as she helps others do the same at The JamLab. Kat teaches ukulele, guitar, bass, piano and vocals, and is capable of working with our youngest set, as well as adults.

Jordan Circosta

Jordan is an experienced multi-talented musician who is one of the driving forces behind Toronto’s award winning indie band, ​The Monowhales. Jordan Circosta has spent the past ten years performing at major venues across the GTA with a rotating cast of local musicians. During this time, he attended and completed the Humber College Bachelor of Music program and was awarded the Humber Studios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Production. While attending Humber College, Jordan greatly improved his skills as a drummer by studying with master educators Steve Mancuso, Rosendo Leon Arocha, and Paul DeLong. Under the mentorship of producer/engineer Ian Terry (​April Wine, Leonard Cohen), Jordan greatly enhanced his knowledge of the recording studio, learning to transform a live performance into a polished studio recording while maintaining its emotional spark. With a positive attitude, energy to spare, and an approach firmly rooted in the practical, Jordan is always excited for an opportunity to share his love of music with the next generation. He is a phenomenal Lead Musical Mentor whose students adore him. Jordan is presently taking a break from teaching individual students but is available for recording sessions, songwriting workshops and special events.

Shahai Teruko

Shahi Teruko is a renowned singer, songwriter, performer and recording artist known internationally and based out of Toronto. She is one of the fastest rising names in Canada’s soul and r&b scene. Shahi’s soulful and dynamic sounds can be heard with the popular Toronto soul and funk band, The Soul Motivators. She has been singing since the age of five and was the lead singer in her church choir by age eight. She attended Wexford Collegiate School of the Arts where she majored in Musical Theatre. Shahi is currently not teaching individual lessons with The JamLab but is available for workshops and school programs where she focuses on vocal teaching and performance techniques.

Francois Klark

F​rancois Klark, also known as Francois Clark Mulder, is a South African born Canadian singer-songwriter and producer based in Toronto. He is a Universal Music Award Winner and has also collected a John Lennon Songwriting award, a Standard Bank Award, Most Promising Performing Solo Artist, an IAMA award, and a USA Songwriting award. He has worked on projects with the Universal Music Group ​UK​and has shared the stage with various artists including Grammy winner Jon Bellion, (Rihanna, Eminem), Genuwine, Shawn Desman and Karl Wolf. Francois is a graduate from Humber College music program and has since been on performance tours across the UK, Canada, South Africa and the United States. Francois loves working with students of all ages and teaches advanced vocals and beginner piano with The JamLab. He is currently not taking on individual students but is available for workshops and other special events.

Dan Westenenk

Dan Westenenk is an accomplished guitarist and member of one of the most popular Celtic rock bands in Canada, The Mudmen. In addition to performing for The Queen, on HBO’s Shameless, AE Sports Games, Don Cherry’s Rockem Sockem and watching one of their tracks reach #19 on Edge Radio Countdown, The Mudmen enjoy touring both locally and nationally. Originally hailing from North Bay, Ontario, Dan studied Jazz Guitar at Laurentian University. He has taught extensively, including lending his expertise to the residential summer camp, Camp Manitou. Dan is known as being one of the most gentle-hearted talents in the Canadian music industry. He can work with students of all ages and abilities and teaches advanced guitar and bass. When not on tour, Dan is available for workshops and other special events.

Kyle Windjack

Kyle Windjack is a Canadian jazz trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer with eclectic interests and an artistic concept that is constantly evolving yet remains grounded in a rich, musical heritage. Kyle is presently working with the Juicebox Brass Band, Tommy Riot and Shout The Band, while working as a freelance session musician, educator and producer. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Music Performance from Humber College. His playing and compositions draw heavily from various periods of jazz, classical music, hip-hop, pop and avant-garde styles. Kyle teaches beginner to advanced trumpet, piano, guitar and drums. Kyle loves to teach and works with students of all ages and abilities bringing his warm and engaging smile and attitude with him wherever he goes.

Christian Bridges

Christian Bridges is an internationally award-winning singer/songwriter. Christian began playing the guitar at the age of sixteen while attending the Etobicoke School of the Arts and subsequently attended Sheridan College where he studied Art Fundamentals. He is a founding member of the band Down by the Riverside and co-wrote a song with Justin Nozuka, titled “Heartless,” which won the Number 1 SOCAN award and was a chart-topping hit in France.

Christian co-created the Urban Peace Music Program on behalf of the not-for-profit organization PACT, which supports at-risk youth and also developed an artist development program at Artscape Sketch targetted at youth pursuing songwriting and music production. Christian teaches beginner to advanced guitar, vocals, songwriting and production, and beginner piano. His work with youth and acclaimed musical skills make him an extraordinary Musical Mentor for students of all ages and abilities.

Dani Garcia

Dani Garcia is an award-winning vocalist, composer, and teacher from Toronto, Ontario. She is a big believer that music helps heal, communicate with and empower communities. Over the years, she has had the honor of playing with various projects including, Bassline, Tayua, the NAZCA Project, The Toronto Jazz Collective, Stereoflavour, Video Games Live with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and recently released her debut album under her artist name- NOEMII. Dani is very passionate about sharing her knowledge and nurturing future musicians. She creates a fun and safe environment for her students with room to explore and develop musicianship. Dani specializes in teaching contemporary styles including jazz, pop, R&B, music theatre vocals and also teaches intermediate piano, beginner guitar, and ukulele.