Instructors

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Dave Berger

Guitar, Bass, Piano

David's degree is from the University of Chicago; he has taught privately for years, as well as at the American Conservatory of Music.

As a guitarist, David is fluent in a wide range of styles, including R&B, blues, jazz, gospel, rock, and classical. He performs in both solo and group settings in venues ranging from theaters and concert halls to hotels, clubs and private functions.

Jeremy Benshish

Drums

Having grown up in a musical family, Jeremy developed his passion for percussion and the drum set at a very young age. As a child, he began performing at church with ensembles that were under the direction of his father. Jeremy continued to play music throughout high school, where he was placed in ensembles that brought him to perform in Germany and at Carnegie Hall. Jeremy is a DePaul University graduate with a degree in Jazz Studies under the tutelage of Dana Hall. Jeremy is well versed in playing and teaching a variety of different musical genres. He loves to share his passion for and knowledge of music with others. He strives to give each of his students a technical and conceptual approach to playing the drum set.

Nanae Fujiwara

Guitar, Piano

2013 Wilson Center Guitar Competition semi-finalist, classical guitarist Nanae Fujiwara, received her Bachelors degree in Music Performance from Northeastern Illinois University with Summa Cum Laude. In 2017, she furthered her studies in Spain to complete her Master in Classical Guitar Performance, provided by Master Guitarra Alicante and University of Alicante. Her dream is to start a Guitar Festival in Chicago for all classical guitarists.

Steve Knight

Guitar, Bass

Steve has been a guitarist ever since trading his first skateboard for a guitar back in...many years ago. He brings 20 years of playing and teaching experience with Carnival Cruise Lines, the New York Jazz Workshop, Emporia State University, The University of the Ozarks, and The University of South Carolina, as well as countless musical theatre productions, weddings, and corporate gigs. He believes that one-on-one mentorship lays a more solid foundation for lifetime musical appreciation, collaboration, and achievement than anything that can be found on the internet.

Mike Kijowski

Violin, Cello

As a guitarist, violinist, vocalist, and luthier, Michael Kijowski enjoys a wide variety of musical genres. He has performed for radio and TV stations such as WFMT, ABC7, and NBC5 in addition to being interviewed on WTTW. He has had the privilege of playing under the direction of Michael Lewanski, Cliff Colnot, and Riccardo Muti. When he is not practicing, Michael enjoys working on cars, building and repairing instruments, playing and singing at various churches, and learning metal guitar riffs. His passion for building and repairing instruments led him to start working at a violin repair shop where he was trained as a luthier. Michael studied under Robert Sherman and Andrew Williams at the Merit School of Music and Olga Kaler at the DePaul University School of Music. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in Worship from North Park University after studying under Anders Nordstrom, Renée-Paule Gauthier, Chadley Ballantyne, and Robert Broom.

Alejandro Urzagaste

Guitar, Bass

Alejandro Urzagaste studied guitar at Northern Illinois University with Fareed Haque. Primarily a jazz guitarist he appreciates music regardless of genre. He released his second recording "Subject to Change" in 2018 with his group Flow featuring Bill Carrothers on piano.

"There are only twelve notes."