BRIAN GRIFFIN – Percussion / Drums Instructor
Percussion M.M. Manhattan School of Music, B.M. University of Virginia
Brian Griffin graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied jazz under trumpeter John D’earth and drummer Robert Jospe. Mr. Griffin then completed his Masters in jazz performance at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with globally accomplished jazz musicians John Riley and Bob Moses. In the summer of 2000, he attended the Banff International Jazz Festival, where he performed with Mark Feldman, Joe Lovano, and Kenny Werner. In the summer of 2001, he taught at the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival, where he participated as visiting artist and faculty member, taught jazz to festival students and made several concert appearances with such jazz personalities as Dave Lalama, Chris Rosenberg, and Cecil Bridgewater.
In 2004, Mr. Griffin began touring and recording with The Navigators, a country/rock band on Velour Records. With The Navigators, he worked with such great producers as Bob Brockman (Christina Aguilera, Puff Daddy) and Graham Hawthorne (Paul Simon, David Byrne). Starting in 2005, he began traveling regularly to Brazil to study Brazilian percussion with such world-renowned samba artists as Junior Teixeira, Bernardo Aguiar, Zeca Macapart, Nelson Pestana, and Northeastern Brazilian music masters Quiño Santos and Durval Pereira.
Currently, Mr. Griffin has been touring with Jamie McLean (Dirty Dozen Brass Band). Since joining Mr. McLean’s band in June 2007, he has performed festivals with The Flaming Lips, The Killers, Wilco, The Black Crowes, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and The Roots, among others. When at home in New York City, Mr. Griffin records for television commercials through music production houses Pulse Music, JSM and Sacred Noise.
ALEXANDER CANO – Percussion / Drums / Guitar Instructor
ANDREW SWIFT – Percussion / Drums
“They say you can begin to judge the talent, and character of a musician by the company that they keep. Well if that is the case, Australian transplant Andrew Swift has a lot going for him.” Jeff Krow, AudiophileAudition.com
After breaking the family chopsticks playing on pots and pans as a small child, Andrew Swift took up the drums at age 9, and the bass at age 11. He studied at the Australian National University with the drums as his focus, and developed a reputation as an up-and-coming drummer to watch on the Australian jazz scene before moving to New York in the late 90’s.
After moving to New York, Swift began to explore another of his musical loves, the guitar. He became immersed in the Gospel music scene, honing his guitar chops while playing at services that frequently featured Gospel music pioneers such as Edwin Hawkins, Timothy Wright, Twinkie Clark, and Karen Clark-Sheard.
Dubbed “a valuable sideman” by Bill Milkowski in JazzTimes magazine, Swift has put his skills to good use. As a drummer he has shared the stage with jazz veterans and newcomers such as George Cables, Wycliffe Gordon, Bob Stewart, Peter Bernstein, Sharel Cassity, and Michael Dease. As a guitarist he has toured with R&B/soul singer Leela James, and recorded with the Michael Dease Big Band, Bishop Eric McDaniel, Rev. Robert Lowe, and Milton Vann.
In 2012, Swift released his debut CD as a leader, Swift Kick, which found him in the good company of George Cables, Ryan Kisor, Eric Alexander, Dwayne Burno, and Wycliffe Gordon. Described by AllAboutJazz.com as “smart jazz that does not brag or indulge in over composition or arrangement”, Swift Kick reached #13 on the JazzWeek radio charts in the US, and ranked #58 on JazzWeek’s list of Top 100 Albums of 2012.
Aside from performing regularly in the clubs of New York City, Swift has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, Essence Festival, the Kennedy Center, and the Sydney Opera House. He is currently on faculty as the percussion teacher at Manhattanville College, and his drumming can be heard on T.V. commercials for Select Sector SPDRs. Swift loves to cook and now that he uses drumsticks to play the drums, he often eats with chopsticks.
COLEMAN BARTELS – Percussion / Drums
|Coleman was born in Hanover, New Hampshire. He began playing the drums at the age of five and by high school was playing professionally around New Hampshire and Vermont. At an early age he had the opportunity to share the stage with jazz greats such as Arturo O’Farrill and Marty Ehrlich. In 2006, he moved to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music as a jazz performance major. While still in school, he played in many musical situations, including the neo-soul/hip hop artist Lee, with performances at notable venues such as the Blue Note and Brooklyn Academy of Music.After graduating from MSM in 2011 with a Bachelors in Music, Coleman brought together a talented group of musicians to create Roof Access, a funk/R&B band. In addition to leading his band, Bartels plays as a sideman in several other bands including Pete Ayres Band, and Elle Morgan. He is also the drummer for Abundant life church in brooklyn, and several wedding/events bands including Silver Arrow and the Metropolitan Players. He prides him self in his versatility, having the ability to play anything from jazz, to rock, to afro cuban music. As a music educator, Bartels has been a standing member of the faculty at Jazzology summer camps in Hanover, NH. He also teaches drum classes at the computer school middle school in New York City, and is in demand for private lessons in the tri-state area.|