our teaching roster
DRUMS with Stephen Cusano
Steve Cusano is a graduate from the Hartt School's Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz with a BA in Music Performance (Jazz Studies) with a focus in drums. He has been touring the northeast with two bands over the past few years. Steve is the founder, tour manager, and drummer for the future soul band, Broca's Area. In 2018, Broca's Areas' single "See" was featured on Spotify playlist "State of Jazz" and "Butter" where it got over 300,000 plays. In addition, Steve tours nationally as a drummer and core member in Hartford based, folk rock Americana band, Wise Old Moon. He is a private drum instructor in the New Haven/Hartford area and has had students attend regionals in CT for two years in a row. Steve founded Parkville Sounds in 2017.
BASS, GUITAR, and VOICE with Sean Rubin
Sean has been a performer & educator in the Greater Hartford Area for the past eight years. Holding a bachelor's degree in Classical Double Bass from the Hartt School, his additional experience as a producer, songwriter, arranger & as a performer in a plethora of styles have made him a highly sought after artist. Lessons with Sean cover many avenues of what it means to be a musician in the 21st century, regardless of age, musical style or playing level.
VOICE with Taylor McCoy
Taylor McCoy is a singer based in CT/MA. Her love for music began at an early age with her spending hours listening to any thing she could get her hands on. This lead her to discovering jazz. Not long afterwards, she began studying with Atla DeChamplain for several years before performing regularly throughout New England. Her influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Jon Hendricks, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Jazmine Sullivan.
DRUMS with Alex Heaton
Alex Heaton is a graduate from The Hartt School of Music/Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, with a Bachelors in Music Performance. He has performed and toured through out Colorado and the East Coast with numerous bands in a wide variety of genres including rock, folk, funk, and jazz. Most recently, Alex spent the past two years touring with Colorado folk band, The Heartstring Hunters, who were nominated for "2017 Best Folk Band" by Denver's Westword Magazine. Alex also worked with Connecticut’s own, Wise Old Moon, and performed on their 2015 release, “Don’t Take Off”. Alex has over five years of teaching experience and has worked with all levels of players from ages 4-50. Alex’s teaching philosophy focuses on the joy of music and the drums. He has his students focus on having fun and playing along to songs, while also adding in the importance of coordination, technique, and reading.
BRASS with John Mundy
A graduate from the Hartt School's Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz with a focus in trombone in jazz studies, John is a founding member of the band West End Blend.
GUITAR with Michael DiPanfilo
Michael DiPanfilo has been working as a musician in the Hartford area for the past several years. His 7 year teaching experience ranges from 4 years of private guitar lessons, to electronics and physics labs at University of Hartford, to SAT and math tutoring and Huntington Learning Center. After receiving a Bachelor’s in Acoustics Engineering and Music and a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hartford, Michael has been focusing on progressing the touring musical group West End Blend as guitarist and manager. His teaching philosophy focuses on making music fun. If you have fun playing and learning music, than you will progress much faster than drilling exercises in your head. Music is one of the greatest things on this planet and we should all enjoy it.
DRUMS with Dwayne Keith
Dwayne Keith is a Hartford, CT based live and session musician, who has been drumming for 16 years. Dwayne started his musical career playing drums in church and traveling with the recording artist, Doobie Powell, as a drum technician to his percussion instructor, Billy Powell. Dwayne also studied Jazz drumming with Professors Ken Fischer (The Hartt School) and Doug Maher(Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, UCONN). Dwayne currently performs with his band, Keepers of the Vibe, along with other various acts. Known for well orchestrated fills, groove and dexterity, Dwayne teaches various styles of drumming, such as Funk, Rock, Hip Hop, and Jazz.
GUITAR with Killian Karlsson
After attending Berklee College of Music, Killian has been a professional
educator, session player, and nationally touring musician for the past 8 years.
He has played with many great artists including Alan Evans (Soulive, Play On
Brother), Beau Sasser (Z3, Play On Brother, Melvin Sparks), DarbyWolf
(Rubblebucket), and Miro Sprague (Thelonious Monk Institute Graduate)
among others. He is a founding member of the Massachusetts based psych-fusion band Mammal Dap, as well as a member of rock/pop group Polar Planet. As a session player Killian teaches a variety of styles and techniques with acentral focus on understanding the instrument in a holistic way. This empowers students to more fully understand the language of music and excel in any genre
or situation regardless of age or skill level.
DRUMS with Andrew Cusanelli
Andrew is a Hartford, CT based drummer who has been a musician for over 16 years and is well versed in many different music styles. He is a graduate of The Hartt School at the University of Hartford with a degree in Music Production and Technology with a concentration in Jazz Percussion. Andrew is a sought after drummer in the area and currently plays with the bands Wurliday and On the Spot Trio, as well as various other projects. He also has experience playing for musicals at Trinity College and various public schools in the CT area.