UKULELE INSTRUCTORS

RANDAL AMES

Group Rock Band | Guitar | Bass Guitar | Ukulele | Mandolin

ONLINE, LITTLETON STUDIO & CENTENNIAL STUDIO

Randal Ames has a B.A. from the University of Colorado, and has been playing guitar for more than 35 years. Mr. Ames has also played guitar, bass, mandolin and piano in the U.S. and Europe, accompanying such superstars as Sammy Davis Jr. and Jimmy Buffet. As a member of the 7th Army Chorus he performed as a singer, dancer, musician, and choreographer in five languages and eleven countries.

Here in Colorado he has written music, directed, and performed at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, Taste of Colorado, Boulder Shakespeare Festival and has been a member of the University of Colorado Jazz Chorale.

 

He has written over eighty songs and produced six CDs of music ranging from madrigals and Gregorian Chants, to Jazz, Country and Pop.

 

His hobbies include a life long interest in Martial Arts (has earned black belts in Tae Kwon Do, Aikido and American Free Style Karate), sword fighting (he has taught Elizabethan Fencing at Colorado School of Mines).

LOUIS RACICOT

Violin | Viola | Guitar | Ukulele | Mandolin

ONLINE, LITTLETON STUDIO & CENTENNIAL STUDIO

Louis Racicot is a professional violinist, composer and educator from Montreal, Canada. He has been recognized for his improvisational skills, versatility and unique playing style. Louis studied Classical Violin Performance at the University of Montreal and St-Laurent College from 2008 through 2013. Since completing his studies, he has had the opportunity to hold a number of professional roles including violin and guitar teacher, symphony orchestra player, and solo violinist for world touring shows. As of today he is a proud member of the prestigious Cirque Du Soleil Musicians and Artists bank, and is endorsed by NS Design Electric Violins and Remic Microphones.

 

Louis has recorded and toured all over the world. He has performed over 1200 shows in front of hundred of thousands of spectators, and was interviewed about his role as a touring musician by various TV and radio shows, including LA Fox News and the Grand Ole Opry radio station. Through these experiences, Louis has been fortunate enough to learn and work with renowned artists, musical director and composers from all around the world.

 

Louis now utilizes his experience and knowledge to educate and inspire a diverse group of students, from elementary school children to retired adults. His goal as a teacher is to instill a sense of music appreciation, while at the same time educating students about the technical aspects of music. Furthermore, he strives to expand his students' interests by increasing their knowledge of different genres of music, organizing concerts, and encouraging them to perform together in small groups. By utilizing these effective methods, Louis is able to connect with each student, introduce new concepts, foster a fun learning environment, and help his students blossom into confident, well-rounded musicians.

JEROME SIBULO*

Voice | Ukulele

ONLINE, LITTLETON STUDIO & CENTENNIAL STUDIO

Baritone Jerome Síbulo received his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he also completed the coursework for a Doctor of Music degree. Jerome also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Ateneo de Manila University, in the Philippines, where he was born and raised.

 

Most recently, Jerome finished a four-year tenure as a Principal Vocal Artist with Heartland Sings in Fort Wayne, IN. With Heartland Sings, he performed a variety of genres of music, including opera, oratorio, musical theatre, pop, jazz, and a cappella. In Heartland Sings' summer 2019 season alone, he sang in an a cappella quintet concert, performed in a semi-immersive, fully acted Cole Porter revue, and was the baritone soloist in Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem. As a teaching artist with Heartland Sings, Jerome taught private voice lessons, coached choirs, and co-created their Vocal Arts Institute, a high school summer intensive with workshops, classes, voice lessons, and performance opportunities geared toward training well-rounded vocal artists.

 

Jerome has performed roles with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis, Reimagining Opera for Kids, IU Opera and Ballet Theater, IU Latin American Music Center, the Sieur Duluth Summer Arts Festival, and Monroe County Civic Theater. He has also appeared on concert stages in the US, Canada, and the Philippines.

 

Jerome is now a Colorado resident and has started singing with Opera Colorado's chorus. He sings and teaches voice lessons in the area, and sometimes he even brings along one of his ukuleles to change things up a bit.

 

RICO SOUTHEE

Guitar | Bass Guitar | Ukulele | Group Guitar

ONLINE & LITTLETON STUDIO

Rico is a professional guitarist, music educator and independent recording artist from New York State who has been performing for over 30 years and teaching for more than 20 years.  He was a jazz, rock, pop, solo guitarist with the 502nd Air Force Band, Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi Mississippi from 1984-1986; the United States Air Force Europe Band, Einsiedlerhof Germany from 1986-1992; the 530th Air Force Band, Atlanta Georgia from 1994-1995; touring the southern United States, Dominican Republic, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Russia, Romania, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Crete, Portugal, Sardinia, Turkey and the Middle East.  He then moved to Florida from Germany and studied recording engineering at Full Sail University Orlando in 1993; jazz guitar performance with the famous jazz guitar educator Jack Peterson; jazz performance workshops with jazz musicians Dianne Reeves, Dave Brubeck, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Kenny Burrell, Count Basie Orchestra with Frank Foster, Bunky Green and music theory at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville from 1993-1995 to include the Essentials Of PA Engineering at The School of Recording and Music Technology,  Surrey UK.

After leaving Florida, he moved back to Germany and then to England, working as a professional guitarist performing resorts, clubs, hotels, corporate events, festivals and concerts with jazz, fusion, funk, soul, pop and rock bands.  He was also the guitar instructor for the Ramstein Community Center, Ramstein Air Force Base Germany from 1995-2007; RAF Mildenhall Community Center and RAF Lakenheath Community Center England from 2007-2010 along with teaching private students at his home music studio.  As an independent recording artist, he has composed, recorded, produced and promoted four of his own CDs via performances with his band “Acoulectric” in Europe from 1998-2008. He then moved to Colorado Springs Colorado, working as a jazz and blues guitarist; taught students at Peterson Air Force Base Youth Center, the Colorado Springs Conservatory of Music, Lucci Music and again with his own private guitar students from 2010-2016.  In April 2016 he moved back to England to teach at the RAF Mildenhall Community Center, RAF Lakenheath Air Force Base Housing Community; perform and record music for future CDs and teach private students at his home music studio. In April 2019 he has once again moved back to Colorado from England to teach and perform here in the great city of Denver Colorado.

AIDAN PAGNANI

Piano | Guitar | Bass | Ukulele | Group Guitar

ONLINE & STAPLETON STUDIO

Raised by a family of Deadheads and music-lovers, Aidan Pagnani was born and raised in Connecticut. By the time he graduated high school in 2009, Aidan had performed weddings, plays, churches, parties, and venues throughout New England as a solo act and with numerous bands. While completing his degree at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, Aidan performed with artists like Robert Randolph and revamped a high school fusion/jamband project, Freddy & the Yetis, into an original music project arranged for a rock quintet accompanied by five strings and horns.

 

Aidan then spent the next four years in Boston studying with a professor at Berklee College of Music, teaching music, and performing with various groups in the jam, funk, rock scenes. In February 2018, Aidan moved to Denver, Colorado where he can be seen performing regularly with members of The Motet, John Brown's Body, Dopapod, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and many other Colorado legends. His instrumental cover band, the Aidan Pagnani Band, can be seen playing weekly in the Denver/Boulder area.

BRANT WILLIAMS

Guitar | Piano | Ukulele

ONLINE & STAPLETON STUDIO

Guitarist, pianist and composer Brant Williams (b. 1988, Wesbster City, IA) graduated from Iowa State University in spring 2011, earning a B.A. in psychology. Williams has studied jazz and composition with John Albaugh (Guitar Institute in Hollywood), Dan Schwindt (Denver University) and Fareed Haque (University of Chicago) as well as taken private lessons with Dweezil Zappa (Zappa Plays Zappa), Mark Lettieri (Snarky Puppy) and Chris McQueen (Snarky Puppy). Since 2009, Brant has been teaching Jazz and Rock to students of all ages throughout multiple states, and has played many styles -- including Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Punk, Classical -- professionally for almost 10 years, touring nationally and also taking the stage at local Colorado venues such as The Ogden Theatre, The Gothic Theatre, The Fox Theatre as well as performing in several festivals like Wakarusa (AK), 80/35 (IA) and the Bella concert series (MN). Brant is currently crafting new music in several groups: notably all star funk group Judo Chop and the nationally touring rock/fusion group The Workshy.

FELIPE CANTUARIA

Guitar | Bass | Ukulele | Group Rock Band

ONLINE & STAPLETON STUDIO

Felipe is an enthusiastic instructor whose passion for teaching shines clearly through his lessons. With a B.A. in guitar performance under his belt, he has been teaching full time for the last 5+ years. Basing his curriculum around each individual student, lesson plans are completely tailored to the student’s goals. From beginner to technically advanced technique, introductory and more complex music theory, Felipe can send you in the direction you’d like to go in. His demeanor and knowledge makes Felipe a great teacher for all ages!

 

Originally from Maryland, he moved to Colorado in late 2018 to pursue his music career. “I love the sense of community the city of Denver offers! I’ve felt welcome by my peers since the day I arrived… it's unlike any music scene I’ve experienced before”. You can catch Felipe performing regularly around the Denver area, or by reaching out to the studio and booking a session with him at Stapleton Music Lab. “Come hang out! I’d love to join you in your musical journey!”

*Denotes teachers that donate lessons for our Scholarship Program. 

©2020 by Forté Academy of Music.