top of page

OUR PEOPLE

STEVE AUERBACH

Executive Director • Keyboards/Production

FB_IMG_1547174478334.jpg

Steve is an award-winning concert producer and music educator who has created inclusive, equitable, high-quality, wellness-focused music instruction, performance, and production programs for youth since 2005.   Students under Steve's direction have gone on to careers in TV, radio, music education, and music therapy, as well as recording artists, producers, engineers, and hobbyists.   Prior to his work with youth, Steve worked with members of Van Halen, The Jacksons, Dio, Kansas,  Jane's Addition, The Stooges, Frank Zappa,  George Clinton, and more.     Learn more here.

NICK ZUNKOWSKI

Program Coordinator • Woodwinds

gallivancentergig.jpg

Nick Zunkowski is a Saxophonist and Guitarist who earned his undergraduate degree in Commercial Music from Snow College. At Snow College, Nick studied with renowned saxophonists such as Patrick Cornelius and Chase Baird, since then Nick has been an active performer in the Utah music scene.

ZOE BRADSHAW

Front Desk Associate

IMG_9943.HEIC

Zoe Bradshaw is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah studying Psychology and Gender Studies.

ZAKKARY HALE

Rock Program • Guitar, Vocal, Drums, Production

6A1A6840_edited.jpg

Zakkary   has   served as Rock Music Director for music   schools in Salt Lake City  and Seattle for the last 12 years. Zakkary is the founding member of the  Progressive Alternative band “MELODRAMUS”(3 full length albums) and has  composed & recorded music for television (“King’s Of Crash”) and worked with artists such as   Matt Winegar, Adrian Gurvitz, Vinnie Colaiuta, Vendetta Red and Derek Sherinian.    Zakk's current projects are “Zakkary Hale’s Fire Garden” and “MELO”.

SAM  COTTRELL

Guitar, Ukulele,  Music Production

Sam Cottrell

Sam Cottrell   studied Guitar Performance at Utah State University  and then attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Science in  Tempe, AZ where he received  a    Masters in    Recording.  Sam currently performs with the band, Toast - a Bread tribute band as well as the Irish rock band, Swagger.    Sam has taught for Blue Fret Music in Kaysville, UT, Discount Music in Bountiful, UT and with Steve and Terence at  School of Rock.

JOE CHISHOLM

Trombone

Joe Chisolm

Joe Chisholm received his bachelor's degree in Trombone Performance from the University of Utah in 2003 and holds a master's degree in Jazz Studies. Joe works professionally in the greater Salt Lake area as a performer and educator.

ANDY EVANS

Bass (acoustic and electric)

Andy-on-bass_edited.jpg

Andy Evans is a seasoned bassist with years of performing and recording experience. He began his musical journey at a young age, starting with the guitar before transitioning to bass in his teenage years. He has a deep passion for funk, and R&B music, and is known for his energetic bass lines and dynamic feel. Andy has played with several local and national bands and has appeared on numerous albums and recordings. In his free time, he enjoys teaching bass to aspiring musicians and exploring new music genres.

DANTÉ GIACOBASSI

Violin, Viola, Mandolin, Guitar

C270EC7F-A7F0-4537-BB7E-B74AB2C36758.JPG

Dante has a diverse musical background, ranging from classical and bluegrass to funk and jazz. He studied viola performance at the University of Utah, and is now a professional mandolin player and singer/songwriter in the Salt Lake area. Trained also in guitar, violin, trumpet, mandola, bass, tenor banjo, and piano, Dante has been the orchestra teacher at several local elementary schools. As well, Dante is the founder of the bluegrass band The Pickpockets.

SOREN GREEN

Guitar & Piano

soren green.jpeg

Soren is a veteran guitar teacher for rock, folk, blues, and bluegrass music, but specializes in classical guitar. In addition, Soren has been teaching piano for many years.  Performing as a featured artist for the Utah Arts Festival, Gallivan Center, and numerous other events and concerts including a regular weekly gig at Salt Lake Country Club.   IN addition to weddings, private parties, and corporate gigs, Soren also performs with the local Celtic band, Callanish. 

HANNAH-THOMAS HOLLANDS

Cello

hannah1_edit%20(2)_edited.jpg

Hannah Thomas-Hollands has been a professional cellist since 2007 and has held positions with the Utah Symphony as well as the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Waco. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Master’s degree from Southern Methodist University. Hannah enjoys a versatile performing and teaching career, featured regularly in solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and masterclasses around the United States."

KIM NOLAN

Vocal &    Piano

Kim Nolan

Kim Nolan received her Masters Degree in Opera Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York after completing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Western Connecticut State University. Kim participated in the Spoleto Arts Symposium's Solo Performances & Masterclasses in Spoleto, Italy in addition to Summer Vocal Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara CA. Kim has taught classes and lessons in rock, pop, blues, jazz,    recording studio, jazz ensemble and vocal performance. 

CHRIS SHEMWELL

Drums, Electronic  Music, Production

Chrisshemwell-114-2.jpg

Chris is a drummer, producer, and visual artist born in Salt Lake. He received his Bachelor's of Music from Berklee School of Music in Electronic Production & Design. Since graduating, he hopes to give back to the music community, produce local artists, and to advance the art of rhythm and music technology.

BOB SMITH

Drums

Bob Smith Pic.jpg

 Bob cannot remember the time in his life that he was not drumming. He has performed, recorded, and taught throughout his entire life.    Bob considers himself extremely fortunate to have played with many of the very most talented musicians, and continues to do so to this day. Yet, he still looks at himself as a student of the craft and works hard at keeping at the top of his game. And is happy to share everything he knows with all.

DERREK WRIGHT

Guitar

Derrek for SLAM bio pic_edited.jpg

Derrek studied Jazz at the University of Utah and Rock and Blues at San Francisco's Blue Bear School of Music. Since then he has performed nationally and has a recorded catalog including Tony Mason & The Jonz, PurdyMouth & The Salty Frogs as well as his first solo album LionFish "Swimming Upstream" produced by Mark Towner Williams (son of John Williams). He is currently in the studio recording his next release "And so it goes . . ." Derrek has a passion for unlocking the mysteries of the guitar for younger students.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dex Whitehead

Chair

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Greg Judd

Vice-Chair

CEO  of ZIGGLIO, winner of Facebook's Accelerator Program,   Microsoft for Startups and recognized among Silicon Slopes "Top 32" Greg is also Co-Founder of SUPERFUZZ, his second technology firm, both    based in Utah.   Greg is the proud parent of a SLAM student!

Rachel Ward

Secretary

CEO of Gojira and Artist Manager at Chicago-based Golden Artists Entertainment, Rachel's passion for the music business started in college and took her to work as an intern for local concert promoters and venues.

Derek Julio

Board Member

Derek Julio is a  Salt Lake City-based entertainment attorney. He has a passion for independent music, art, and culture, with years of experience working with musicians, artists, and creative businesses. Derek serves as Chair of the Entertainment Law Section of the Utah State Bar, and President of Utah Lawyers for the Arts.

Derrek Wright

Co-Founder  & Board Member

A former MusicGarage.org parent, Derrek works in tech sales and marketing for 20+ years focusing on tech startups growing a successful business. He is also a singer/songwriter/guitarist who is passionate about helping kids experience the joy of accomplishment and reach their potential in life through music.

Michael Feldman

Board Member

Retired  biotechnology  CEO, musician, blues advocate and owner of Feldman's Deli

bottom of page