Alex Skolnick joined the faculty in 2014 he is one of the most diverse guitarists of his generation. Well known as the lead guitarist of the Bay Area thrash metal band Testament, he is equally adept as an improviser of jazz and world music. A star pupil of guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, Alex joined Testament at age sixteen, going on to sell millions of albums. Alex received critical acclaim for his lead guitar work, ranking high in many guitar magazine polls. He also became a monthly columnist for Guitar World, Guitar Player and Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazines – the first guitarist from a thrash metal band to do so.
After setting out on his own in the 90s, he went on to earn a BFA from the New School, where he studied jazz, philosophy and creative writing, as well as forming the critically acclaimed Alex Skolnick Trio. The Trio has performed at jazz clubs and festivals worldwide, including New York’s Iridium Jazz Club (where Alex was invited as a special guest of the Les Paul Trio) as well as being honored with 4 ½ stars by Downbeat, reviewed by Jazziz, The Village Voice and other publications. Alex has been a guest soloist for Rodrigo y Gabriela (appearing on their album 11:11).
In 2005, Alex rejoined Testament, propelling the band into a full-blown resurgence. The band’s second reunion album, 2012’s “Dark Roots of Earth,” debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200 and debuted at No.1 on Billboard Hard Rock and Rock albums. It reached no. 9 on the World Charts. Form 2000 to 2009, he also toured as a featured member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Along the way, he has shared the stage with rock legends Steven Tyler, Roger Daltrey, Joe Walsh, Blue Oyster Cult and lap-steel wizard Robert Randolph. Alex is also one of a handful of guitarists to ever perform alongside Ozzy Osbourne, as a member of his band (1995).
Alex was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Musicians Institute, Hollywood, California, where he has taught numerous master-classes. His critically-acclaimed 3 DVD Jazz Guitar tuition set was released by Rock House Method. He has launched an acoustic/world music project, Planetary Coalition, that was kick-started at the Make Music New York Festival, sponsored by Guitar World Magazine. Alex appears, along with bassist Boris Kozlov, on “What’s Next?” – a duo album by pianist-composer Randy Klein released in October 2012 and reviewed by JazzTimes Magazine who said “Skolnick provides such a ‘Wes Montgomery jazz’ sound that it is easy to forget that he is a master thrash metal guitarist.”
Bruce Arnold joined the faculty in 2014 he is an author, composer, educator and guitarist residing in New York City. His explorations into the applications of 20th century classical theory in contemporary forms such as Rock and Jazz has created a unique compositional and improvisational sound. As a guest artist Arnold has toured Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the United States.
His performance and recording activities include work with a wide array of styles.
He has played with such diverse musicians as Stuart Hamm, Peter Erskine, Joe Pass, Joe Lovano, Lennie Pickett, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Absolute Ensemble under the baton of Kristjan Järvi.
Bruce Arnold’s recording credits include over twenty five CDs and DVDs (on Muse-eek Records, MelBay Recordings, Truefire and other labels), ranging from the standard jazz repertoire to free improvisation to the reinterpretations of classical music with the ensemble Spooky Actions. His compositions are published by Muse Eek Publishing, and MelBay Productions.
Mr. Arnold’s theoretical works have explored the use of Pitch Class Set Theory within a improvisational setting. He is also written more than 60 music instruction books covering Guitar Pedagogy, Ear Training and Time Studies. Bruce currently teaches at Princeton University and has taught at New England Conservatory of Music, Dartmouth College, Berklee College of Music, New School University, and City College of New York and NYU.
Jane Getter joined the faculty in 2014 she has played with many jazz and rock greats while garnering in- creasing recognition as a bandleader and gifted writer and instrumentalist. Early in her career she toured with legendary jazz/blues organist Jack McDuff, which provided invaluable training ground. Her composing talents received attention when she won the ASCAP Gershwin Award for Music for Theater or Dance in the mid 90’s. At this time she also recorded and toured with Michal Urbaniak’s band ‘Urbanator,’ (featuring Kenny Garrett, Tom Browne and Lenny White). Getter then teamed up with writing partner Lenny White (the legendary drummer from Return To Forever), and co-wrote Urbanator’s smooth jazz hit “Hopscotch”, along with other compositions which were recorded on White’s Present Tense and Acoustic Masters CDs. She then received widespread exposure playing in the Saturday Night Live Band.
Her debut CD, titled Jane, received worldwide critical acclaim. Jane’s 2nd CD, titled See Jane Run, was released in 2006. It was a powerful statement, featuring Keith Carlock, one of the most talked about young drummers, (who soon after performed on tours with Steely Dan and Donald Fagen), and contains the classic jazz-rock anthem “The Loop.” Secret Code, a special guitar duet project with guitarist Bruce Arnold, was released in 2009. Her current band consists of a stellar crew of New York’s finest: James Genus, Adam Holzman and Anton Fig, and are featured on her latest release, three (released 10/16/12) which has recently been submitted for a Grammy Nomination.
Jane has appeared in Guitar Player Magazine regularly, most recently in a special feature interview in the February 2013 issue. She has also written instructional articles for Guitar Player’s “Sessions” section. Other great artists Jane has recorded or performed with include Ursala Dudziak, The Roots The Jam, Jaimoe (Allman Brothers Band drummer), Kenny Garrett, legendary Headhunters drummer Mike Clark, Cindy Blackman Santana and many more. Her band can be seen playing in the New York City area, touring the U.S. and Europe performing in festivals such as Warsaw’s Guitar City, Austria’s Outreach Festival , the San Francisco Jazz Festival, etc.
A master of styles, Jerry DeVore joined the faculty in 2015 he is an accomplished electric and acoustic bass player. He is also a composer, arranger, and conductor with an eclectic background from rock to jazz to gospel to symphony orchestras.
He is a native of Peoria, Illinois, where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Music Performance from Bradley University. Before coming to New York City, Jerry toured with the United States Air Force Band. His entry to NYC began with the graduate program at New York University, where he graduated with a Masters in Jazz Performance and was given the award for Outstanding Jazz Studies.
Jerry’s performance career has been prodigious. He has toured the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. Through making the city his home, he regularly performs at all the top NYC venues. Currently his focus is on creating his first solo recording, as well as mixing and producing an upcoming album for Bruce Arnold.
An internationally recognized contemporary drummer of superb technical command, feel, and range, Kim has been based in New York City since 1977. His numerous performance and recording credits include Bill Connors, Tania Maria, Didier Lockwood, the Pointer Sisters, Jon Lucien, Andy Narell, John Pattitucci, Kenny Rankin, Jacques Higelin, Charles Fambrough, Edgar Winter, Bill O'Connell, Mose Allison and the Outreach Orchestra which features Franz Hackl, Mark Eagan, Mino Cinelu and Adam Holzman.
Kim has also embarked on a solo career. Since 1993 he has toured Europe and Japan extensively to ever increasing audiences and excellent press. Kim’s groups have featured Lincoln Goines, Tom Kennedy, Bill O’Connell, Mark Soskin and Didier Lockwood. His debut CD “Night and Day", a joint project with Lincoln Goines was released on EFA Records (Europe) and Shiosai Records (Japan) in 2002. Kim’s latest recording “Jacob’s Ladder” featuring Lincoln Goines, Bill O’Connell and Sheryl Bailey, was released in the spring of 2011.
Mr. Plainfield has established himself as one of the foremost percussion educators in the northeastern United States and has conducted many clinics and workshops in Europe and Asia. He is author of the acclaimed drummer's method Advanced Concepts (Alfred Publishing) and is currently a professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, in addition to being faculty head at the Drummers Collective in New York City.