Music lessons, a cozy cafe and live music venue.

Teachers

Meet out Teachers

Jim Johnston  DRUMS  Jim Johnston teaches drums at Cornerstone music and loves figuring out the best way to explain something to someone, because not all students learn the same.He likes passing on the tradition, history and function of music, especially for the drums, which are a young instrument. Jim believes there are a lot of crazy things in the future for drums, and he wants to give students a sense of where the instrument comes from so they can watch where it’s going to go.Jim has 20 years of teaching experience. He grew up in Calgary, AB., and started playing drums when he was 13. He played throughout junior and senior high school, and after graduating, attended programs for jazz at Mount Royal and University of Calgary. Jim moved to Toronto to attend Humber College and after completing his Performance Diploma he moved back to Calgary.Jim is involved in many local projects like Urban Divide and Kirby Sewell Band, and plays with many local performers. He has performed at several blues, jazz and art festivals.Jim loves the performance aspect of music and the constant study of his craft. He thrives on the energy he gets from publically performing for people.When Jim isn’t teaching or gigging locally with the many projects he’s involved in, he tries to squeeze in as much food, coffee, yoga, and science fiction as he can.

Jim Johnston

DRUMS

Jim Johnston teaches drums at Cornerstone music and loves figuring out the best way to explain something to someone, because not all students learn the same.He likes passing on the tradition, history and function of music, especially for the drums, which are a young instrument. Jim believes there are a lot of crazy things in the future for drums, and he wants to give students a sense of where the instrument comes from so they can watch where it’s going to go.Jim has 20 years of teaching experience. He grew up in Calgary, AB., and started playing drums when he was 13. He played throughout junior and senior high school, and after graduating, attended programs for jazz at Mount Royal and University of Calgary. Jim moved to Toronto to attend Humber College and after completing his Performance Diploma he moved back to Calgary.Jim is involved in many local projects like Urban Divide and Kirby Sewell Band, and plays with many local performers. He has performed at several blues, jazz and art festivals.Jim loves the performance aspect of music and the constant study of his craft. He thrives on the energy he gets from publically performing for people.When Jim isn’t teaching or gigging locally with the many projects he’s involved in, he tries to squeeze in as much food, coffee, yoga, and science fiction as he can.

Jay Scraba  GUITAR  Jay Scraba is dynamic performer, songwriter & music educator based in Calgary Alberta. During his twenty plus year career Jay has shared the stage with musical icons such as Cool and the Gang, Colin James, Tom Cochrane, Jully Black & Maya Angeloo. After studying for several years and completing degrees in jazz performance & composition, Jay spent time traveling worldwide while entertaining thousands aboard Holland America Cruise lines. In 2002 he settled in Calgary and began a thriving freelance career with several bands, jazz combos & solo work. 2008 saw the release of his debut recording “Reasons, Seasons and Lifetimes” and is presently at work on it’s follow up. Currently you can find Jay preforming with local artist Kyemara, and providing personal instruction from beginner to expert levels. Combining his classic style, along with his vast knowledge and years of experience, Jay specializes in jazz, rock, country and finger style guitar.

Jay Scraba

GUITAR

Jay Scraba is dynamic performer, songwriter & music educator based in Calgary Alberta. During his twenty plus year career Jay has shared the stage with musical icons such as Cool and the Gang, Colin James, Tom Cochrane, Jully Black & Maya Angeloo.
After studying for several years and completing degrees in jazz performance & composition, Jay spent time traveling worldwide while entertaining thousands aboard Holland America Cruise lines. In 2002 he settled in Calgary and began a thriving freelance career with several bands, jazz combos & solo work. 2008 saw the release of his debut recording “Reasons, Seasons and Lifetimes” and is presently at work on it’s follow up.
Currently you can find Jay preforming with local artist Kyemara, and providing personal instruction from beginner to expert levels. Combining his classic style, along with his vast knowledge and years of experience, Jay specializes in jazz, rock, country and finger style guitar.

Michelle Grégoire  PIANO  Pianist and composer Michelle Grégoire’s music has been described as “ingenious”, “elegant”, “balanced”, and “original with great depth and imagination”. She has toured across Canada with her jazz quintet and her music is heard regularly on XM Radio and Galaxie satellite jazz programs. An active freelance musician since 1984, Michelle Grégoire maintains a solid reputation as a sideperson and band leader having backed up artists in all genres. She has worked regularly in the pit orchestras of local theatre companies like Theatre Calgary, StageWest, and Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage. Grégoire holds two jazz degrees from St. Francis Xavier University (1988, 1990), a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the Florida State University (1993) and has attended the Hugh Fraser Jazz Orchestra Residency in Banff where she worked with Maria Schneider in 2002 and Kenny Wheeler in 2004. Grégoire has also studied privately with world-renowned composer Bob Brookmeyer. Since the Fall 2014, she has been on faculty at Ambrose University in Calgary teaching Jazz Piano.

Michelle Grégoire

PIANO

Pianist and composer Michelle Grégoire’s music has been described as “ingenious”, “elegant”, “balanced”, and “original with great depth and imagination”. She has toured across Canada with her jazz quintet and her music is heard regularly on XM Radio and Galaxie satellite jazz programs. An active freelance musician since 1984, Michelle Grégoire maintains a solid reputation as a sideperson and band leader having backed up artists in all genres. She has worked regularly in the pit orchestras of local theatre companies like Theatre Calgary, StageWest, and Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage. Grégoire holds two jazz degrees from St. Francis Xavier University (1988, 1990), a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the Florida State University (1993) and has attended the Hugh Fraser Jazz Orchestra Residency in Banff where she worked with Maria Schneider in 2002 and Kenny Wheeler in 2004. Grégoire has also studied privately with world-renowned composer Bob Brookmeyer. Since the Fall 2014, she has been on faculty at Ambrose University in Calgary teaching Jazz Piano.

Nico Brennan  UKULELE CLASS  Nico Brennan is a dynamically gifted singer-songwriter who has been part of Canada’s professional music scene for over twenty years. Music has always been a significant part of her life. Growing up, she studied piano and singing and was a soloist in her church choir. From there she went on to become a featured singer with the Young Canadians performing at the annual Calgary Stampede. She then went on to become the lead vocalist for Calgary's Dino Martinis, a popular jump-blues band with whom she recorded three critically acclaimed CDs that sold more than 30,000 copies worldwide. Nico has performed for various festivals throughout Canada and the United States including the Montreal Jazz Festival, and SXSW. She has also performed in a number of legendary venues such as the Viper Room in Los Angeles, and Wild at Heart in Berlin. Among the celebrities who have shared the stage with her are Hollywood veteran Tom Hanks, legendary rocker Jerry Lee Lewis, and former president Bill Clinton. An accomplished ukulele player as well as an elementary school teacher, Nico currently hosts "Sunday School Open Mic" the first Sunday of every month at Cornerstone Music Cafe. Her first solo album, "Safe Way Home, the Dream Factory Sessions" is set to come out in early 2019.

Nico Brennan

UKULELE CLASS

Nico Brennan is a dynamically gifted singer-songwriter who has been part of Canada’s professional music scene for over twenty years. Music has always been a significant part of her life. Growing up, she studied piano and singing and was a soloist in her church choir. From there she went on to become a featured singer with the Young Canadians performing at the annual Calgary Stampede. She then went on to become the lead vocalist for Calgary's Dino Martinis, a popular jump-blues band with whom she recorded three critically acclaimed CDs that sold more than 30,000 copies worldwide. Nico has performed for various festivals throughout Canada and the United States including the Montreal Jazz Festival, and SXSW. She has also performed in a number of legendary venues such as the Viper Room in Los Angeles, and Wild at Heart in Berlin. Among the celebrities who have shared the stage with her are Hollywood veteran Tom Hanks, legendary rocker Jerry Lee Lewis, and former president Bill Clinton. An accomplished ukulele player as well as an elementary school teacher, Nico currently hosts "Sunday School Open Mic" the first Sunday of every month at Cornerstone Music Cafe. Her first solo album, "Safe Way Home, the Dream Factory Sessions" is set to come out in early 2019.

Ashley Mamen  VOICE  Ashley Mamen has passion for singing and as a local musician, artist, actress, and teacher she strives to help students develop the skills that will nurture their appreciation and love for music and the fine arts, while also giving them weekly opportunities to experience personal growth and a sense of achievement from the lessons they receive.Ashley Mamen has over a decade of professional training from one of Calgary's most acclaimed classical singers and has won numerous awards and accolades from various competitions. Ashley also has extensive experience in the dramatic arts including musical theatre, speech arts, and audition preparation. She brings with her as well numerous years of choral and ensemble experience and has performed many diverse styles and genres of music. Ashley Mamen has an energetic, encouraging and creative style of teaching that is informative, based on the individual, and most importantly fun!

Ashley Mamen

VOICE

Ashley Mamen has passion for singing and as a local musician, artist, actress, and teacher she strives to help students develop the skills that will nurture their appreciation and love for music and the fine arts, while also giving them weekly opportunities to experience personal growth and a sense of achievement from the lessons they receive.Ashley Mamen has over a decade of professional training from one of Calgary's most acclaimed classical singers and has won numerous awards and accolades from various competitions. Ashley also has extensive experience in the dramatic arts including musical theatre, speech arts, and audition preparation. She brings with her as well numerous years of choral and ensemble experience and has performed many diverse styles and genres of music. Ashley Mamen has an energetic, encouraging and creative style of teaching that is informative, based on the individual, and most importantly fun!

Kyle Tenove  GUITAR, BASS  Kyle Tenove is a bass and guitar player and teacher who resides in Calgary, Alberta.He has played in various groups, including Panda Attack, Brother Prussia, Zackariah and the Prophets, and Amelie Patterson. Kyle is also very active participating in charity work, starting with the creation of Zackariah and the Non-Profits and most recently being involved with The Prophets of Music Organization, an innovative notfor-profit organization dedicated to supporting emerging artists in the creation of exceptional music.

Kyle Tenove

GUITAR, BASS

Kyle Tenove is a bass and guitar player and teacher who resides in Calgary, Alberta.He has played in various groups, including Panda Attack, Brother Prussia, Zackariah and the Prophets, and Amelie Patterson. Kyle is also very active participating in charity work, starting with the creation of Zackariah and the Non-Profits and most recently being involved with The Prophets of Music Organization, an innovative notfor-profit organization dedicated to supporting emerging artists in the creation of exceptional music.

Colleen Kehler  MUNCHKIN MUSIC  Munchkin Music is facilitated by Colleen Kehler, a Musician and Certified Music Therapist (MTA) in Calgary. Colleen has experience working with people of a variety of ages, ranging from newborns to 100+ years old. She completed her Music Therapy internship at BC Children’s Hospital, where she dedicated 1000 hours of training into infants, toddlers, school aged kids and teenagers. Colleen has experience working in Early Intervention and using music to help support a variety of developmental goals. Colleen is excited to share the joy of music with your young ones as we explore a variety of instruments, songs and themes.

Colleen Kehler

MUNCHKIN MUSIC

Munchkin Music is facilitated by Colleen Kehler, a Musician and Certified Music Therapist (MTA) in Calgary. Colleen has experience working with people of a variety of ages, ranging from newborns to 100+ years old. She completed her Music Therapy internship at BC Children’s Hospital, where she dedicated 1000 hours of training into infants, toddlers, school aged kids and teenagers. Colleen has experience working in Early Intervention and using music to help support a variety of developmental goals. Colleen is excited to share the joy of music with your young ones as we explore a variety of instruments, songs and themes.

Anthony Czarneckie  PIANO  Bio to come...

Anthony Czarneckie

PIANO

Bio to come...

Keith Watson  GUITAR, BASS & UKULELE  Keith started teaching himself piano at the age of 6 but realized at the age of 15 that piano wasn’t going to get him the girls so he quickly switched to guitar. After learning every possible Led Zeppelin note he could he started teaching music at the age of 17. A few short years later he decided to take up classical guitar because, well, it sounded harder than what he was playing. (And, he already found his girl…. thanks U2 Desire). Keith completed his Royal Conservatory studies and made the switch back to rock and roll, jazz, blues, folk and more contemporary styles, picking up bass, mandolin, ukulele and didgeridoo along the way. After almost 40 years of teaching he has an even stronger belief that “Learning has to be fun”. Oh yeah, Keith has been on stage with such greats as Randy Bachman, Loverboy, Trooper, Tom Cochrane, Jim Cuddy, Northern Pikes, Big Sugar, Colin James, the list goes on.

Keith Watson

GUITAR, BASS & UKULELE

Keith started teaching himself piano at the age of 6 but realized at the age of 15 that piano wasn’t going to get him the girls so he quickly switched to guitar. After learning every possible Led Zeppelin note he could he started teaching music at the age of 17. A few short years later he decided to take up classical guitar because, well, it sounded harder than what he was playing. (And, he already found his girl…. thanks U2 Desire). Keith completed his Royal Conservatory studies and made the switch back to rock and roll, jazz, blues, folk and more contemporary styles, picking up bass, mandolin, ukulele and didgeridoo along the way. After almost 40 years of teaching he has an even stronger belief that “Learning has to be fun”. Oh yeah, Keith has been on stage with such greats as Randy Bachman, Loverboy, Trooper, Tom Cochrane, Jim Cuddy, Northern Pikes, Big Sugar, Colin James, the list goes on.

Oaitse Hellard  VOICE & PIANO  Oaitse Hellard - coined as Ms. Oäi is known for soulful jazz stylings reminiscent of the late greats such as Ella Fitzgerald amd Sarah Vaughan.  Born in Botswana but raised here in Calgary Oaitse has been trained classically in Piano and Voice.  She has performed at the Jubillee Auditorium opening with as a soloist with a Gospel Choir for Ms. Coretta Scott King. And has been singing with The Ray Charles Tribute Orchestra for the last 7 years.  Performing with Grammy Award winner Donald Ray Johnson.  Her latest project performing in Jazz Band The X-Oäi-Z’s with Johnny Summers, Tyler Hornby, John Gray, and Stephen Fletcher she brings on this Classic Jazzy notes.  

Oaitse Hellard

VOICE & PIANO

Oaitse Hellard - coined as Ms. Oäi is known for soulful jazz stylings reminiscent of the late greats such as Ella Fitzgerald amd Sarah Vaughan.  Born in Botswana but raised here in Calgary Oaitse has been trained classically in Piano and Voice.  She has performed at the Jubillee Auditorium opening with as a soloist with a Gospel Choir for Ms. Coretta Scott King. And has been singing with The Ray Charles Tribute Orchestra for the last 7 years.  Performing with Grammy Award winner Donald Ray Johnson.  Her latest project performing in Jazz Band The X-Oäi-Z’s with Johnny Summers, Tyler Hornby, John Gray, and Stephen Fletcher she brings on this Classic Jazzy notes.  

Adam Esposito  DRUMS  Adam Esposito is known for his active role as an accomplished musician, sharing the stage with the likes of BB King, The Tragically Hip, 54/40 and with theatre production company Stage West. Adam started playing drums at age 13 and started teaching privately at the the age of 16.  In addition to live performances such as Chicago and West Side Story, Adam has supplemented his musical education with a diploma from Mount Royal College in Jazz Studies and two years of study at the University of Calgary Jazz Program.

Adam Esposito

DRUMS

Adam Esposito is known for his active role as an accomplished musician, sharing the stage with the likes of BB King, The Tragically Hip, 54/40 and with theatre production company Stage West. Adam started playing drums at age 13 and started teaching privately at the the age of 16.

In addition to live performances such as Chicago and West Side Story, Adam has supplemented his musical education with a diploma from Mount Royal College in Jazz Studies and two years of study at the University of Calgary Jazz Program.

Brian Volke  GUITAR, UKULELE & MANDOLIN  Brian Volke has been playing guitar since the age of nine. Inspired by the Monkees he wrote his first song in Grade Three. Since then his musical wanderings have led him through rock and country and into Celtic folk and back to rock again. He is the lead singer and main guitarist for the roots band My Son Ted, Their most recent CD is entitled “Carmel’s Parlour”. Brian also likes to play solo and has found his songwriting to be going in all sorts of different directions. He’s been working on a n ew album which will be filled with quirky songs about people he knows and people he imagines he knows! In his musical lifetime Brian has performed at the Regina Folk Festival, opened for the Irish Descendents and the Chieftains, and best of all, has been backed up by Rik Emmett of Triumph. Ask him about that experience. Brian has over twenty years’ experience teaching guitar, mandolin and ukelele in individual and group settings. He is also an elementary school teacher with the Calgary Catholic School District.

Brian Volke

GUITAR, UKULELE & MANDOLIN

Brian Volke has been playing guitar since the age of nine. Inspired by the Monkees he wrote his first song in Grade Three. Since then his musical wanderings have led him through rock and country and into Celtic folk and back to rock again. He is the lead singer and main guitarist for the roots band My Son Ted, Their most recent CD is entitled “Carmel’s Parlour”. Brian also likes to play solo and has found his songwriting to be going in all sorts of different directions. He’s been working on a n ew album which will be filled with quirky songs about people he knows and people he imagines he knows! In his musical lifetime Brian has performed at the Regina Folk Festival, opened for the Irish Descendents and the Chieftains, and best of all, has been backed up by Rik Emmett of Triumph. Ask him about that experience. Brian has over twenty years’ experience teaching guitar, mandolin and ukelele in individual and group settings. He is also an elementary school teacher with the Calgary Catholic School District.

Rick Lett  TUBA, TROMBONE, TRUMPET, HORN, FLUTE, CLARINET, SAX & GUITAR  Rick Lett has degrees in Music and Music Education. He also has studied orchestral music at the Banff Centre, jazz improvisation through the Berklee School of Music, and attended a variety of workshops and seminars in classical and jazz music. He has performed with symphony orchestras here and overseas, toured and recorded with brass quintets and played guitar and bass in just about every style imaginable, from stadium rock shows to intimate jazz venues to film work to music theater. He has taught school band for many years, as well as teaching low brass at the University of Saskatchewan, and brass and jazz improvisation at Medicine Hat College. He currently adjudicates for music festivals and gives workshops for woodwind, brass, and guitar players, and still loves to teach. He has had students play with groups as diverse as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Boston Symphony, Ornette Coleman, and Rod Stewart's touring band.

Rick Lett

TUBA, TROMBONE, TRUMPET, HORN, FLUTE, CLARINET, SAX & GUITAR

Rick Lett has degrees in Music and Music Education. He also has studied orchestral music at the Banff Centre, jazz improvisation through the Berklee School of Music, and attended a variety of workshops and seminars in classical and jazz music. He has performed with symphony orchestras here and overseas, toured and recorded with brass quintets and played guitar and bass in just about every style imaginable, from stadium rock shows to intimate jazz venues to film work to music theater. He has taught school band for many years, as well as teaching low brass at the University of Saskatchewan, and brass and jazz improvisation at Medicine Hat College. He currently adjudicates for music festivals and gives workshops for woodwind, brass, and guitar players, and still loves to teach. He has had students play with groups as diverse as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Boston Symphony, Ornette Coleman, and Rod Stewart's touring band.

 
Max Wood  GUITAR & PIANO  Max Spent four years studying Music Therapy on the East Coast of Canada at Acadia University. As well as studying classical music and theory in school he has also studied from some experts in their musical style such as jazz piano, chicago blues, world rhythm and drumming, music production and mixing, and as well some beginner flamenco guitar. His eclectic musical background allows students to experience a well rounded approach to music, tailoring the students program to their individual abilities, interests and uniqueness as individuals. His teaching style allows for students to discover their passion in music and gain a good foundation to further refine skills and habits of a good musician.

Max Wood

GUITAR & PIANO

Max Spent four years studying Music Therapy on the East Coast of Canada at Acadia University. As well as studying classical music and theory in school he has also studied from some experts in their musical style such as jazz piano, chicago blues, world rhythm and drumming, music production and mixing, and as well some beginner flamenco guitar. His eclectic musical background allows students to experience a well rounded approach to music, tailoring the students program to their individual abilities, interests and uniqueness as individuals. His teaching style allows for students to discover their passion in music and gain a good foundation to further refine skills and habits of a good musician.

Odum Abekah  GUITAR, BASS & PIANO  From playing in youth groups to opening with friends for k.d. Lang, Odum’s supportive and knowledgeable nature make him a sought after accompanist/sideman and performer. Odum Abekah is an expressive multi-instrumentalist from Fredericton, NB. His love for music was fostered at an early age and grew substantially in high school, where his interests led him to leading church bands and across North America as a bassist and band leader with Kingswood University. These formative experiences led Odum to pursue post-secondary education in music, trying to find the best ways to bring an approach of excellence into his personal performances, songwriting, and collaborations with other musicians. Odum completed his first degree at Mount Allison University (BA Mus ‘13), where he quickly became known as performer and songwriter, contributing several songs and collaborations to the Conduct Becoming Music program at the school. In 2013, Odum assumed the executive producer role, where he auditioned, trained, recorded and released the songs of 13 promising artists in the 2014 release, Emotions. Odum decided to further his education in performance arts at Humber College (BMus ‘18) and combined his experience with world class musicians/educators in the Toronto area along with classical/Jazz theory, songwriting and production into his passion for all genres of music and furthering the musical goals of others. A trained bassist, Odum also performs on guitar and piano, and works remotely on musical projects with friends and artists alike.

Odum Abekah

GUITAR, BASS & PIANO

From playing in youth groups to opening with friends for k.d. Lang, Odum’s supportive and knowledgeable nature make him a sought after accompanist/sideman and performer. Odum Abekah is an expressive multi-instrumentalist from Fredericton, NB. His love for music was fostered at an early age and grew substantially in high school, where his interests led him to leading church bands and across North America as a bassist and band leader with Kingswood University. These formative experiences led Odum to pursue post-secondary education in music, trying to find the best ways to bring an approach of excellence into his personal performances, songwriting, and collaborations with other musicians. Odum completed his first degree at Mount Allison University (BA Mus ‘13), where he quickly became known as performer and songwriter, contributing several songs and collaborations to the Conduct Becoming Music program at the school. In 2013, Odum assumed the executive producer role, where he auditioned, trained, recorded and released the songs of 13 promising artists in the 2014 release, Emotions. Odum decided to further his education in performance arts at Humber College (BMus ‘18) and combined his experience with world class musicians/educators in the Toronto area along with classical/Jazz theory, songwriting and production into his passion for all genres of music and furthering the musical goals of others. A trained bassist, Odum also performs on guitar and piano, and works remotely on musical projects with friends and artists alike.

Maria Osiaowy  VOICE & PIANO  Maria is a recent graduate from Acadia University's Bachelor of Music Therapy program, currently completing a Music Therapy internship at the Alberta Children's Hospital. Maria has studied music her whole life, with voice as a primary instrument. She has also studied piano and guitar. She has sung in choirs for many years, and has a Classical music background with some experience in musical theatre. Maria began teaching voice lessons in 2012 and has experience teaching children and adults in a broad range from beginner to advanced.

Maria Osiaowy

VOICE & PIANO

Maria is a recent graduate from Acadia University's Bachelor of Music Therapy program, currently completing a Music Therapy internship at the Alberta Children's Hospital. Maria has studied music her whole life, with voice as a primary instrument. She has also studied piano and guitar. She has sung in choirs for many years, and has a Classical music background with some experience in musical theatre. Maria began teaching voice lessons in 2012 and has experience teaching children and adults in a broad range from beginner to advanced.