GEORGE LESIW - Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo
George Lesiw is a Guitarist, Bassist, Vocalist and Composer. He holds a Master of Jazz Studies from SUNY Purchase, Purchase NY and a Bachelors of Music in Performance and Songwriting from Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA. George has studied with many greats including John Abercrombie, Garrison Fewell, Andy LaVerne, Jon Faddis and Pat Pattison. George has extensive teaching and performance experience and has been happy to be a part of the Banko's team since 2004. George can be found as a producer, orchestrator and guitarist on many professional recordings. Come and take a lesson with George Lesiw and get started on your own path to musical mastery.
JOHN COLLINGE - Saxophone, Piano, Clarinet, Flute
John is a Saxophonist, Pianist, Clarinetist, Flautist, composer, arranger and educator. John graduated from New School University in Manhattan with a BFA in Musical Performance and a BA in History. At New School, John studied with some of NYC’s most renowned jazz musicians including, Reggie Workman, Jane Ira Bloom, Jim Snidero, Tim Price and Walt Weiskopf. An extremely sought after performer, John has experience with a wide array of genres such as Jazz, Blues, Rock, Reggae, Salsa, Merengue, Samba, Choro and Afrobeat. His talent has taken him to tour the United States and Europe and share the stage with such greats as the Heath Brothers, Bobby Sanabria, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Vernon Reid, Rachel Z and Popa Chubby, just to name a few. John always welcomes the prospect to share his love for music with his students.
BOB NISHTI - Saxophone, Clairinet, Flute
It has been an honor to be affiliated with Banko's Music for many years, as both a student and instructor. I have over twenty years of teaching experience which has afforded me the opportunity to witness the benefits that the study of music has provided to my students as well as to me, the instructor. My career began here at Banko's as a student and eventually led to performance opportunities in classical, contemporary, jazz, big band and theater genres. And yes, even with a 20 year stint with a most successful wedding band "Destiny" ! Come join me to discover the "Magic of Music"...
Jessica Muzyka - piano.
Jessica Muzyka is a graduate from New England Baptist College with a Bachelor's in Music and has been playing the piano since the age of 7. She has many years of experience accompanying church congregations, ensembles, and soloists. While in college Jessica was the main college choir pianist, and performed in various music programs and recitals. She has been teaching piano for the past three years and has been with Banko's since 2015. The love and dedication to the art of piano can be seen in her passion of teaching others.
Natalie Hamilton - vocal instructor
STEVE CLARKE - Bass
Steve Clarke is a Bassist and Composer. He was born and raised in Bridgeport CT and has played and taught music solely for over 25 years. Steve has performed with Sherry Winston, Marion Meadows, Vincent Ingala, Phillip Denny, Tom Browne, Estaban, Victor Fields, The Five Satins, Ben E. King, The Drifters, Coasters, and Sam & Dave and many local bands weekly as well as playing a solo performance every Monday & Saturday for the last 2 years. Steve has released 8 CD’s,(New release "Sparkle" 2016) under his own name and has recorded on 58 CD’s of various artist. Steve Clarke 2009 release featured Mike Stern.(New Beginnings) Steve has toured in Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia,Bulgaria, Romania as well as throughout U.S. with various groups. “Clarke's free-flowing compositions showcase plenty of fusion chops, but his rich tone and spaced- filled lines steal the show" ...Gregory Isola, BASS PLAYER MAGAZINE Snippets of ALL 8 CD’s can be heard or purchased: www.CDBaby.com/cd/steveclarke8 As well as on itunes, amazon, ect.
Clair Babecki - choral and string educator
Clair Babecki is a choral and string educator at Amity Middle School Orange located in Orange, Connecticut. Clair is a violist who graduated from The Hartt School of Music in May, 2015, where she received a bachelor degree in instrumental music education. During her undergraduate studies, she assisted at many Regional and All-State auditions. There she helped tabulate and finalize scores, stuffed folders with music for students, trained to be a judge at the festival auditions, and judged several string and vocal auditions across all regions. Clair has been a CMEA member since 2011 and has enjoyed the learning experiences provided at all CMEA conferences over the past few years. Clair teaches in a small community music school in Ansonia and holds an intimate string studio privately as well. She also continues to perform as a violist in weddings, memorial services, and other formal events.
GARY COLLINS _ Drums, Percussion
I am a teaching and performing drummer and percussionist, this I have been doing for many years, primarily in the Tri-State area. I have a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from The University of Bridgeport. I have performed with many symphonic orchestras and shows, including The Choate School in Wallingford, The Yale Symphony and Theater Company, and in New York City. I have instructed privately for many years, and have also instructed at Johnny Sopczak’s Music in Norwalk, CT and am excited to be a teacher at Bankos Music in Ansonia, CT. I have been performing professionally for over 30 years, and am currently performing with such groups as Hubinger Street, Levitation, Baby Dynamite, Billy Genuario, as well as a busy schedule of free-lance performing. I have performed with Bernard Purdie, John and Gay Mehegan, Link Chamberlain, and countless other known performers. I am a well-respected drummer, percussionist. I also teach orchestral percussion, including mallets, timpani, and Latin percussion. It is my passion and commitment to create a path specific to your goals and your desires as a drummer and musician. Within that path, I will also instruct you on the formulas and disciplines required to fulfill your desires. Being an accomplished musician requires proper skills, time, and training. In addition, music is a fun and exciting adventure within finite rewards! Regarding drumming and drum-set instruction, in summary, I will instruct: The 40 essential rudiments,stick techniques and grips, time keeping, groove, listening skills, patience,reading, disciplines, and importantly, that learning and growing as a drummer musician is fun and exciting! I am hoping to meet you soon, and together we can move forward into the fruitful and exciting world of drumming and music!
WARREN MCGUIRE - guitar, violin, banjo and more...
Warren McGuire has been playing guitar for over fifty years. He also plays and teaches violin, banjo (both kinds), and many other stringed instruments. He has been teaching at Banko’s since 2007. Warren plays locally with several bands.
Joanne Slowik - piano