Masterclass year 2007

In 2001, the Saint Louis Music Center hosted a series of extraordinary Masterclasses taught by national and international artists, students had the honor of learning directly from the best in their field, honing their skills and gaining valuable perspectives. These experiences shaped their artistic paths and helped define the future of music in St. Louis.


Kim Plainfield taught private lessons and taught courses at the NYC Drummers Collective from 1979 until his passing. For much of that period, he served as faculty president. His dedication and expertise have left an indelible imprint on the local music community, inspiring generations of drummers. His passion for music and his commitment to teaching will remain an enduring legacy, continuing to influence and motivate drum enthusiasts around the world. Kim Plainfield will be remembered not only as an outstanding teacher, but also as a mentor and icon in the drumming world.


Enrico Pieranunzi, internationally renowned jazz virtuoso pianist and composer, lit up the Saint Louis Music Center with a memorable masterclass. In 2000, he shared his musical genius and deep knowledge with students hungry for inspiration. Through his smooth notes and nuanced harmonies, Pieranunzi conveyed not only the techniques of jazz, but also his passion and dedication to art. The meeting left an indelible imprint, fueling the fire of creativity and musical expression in the heart of St. Louis.


Jerry Hey has an extraordinary career that has seen him collaborate with a wide range of world-class artists. He has played with George Benson, Nik Kershaw, Al Jarreau, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Earth, Wind & Fire, Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, George Duke, Lionel Richie, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Patti Austin, Toshiki Kadomatsu, Yumi Matsutoya, and many others. His skill at playing the trumpet and conducting wind sections has helped define the sound of countless musical hits across generations of artists. His presence in the songs is synonymous with quality and sophistication, confirming his status as a legend in the international music scene.


Rosario Giuliani in 1996 won the “Massimo Urbani” award, while the following year he won the “Europe Jazz Contest” award in Belgium for best soloist and best group. In 2000 he won the Top Jazz in the new talent category for the annual referendum of the trade magazine “Musica Jazz.” His collaborations are countless. Others include those with Kenny Wheeler, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Cedar Walton, Phil Woods, Cameron Brown, and Joe Locke.


Gene Jackson, drummer, composer and arranger, is an international solo artist who has distinguished himself by becoming the rhythmic lynchpin of some of the classic contemporary jazz ensembles from the 1980s onward. He has shared the stage with legends such as Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland and Wayne Shorter. His collaborations also include names such as Art Farmer, Christian McBride, Dianne Reeves, Kevin Eubanks, Eddie Gomez and Hugh Masekela. For more than a decade, Jackson has been creatively revisiting gems of our jazz heritage, both on record and in concert with the popular New York Standards Quartet. His stage presence and versatility make him a first-rate musician, appreciated and admired by audiences and critics worldwide.


With Mike Varney as producer, Marty Friedman and Jason Becker recorded “Speed Metal Symphony” in 1987. Clearly classifying the genre of the album is complex, as it mixes elements of heavy metal with classical and Japanese influences. Friedman and Becker’s guitars are in the foreground, with fast, technical solos, often played in unison, and well-orchestrated melodies.
After the success of “Speed Metal Symphony,” they released their second album “Go Off!” in 1988. Although of high quality, it did not replicate the success of its predecessor, and the band disbanded. Friedman and Becker went their separate ways, yet remained close friends. Becker joined the band of former Van Halen, David Lee Roth, but was later stricken with ALS, while Friedman pursued a solo career and joined the thrash metal band Megadeth.


Jeremy Pelt studied classical trumpet as a child and then focused on jazz after playing in a jazz ensemble in high school. He studied at Berklee College of Music. Among those with whom he has played are Ravi Coltrane, Roy Hargrove, Greg Osby and Cassandra Wilson. His career is marked by extraordinary technical mastery and a deep understanding of jazz language. With his unique style and versatility, Pelt has established himself as one of the brightest talents of his generation in the jazz world. His music continues to inspire and influence musicians and fans around the world.


Niccolò Fabi emerged on the Italian music scene with the success of his first single “Dica…” in 1996, which opened the door for him at the 1997 Sanremo Festival, where he won the Critics’ Prize in the Newcomers Category with “Capelli.” Shortly thereafter he released his first album “The Gardener,” followed by the single of the same name in 1997. The following year he returned to the Festival with “Leaving One Day in Rome,” followed by the album “Niccolò Fabi.” He recorded with Gazzè the song “Vento d’estate,” winner of the Un disco per l’estate event. In addition to the aforementioned hits, the album contains “Il male minore,” an Italian cover of Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing,” and a collaboration with Frankie hi-nrg mc on “Immobile.”


The son of Broadway performers and musicians, Adam Rogers began playing piano and drums as early as age 5 or 6. He became “obsessed” with Jimi Hendrix and began collecting Hendrix recordings after he started playing guitar at age 11. He listened to Hendrix’s recordings a lot and, by the age of 14, had learned to play in Hendrix’s style. It was during this period that he was exposed to the music of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Wes Montgomery and began studying jazz. His guitar teachers include John Scofield and Barry Galbraith. His musical training and passion for diverse influences have made him one of the most versatile and respected guitarists in the contemporary music scene.


Doug Doppler is an American guitarist renowned for his exceptional skills and extensive experience in the field of music. Gifted with extraordinary technique and creativity, Doppler left a significant imprint on the guitar world. His passion for music is reflected in his work, which ranges from rock and jazz to blues and worship settings. In addition to being a talented musician, Doppler is also a passionate educator, sharing his knowledge through lectures, seminars and educational resources. His influence extends beyond the guitar world, inspiring and motivating musicians of all genres and skill levels.


At the age of 18, John Thomas began his musical career working as a musician in cruise ship orchestras. This experience allowed him to explore New York jazz venues between 1959 and 1960, where he had the opportunity to meet great double bass players such as Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, and Charles Mingus. He later formed a trio with Amedeo Tommasi on piano and Gegè Munari on drums. While studying at the Bologna Conservatory of Music, he had the opportunity to play with Chet Baker, Amedeo Tommasi on piano and Franco Mondini on drums, after the trumpeter had been detained in Lucca for drug-related problems. These experiences helped shape his outstanding career in the world of jazz music.