THE INSTRUCTORS

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George Makinto

 

Instructor for Piano, Flute, Voice, Guitar, Percussions and Jazz Master classes. Born to a Liberian mother and a German father, MAKINTO was soon interested in integrating both sides of this cultural heritage into his music. He studied classical music in Germany, as well as traditional and modern African music in various African countries. He was part of several international music education programs, notably in Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, France and The United States. He founded Joyful Music & Arts in 2008 and moved into the current facility in 2011.

David Lami Friebe

 

Drum, bass and piano teacher for children and youth and music production course instructor at JOMA, David is Makinto’s son and has been playing drums since the age of 3 ½. His first public appearance as a drummer was May 2002, a month before his 4th birthday, when he played the tune “St. Thomas” with his father’s band during the UN General Assembly. David graduated from USC in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts from the Popular Music program at USC Thornton.

Jennifer Holly

 

Our violin, fiddle, piano and folk and acoustic ensemble instructor. Jennifer is part of several local classical orchestras and ensembles as 1st violinist, and teaches both individual lessons and group classes. Jennifer is very popular at JOMA, an extremely joyful person and beloved by her students.

Casey McCoy

 

Our classic and jazz piano, and jazz band instructor. Casey is instructing both individual lessons and summer group classes. An active musician, Casey plays in various Jazz bands and is a very gifted Jazz instructor. Casey is as well our schedule and finance director.

Jordan Hemphill

 

Our acoustic, electric guitar, drum, bass teacher and beginners piano instructor. Jordan is an active gigging musician with a wide range of styles .

Jordan is patient, teaches all age-groups and is a very gifted teacher! Currently Jordan teaches exclusively on-line

Joël Friebe-Makinto

 

Our youngest and very talented drum instructor. Joël is Makinto's youngest son and took over the mantle of Makinto's church drummer from his brother David when he left for college. Joël continues to study drums with his older brother, but is a patient and joyful teacher in his own right. He also plays trumpet, piano and guitar.

Ivan Malespin

 

Our new Trumpet, Trombone, Bass and Beginner piano instructor

Ivan is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts, the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and most recently the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, from which he obtained a Master’s of Music in Jazz Studies. He is a versatile instrumentalist having worked with the likes of Kanye West, YG, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind and Fire. Ivan is a recipient of merit scholarships from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the USC Black Alumni Association, and the Gold Coast Jazz Society, among others.

Alexis Malespin

 

Our new Voice, Flute and Piano/keyboard instructor

Alexis began singing and playing piano at an early age having grown up in a musical family. A native of Berkeley, California she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Popular Music Performance at the University of Southern California. While at USC Alexis studied privately with renowned vocal coach Jeffrey Allen. She also studied piano with jazz and R&B legend, Dr. Patrice Rushen, and Russell Ferrante of The Yellowjackets. Alexis is a sought after freelance musician having performed on the television networks Freeform and ESPN2, and venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival.