Chris was born in Arlington, VA. He started on the classical guitar at the age of six. He studied with many teachers but was drawn to the teachings of jazz guitarist John Sessum at the age of thirteen. Mr. Sessum introduced Chris to the legends of jazz and the discipline and art of jazz guitar, instilling in him the drive to study and practice improvisation and composition. As a young musician he played many styles of music including: blues, jazz, r&b, metal, fusion, reggae, latin, and even go-go with many local bands. In 1997 Chris graduated from Berklee College of Music. While in Boston, he studied guitar performance and jazz composition with Garrison Fewell, Jon Damian, Mick Goodrich, Robert Harrigan, Scott Free, Andy McGee, Vuk Kulenovich and many others. Chris has also studied in group settings/clinics with: Pat Metheny, Pat Martino,George Garzone, Jim Hall, John Scofield, Michael Brecker, Danilo Perez and others. Chris has performed with Barry Titone (of Lionel Hampton), Jeff Berlin, Danny Gottlieb, Russell Ferrante, and Brad Mintzer (of the Yellowjackets), to name just a few. He has been a sideman and a leader in a variety of groups from diverse genres. Chris has been a regularly featured artist on Tom Cole’s show “G-Strings” on WPFW 89.3. He has performed all around the country and in Europe including concerts at The Baked Potato (Los Angeles), Smalls (NY), and local venues such as: Twins, Bohemian Caverns, and The Birchmere. Chris has performed at jazz festivals including the Clearwater International Jazz Festival. In 2009 Chris performed the National Anthem at AT&T Park in San Francisco. In 2009 Chris released his first solo album At Night, We Speak, a concept album which combines modern jazz and classical compositional concepts from his many influences. In 2013 Chris released his first book, Music Theory Field Manual. He continues to improvise/ compose and is currently working on several new projects. Two of his ongoing performance projects include: “The Arts Interactive.” in which he performs solo, improvised compositions with artists and/or to visual art and sometimes with the mood of the room as the sole inspiration for the concert. Chris is currently on the jazz faculty at Northern Virginia Community College.
For the past 28 years Tom Phillips has lead the Epic Progressive Metal band While Heaven Wept (which he formed in 1989 with ROAM instructor Chris Galvan) through a series of critically-acclaimed albums that have been released on 4 continents through a variety of international record labels - most recently via the world’s premiere independent Heavy Metal label, Nuclear Blast Records/Warner Bros based in Germany. While Heaven Wept have toured extensively throughout Europe as well as the United States and have headlined several well- renowned festivals in both regions. A multi-instrumentalist, Tom has also performed or recorded with the likes of Walpyrgus, Twisted Tower Dire, Solstice (UK), Brave, Arise From Thorns, and Grey Division Blue (amongst others) during this time. His exposure to a vast array of music after nearly a decade of working at the famous Tower Records, work with record companies behind the scenes, as well as extensive studies with a variety of teachers has resulted in a very diverse musical palette that extends well beyond his Metal pedigree; his collegiate studies focused upon Classical Music composition and Music Theory - thus, combining real world experience with traditional instruction methods, he offers an all-encompassing curriculum that caters to the individual versus a standardized methodology. With over 25 years of private instruction experience behind him - totaling more than 400 students to date - and counting - he brings to ROAM far more than guitar and bass guitar instruction alone. His three-prong approach focusing on proper technique, emphasis on theory, and ear training has yielded several examples of students who have later gone on to have successful bands or teaching careers of their own. Additionally, his extensive experience working in professional recording studios for more than half of his life brings with it even more insight for the aspiring musician!
Ignacio Hernandez is a professional guitar player who has toured around the globe as a member of BANDA MAGDA (www.bandamagda.com), with performances in highly prestigious venues and festivals including Blue Note Japan and the UK's Womad Music Festival. He began playing as a teenager and quickly discovered a natural aptitude for the instrument. Ignacio went on to continue his studies formally, pursuing a degree in Jazz Composition and Arrangement. While an undergrad at Berklee College of Music, he received several awards for his outstanding contributions to the Jazz Composition department, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2008. Ignacio's lessons focus on each individual student according to their age and musical needs. With more than a decade of guitar teaching experience, he has developed a variety of different teaching styles that are effective for young children, adults, and everyone in between. He can teach students of any age or skill level, and shapes the curriculum based on the individual student. Lessons are stress-free yet structured, with high encouragement on regular practice and routine.
Mark Deffenbaugh is an innovative, and provocative Jazz Artist and Educator. As a keyboardist, composer, and producer he has turned the heads of many of the most talented and famous personalities in Jazz, Rock, Hip Hop, and R&B. Mark started his career early, playing gigs, in the Washington D.C. area, starting at the age of sixteen. Within a few short years he had numerous live and television performances to his credit. While attending The Berklee College of Music, Mark studied with, Jazz Great Gary Burton. Gary took Mark under his wing, and became an important figure in Mark's life. Through this relationship Mark developed relationships with such names, as McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Peter Eirskin, John Schofield, Carla Bley, Makoto Ozone, Steve Swallow.and others. Mark Returned to the Washington D.C. area after an injury to his hands. He spent many years rebuilding his chops, and working as a studio engineer, and producer. Mark has composed hundreds of pieces of music, including a Sonata for Vibraphone, and Guitar, numerous pieces for the various world famous acts, and groups that he has worked with over the years He has also been responsible for lyrics, and arrangements for live shows, and recordings that have included the most recognizable names in the popular music world. Mark served as the Musical Director of The Ben E King Stand By Me Foundation for five years. His list of performance, credits include, Ben K King, The O'jays,Baby Washington,Loyd Price,Gary USBonds,Chuck Jackson, Bill Pinkney (The Origional Drifters),Little Anthony, and The Imperials,Bobby Bennett, The Spinners Fay Hauser-Price Clifton Davis, Don Gardner, Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Louis Price (Former lead singer The Drifters/Temptations) Beverly Crosby, Mavis Staples, Richard Roundtree (Shaft), Speedo and Cadillacs, Peabo Bryson, Shirley Alson Reeves (Shirelles), Charley Thomas (Drifters), Martha Reeves (formerly of the Vandellas), Freda Payne, Gerald Alston (Manhattans), Blue Lovette (Manhattans), Chuck Barksdale (Dells), Vern Allison (Dells), Dennis Edwards (formerly of the Temptations), Harvey Fuqua (Moonglows), Maxine Brown. Mark is currently producing, new music for a solo project, and has founded the experimental Jazz group Kaos Theory. He is also the CEO of DreamLand Records, an independent record label dedicated to Jazz, and Electronic Music, located in the Washington D.C. area.
A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Jack Kilby has been a music enthusiast throughout his life. Having been exposed to great musicians from a young age, Jack has labored to achieve the highest levels of musicianship for over a decade. He began playing trumpet in fourth grade and drums in fifth, eventually switching to the euphonium in sixth grade. Jack was actively involved in groups inside and outside of school. He played drums in a rock band throughout middle and high school (T.C. Williams H.S.) while also serving as a member of the symphonic band on euphonium, the drum line, and the jazz ensemble and combo on drum set. In 2007, Jack enrolled at the University of Virginia where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology while remaining emphatically dedicated to his evolution as a drummer, participating in both the big band and combos. His time at UVA afforded him the privilege of developing his craft under the tutelage of the great trumpeter John D’earth, drummer/percussionist Robert Jospé, and many others in Charlottesville’s small but reputable music community. As Jack matured and grew into his own sound, he became a familiar face on the Charlottesville music scene leading bands that often featured professors from the music programs at UVA, JMU, and VCU. In 2013, Jack relocated to Queens, New York where he attended the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and received his Masters of Music in Jazz Performance in spring of 2015. There he studied with many world famous educators including trumpeter/arranger Michael Philip Mossman, alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, pianist David Berkman, drummers Donald Edwards and Dennis Mackrel, and producer/songwriter James McElwaine. Jack placed an emphasis on arranging, songwriting, and production while working to achieve a high level of mastery over the drums. In New York, he founded the band ‘Jack Kilby & the Front Line’ which features several horn players performing Jack’s arrangements and other tunes reminiscent of the Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers repertoire. During the past few years, Jack has also found a reignited passion for the trumpet and looks forward to the day he will be able to be the trumpet player in his band (and others).