Some USSCM Students and Alumni
Kasia Sokalla, Professional vocalist, United States
Mohammad Hilmi bin Abdul Rahim, Award-winning guitarist,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Francis Wong, Night-club entertainer, Hong Kong, China
Steve Chanan, Active guitar
Jesús Atanes Lopez La Coruña,
Founder of a music school based
on the Joy of Improv, Spain
Mari Leonel, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Brazil
Gerson Kornin, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Brazil
Dan Keller Bueren an der Aare, Switzerland
Will Vogtman, Maryland, United States
Dustin Shiozaki, Utah, United States
(with Hermeto Pascoal)
"USSCM provided a great opportunity
to develop a deeper understanding of
on a technical level and on a spiritual level.
I just have good
things to say about the material.
The course is quite rigorous.
provides the support and grounding
I needed to advance to another
as a musician.
USSCM was the bridge that connected me
new stage in my career."
A resident of the State of Santa Catarina in Brazil, Mari Leonel
came to US School after studying piano at Asbury College, Kentucky, and returning
to Brazil to teach piano and perform classical and traditional Brazilian
She wanted to improve her understanding of musical concepts and develop
her ability as an arranger and composer. She needed a school that would
be affordable and would help her develop musically while allowing her to
stay at home with a young family.
While Mari cites Miles Davis and Pat Metheny as influences, her own
music is a fusion of American jazz, Brazilian popular music, and
"my fascination with the inebriating rhythms created by the native
people in their spontaneous involvement with nature."
She performs with the Mari Leonel Trio and the Mari Leonel Quartet.
Her recent CD, "Manacá," is a collaboration with her husband,
Gerson Kornin, and Hermeto Pascoal, the reigning wizard of Brazilian
music considered by some to be the "the planet's greatest musician."
"The beauty of this land, of this forest sprinkled
with the live colors of the Manacá trees, touched my soul once
more. Poetry sprouted as rhythm, like the wooden clogs of our
fandanguiros, striking hard on the wooden floor, echoing through
the forests, the rivers, and the mangrove swamps in a celebration
'Manacá' grew, became music, one more fruit of my partnership
with Gerson . . . to nurture it further, I invited the magician
who has lighted my musical journey and that of so many others,
an inexhaustible source of inspiration: Hermeto Pascoal. Manaca
flourished and flowed."
Some consider Hermeto Pascoal the world's
most innovative and gifted composer alive. Yet his recent 60th
birthday passed somewhat unnoticed in the US. Here's our little
contribution to repair this oversight:
About Hermeto Pascoal:
Bruce Gilman says: "Hermeto Pascoal is the reigning wizard of
Brazilian music who plays everything and anything. Piano, flute,
sax, live pigs, you name it. He's the only one who can write a
kick-ass samba in 3/4!"
His compositions have been recorded by Miles Davis, John McLaughlin,
Duke Pearson, Gil Evans, Airto Moreira, Sivuca, and many others.