Archive | March 2013

Grammy Winning Bassist Juan Alderete Joins LAMA Bass Department

Juan Alderete Photo

Did you ever get to see the Mars Volta play live? It was always an epic show creating and destroying musical boundaries. There was one man at the center of it all holding down the rhythm and bringing us that amazing low end. That man is Juan Alderete and as we announced on the LAMA site last week, he has joined the LAMA Bass Department as an Artist-in-Residence.

Juan has been on our radar here at the blog even before his turn with TMV. He played bass with LA noise legends Distortion Felix on their Steve Albini produced debut “I’m an Athlete” and his work with Racer X is equally cool. Juan has invested in his own musical projects of late including Big Sir and Vato Negro and recently launched the extremely popular website, He is endorsed by Fender Basses and Behringer.

Welcome Juan to the LAMA family! Will you be bringing some of your incredible pedals to class? To read the official announcement please click here.

-LAMA Staff

Meet LAMA Private Instructor Peter Boskovich

peter boskovich

We asked LAMA alumni and current LAMA private instructor Peter Boskovich to answer a few questions about his role at LAMA and what it was like studying at the school in Los Angeles. He also offers some great advice and tips for any music student or individual thinking of pursuing their music degree.

1. What is your current role at LAMA?

I’m a private instructor in the bass and producer department (producer students also take a quarter of bass and guitar lessons) and am an accompanist in Tierney Sutton’s ‘instrumentalist point of view’ classes, Ralph Humphrey’s ‘style and analysis’ and ‘contemporary’ classes among many others.

2. You attended LAMA, and graduated from the bass department. When was that and can you tell us more about your experience? 

Graduated 2004.  My experience in the bass department and as a student in general was a very special one.  I was fortunate to be surrounded by other very eager and determined students who pushed and inspired me to give it my all to tackle the curriculum and absorb the information as quickly as I could.  I remember the atmosphere of ‘friendly competition’ that drove us to play our best in every class.  By the end of my enrollment I can honestly say I was ready to get out and start gigging, although I have had a few bruises and bumps along the way, but overall I felt prepared.  I’ve played with many players all over the city coming from all over the world and I couldn’t have done it without the preparation I received at LAMA.

3. What advice do you have for young musicians looking to get their music degree at LAMA?

Don’t hesitate for one, and when you decide to commit to this institution as your place of learning, give it more than 110% like I did and you won’t regret a thing.  I still work with many of the dear friends I met as a student while at LAMA and continue to grow as a musician in the many professional settings afforded me by them.  The musical circles I work in all have many ties to the school even though the musicians might not have studied here.  LAMA is a great stepping-stone to get out into the city and start making musical relationships.  Also, it is important that you learn how you absorb information while in school, as we all learn in different ways.  I feel the curriculum along with the ensemble workshops are structured in a way that allows each student both the time and varied situations to absorb the material in ways that accommodate their levels of understanding.

4. What is the best part about studying music in Los Angeles?  

It’s LA man!  Come one.  I love this city with all of its diversity and varied cultural offerings.  There is no excuse for boredom in a town like this.  World-class players left and right, and myriad of venues in which to do so.  You can find inspiration any night of the week with all that is going on musically in this town.

5. Why did you start playing music? 

I started playing music because I hated football so much.  It was exhausting and it hurt a lot when I’d get leveled on the field.  Music was much nicer, and I was much better at it.  You also don’t have to wear those funny uniforms and instead get to look cool in front of a lot of people.

6. Tell us about your current musical projects etc.:

I’m actively gigging as a sideman in several jazz trio’s and quartets at the moment.  I have a project called Splice The Mainbrace with fellow teacher/instructor Jackson Allen that has started to play out.  We are both very excited about it and feel it an honest representation of our musical tastes and ambitions at the moment.  

I am also (and this might sound strange) working on an album of my own original tunes with me singing while playing chordal accompaniment on the bass.  I’ve explored chordal approaches to bass playing, and have also developed a deep appreciation for the songwriting idiom.  Between these two projects, and an endless list of things to practice and prepare for, I’m very excited about life and where it might take me.

-LAMA Staff

Judges Announced for Dorian’s Vocal Showcase


Dorian Holley’s Vocal Showcase at LAMA; Dec. 2012

It’s that time of year! Students doing their finals and showcases all around LAMA. The March 21 vocal showcase (at LAMA, 8pm) for Artist Development Director Dorian Holley means three guest judges will be joining us this evening, and what credits they have! Meet the judges below — and best of luck to our students!


Scott Wojahn

Scott Wojahn is a composer, producer, arranger and singer-songwriter.  He is one half of Wojahn Bros Music in Santa Monica, California, a boutique music production company specializing in commercials and television.  Since 1990, WBM has created award winning original and branded music for some of the most recognizable national and global companies, from Ford to AT&T and American Idol, working with artists including Vince Gill, Buddy Guy and Shawn Colvin.

Scott lives, writes and performs around Los Angeles.


Windy Wagner

Windy was sung on more than 350 songs on the hit FOX television show GLEE.  Windy is also an on set lip sync coordinator that works directly with the actors on the show.

“Pitch Perfect”, “Rock of Ages” (vocal contractor), “Selena Gomez”, “The Lorax”, “The Muppet Movie”, “Barbra Streisand”, “Phineas and Ferb”, “Polly Pocket” (various spots), “Monster High” Barbie, “Tom and Jerry”, “Pixie Hollow” Disney, “Shake it Up” Disney Channel, “Mad TV”, “Folgers, Marshalls, Macys, Twist, K-Mart”, “The Hulk”, “Zu Zu Pets”, “Sponge Bob Square Pants”, “Dance Revolution”, “Teen Spirit”, Texas Lottery”, “Tinkerbell”, Sketchers and various Fox promos.

THEME SONGS: “Good Luck Charlie”, “Hannah Montana and “Sunny with a Chance” All still running, the Disney Channel



Windy also toured as a backup singer for k.d. lang.


Nick Cooper

Nick Cooper guides the careers of several A-List recording artists. He has worked on American Idol, Opening Act, and Mary Mary.playing an integral role in artist development of the cast. He has coached J-Lo and help prepare Nikki Minaj for her world tour. Beyonce called on Nicholas to arrange songs for what was considered one of her best performances. Nicholas Cooper is the first African-American to creative-direct a television show for Hunan Television and  Last but not least, Nicholas just launched his (15,000 square foot) corporate headquarters to house his new online television network (HeliumTV), and artist development center (The Vocal Corner Store).  With a world class recording studio, two live stages, 6 private rehearsal rooms/ sets, a 1,200 square foot dance studio, online radio station, and 5,000 square feet of open space.

-LAMA Staff

LAMA Alumni Ryan Lacey’s Band Gaelic Storm LIVE Today

Gaelic Storm

Gaelic Storm

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all at LAMA!

LAMA alumni Ryan Lacey (pictured; second from left) and his band Gaelic Storm (they have a Billboard #1 World Album) take the stage today for a 100% LIVE, jig-inducing St. Patrick’s Day performance on Mark Cuban’s AXS TV channel at 5pm (PT)/8pm (ET). Check your local listings!

-LAMA Staff

LAMA Feature: 5 Questions with Sam Porcaro

Introducing, Sam Porcaro!


Sam Porcaro
Q: Why did you choose to attend LAMA?

A:  I chose to attend LAMA because I wanted to further both my musical knowledge and playing ability. After a few years of community college, I decided that music school was the route I ultimately wanted to take. LAMA was the obvious choice of schools for me because I was already familiar with the school and bass department staff through my Grandpa.

Q: What is the best part about studying music in Los Angeles?

A: The best part about studying music in LA is the opportunities that are around. I don’t mean solely in terms of gigs and players to meet, but also in terms of the different music scenes around town. In LA you have chances to go out to a club and check out your favorite players doing their thing. You can literally be at a place like the Piano Bar and people like Stevie Wonder or Prince randomly show up and play a set!

Q: Who is your favorite instructor at LAMA and why?

A: The entirety of the LAMA bass staff are amazing, it’s very hard to pick one as a favorite. Every one of them has so much to offer, whether it is technique with Jerry Watts, jazz with Steve Billman, rock with Tom Witt, blues with Doug Ross, or private lessons with David Levray. Each of them have their own way of teaching the curriculum, but there is a interconnectedness  that helps to bring it all together in a way that is simple to understand and execute.

Q: Why did you start playing music?

A:  I started playing because I’ve grown up in a very musical family and environment. Some of my earliest childhood memories are being in the studio with my dad and all of the Toto guys while they were recording their album Tambu. From then on I always had an interest in music, however I didn’t start playing bass until many years later when my friends and I all decided we wanted to start a band. The only problem with that was that none of us played anything, so I decided I’d pick up the bass because it seemed like the natural choice to me.

Q: What are your plans after graduating LAMA?

A:  After LAMA I plan to continue playing live and in the studio as much as I can. Playing live has always been something I’ve loved to do, whether it is with my band Maudlin Strangers or just as a sideman for solo acts. Thus far I’ve had some amazing opportunities such as playing with Edgar Winter and Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees. I can only hope that after finishing LAMA things will continue to move forward!

-LAMA Staff
%d bloggers like this: