Archive | July 2013

LAMA Vocalist Felicia Andolong Performs “Castles in the Sky”

It’s LAMA-Tube time! In this video, Felicia Andolong performs a beautiful rendition of “Castles in the Sky” during a recent LAMA Vocal Showcase (Spring 2013). The showcases are somewhat like an “American Idol” style format. After each performance, guest vocal judges Nick Cooper, Scott Wojahn and Windy Wagner joined LAMA’s Vocal Artist Development Director Dorian Holley to offer professional feedback. We’re so proud of Felicia’s hard work and solid execution of “Castles.” Check out her performance here:

-LAMA Staff

Modern A&R/NARIP Event & Music Business Roundtable at LAMA

Modern A&R/NARIP Event & Music Business Roundtable

Modern A&R/NARIP Event & Music Business Roundtable

They don’t call it the music business for nothing! Most of you fall to the music side: playing gigs, composing songs, recording albums. Then there is the business side: contracts, getting signed, licensing and more. Many musicians fall into the pitfall of only concentrating on music and ignoring the business. Thankfully LAMA has your back!

On Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 6pm, LAMA is hosting the Modern A&R/NARIP Event & Music Business Roundtable. It’s only open to LAMA students/alumni and NARIP guests. The NARIP program will feature A&R and artist development experts Mark Mazzetti and Michael Carey. They will discuss how they have helped to create and sustain careers for superstar and indie artists (including Sting, Janet Jackson, Dishwalla, Aaron Neville, John Mayer, Robbie Williams, Will Smith, Rascal Flatts and others), guiding their careers to hit singles, platinum sales and global success.

Roundtable discussions include:

  • Developing all elements necessary to make a great record
  • Does anyone need “A&R” anymore?
  • Determine direction: song choice, production style, aesthetics
  • How to create hit songs:writing, co-writing or finding outside material
  • Recording, mixing, mastering: process and direction

What will you learn?

  • How to set realistic goals
  • How the A&R process can help make the right recording
  • How to set realistic goals
  • How the A&R process can help make the RIGHT recording
  • The relationship between record company (if any) and talent in the Internet Age
  • How to improve a song, and increase its impact and marketability
  • Necessary creative elements to sell music and establish a career

Don’t miss this insider’s peek at the artistic and economic realities of the fastest-changing business in the world. Most importantly, this NARIP program gives you practical information you can apply immediately to create a better record NOW.

Michael Carey, Founder & Creative Director, Resonation
Mark Mazzetti, President, Record Company In A Box
Tess Taylor, NARIP President, panel moderator

From the organizers:

This is NOT a technical discussion. NARIP’s program will focus on putting the most important creative elements in place, the right questions to ask, and how to come forth with the best possible creative product.

When and Where:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
6:30 p.m. Registration opens
7:00 p.m. Program begins
8:15 p.m. Break
9:30 p.m. Program ends

LAMA College for Music Professionals — Performance Hall; 370 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105; 626-568-8850

More information about NARIP:

We’ll see you July 30!

-LAMA Staff

10th Annual Free Jazz Summer Concert Series



It’s hard to beat jazz music in the summertime! Luckily for us Vromans bookstore loves summer jazz almost as much as we do. Now through August 25th, they will be hosting “The 10th Annual FREE Summer Jazz Concert Series.” The best part? LAMA grads and instructors will be represented at several of the performances! Here are all the details:

When: Sunday evenings, now through August 25
Where: Vroman’s courtyard, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Info: 626.744.0340

Remember, this is free and open to the public.

Pasadena Playhouse Dist

The Afrotango Ensemble  featuring Juan Estanga (Drum Grad) kicked things off while  Tony Inzalaco (Jazz Teacher) plays Sunday July 21 and Grey Beret (feat. Ryan Bradetich, Bass Grad) plays the following weekend, July 28. We are excited to see you all there. Do not forget to RSVP on the Facebook event page!

-LAMA Staff

Holly Knight Master Class August 7th

Holly Knight...

Holly Knight…

One of the greatest questions posed by man is “What makes a great song?” Three-time Grammy award winner and Songwriting Hall of Fame member Holly Knight will help answer that question for LAMA students during her Master Class Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 8pm. Full event details are available at the Facebook event page here.

Highlights of her career, pulled from her official bio, include:

  • Citing Mike Chapman as her mentor, together, they penned Spider’s single, Better Be Good To Me, which music icon Tina Turner recorded six months later on her 1984 multi platinum album, Private Dancer, which won a Grammy for Record of The Year.
  • Knight’s meteoric rise to success continued when she wrote the chart-topping, Love Is A Battlefield andInvincible for Pat Benatar, The Warrior for Patty Smyth, Change for John Waite, Baby Me for Chaka Khan, Never for Heartand Pleasure And Pain for Divinyls.
  • Always driven by some internal force, Holly continued writing hits, Love Touch for Rod Stewart, Obsession for Animotion, Hide Your Heart for KISS, Rag Doll with Aerosmith, Space for Cheap Trick, and many more.
  • Her songs have appeared in movies as varied as Thelma and Louise, Mad Max Beyond The Thunderdome, Stewart Little, Thirteen Going On Thirty and Hot Tub Fantasy, and on TV shows such as American Idol, The Voice, 30 Rock, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Oprah Winfrey, Nip Tuck, South Park, and most recently The Voice finale, culminating in a stellar duet of Love Is A Battlefield with Cee Lo Green and one of the final contestants.
  • In 2002 Holly produced and co-wrote the title theme song for the hugely popular cult TV show, Angel.
  • She wrote and produced the title theme song for the CBS hit sitcom, Still Standing, which received an ASCAP award for recognition as one of the top TV music themes of 2003, and again in 2004.
  • Knight’s songwriting has earned her numerous awards including three Grammys® and thirteen ASCAP songwriter awards.
  • In June 2013, the songstress was inducted into The Songwriters Hall Of Fame , along with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Foreigner, JD Souther and Tony Hatch.

We are very excited to welcome Holly to LAMA!

-LAMA Staff

LAMA Q&A: Norm Stockton

Norm Stockton...

Norm Stockton…

LAMA has been honored to have Norm Stockton around campus teaching several classes. We caught up with him for a quick conversation about life at LAMA and his current projects. He is a bassist/solo artist/clinician/author who travels extensively throughout North America, Europe and Japan, has been profiled in Bass Player magazine and is recognized by many in the industry as one of the premier bassists today. From 2006-2012, he was the touring and recording bassist with chart-topping worship artist (and former Steve Perry guitarist) Lincoln Brewster. He currently performs with Grammy-winning singer Bobby Kimball (original lead vocalist with TOTO). The Q&A follows:


Q: You’ve done a number of Master Classes for the bass department at LAMA. Based on your interactions with the campus, students and staff, how would you describe LAMA and its “vibe” to new students or musicians who are interested in attending the school to pursue a music degree?

NS: I think it’s fantastic – lots of energy and enthusiasm on the part of both staff and students. There truly seems to be a mutual respect between the faculty and students, with faculty clearly going the extra mile to motivate & prepare students for music careers, and students recognizing & valuing faculty insight that’s obviously coming from decades of real-world experience.

Q: LAMA draws students not only from the US, but from all over the world. Why do you think Los Angeles still a great location for the music industry and those pursuing a music degree?

Despite the changing music industry, L.A. obviously remains one of the epicenters of the global music and entertainment industry. The faculty of LAMA bears testimony to this fact: the collection of world-class musicians—in such a broad range of genres—that has been assembled is extraordinary. Having teachers in every classroom with decades of session and live experience at the highest levels is a very special thing.

Q: What are 2-3 tips you have for bass players who are interested in pursuing a career in the music industry today?

None of these are earth-shattering, but are absolutely essential:

1. Learn your craft

This should go without saying—the primary thing you can do to prepare for a music career is to be ready and capable when the doors of opportunity open. Regardless of the genre, it’s invaluable to be a well-rounded musician with a solid understanding of harmony, arrangement, technique, groove, reading, etc., etc. This will accommodate a much broader range of possibilities career-wise.

2. Play for the song

Don’t feel the need to impress everyone with out-of-context fills or pyrotechnics. Such playing will likely be viewed in a “wow…did you hear that?…that would be so awesome in someone else’s band” kind of way. Have the musical maturity to play for the tune—to emote the tune—and do everything in your power to make the song FEEL amazing for the rest of the band and audience. Pick one or two key moments in the evening to throw in a tasteful embellishment that serves the music.

3. Approach every opportunity with professionalism

Whether it’s the 11 pm set on Tuesday night at some hole-in-the-wall or otherwise, always bring 100% to whatever playing opportunities to which you commit. If you walk in with a bad attitude, or your gear isn’t working right, or you’re “phoning in” your parts…people will remember and you’ll start developing a reputation that will take YEARS to reverse, if it’s even possible. On the other hand, I’ve experienced it many times: committing to a gig that’s probably going to be a grind, but making my best effort to be a good hang, play well, sound good, and generally interact in a positive way—months later, I get a call for something considerably cooler, based upon the recommendation of a player I met back at the earlier gig. Suffice it to say: if you commit to a playing situation, bring your best.

Q: What is the most important piece of advice you can offer LAMA students and alumni when it comes time to audition for their next gig?

I’d reiterate my point #2 in the preceding question, for sure. Otherwise, I’d say that it’s so important that a player develop solid interpersonal skills. If you and another player auditioning are both monstrous musicians—but he’s a good, easy, fun hang, while you’re…not (ha)—you probably won’t be getting the call. I’ve heard of many occasions where less capable musicians got the gig because they understood this. This obviously has huge applicability beyond just an audition or music career thing; it will serve you well in life.

Q: What projects are you working on now? Are there any links you’d like to share with our readers? Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m excited about my instructional site, 60-lesson groove course, song tutorials, interviews with industry professionals, etc. Subscribers from around the world and the cost is incredibly low. It also allows me to work at home more, which is awesome.

The Norm Stockton Artist Edition bass by MTD is in the final prototype stages and should be in production by the fall. We’re ironing out some last details now with electronics. I’m so honored, humbled, and stoked!

I also wrote a book for Hal Leonard Publishing that should be released soon. It’s called “The Worship Bass Book: Bass, Espresso and the Art of Groove.”

Otherwise, I’m doing freelance session, clinic, conference, and live work, including tour dates with Bobby Kimball (original lead vocalist of TOTO) as well as The Norm Stockton Group (see us at the Baked Potato on July 30!).

I stepped down last year from a 6-year tenure playing with Lincoln Brewster to spend a bit more time with my family while my daughters still want to hang! It’s been awesome. I’m very blessed & grateful to be able to get this time with them while also still making a living. Anyway, thanks! I’m honored to be part of the LAMA extended faculty; always such a great time with students and faculty alike.


And we’re so happy to have you here Norm!

-LAMA Staff

André Knecht Named Co-Chair at LAMA


The LAMA family is very happy to announce André Knecht will co-chair the Music Producing and Recording Department, effective immediately. Current students and grads have been very fond of the former Warner Bros. Records executive’s approach in the classroom setting. He was among the first in the industry to embrace the digital recording era. The promotion comes on the heels of our expansion of the music production degree, which now includes the Composing for Visual Media major. To accommodate additional students and classes, LAMA is adding a new building in Pasadena, just steps north of the current campus.

André will oversee all aspects of the Music Producing and Recording Department and help the college meet the tastes and demands of new students, many of who come internationally to study at LAMA.

From current LAMA Chair Sean Halley:

André is a true master of the technical aspects of audio. He is also as in touch with the sweaty and organic side of production. LAMA students respond well to his passion and approach in the classroom, because they know that his only goal is to see them succeed. His many decades of experience – both as a successful audio engineer and as a marketing executive as Warner Bros – are a welcome addition as LAMA continues to develop and broaden its music producing and recording program.

The Swiss native has an academic and professional background including electronic music studies at Padua University (Italy) and a seven-year stint as sound designer, recording engineer, music supervisor and composer with the Swiss Broadcasting Company (SSR) where he also hosted a number of radio and TV shows. He moved to California in 1983, where he continued his career at Warner Bros. Records.

Halley continues:

André has an intensely solid background in analog technologies but embraced the digital era at its dawn, adopting MIDI and digital audio workstations when they first appeared. André is active as a consultant, freelance engineer and producer, instructor, beta-tester and as technical editor for book projects in the audio field.

Be sure to congratulate André on his new role at LAMA!


Students in class at one of the computer and production labs at LAMA.

For more information, please visit

-LAMA Staff

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