cofounder of DMSM; Electric / Acoustic Guitar, Bass and Ukelele
Dennis Murphy is a 3 time GRAMMY Nominee with international Smooth Jazz Artist Acoustic Alchemy. Since mid-eighties, Dennis has been touring worldwide with various national and international artists. He recorded or played with Greg Kihn Band, Maria Muldaur, Billy Preston, Coasters, Drifters, Shirelles, and Kenny Rankin among others.
Dennis appeared on National Prime Time Television and Nationally Syndicated Radio. His band was voted Best Of 7 Consecutive Years by Monterey County Weekly Reader’s Poll. Dennis leads various size combos including an 18 Piece Big Band in the Swing Era style. He’s recorded, produced, arranged, and/or played on more than 100 album releases, including his 3 solo CD releases (“Hit Me Hard”, “Rediscovery”, “Pentatonic”). Dennis directed Blues In The Schools program by Monterey Bay Blues Festival’s Outreach. Dennis has been a Music Clinician in 15 schools both public and private throughout Monterey County providing more than 150 workshops/sessions annually. He is a Board Member at CASA of Monterey County, Carmel Youth Center, and “Express Yourself, Inc”. Dennis is considered a master teacher and his fees are: $75 per hour and $45 per 1/2 Hour.
Cofounder of DMSM and Enrollment Administrator
Paula is cofounder of DMSM and is also founder of our Non Profit arm EXPRESS YOURSELF, Inc. which was originally conceived by her for the purpose of funding scholarships for at-risk, under privileged youth and senior citizens. Paula worked and volunteered with various organizations, including CASA of Monterey County, Meals on Wheels of Monterey Peninsula, Forest Theater Guild, National Charity League of Monterey County, ASDS, Junior League of Monterey County, Easter Seals of Monterey County, and others. She has received numerous awards including 2008 CASA of Monterey County “Volunteer of the Year”, 2006 Forest Theater Guild “Philanthropic” award, and 2003 Carmel Rotary “J O Handley” award.
Guitar, Arranging and Theory
Mike Lent was born in Santa Barbara, California. After studying piano from the age of seven, he began playing the guitar at age ten. At fifteen, he started working as a professional guitarist, performing in clubs, concerts and school dances throughout his high school years in Pacific Grove, California. Upon graduation, he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Mike has toured and recorded with many artists in his career, including Jeffrey Osborne, James Ingram, Marie Osmond, Ricky Martin, Ronnie Laws, Patti Austin, Shania Twain, and Grover Washington, Jr. to name a few. As a session musician, his credits include General Hospital, Grace Under Fire, WKRP in Cincinnati, Ally McBeal, and Walker, Texas Ranger. He has composed music for shows such as ABC’s General Hospital and Port Charles, NBC’s California Dreams, and Sweating Bullets for CBS. In addition, Mike has played guitar for the national tours of the Broadway shows, Mamma Mia, Rent, Aida, Chicago, 42nd Street and The Lion King. Mike has been performing with Barry Manilow since 1997. Mike is considered a master teacher and his fees are: $75 per Hour and $45 per 1/2 Hour.
Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Keyboard, Sight Reading and Band Classes
Gary Meek is one of the most in demand musicians on the West Coast. Gary has toured or recorded with Dionne Warwick, Al Jarreau, Jeff Lorber, Airto & Flora Purim, Billy Childs and Dave Weckl among others. He is currently touring with world renowned bassist Brian Bromberg. He also toured with top Brazilian Star (the late) Oscar Castro Neves. Gary is considered a master teacher and his fees are: $85 per Hour and $50 per 1/2 Hour.
Drums and Percussion
Mike Shannon is an accomplished drummer who has played with many renowned Artists including Brazilian Pianist Weber Iago, Bulgarian Guitarist Hristo Vitchev. Mike has also played with numerous local artist at The Monterey Jazz Festival as well as the Monterey Bay Blues festival. He teaches sight reading for drums along with style studies including Rock, Jazz, Latin, Pop, Funk and Blues.
Piano, Voice, and Ukulele
Alaina Musich is a Berklee alumni and lifelong musician with over 10 years teaching experience. She specializes in foundational piano, ukulele, and pop vocal training, though her expertise spans into many disciplines. Her students gain a well-rounded understanding of music from many angles, while maintaining the joy of playing and learning!
Voice and Piano
Janice has had a passion for the Performing Arts since she was a little girl. She grew up in the musical Marotta family where she had the opportunity to have excellent training which led to aprofessional career in music, and performing arts. Janice is a professional jazz vocalist, and has been teaching privately, and in multiple schools for the past 23 years including: Santa Catalina School, Colton Middle School, School of Dramatic Arts, Compass Church, and Ocean Grove Charter School. Currently, she is a Vocal Director for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s county all-star High School vocal ensemble, PacRep’s summer musicals, and is the Performing Arts director at Trinity High School. She is also the founder of Jazz at MidCi, performing often there, as well as other jazz venues.
Vocals and Piano
Miranda Perl is a vocalist and educator from Monterey California. Specializing in Jazz, Pop, and Musical Theatre styles, she is a graduate of the award-winning Jazz program at the University of Northern Colorado where she studied with renowned vocalist, Julia Dollison. She returned to Monterey in 2020, where she has been very active in the Jazz and Education scenes. She has performed at the Monterey jazz festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, the Next Generation Jazz Festival, Kuumbwa Jazz Club, and many other venues in the Northern California area. She is also very active in the local Theatre scene, having performed lead roles in many shows with PacRep, as well as teaching classes for their School of Dramatic Arts. She is currently the Musical Director for The Forest Theater Guild’s Production of “Little Shop Of Horrors”. Miranda’s fees are $75 per hour, and $45 per 1/2 hour. Summer Camps.
Guitar and Electric Bass
Originally from Minnesota, Guitarist/Composer Adam Astrup has been active in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Monterey, and Northern Colorado Jazz Scenes. He has worked with artists such as Greg Gisbert, Matteo Sabattini, Gary Meek, Drew Zaremba and Bobby Medina as well as many others. Adam graduated from the University of Northern Colorado’s jazz program in 2020. After graduating, he moved to Monterey, California. Adam has performed at venues such as The Dakota Jazz Club, The Royal Room, The Iowa City and Twin Cities Jazz Festivals, Jazz Central, The Black Dog Café, Ace Gillett’s, Avogadro’s Number and Dazzle Jazz Club. Adam is a versatile guitarist who is comfortable in jazz, blues, funk and pop styles. Adam is an active performer in the Monterey area. Adam’s fees are $75 per hour, and $45 per 1/2 hour.
Mike Marotta Jr.
Mike Marotta Jr. comes from Monterey musical royalty. Mike leads one of the most sought after bands on the central Coast and comes from a long lineage of musicians. He is considered one of the top accordionists in California. He and his father, Mike Marotta Sr, are frequent headliners at most of the Accordion Festivals in the state including the prestigious Cotati Accordion Festival. Mike teaches all styles from Italian to French and Cajun.