The AMP Committee is proud to announce our All-Star line up of instructors, specialists, and band coaches. All of our teaching staff are professional musicians, performers, educators, and trained by some of the top academic institutions in the world. Cumulatively, they have centuries of experience teaching and performing, have performed tens of thousands of songs, and are well versed in countless genres. AMP is excited to provide these instructors to the young musicians of the Coachella Valley as coaches, mentors, teachers, and bandmates.
All AMP staff members have been background checked, live-scanned, and are held to the highest of professional standards. They comply with all the California State Department of Justice standards for employment working with children.
Abie Perkins - Vocals, Piano, Sax
Abie moved to southern California 20 years ago and has beensharing his gift of music ever since. Starting his own company, Shaken Not Stirred Entertainment, Abie’s diverse range of talents include, charismatic performances, producing, writing, acting, and instructing others in the philosophy in the entertainment of the arts. Whether on stage in front of thousands, or recording in a production studio, as long as it has something to do with entertainment, that’s where Abie will always feel at home.
Humberto Vela - Drums, Percussion
Born in San Jose, California, drummer/percussionist Humberto Vela has been a sought after session player for over 10 years. Inspired by his father who was a Latin drummer, Humberto quickly learned his first beat's at age 7. His passion for drumming would drive him to learn all styles of music before ultimately graduating from Musicians Institute in Los Angeles in 1996. After studying under such great's as Bruce Becker, Walfredo Reyes Jr., and Richie Gajate-Garcia. Humberto turned his focus on playing all rhythmic instruments including percussion, cajon and even steel drum.
Now residing in the Palm Springs area Humberto can be seen fusing both drums and percussion to provide a full rhythm section sound. He has spent many year's touring steadily all across the world, performing in Indonisia, Spain and Germany. Humberto has had the pleasure of performing with such artists as Peter White, Spyro Gyro, Walter Beasley, Chris Botti, Gerald Albright, Erik Darius, Jessy J., Jeff Golub, Jeff Lorber, Kirk Whalum and Gerald Veasley and can be seen on the DVD/CD by Steve Oliver entitled "One Night Live" released on nu groove records and released by Sony.
Calvin Williams - Guitar
Calvin Williams is a lifelong musician and guitar performer and instructor. Born in the suburbs of Boston Massachusetts, he began his musical education at age seven with seven years of classical and contemporary piano study. By thirteen his musical interests had shifted more towards guitar and rock music. He began playing in bands during middle school and got his first experience playing live shows in high school. He then attended Berklee College of Music, graduating with a degree in music performance, while teaching privately and performing throughout the Greater Boston area. In the spring of 2016 he moved to southern California where he quickly became involved in the Coachella Valley music scene, teaching guitar and performing professionally with several groups.
Tomas Granillo - Drums, Percussion
Hailing from the Eastern Coachella Valley, Tomas is currently a highly sought after drummer/educator. Born and raised in Coachella, he has been immersed in a variety of music since a very young age. He began learning drums at age 10 and played in school bands, as well as numerous bands outside of school, all while realizing his passion for his craft. He then went on to study at Riverside City College under Bob Dominguez where he received his Associates of Arts in Music Performance and the University of California, Irvine under Jason Harnell where he received his Bachelors of Music in Music Performance.
He has had the opportunity to play with numerous Jazz, Rock, R&B, and cover bands playing clubs, casinos, festivals, as well as touring both the West and East Coast. During his time as a member of Heatwave he had the privilege of playing some amazing live venues such as: the Main Stage at the NAMM show, Main Stage at Walt Disney World, and the Monterey Jazz Festival. Also while with Heatwave, he had the privilege of multiple recording sessions, recording at Conway, Oceanway, Oceanway Nashville, Skywalker Ranch, and The Studio at the Palms.
Tomas is currently the Music Director for the valley's own Heatwave, and a private drum tutor.
Briana Tyson - Vocals, Recording, Songwriting, Guitar, Piano
In the midst of Music Row, its live music venues, or in a quiet room with some of Nashville’s biggest writers, you will find Briana Tyson. Growing up in Orange County, Tyson knew that her love of country music wasn’t supposed to stay in California. At the young age of 16, her and her family made the move to Nashville, chasing a dream that had been with Briana for years. As soon as she got to town, Tyson immediately took to the Nashville lifestyle, writing music daily, telling stories that 16 year olds normally do not tell. As she grew as a songwriter and performer, her hard work began to pay off as opportunities arose, giving her national exposure. As one of the youngest top 100 finalists on season 10 of American Idol, she gained a fan base and a new appreciation of the hard work it takes to make it in the music business.
Briana Tyson doesn’t fit into the mold of your typical Nashville country artist. In fact, there aren’t very many molds that Briana does fit into. With her soulful voice, honest lyrics, and dedication to stay true to herself, she has made being different seem almost normal. Instead of writing in a journal at night like most women her age, she writes her stories into songs, eager to tell them to anyone who will listen. Her honesty and passion are evident with every performance. Whether it be for 50 people at a local music venue, or in a 2,000 seat theater sharing the stage with Vince Gill, she never fails to captivate the hearts of every audience.
Noah Needleman - Vocals, Guitar, Songwriting, Production
Singer, songwriter, and producer Noah Needleman has made a name for himself internationally as Music Director for the The Belong Tour, Seasons Weekend, and country artist Brett Young, (Sleep Without You, In Case You Didn’t Know.) Noah has had original compositions featured in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and you can hear his music in the Indie film Carrie Pilby, TV shows The Arrow, Counting Cars, Texas Rising, and WahlBurgers, among others.
Though involved in many projects, he is best known for his project Anchor + Bell. With over 4 million streams on Spotify, they gained attention across the internet for their intimate reinterpretations of popular songs.
Though an artist at heart, Noah has always had a passion for teaching music, and for over 20 years he’s been instructing students of all ages and experience levels in guitar, voice, music theory, and songwriting.
Don Reed - Guitar, Songwriting
Don Reed, an award winning multi-instrumentalist, has been performing, composing, teaching and recording music for over 40 years. Don's multi-instrumental work and compositions have been featured on over 100 recording projects, television and film soundtracks and more. Don has performed with numerous bands and solo artists throughout his career as well as producing and managing artists. Don has explored such diverse genres in his career such as punk, bluegrass, hard rock, classic rock, jazz, folk, blues and much more. Don currently heads up the Pop Music & Songwriting program at Idyllwild Arts Academy and is also Chair of the Summer Songwriting Department at Idyllwild Arts.
John Notto - Guitar
John Notto has been touring, recording, and teaching for the past 15 years. As a professional guitarist, he has toured the U.S, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He has performed with various artists on many nationally syndicated TV shows, including American Idol, Conan, Late Night with David Letterman, The Today Show, The View, Kelly and Michael, and the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl Half Time show.
John got his start gigging in the Portland, Maine area after graduating from the USM School of Music with a bachelor degree in Jazz Performance. From there, he moved to Boston where he held a residency at the legendary Wally's Jazz Cafe. It was here that he honed his funk and RnB chops, fusing them with his rock n roll foundation. Along with that, he carried a steady roster of guitar students of all ages, and performed in clubs and corporate bands. After Boston, he relocated to Los Angeles California to pursue a touring and recording career. Since then he has toured the world, performed on television, and recorded at some the legendary studios in Los Angeles.
John's goal as a teacher is always to ignite the student's passion for playing and growing. He focuses on collaboration and communication in a band setting, as well as learning to listen and interact with the group while playing. Music is a language, and everyone of us has something to say.
Deanna Bogart - Piano. Vocals, Tenor Sax
Genre-free multi instrumentalist singer songwriter Deanna Bogart has been a bandleader for over 25 years. Creating a unique fusion of musical styles, her eclectic streak and style of adventurous ‘blusion’ has garnered her numerous awards and accolades while touring throughout the US and abroad. An avid educator/mentor, Deanna has been guest soloist, band coach, artist in residence and gives ‘approach to improv’ classes for all ages. She has also played for our troops in Iraq, Kuwait and in Egypt as part of the ‘Blues on the Nile’ tour which included performances/master classes at Cairo University, Cairo Opera House and a historic concert at the pyramids. 4 time horn instrumentalist of the year/ 2 time nominated pianist of the year BMA awards (Memphis, TN) & 22 wammies (Washington area music awards)
Bill Saitta - Bass
Bill Saitta has been in love with music his entire life. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston Mass. He plays electric and double bass and has worked and recorded with many artists across many genres. He is active around the country playing clubs, concerts, shows & festivals. Bill is also co-producing this summer’s music series.
Alex Rogers - Guitar, Drums, Bass, Music Productions, Recording
Alex is a 23 year-old freelance musician and songwriter from Boulder Colorado. He graduated from the University of Southern California’s Music Industry program in December 2015 where he took classes in concert production, audio mixing/mastering, and songwriting. As a student, Alex played drums in student jazz combos and worked as an Audio Technician for USC’s Bovard Auditorium. In 2013, he joined SLAM! USC, a non-profit devoted to providing after-school music classes to inner city high schools whose budgets did not provide for arts programs. As a SLAM! instructor, Alex taught a weekly percussion course to a class of eleven budding drummers. Today Alex writes, arranges, performs, and records all of the music for his band Family Hahas, and plays keyboards/percussion in his second band Tambourines. Both groups uphold a diligent rehearsal schedule and perform regularly around the Los Angeles area. Alex dreams of one day running his own recording studio where he can continue to record his own music and produce albums for other bands.
Will Sturgeon - Music Director, Curriculum Coordinator, Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Production, Songwriting
Will Sturgeon is a 27 year-old desert native. He graduated with a degree in Popular Music Performance from the University of Southern California in 2012, or, as he refers to it, "the university version of a School of Rock." Will is a songwriter who writes, plays, and records all of the instrumentation in his recordings himself, and has been releasing music since 2007. He recently won the Tachevah 2016 Battle of The Bands, hosted by the Desert Sun, with his band brightener. brightener was also chosen to play at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in 2016, a dream come true for a songwriter from the desert. He is currently completing his Masters of Music Education from Boston University.