Instruments: Piano, Jazz Piano
Bachelor of Music, Commercial Music: Instrumental Performance - Piano Emphasis, Azusa Pacific University
Caleb Grabowski is a jazz pianist, classical pianist, composer, arranger, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A recent graduate from Azusa Pacific University in Commercial Piano Performance, he had the opportunity to study under current industry professionals, including Bill Cantos, Mari Falcone, and Michael Lee. Caleb is also a freelance musician, playing gigs around LA at restaurants, donor events, weddings, parties, and more.
Caleb also has a passion for teaching. Throughout high school and college, Caleb ran his own private studio, where he taught lessons to students ages 4-20. While he has primarily taught piano, he has also taught drum set, percussion, and guitar. He looks to meet students at their current experience levels, help them build up their musicianship, and increase their understanding of jazz theory, style, and history.
Ruben "Cougar" Estrada
Instruments: Drums, Percussion, Jazz Piano
Ruben Estrada, aka Cougar Estrada, from Camarillo, CA, was born into a musical family: The Estrada Brothers Band (Milestone Jazz Recording Artists), which included his dad and uncles. Cougar has toured with Spencer the Gardener, Rebbie Jackson, Latin Playboys, Raul Malo, Los Super Seven, Marc Ribot, Sisters Morales, and Los Texmaniacs. Most notably he was the touring and recording drummer for Los Lobos from 2002 to 2012, playing live performances on all their studio and live albums (including the 2010 Grammy Nominated album, Tin Can Trust), producing DVDs, and making radio and television appearances, all culminating in a performance at the White House for President Barack Obama. Cougar plays piano, composes, produces, and records for others as well as releases his own albums, which can be found at CougarRecords.com. He is also a member of the Claremont Community Jazz Ensemble.
Cougar began private drum studies at the age of thirteen, with renowned jazz drummer from Frank Butler of Kansas City (who played with Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Art Pepper, among others). By age 14, Cougar was playing professionally with local musicians in Ventura County. Later, he opened and co-headlined with jazz aficionados such as Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, Les McCann, Gato Barbieri, Lalo Schifrin, and Chic Corea. Cougar's early music education included courses at Oxnard College, Moorpark College, and Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, where he studied piano, musicianship, theory, arranging, composition, percussion, and big band drumming.
With over 40 years of experience, Cougar has performed many styles and genres with musicians such as Frank Strazzeri, Jack Cassidy, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, and Neil Young, among many others.
"Jazz is where I started my learning, although I've been fortunate to play in different musical situations...Jazz is where I feel I'm at my best."
Instrument: Jazz Piano
Bachelor of Business Administration - Emphases in Finance, Real Estate, & Law; Minor in Music, Cal Poly Pomona
Jeffrey Masaru Sweede started playing and performing on the piano at age five. He has studied with Marna Makau and Artemis Bedros, and has participated and placed 1st in the Impressionistic/Contemporary Festival, MTAC Pomona Valley Branch Romantic Festival, Division VI Torrance Piano Festival Grand Prix, and The Walker Competition.
At age 15, Jeffrey found a true passion for jazz music. He studied with Brian McNair at Alta Loma High School and went on to compete in the Reno Jazz Festival. He was awarded 1st place with his trio and also the award of Outstanding High School Rhythm Section Performer. Jeffrey has performed at numerous venues in Southern California with his trio, the Exit 9 Trio. Jeffrey also participated in the Cal Poly Pomona Philharmonic Concerto Competition and received a merit-based scholarship after placing 1st in 2019.
Jeffrey's true passion is spreading the word of jazz music through the piano. His vision is to work on students' creativity, historical understanding, and performance techniques.