Get to Know Us
Jake Malone-Brancato has experience teaching music to all skill levels and ages. He has worked as an instructor for a day program at People Inc. in which he led a music group for adults with disabilities. Jake is well-studied in classical and jazz piano and is an active member of three bands. He is a graduate from the University at Buffalo, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2014. During that time, Jake was a member of UB’s Jazz Big Band and Jazz Combo groups where he played both piano and trumpet. He studied under the direction of local jazz greats Dave Schiavone, Bobby Militello, and George Caldwell. He has also studied piano privately with his father Joe Brancato since the age of 6. He was nominated for Rising Star and Best Jazz Piano awards in the JazzBuffalo’s 2017 and 2018 annual musician’s poll. Jake has performed at the Lewiston Jazz Festival, Colored Musicians Club Festival, Pausa Art House, Town Ballroom, The Tralf, and many other local venues.
Jennifer May currently teaches private lessons on Piano, Bass, Guitar, Ukele & Recorder. Jenny May has been a professional bassist since 1982. She is the founder and leader of an all female 15 piece big band. Jennifer May has been with our community for 5 years.
Kathleen shares her love for music through teaching beginner piano and flute. Katie is a Music Education Major at Buff State. Please welcome Kathleen to our Community as a new staff member.
John Hasselback III
Buffalo New York native John Hasselback III is quickly establishing himself as a lyrical trumpet soloist and composer in New York City’s vibrant jazz scene. Hasselback’s colorful sound is thoroughly informed by the lineage of jazz trumpet tradition, combining the sounds of yesterday with the sounds of tomorrow.
While attending The Hartt School of Music’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz on a full-tuition scholarship, and The Conservatory of Music at Purchase College on a graduate talent scholarship, Hasselback was privileged to be mentored under the tutelage of master trumpeters Freddie Hendrix and Jon Faddis.
Hasselback maintains a regular performing schedule winning top positions in the prestigious “Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program of 2016”, earning recognition as “Buffalo’s Jazz Rising Star of 2017”, and The Hartford Jazz Society’s “Emerging Jazz Artist of 2018”. Hasselback is also a recipient of the 2019 Pathways to Jazz Grant.
Hasselback has performed or recorded with Grammy award winning artists and notable musicians including Joe Lovano, Steve Davis, Kenny Washington, Donald Harrison, Nat Reeves, Eric McPherson, Rene McLean, Ronnie Burrage, Jonathan Barber, Freddie Hendrix, David Gibson, Rick Germanson, Ken Peplowski, Doug Weiss, Pete Malinverni, Jon Faddis, Billy Pierce, Steve Nelson, and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath. He has also performed at notable venues including The Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center Dizzy’s Club, The Apollo Music Cafe, The Side Door Jazz Club, The Northwest Jazz Festival, The Albright Knox Summer Jazz Stage, The Handel Performing Arts Center, The Purchase Performing Arts Center, The White Plains Jazz Festival, The Hartford Jazz Cruise, and The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts.
Hasselback is also active in the world of film and multimedia, creating content for clients displayed to thousands worldwide. As an educator, he can be found here at Matt’s Music teaching trumpet & piano.
Erin Keppner earned her Masters of Music at DePaul University in Chicago, where she studied with the principal flutist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Previously, Erin completed her Bachelors of Music from the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York City. As a native of Western New York and a graduate of Iroquois Central Schools, Erin has performed with ensembles such as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Erie County Wind Ensemble, and Cheektowaga and Orchard Park Symphonies.
Passionate about music education, Erin has over ten years of experience teaching flute/piccolo, piano, music theory and general music. Her students have earned positions in ECMEA and NYSSMA honor ensembles, as well as college music programs. She has taught for organizations such as The People’s Music School (Chicago, IL,) Rhythm NY (Queens, NY,) The Art of Piano Playing (Long Island, NY,) The Aaron Copland School of Music (Queens, NY) and Iroquois Summer Lesson program (Elma, NY.) Erin specializes in teaching flute, piccolo, piano and ukulele.