Ryan Berg, Founder, Piano, Guitar, Strings
Ryan Berg, founder of Heights Music Academy, has an extensive history of teaching students of all ages. Born from a long line of music educators teaching has been a part of his own musical training since he was a young man. His over 18 years experience of teaching private lessons, camps, and master classes most recently includes teaching the Jazz for Young People workshops for Jazz at Lincoln Center (2012-Current) as well as doing master class/workshops for students around the world in places as far away as Russia, Italy, and Rwanda, teaching with notable artists such as John Scofield, Jeff Coffin, Jason Samuel Smith, and J.D. Allen.
Ryan holds a BA degree from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and has been a working as professional bass player in New York City for 15 years. Some of his performing credits include substitute bass chair on the acclaimed Broadway show “Jersey Boys” and playing with such notable musicians as Clark Terry, Roy Hargrove, Lenny White, Eric Lewis, Frank Lacy, Stacy Dillard, John Scofield, Robert Glasper, Mark Whitfield, and many others. Ryan also toured for 4 years with the eclectic show India Jazz Suites bringing together Jazz, classical Indian music, and Dance. He is well versed with playing and teaching many musical styles including Classical, Hip-Hop, Jazz, R&B, Rock, and more.
Emma Larsson, Piano, Voice
Born in Sweden, Emma Larsson grew up playing the piano at 8 years old, and the saxophone at 14. From the beginning she knew that music was going to be a huge part of her life, so she set about a path that would cultivate her first love, piano, and eventually bring to her to NYC where she can be seen performing in some of the city's best jazz clubs.
Larsson has recorded and performed with many well-known artists in many countries, and when she is not teaching, she is a jazz singer and composer. She holds a Master of Education in Music degree from Lulea University, Sweden, and a Master of Music in Jazz studies from the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Finland.
Chris Hemingway, Saxophone/Woodwinds
Born in Florence, South Carolina, Chris’ natural fluency in both classical and jazz styles separates him from most chamber musicians. He performs regularly with Azucar Pittsburgh's Premier salsa band, the Roger Humphries Big Band, the Al Dowe Quintet, and with New York City jazz trumpeter Sean Jones, who has just recently released his first solo recording. As a sophomore undergraduate at Duquesne University, Chris won the School of Music's prestigious concerto competition. At the young age of 21, he was also a featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Chris has studied with James Houlik at the North Carolina School of the Arts and at Duquesne University.
As a teacher, Chris hopes to guide students in their appreciation for music and saxophone, and to guide them in their development of their own process of comprehension. He teaches through techniques such as listening, rhythmic study, developing practicing skills, and especially enjoying and appreciating the learning process in general.
Frederika Kreir, Violin
Born in Romania and raised in the Bavarian region of Germany, Frederika got her first violin lesson at 7. She started to play early in regional orchestras as concert master and soloist. She also played bands from a variety of genres, including folk, gypsy swing, funk, soul, latin, hard rock, and even taking part in musical and film productions. Upon discovering the jazz world at at workshop Berlin's Jazz Institute at 18, she began a deep dive into enthomusicology and would go on to play with many of Berlin's prominent jazz musicians. She now tours internationally and has released several albums such as Devoted and Laghima.
Malik Washington, Drums/Percussion/Piano
Malik Washington has been teaching and performing professionally for more than 15 years. His teaching style focuses on unlocking the creativity of his students and encouraging them in a process of self-discovery through music. As a clinician, Malik has helped to bring his joyous approach to music education to children in schools across the New York area, he has also been featured at colleges, conservatories and symposia across the United States. From his years of experience worldwide, Mr. Washington brings a level of patient expertise to many modern and classic styles to guide you through your journey.