Drums

Drums

Brandon Martinez

Brandon Martinez is a fun and energetic teacher who really loves hitting those drums. He started teaching at Allegro Music in 2004 and has studied with numerous local instructors in a variety of styles. In addition to teaching at Allegro, he is the assistant drum line instructor at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont. Brandon welcomes students of all ages and works very well with children.

Whether it’s rock, funk, hip-hop, blues, drum ‘n bass, or metal, Brandon can help you out. Lessons also include music theory, writing technique assistance, body mechanics, and practice technique. Prepare to have fun!


Mike Mandas

Mike is one of Allegro’s longest-tenured teachers, having taught here for over 25 years. He started on the drums when he was a young teenager and has been playing for 35 years. He has done a variety of studio work and has performed with several different bands, including The Chums and Nova Vox. Whether you need help mastering rock, funk, jazz, metal, or blues, Mike can help develop your chops.


Steve Slater

Steve Slater has been playing drums for nearly twenty-eight years. After participating in his high school’s marching and symphonic bands as well as starting a variety of bands with friends, Steve went on to college to study music. He attended Santa Barbara City College where he studied with Jon Nathan. Excelling in every ensemble the school had to offer, including Big Band, Small Jazz Ensemble, Symphony and Concert Band, Steve was asked to play drums for the songwriting class, electronic music class and various instructor ensembles. The capstone of his time in Santa Barbara was teaching the drum portion of the summer jazz program for the college. Steve then transferred to San Jose State University, where he studied with Tony Cirone of the San Francisco Symphony and Galen Lemmon of the San Jose Symphony. He pursued his first professional position as a percussion instructor at Allegro Music in Fremont in summer 2000. 

Steve continues to teach private lessons at Allegro Music, and he opened his own studio in Fremont called School of Drums. Shortly after beginning to teach private lessons he was recruited to lead the drum line at Mission San Jose High School and has done so for thirteen years. In addition to working as a music instructor, Steve plays drums in three San Francisco Bay Area rock bands as well as for his own jazz ensemble, Park St. Trio, based out of Alameda. He is the primary songwriter for Park St. Trio, which has released two albums of original music. Most recently Steve has been songwriting, singing and playing baritone Ukulele in a childrens band called The Dilly Dallies.  


Lillian Wu
 
Lilian Wu is a drummer and educator based in the Bay Area, with 10 years of performing experience, and 6 years of teaching experience, specializing in jazz, brazilian, afro-cuban, and rudimental drumming. She has studied with world-renowned artists such as Jeff Hamilton, Roy McCurdy, Akira Tana, Andrew Speight, Carl Allen, David Flores, John Calloway, Sylvia Cuenca, Chris McCann and Tom Float. She has performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and Montreal, Canada with reputed artists including Andrew Speight, John Wiitala, Peter Barshay, Michael Zisman, Ben Stolorow, Eddie Mendenhall, Keith Saunders, Dave Turner, Mike Rud, Adrian Vedady, Chad Linsley, Sage Reynolds, Charlie Parker with Strings featuring Andrew Speight and Alexander String Quartet.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Lilian studied classical piano at the age of four and was introduced to the drums at the age of ten. An instrument that she discovered on her own, her curiosity for drums grew stronger through the years. She marched snare and tenor drums in marching bands, competed in drum line competitions throughout California and led her own drum line, which was featured in the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2009 and won 1st place in the Drums Across California competition. It was during this time that she developed the technique for rudimental drumming under the tutelage of Drum Corps International, Tom Float.

In 2009, Lilian moved to San Francisco to pursue a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at San Francisco State University and began freelancing as a drummer in the Bay Area. Her passion for the drums took off when she discovered her love for jazz music, studying with such luminaries as Akira Tana and Andrew Speight. In addition to performing, she found her love for teaching drums, as she welcomed her first few students.

In 2012, Lilian studied with Chris McCann of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. There she actively performed in Big Bands, and had the honor to actively perform with the great Montreal-based saxophonist and composer, Dave Turner. While living there, she also studied with Dave Turner, guitarist Gary Schwartz and trumpeter Charles Ellison, and had the opportunity to travel extensively to further her jazz education along the East Coast. 

With her completed B.M. in Jazz Performance, she is currently performing with the Andrew Speight Quartet, leading her own trios and teaching students privately.


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