MEET YOUR NEW TEACHER
Our teachers here at Martocchio's are the best around. They have been highly educated in the art of music and education and many of them perform professionally as well. It doesn't matter how experienced or how old you are, you'll love your lessons here! From mandolin and ukulele to classical piano, our teachers know how to teach. We offer virtual and in person lessons. Our in person lessons follow COVID-19 regulations and social distancing guidelines and we are getting rave reviews for our virtual lessons.
Jim Martocchio: Owner and Wind Teacher
Graduate of Berklee College of Music, state certified in elementary and secondary music education. Teaches jazz at area schools, including Simsbury. Performs professionally with Sebastian & the Hitmen and his group of almost 50 years, Legacy Jazz. (same guys since age 14)
Alex Gurin: Piano, String and Vocal Teacher
"Sol Solis Consort"- Music Director. Graduate of Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music of the Leningrad State Conservatory. Julliard Music School, NY. Assistant Conductor, Norwalk Symphony. The Leningrad Children's Choir, Music Director. The Leningrad Chamber Orchestra and Choir, Assistant Conductor (Vladislav Chernushenko, Music Director). 17 years with Martocchio Music.
Learn more at the following website:
Available: In person and virtual Saturday
Damian Curtis: Piano and Percussion
Graduate of The Hartt School of Music. Jazz studies with Andy Laverne. Professional jazz and Latin musician. Specialist in music production and sound recording. Performs and teaches locally. 17 years at Martocchio Music.
Available: In person and virtual Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Danielle Astacio: Piano, Vocal ,Guitar and String Teacher
Soloist and practicing musician for over 15 years. Experience in directing, writing, and teaching music. Leads Saturday Rock Ensembles and summer camps. Graduate of Central Connecticut State University.
Available: In person and virtual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Elijah Atwood : Guitar and Piano Teacher
Student at Central Connecticut State University, Jazz studies major with emphasis on performance and theory. Experience in guitar performance in rock and jazz band settings. Teaches beginning piano and drums along with beginning to advanced acoustic and electric guitar. Strong passion for teaching and learning
Available: In person Monday and Friday, Virtual Tuesday and Thursday
Jaclyn Jones: Classical Guitar Teacher
Jaclyn currently teaches at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury and will be attending the Hartt School of Music this fall to earn her Master of Music Degree in Classical Guitar Performance. Jaclyn earned her bachelor's degree from the Hartt School of Music in 2012.
Jaclyn has played solo and chamber music for schools, universities, museums, art centers, local television, nonprofit organizations, churches, libraries, and weddings throughout the New England area. She is an active member of the violin/viola and guitar duo 10 strings and the Hartford Classical Guitar Ensemble. In addition to performing and teaching, Jaclyn founded the Simsbury Historical Society Concert Series and was the Music Director for two years.
Available: Virtual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Jesey Meche: Percussion, Drums, Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar, Piano, Harmonica
Graduate of the Hartt School of Music. Studied classical percussion with Benjamin Toth and composition with David MacBride. In 2016 he received the Alexander Lepak award for Excellence in Percussion and in 2017 the Ed Diamante award for Excellence in Composition. He has been teaching at Martocchio Music since 2019 and is passionate about teaching music to students of all ages.
Available: In person and virtual Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Virtual Sunday
John Mundy: Trumpet and Trombone Teacher
Graduate of The Hartt School's Jackie McLean institute of Jazz with a degree in Trombone Performance. John is a freelance trombonist and member of Hartford based Funk & Soul band, West End Blend. He has a real passion for teaching music to students of all ages.
Visit his band's website at
Available: In person and virtual Wednesday
Jon Stoltzfus: Percussion and Guitar Teacher
Graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Business and Performance. Drummer in the band Atlas Gray.
Visit their website at:
Available: Virtual Monday and Tuesday
Lee Jansen: Piano
Twenty-five years teaching experience in area schools. CT certified music educator. Has a passion for teaching students of all ages, young and old alike. Has been with Martocchio's since the beginning!
Available: Virtual Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
Mackey Pope : Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Saxophones and Ensemble Instructor
Graduate of Keene State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, focusing on classical, jazz, and klezmer genres. Mackey has been playing clarinet and saxophone since the fifth grade, first as a student at Martocchio's, then as an instructor at the camps and private teacher. He was Concert Master of the KSC Concert Band for three years and Principle Clarinet of the KSC Orchestra for two and half years. Mackey was mentored in Jazz history and music by his dear friends and role models Jim Martocchio and the late Scott Mullett. He performed countless combo and Big Band shows under the tutelage of Mr. Mullett, Don Baldini, and Steve Cady. Mackey currently directs the Martocchio Morning Jazz Ensemble and works four days behind the counter.
Available: In person and virtual Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday
Omar Sandakly: Voice, Piano, Drums, Guitar, and Composition
Omar is currently attending The Hartt School as a BM in Composition with a concentration in Voice, graduating in spring 2021. He is a skilled vocalist with two years of conservatory musical theatre training, in addition to having professional experience singing— as well as playing drums, piano, and guitar— in rock, pop, jazz, alternative, and R&B styles. A composer, arranger, filmmaker, and absurdist, Omar brings a diverse educational perspective to the table.
Available: In person and Virtual Friday
Phoebe Suzuki: Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano
Graduate of the Hartt School of Music with a degree in Violin Performance. While at Hartt she held concertmaster positions in the Hartt Orchestra and Hartt Opera Orchestra. Since graduating she has performed on violin and viola for musical theatre productions at Playhouse on Park, Ivoryton Theatre, and the Schubert Theatre. She has been teaching since 2013. She enjoys coffee, crochet, and cats.
Available: Virtual Monday and Tuesday, in person Thursday and Saturday
Timothy Sterbenz: Cello Teacher
Timothy Sterbenz is a recent graduate of the Hartt School of Music where he received both his Masters and Bachelor's degrees in Cello Performance. His musical journey began growing up outside of Detroit and was an active participant in youth Orchestra and chamber music programs in the local
area. In addition to moving to Hartford to study with Mihai Tetel, he also completed his Suzuki Pedagogy training with Blake Brasch. He enjoys performing and collaborating on a variety of genres from musicals, film, and community outreach.
Tori Tolan: Flute, Piccolo and Piano Teacher
Tori Tolan, originally from Central Florida, has been through extensive musical training in the last nineteen years. She's a Graduate of Stetson University in Florida with a Bachelor's of Music in Flute Performance. Tori has a total of ten years teaching experience and has had students accepted into CMEA regional ensembles, the New England Music Festival Association, the Hartt School Ensembles, and the Springfield Youth Orchestra. Tori is well versed in the college audition process as well, and has had students accepted into prestigious Universities such as Ithaca College and Berkley School of Music. Tori is currently a Flutist in the University of Hartford's Capital Winds Ensemble.
Available: In person and Virtual Monday, Virtual Friday
Julie Acosta: Trumpet Teacher
Julie “Jewls” Acosta became a professional trumpetist as a teenager, and she collaborated and performed with greats such as Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Alejandro Sanz, John Legend, Gilberto Santarosa, La India, and many more. Jewls also co-produced and co-wrote Giovanni Almonte’s Latin-Jazz fusion album, High vs. Low.
In 2010 when she moved to New York City, she met singer and bandleader, Mireya Ramos. She became a member of New York's first all-female Mariachi band, “Flor De Toloache.” Jewl’s contribution to the group has since expanded to feature her skills as a composer, arranger and singer as well as a trumpeter. In 2017 their album "Mariachi Flor de Toloache" won a Latin GRAMMY. Jewls made her debut as a songwriter and lead vocalist for the song “Toloache” on their latest album ‘Indestructible’. She is now signed to Warner Chappell as a songwriter.
The group has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk series with over 2.5 million views, and Kate Spade commercial, and Paul McCartney’s Holidays Rule Vol.2 ...and the list goes on!
Available: In Person or Virtual Mondays