Cranford Guitar and Music Center



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Union County's Premier School of Music

- our mission -

Lessons at Cranford Guitar and Music Center go far beyond just guitar lessons. All of our instructors are both highly educated and professional performers. We work hard to maintain standards of excellence in our entire faculty.

Our students are also given performance opportunities of the best kind. We offer our students annual performances as well as the chance to perform in local and regional events such as Musicfest and competitions. These are just some of the great experiences our students have to choose from.

Cranford Guitar currently offers lessons for Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Piano, Drums, Brass, Woodwind, and more. We can’t wait to have you join our family!

- our team -
Joe Ferraromore_vert

Founder

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Joe Ferraro is the founder/owner of Cranford Guitar and Music Center.

Jared Paparozzimore_vert

Guitar/Bass/Woodwind/Brass

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Jared Paparozzi has been playing and studying music for over 20 years. Beginning on piano, his father Rob Paparozzi, helped give him the musical direction needed to pursue a career in music. At age 13 he began studying guitar and bass with multiple teachers, such as Glenn Alexander, until he reached college in which he received a B.A. at Kean University. He plays multiple genres of music ranging from jazz to rock. Jared currently plays with his rock group called The Downrights.

Rodney Marfilmore_vert

Guitar/Piano/Drums

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Rodney Marfil has a Bachelor’s of Music in Classical Piano Performance. He studied jazz piano with Blue Note recording artist Harold Mabern and classical piano with Solomon Mikowsky. He also attended Manhattan School of Music, where he received the Eubie Blake scholarship for ragtime piano. He has worked as a performing pianist for over 15 years. His first professional experience was playing standards and pop classical piano at Sears as a senior in high school. From 2008 to 2011, Rodney was musical director for the famed Second City improv theatricals boat co. out of Chicago and now regularly performs improvised musicals at The People’s Improv Theatre, The Magnet Theatre, and Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York. He has been teaching piano, guitar, drums and music theory for the last 6 years.

Josh Friedmanmore_vert

Guitar

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Josh Friedman is a Jersey City based guitarist and educator. Josh studied jazz guitar at the University of Miami. Since graduating he has been involved in many projects including The Bliss Jockeys and Mr. Diva and the Gents. Specializing in jazz, blues, funk, and rock Josh is comfortable in many genre’s and has a passion for improvisational music. He is equally at home playing solo jazz guitar and fronting a rock band. Josh can seen with various artists in and around the New York City Area.

In Addition, Josh is an in demand guitar teacher. Josh has been teaching guitar since 2006. Through his experiences as a performer and teacher he has gained a thorough understanding of the needs of music students. All lessons are tailored to the needs of each student and place a strong emphasis on the fundamentals of music.

Rob Backofmore_vert

Guitar/Vocals/Ukulele

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Rob Backof has been studying and playing music for over 10 years with his musical tastes ranging from jazz and classical to progressive and funk. He began playing instruments at age 13 and instilled determination to always progress. He is also a well trained vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter. Rob currently sings and plays guitar in his band, Moon Men.

Johnny Tamburromore_vert

Guitar

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Johnny Tamburro is a recent graduate from Muhlenberg College where he earned his degree in Classical Guitar Performance and Composition. He has been involved with several musical projects, including jazz combos and rock bands as well as orchestras and concert bands, both as a performer and director. He is a multi-instrumentalist, working with any of a number of strings, woodwinds and brass. He focuses mainly on guitar, bass, saxophone and clarinet where he is proficient in jazz, rock, funk, and classical styles. John is ready to rock and ready to teach you on many musical instruments in many styles.

Mike Wilkensmore_vert

Sax/Guitar/Clarinet/Flute

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Mike Wilkens began his musical education at Northern Illinois University in 1993. He transferred to Berklee College of Music and received his Bachelor's degree in jazz saxophone performance in 1998.

Mike Wilkens performed under the direction of Quincy Jones at Q's 50 Years in Music celebration at the 1996 Montreaux Jazz Festival. He has also performed with Phil Collins, Chaka Khan, Toots Thielemans, David Sanborn, Paquito D'Rivera, and Tito Puente.

From 1998 until 2001, Mike Wilkens was a faculty member of Istanbul Bilgi University's music department. While in Turkey he led his own trios, and played regularly with Butch Morris, Ricky Ford, Selen Gulun, and Donovan Mixon. His playing can be heard on Akihiro Yamamoto's the Archi-tet, Selen Gulun's Just About Jazz Live, Oguz Buyukberbers' Velvele and Canli and Tolga Tuzun's Nix.

In 2009 Mike Wilkens received his Master's degree in jazz arranging/composition from William Paterson University, where he studied with Jim McNeely. Currently Mike teaches and performs regularly in the New York City area.

Concert Crowd