JOE FERRARO

Founder

Joe Ferraro begged his Dad for guitar lessons at 9 years old and thankfully received them. Playing in bands at the age of 12 with members of the 1910 Fruitgum Company Joe quickly moved on to learning the Ventures, Bo Diddley, Chet Atkins and all the cool guitar players he could get his fingers on. At 14 Joe played in a local favorite Elizabeth combo opening and sometimes playing guitar for The Ronettes, Soupy Sales, Bobby Lewis, The Critters, and many others. Then came The Beatles! In 8th grade I hooked up with local musicians and played at all the school events. Studied jazz with Harry Leahey classical with Julio Prol, both extraordinary players and started a few bands in high school playing the great rock of the 60’s. Then came Hendrix and Led Zep the next invasion took me over. The next step was getting real good and creating original music. I started my band Thulcandra and a major producer and entrepreneur of rock shows took us under management after some female admirers raved about us. Asbury Park 1967! We played shows with some great legendary iconic groups. Procol Harum, J Geils, Thin Lizzy, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, the 1st US tour of Rod Stewart and the Small Faces and many more. It’s the verified truth Blue Oyster Cult and Twisted Sister opened for Thulcandra at the Sunshine Inn in Asbury. I was 17 years old and it was wild. After doing session work, teaching and playing in some great original bands like The News and Aura I started teaching more and more. I was introduced to one of the greatest Hammond B3 players in jazz history, Larry Young, and played with his progressive jazz jam band for a few years touring and recording. Larry called me MoonWaves after an incredible hour plus jam.When I asked why he said I reminded him at times of his friend Jimmy Hendrix, I was floored. I majored in music and classical guitar in college. After a few more years playing in bands and teaching I decided to open my music business. I started the Cup of Joe Power Trio and SOS with members of Zenon . Over thirty years later and still rocking I’m supremely proud of the newest adventures of Cranford Guitar and Music Lesson Studios and my world class guitar boutique online store. Prymaxe.com with my son Cory as my partner. My 3 piece progressive instrumental band Prymaxe is an awesome musical adventure I’m really proud of. Rock On!

JARED PAPAROZZI

Guitar/Bass/Woodwind/Brass

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.

ROB BACKOF

Guitar/Vocals/Ukulele

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.

JEFFERY KING

Jeffrey is a 2011 graduate of the highly esteemed Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton. While studying at Westminster, Jeffrey’s major was music with a voice emphasis and piano minor. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Jeffrey sang at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Jeffrey also appeared with the Westminster Jubilee singers, noted for their stellar renditions of traditional Negro spirituals. During that time one of the many exciting opportunities afforded to the Jubilee Singers was to open for Gospel singer CeCe Winans at NJPAC. Jeffrey is a vocalist in a reggae band called Secret Remedy based out of Cranford, NJ. His Bachelor of Arts degree positioned him to be a very positive role model for younger aspiring musicians in the H.E.R.I.T.A.G.E., Inc. program which is directed by Donovan P. Soumas.FALL SPECIAL. FREE INTRO LESSON! Call/Text Jared on the LESSON HOTLINE. 908-472-2342 or send an inquiry from www.cranfordguitar.com. We welcome an awesome new voice and piano teacher Jeffery King.
Jeffrey is a 2011 graduate of the highly esteemed Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton. While studying at Westminster, Jeffrey’s major was music with a voice emphasis and piano minor. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Jeffrey sang at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Jeffrey also appeared with the Westminster Jubilee singers, noted for their stellar renditions of traditional Negro spirituals. During that time one of the many exciting opportunities afforded to the Jubilee Singers was to open for Gospel singer CeCe Winans at NJPAC. Jeffrey is a vocalist in a reggae band called Secret Remedy based out of Cranford, NJ. His Bachelor of Arts degree positioned him to be a very positive role model for younger aspiring musicians in the H.E.R.I.T.A.G.E., Inc. program which is directed by Donovan P. Soumas.FALL SPECIAL. FREE INTRO LESSON! Call/Text Jared on the LESSON HOTLINE. 908-472-2342 or send an inquiry from www.cranfordguitar.com. We welcome an awesome new voice and piano teacher Jeffery King.
Jeffrey is a 2011 graduate of the highly esteemed Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton. While studying at Westminster, Jeffrey’s major was music with a voice emphasis and piano minor. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Jeffrey sang at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Jeffrey also appeared with the Westminster Jubilee singers, noted for their stellar renditions of traditional Negro spirituals. During that time one of the many exciting opportunities afforded to the Jubilee Singers was to open for Gospel singer CeCe Winans at NJPAC. Jeffrey is a vocalist in a reggae band called Secret Remedy based out of Cranford, NJ. His Bachelor of Arts degree positioned him to be a very positive role model for younger aspiring musicians in the H.E.R.I.T.A.G.E., Inc. program which is directed by Donovan P. Soumas. FREE INTRO LESSON!FREE INTRO LESSON!FREE INTRO LESSON!

DEVONE ENGLISH

Devon Faith English is an AWESOME TEACHER!

DUANE KILGORE

Duane has over twenty years of experience as a professional musician with jobs ranging from church organ repairman, the bass guitarist in metal bands, and of course, music educator. He offers a fun and inspiring approach to learning music, his favorite subject.
Whether interested in learning about making music for the very first time or an in-depth exploration of music theory and performance techniques, from rock, punk, pop, jazz, and blues to baroque, classical, romantic, modern, and postmodern music, Duane is eager to meet all students on their level.
Formerly a music theory/composition student on classical bass at Montclair State University, Duane has also worked as an assistant to the Minister of Music at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Newark, and as a multi-instrumental instructor at numerous music schools throughout NJ. Duane’s current focus is on piano and songwriting.

He is a multi-instrumentalist and offers a fun and inspiring approach to learning music and teaching his students piano, bass, songwriting, and more!
Whether interested in learning about making music for the very first time or an in-depth exploration of music theory and performance techniques, from rock, punk, pop, jazz, and blues to baroque, classical, romantic, modern, and postmodern music, Duane is eager to meet all students on their level.

ALBERT GEORGE JOHNSON JR

Saxophonist

We have another awesome teacher joining our highly acclaimed teaching staff! We Welcome Albert George Johnson, Jr. is an avid musician and passionate teacher. He was born in The Bronx, NY and started playing the saxophone from the age of 14. Over the course of his career, he has learned from every musician he has had the pleasure to play with. Al currently is a member of the party bands, 9South and the Joe Baracata Band, and also is a new face on the New Jersey Big Band scene, playing mostly with the Silver Starlite Orchestra. Al is a passionate and experienced musician with over 17 years of performing experience in multiple genres and settings, a skilled saxophonist and adept at teaching improvisation, theory, and instrumental techniques. He is experienced in playing trumpet and clarinet as well. Al brings forth a self-motivated attitude, a lifelong love and an energetic commitment to music as a teacher and performer.

MIKE WILKENS

Sax/Guitar/Clarinet/Flute

FluteMike 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

MIKE LEMONGELLI

Mike lemongelli is a musician from the central New Jersey area. He’s been playing music since the age of 11, starting with percussion, and then branching out to guitar bass and keys later in his career. After attending kean university with a focus on percussion he studied with Blake Fleming of the Mars Volta privately and continued to perform as a drummer in bands that you’ve never heard of. But, those bands did play some of the most famous (as well as infamous) clubs up and down the East coast to as far as Oakland. After the road Mike is now focused on his production work and teaching the language of music to the younger generation.

CONNIE THOMAS

Music Instructor

Connie Thomas has the most excellent teaching credentials

  • Teach general music, direct elementary and middle school choruses in Cranford schools for 24 years
  • Was adjunct at Kean University specializing in teacher undergraduate and graduate courses focused on technology and computers in education
  • Worked in the Ed. Leadership Depart at Kean as a graduate assistant to the department chair, and also as an academic specialist advising graduate students, creating course schedules
  • music director for the middle school musicals in the spring; stage crew manager for fall drama productions
  • 1976 – 1998 Self Employed – Music Studio Cranford, New Jersey
  • Teacher of piano and voice
  • 1973 – 1999 Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Westfield, New Jersey
  • Choir Director/Organist Directed choir for church services
  • Wedding Organizer
  • 2006 Kean University
  • Masters of Arts in Educational Administration
  • 1976-1981 Kean University
  • Bachelor of Arts – Music Education
  • Bachelor of Arts – Elementary Education
  • N.J. Standard Certificate – Supervisor Issued
  • N.J. Certificate of Eligibility – Principal Issued 1
  • N.J. Certificate – Teacher of Music Reg. Issued
  • N.J. Standard Certificate – Elementary School Teacher
  • Curriculum writing for General Music Grades K-8 1996 – present. Created music technology curriculum 2013 for Cranford School District involving teaching students to create
  • various genre of music using iPads and GarageBand app. (12 bar blues, sound collages, rap, etc.) Students learn how to
  • write lyrics and perform through this app

JOHNNY TAMBURRO

Guitar

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.

RODNEY MARFIL

Guitar/Piano/Drums

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 FRIEDMAN

Guitar

Josh is a remarkable guitarist and musician. I’ve known him many years. In fact he started taking lessons at my studio for years before he took off to study music in college. Contact us to get a spot on Josh’s very busy schedule. he’s a phenomenal jazz guitarist but can rock with the best too.

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.

CAROLYN CAMPAGNA

Music

Carolyn Campagna had devoted over 20 years to playing music and has been a music educator throughout northern NJ for almost 10 years. At the age of 9, Carolyn began playing the flute privately, and her love for music grew. Once knowing a career in music is what was desired, she had taken piano lessons from Rudy Agresta, a pianist who had played with great musicians such as Buddy Rich and Luis Prima. Carolyn holds a B.M. from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a double concentration in Music Performance (Flute) & Music Education. She began teaching privately while in college and has been teaching since 2010. She also has performed with many different ensembles including the New Jersey Wind Symphony (formerly the Ridgewood Concert Band), has premiered new compositions, wedding ceremonies, and even played for an award-winning Indie film American Carny: True Tales of an American Side Show. She currently is a music teacher in the Linden Public School District where she has taught both vocal/general music and instrumental music (band and orchestra.

ANGELICA CARMELA FIRETTO

Piano, Voice, Clarinet, Flute, and Violin

We have an AWESOME new teacher!! Angelica Carmela Firetto is a pianist, producer, and remixer from Clark, New Jersey. Music has always been a huge part of her life, She discovered her passion for music since the fifth grade, Currently, Angelica is a senior at Kean University, pursuing a B.M. in Music Education. As an independent singer-songwriter, Angelica produces all her music at her home studio. She is a classically trained pianist and vocalist. Angelica will be teaching Piano, Voice, Flute, Clarinet, and Violin.

CASSANDRA

Alto saxophone, Violin,Ukulele, Guitar, Timpani,and Marimba

We have a wonderful new teacher on our staff. Cassandra Larrosa is a recent graduate of Monmouth University, where she earned her dual B.A in music and education. At the age of seven, Cassandra began taking flute lessons as part of the public school program. Soon afterward, she begged her parents for private piano lessons. After ten years, she received her High School Diploma in Social Music from the American College of Musicians. Cassandra had become a multi-instrumentalist by this time, playing alto saxophone, violin, ukulele, guitar, timpani, and marimba, along with her two main instruments. She has been teaching music since 2013 and plans on continuing to spread the joy of music

JONATHAN GREEN

Drum Teacher

We welcome Jonathan Green our awesome new drum teacher to our teaching staff. My name is Jonathan Green and I’ve been a drummer 18 years now. I’m versed in all genres of music, with experience in studio and live settings. I started teaching drums professionally to young children and adults when I moved to China five years ago, and it’s a great pleasure to have continued to this day as part of the team at Cranford Guitar. A couple of drummers that have profoundly inspired me, though there are so many I can name, are Gavin Harrison and Vinnie Colaiuta. I love creating and designing patterns on the drums, the way an architect does blueprints. I’ve studied all major styles of drumming, including Latin and Pakistani hand percussion. I’m very excited to be where I am today and I look forward to motivating and sharing my ideas with you!

MIKE MAGUIRE

Music Instructor

We have another awesome teacher joining our highly acclaimed teaching staff! We Welcome Mike Maguire…Mike is a multi-instrumentalist from Westfield, NJ. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Music in the Spring of 2019. Mike is a classically trained pianist and organist. He is currently the organist at Chatham United Methodist Church. He has also worked extensively as a jazz musician with his quintet, Mage. As a drummer, Mike has played locally with rock and funk groups, as well as jazz big bands.

Mike will be teaching:

  • Guitar
  • Base Guitar
  • Trumpet
  • Marimba
  • Timpani

JOSH HELD

Josh’s interest in music started very early from his parent’s roots in classic rock and blues. He started playing guitar at the age of 11. Encouraged by his parents and teachers, he followed his passion to college where he earned a degree in Audio Production from Ramapo College in 2015. After college, he joined local deathcore outfit Ocean Of Illusions, with whom he has released 2 singles and 1 EP, with a full-length album planned for release in Fall 2021. He also doubles as a content creator, starting his photo/video brand “Heldhouse Media” in 2018. He prides himself on being a “triple threat” being able to teach music, recording, and social media content creation/promotion. Aside from music and photography, he also enjoys spending time in nature.

Nayeon Natalie Kim

Nayeon Natalie Kim began playing the violin at the age of six. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) under the tutelage of Professor Kevin Lawrence.

She has appeared in numerous orchestra and chamber music performances, including North Carolina Film Orchestra, UNCSA Nutcracker Orchestra, Southern Tier Symphony, Houghton College Philharmonia, New Hampshire Philharmonic, New Hampshire Youth Ensemble, and the Children’s Orchestra Society. In the summer of 2014, she received a scholarship from the Semans Art Fund to attend the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, where
she studied chamber music with Dr. Lina Bahn. Upon graduation, she worked as a camp counselor at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. Since her settlement in New Jersey, Mrs. Kim has been teaching school-aged children and adult beginners.