Our Team

Conor Leary, Founder

El Cerrito, CA

Guitar, Piano, Electric Bass

Learn more below!

Tony Owen

Berkeley, CA

Guitar, Piano, Electric Bass

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Ian Facquini

Berkeley, CA

Guitar, Brazilian Guitar Focus (all styles taught)

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Dillon Vado

Berkeley, CA

Drums, Vibraphone, Marimba

Learn more below!

Conor Leary

Founder 

Guitar, Piano, and Electric Bass

Conor is a dynamic musician, educator, and entrepreneur. He is a multi-instrumentalist on guitar, piano, and bass guitar, a vocal percussionist, and composer/producer with innate teaching abilities. His approach is informed by 9+ years of experience teaching acoustic and electric guitar, piano, and electric bass privately with a student roster ranging from ages 5 to 65. As a performer, Conor's played gigs throughout the Bay Area as a solo guitarist, supporting vocalists in guitar-vocalist duos, as well as with larger ensembles including the East Bay Funk Ensemble and the bay area rock bands, Hella-Good and Ophshl (Phish Tribute Band).    

Conor holds a B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College, where he also studied music theory and improvisation. His formal music education began 20 years ago and most recently includes 2 years of full-time study at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, CA, focused on jazz performance and improvisation, music theory, tonal harmony, ear-training, western music history and pedagogy. 

 

Tony Owen

Guitar, Piano, Electric Bass

Tony Owen has been teaching music in the bay area for 7 years. His students have included  all ages and skill levels. From theoretical literacy to creative expression, Tony’s methodology is centered on an environment that's fun and supportive. Depending on what each student needs, his approach is tailored to work with how he/she learns. Whether the goal is to share popular songs around the campfire or develop the core competencies essential to pursuing professional musicianship, Tony can support it.

 

Tony holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies from the California Jazz Conservatory and has used his education to empower students in a wide range of academic settings, from public schools to private mentorships. He held the position of K-6 music teacher in the Lagunitas School District’s Open Classroom program, as well as teaching music literacy at Music In Schools Today, a non profit organization focused on developing music education programs. 

When not teaching, Tony employs his 10+ years of professional experience recording and performing live across the state of California. His knowledge-base draws from many genres including the traditions of Jazz, Rock, Pop, Folk, Funk, R&B, Salsa, Soul, Brazilian, Afro Caribbean, and Fusion. In 2018, Tony was featured on The California Honeydrops’ album, Call It Home, alongside musical luminaries Bonnie Rait and Mike Finnigan.

 
 

Ian Facquini

Guitar, Piano

Ian Faquini is a Brazilian composer, guitarist, and vocalist who was born in Brasília and raised in Berkeley, California. At the age of 15, Ian met the legendary Brazilian composer Guinga, who became his mentor and inspired him to pursue a career in music, drawing on rich musical traditions of his Brazilian heritage. Ian went on to study at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and joined the faculty immediately after graduating. He is also on the faculty at California Brazil Camp, alongside musical legends including Ivan Lins, Guinga, Chico Pinheiro, and Spok. 

 

In 2014, he released his debut album with flutist Rebecca Kleinmann, entitledBrasiliense, featuring all original compositions by Faquini and drawing from a wide range of musical sources from the 20th century, from impressionism and jazz to the great Brazilian songwriting tradition. Faquini released his second album, Metal na Madeira, in 2016, with acclaimed vocalist Paula Santoro, who hails from Minas Gerais and his third, Setting Rays of Summer with vocalist trombonist, Natalie Cressman in 2019.  As a composer, Faquini presents a fresh take on traditional Northeastern rhythms such as Maracatu, Frevo, Baião, and Xote. Faquini’s music keeps one foot firmly planted in the past while stepping briskly towards the future with modern harmonic and melodic structures.

Dillon Vado

Drums, Vibraphone, Marimba

Dillon Vado is a professional drummer and vibraphonist in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a degree in Jazz Studies from the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, CA, Dillon delivers artful instruction to students ages 7 and up. He’s been teaching private lessons for 6 years and has worked with all levels K-12. As a performer, Dillon’s diverse experience spans multiple continents. He’s held concerts at Bay Area venues such as Yoshi’s, SF Jazz Center, and Freight and Salvage, and internationally at the Montreal Jazz Festival in Switzerland and Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy.

 

Dillon is a consummate collaborator and has worked with top-notch musicians like the Santa Clara Vanguard, Art Lande, Hafez Modirzadeh, Royal Hartigan, Marcus Shelby, Erik Jekabson, Jeff Denson, Alan Hall, Jovino Santos Neto, Sandy Cressman and Marcos Silva. He regularly performs on vibraphone with Alan Hall’s Ratatet, on drums with Erik Jekabson’s Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and leads several of his own projects, including Never Weather, The Table Trio, and Beyond Words: Jazz and Poetry.

 

(914) 409-8608

©2018 by Acorn Music.