Jerry Watts

Jerry Watts, Jr., has an extensive list of recording credits, having appeared on hundreds of CDs, numerous film & TV soundtracks, as well as commercials, film trailers, and instructional DVDs. Jerry has a wealth of international touring experience, representing a broad spectrum of artists at the highest levels of rock, pop, jazz, and “world” music. Educated at both William Paterson University, New Jersey, and California State University, Northridge, his recording/performance credits include work with: Andy Summers, Andy Timmons, Babaghanoush, Billy Idol, Dave Stewart, Don Grusin, Dori Caymmi, Dr. John, Flora Purim, Gerald Eaton, Herbie Hancock, Jai Uttal, Justo Almario, Keiko Matsui, Keith Emerson, Kevyn Lettau, L. Subramaniam, Mitchel Forman, Mylene Farmer, Pat Leonard, Peter Cetera, Sergio Mendes, Sheryl Crow, Simon Phillips, Steve Vai, worship leader Tommy Walker, and Wishful Thinking. For more info visit

Steve Billman attended Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship and also graduated from Musician’s Institute in 1981. Steve studied with Jeff Berlin and Bob Magnusson while at Musicians Institute. He has worked with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Brian Bromberg, Brandon Fields, Rob Mullins, Pat Kelley, Gregg Karukas, Free Flight, Alex Acuna, Tom Brechtlein, Gary Novak, Jeff Richman and most recently, Frank Gambale, to name a few. Steve also played on Tia Carrere’s 2009 Grammy-winning album Ikena. He was a member of the band “Continuum” for 15 years, and has been a member of the Academy staff since its very earliest days. For the latest information, please visit

Bassist, producer, and composer Mark Browne has played with Melissa Etheridge, Paula Cole, Emmylou Harris, Philip Sayce, Chrissie Hynde, Sarah McLachlan, Lily Wilson, k.d. lang, George Michael, Patty Griffin, Sheryl Crow, Wynonna, Beth Thornley, Neil Finn, Joan Osborne, The Dixie Chicks, Billy Idol, Dolly Parton, Lindsay Buckingham, Mark Goldenberg, Gloria Estefan, Chaka Khan, Rufus Wainright, Donna Delory, Mary J. Blige, Jewel, Garth Brooks, Cindy Lauper, Destiny’s Child, Pat Benatar, Simple Minds, Anne and Nancy Wilson, Ichiro, and Vonda Sheppard.

Philip Bynoe, originally from Boston, studied at the Berklee College of Music under Wit Browne. He has played on several TV shows, jingles, and soundtracks including The Tonight Show, The O.C., and Las Vegas. In addition to touring with Steve Vai on the G3 tour, he has also toured and/or recorded with Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Terry Bozzio, Virgil Donati, Kevin Eubanks, Buddy Miles, Bette Midler, Steve Perry, Mike Mangini, Slash, Derek Sherinian, and many others. He is endorsed by Yamaha Guitars, Carvin Amplifiers, Morley Pedals, and LaBella strings.

Joey Heredia is a remarkable drummer who blends a multitude of styles and skill, to achieve a level of playing that makes him one of the best in the industry today. On tour, or in the studio, some of Joey’s credits include Sheila E, Steve Lukather, Tania Maria, Tribal Tech (Scott Henderson and Gary Willis), Frank Gambale, Billy Childs, Dianne Reeves, Manhattan Transfer, Stevie Wonder, James Ingram, Sergio Mendez, Herb Alpert, Poncho Sanchez, Joe Sample, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Farrell, Hubert Laws, Carole King, Michael Ruff, Jeff Berlin, Stevie Salas, TM Stevens, Nuno Bettencourt and Perry Farrell. Joey was born and raised in Boyle Heights (on the east side of Los Angeles). He began studying music at East LA College and then went on to Los Angeles City College as a music major. Joey then studied technique under the renowned Murray Spivack. He has his own recording studio, Groove Gallery, where he records and or produces many of the projects he’s involved in. His fusion group El Trio, with Marco Mendoza on bass/vocal and Renato Neto on keys, is known the world over. For more on Joey, or at myspace/officialjoeyheredia

Tim hails from the Boston area and attended Berklee College of Music as well as studying with Neil Stubenhaus and Whit Brown. After two semesters and a brief tour with Al Kooper at eighteen years old, Tim moved to New York City and resided there for the next six years where he played and recorded with Al DiMeola, Billy Cobham, Mike Stern, Gil Evans, Michael Brecker, Tiger Okoshi, Bill Frisell, and many more. In the mid-1980′s, Tim switched to the west coast where he soon established himself as one of LA’s top session bassists. He has recorded with the likes of Tori Amos, Vince Neil, Tracy Chapman, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Vinnie Colaiuta, Tom Scott, John Tesh, The Crusaders, Al Stewart, Vital Information, Brian Hughes, Marc Jordan, Beyonce, Gladys Knight, Taylor Hawkins, Loreena McKennitt, etc. Tim is also a Grammy and Dove Award-nominated record producer and songwriter and was recently a member of the short lived but highly acclaimed Crimson Jazz Trio before drummer Ian Wallace’s untimely death in 2007. You can easily check in on Tim any time by visiting

Tom Witt is a professional bassist who moved to California after attending Berklee College of Music in Boston and has assembled an impressive array of credits in his journey. He has toured extensively with acts such as Javier, Missing Persons, and American Idol Live! He has worked with such artists as: Enrique Iglesias, Andrae Crouch, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Impromp2, Lemar, Pepe Aguilar, Martha Reeves, Isyss, Don Omar, Keiko Matsui, Jackiem Joyner, and many more. His television appearances include: The Brian McKnight ShowThe 2005 Latin Grammy AwardsThe Ryan Seacrest ShowThe Ellen DeGeneres Show, BET’s 106 & Park, and Soul Train. He also has a recording career which includes #1 singles, film soundtracks, and jingles/commercials. Currently, Tom works as an LA-based sideman and session player.

We asked LACM alumni and current LACM instructor Peter Boskovich to answer a few questions about his role at LACM and what it was like studying at the school in Los Angeles. He also offers some great advice and tips for any music student or individual thinking of pursuing their music degree.

2. You attended LACM, and graduated from the bass department. When was that and can you tell us more about your experience? 

Graduated 2004. My experience in the bass department and as a student in general was a very special one. I was fortunate to be surrounded by other very eager and determined students who pushed and inspired me to give it my all to tackle the curriculum and absorb the information as quickly as I could. I remember the atmosphere of ‘friendly competition’ that drove us to play our best in every class. By the end of my enrollment I can honestly say I was ready to get out and start gigging, although I have had a few bruises and bumps along the way, but overall I felt prepared. I’ve played with many players all over the city coming from all over the world and I couldn’t have done it without the preparation I received at LACM.

3. What advice do you have for young musicians looking to get their music degree at LACM?

Don’t hesitate for one, and when you decide to commit to this institution as your place of learning, give it more than 110% like I did and you won’t regret a thing. I still work with many of the dear friends I met as a student while at LACM and continue to grow as a musician in the many professional settings afforded me by them. The musical circles I work in all have many ties to the school even though the musicians might not have studied here. LACM is a great stepping-stone to get out into the city and start making musical relationships. Also, it is important that you learn how you absorb information while in school, as we all learn in different ways. I feel the curriculum along with the ensemble workshops are structured in a way that allows each student both the time and varied situations to absorb the material in ways that accommodate their levels of understanding.

4. What is the best part about studying music in Los Angeles?  

It’s LA man! Come one. I love this city with all of its diversity and varied cultural offerings. There is no excuse for boredom in a town like this. World-class players left and right, and myriad of venues in which to do so. You can find inspiration any night of the week with all that is going on musically in this town.

5. Why did you start playing music? 

I started playing music because I hated football so much.  It was exhausting and it hurt a lot when I’d get leveled on the field.  Music was much nicer, and I was much better at it.  You also don’t have to wear those funny uniforms and instead get to look cool in front of a lot of people.

6. Tell us about your current musical projects etc.:

I’m actively gigging as a sideman in several jazz trio’s and quartets at the moment. I have a project called Splice The Mainbrace with fellow teacher/instructor Jackson Allen that has started to play out. We are both very excited about it and feel it an honest representation of our musical tastes and ambitions at the moment.  

I am also (and this might sound strange) working on an album of my own original tunes with me singing while playing chordal accompaniment on the bass. I’ve explored chordal approaches to bass playing, and have also developed a deep appreciation for the songwriting idiom. Between these two projects, and an endless list of things to practice and prepare for, I’m very excited about life and where it might take me.

Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Music Academy and the former Senior Editor of Bass Player Magazine. His playing credits include:

Cathedrals, MoeTar, Zigaboo Modeliste, Brain, Oz Noy, Garaj Mahal, Miguel Migs, Cyrus Chestnut, Cathy Richardson, Michael Lee Firkins, Jon Fishman, Kai Eckhardt, Matthew Charles Heulitt, Sean Rickman, Dynamic, Kev Choice, ick Musallum, Levy’s Love Lounge, and many more.

In addition to Jonathan’s extensive performing experience, he’s a sought-after clinician and teacher. He’s a former Artist-In-Residence at LAMA, is a current faculty member of the Los Angeles College of Music, and has taught clinics and lectured at Stanford University, Musician’s Institute, Crossroads, Bass Player LIVE!, and the Jazz School.

Beyond music, Jonathan is an experienced web content strategist, copywriter, photographer, and design consultant.

John was born into a musical household and raised in San Gabriel, California. He began playing guitar at six and bass at sixteen. John cut short his musical studies at East L.A. College to tour with El Chicano and soon found himself on tour opening for Santana. John later toured with jazz vocalist Randy Crawford, and, in 1981, he co-founded Food For Feet. He then joined New Wave band Oingo Boingo in 1984, who he played with until 1995. During his tenure with Oingo Boingo, John co-produced four full-length releases with Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek. Since 1995, John has run his own recording studio called Brando’s Paradise, producing bands such as Reel Big Fish, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Quetzal, and Robbie Krieger. During this time, he also played bass on recordings by Steve Vai and the Stewart Copeland Orchestra. He also sang lead vocals on Disney’s Another Goofy Movie.