Elevate your musical journey with expert instructors, personalized lessons, and a curriculum designed to ignite your passion for jazz. At Seattle Jazz Academy we are dedicated to taking our students playing to an elite level through the study of jazz, improvisation and music theory. We believe the skills learned in jazz guitar study will give our students the ability to play with control, confidence and expression in any style they are interested in. Our team of coaches and teachers will help guide you each step of the way as we pursue excellence in our music and craft the musical life that you want.
seattle jazz academy's
Studying guitar at Seattle Jazz Academy happens in one of a three ways. Our most popular option is private one on one lessons with a teacher paired up with you specifically to help improve your playing and musical understanding. The second way people study is in small group classes. Group classes are a little more casual and are a good way to get started if you are new to playing jazz but have experience with the guitar. Finally our jazz guitarists can be found learning by playing and practicing in our ensemble classes, jam sessions, masterclasses and concerts.
Whether you are just learning to play the blues, or are a seasoned veteran wanting to push the boundaries of your skills and creativity, Seattle Jazz Academy may be the place you are looking for.
Come meet us, and let's talk about where you want to go and how we can help you get there.
head guitar instructor
A Seattle native, Dan Rainard is a musical reflection of his home city. Proud is he that he attended the same high school as Jimi Hendrix and Quincy Jones! A lifelong devotee of the guitar, he feels at home playing in many styles but was particularly drawn to study jazz for its ability to convey nuanced emotion through harmony. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music from Central Washington University and after playing several years on board cruise ships he took a hiatus to earn his Master’s degree as a graduate assistant with Chuck Israels at Western Washington University. He returned to Seattle after playing on board for several more years and working on three world cruises, accompanying hundreds of guest entertainers including Mr. Show Business himself, Wayne Newton!
Since returning in 2012, he can be heard performing with such Seattle luminaries as Tim Kennedy, Birch Pereira, and Dave Peterson as well the orchestras of Seattle Repertory Theater (In The Heights, Shout Sister Shout) and Village Theater (Songs for a New World, Matilda, Hairspray, and more). He has studied with jazz legends Julian Lage, Russell Malone, Ulf Wakenius, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Tuck Andres and Earl Klugh. He has also made an independent study of the sound and technique of George Benson, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and John Scofield and amassed numerous personal transcriptions of their work which he hopes to publish one day. He is eager to help aspiring guitarists unlock the doors that have been opened to him by learning to read and interpret sheet music and understand and improvise music in all kinds of musical styles.
Sam Jaeger is a guitarist, music maker, and educator born and raised in Seattle, Washington. A versatile and tasteful guitar player, he has performed as a freelance guitarist and as the leader of his own projects since 2010. He is the guitarist and co-arranger of Seattle Neo-Soul band Hard Maybe.
Sam graduated with distinction from Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts in 2015, earning his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Guitar Performance, studying under the late bassist Chuck Deardorf and pianist/composer Jovino Santos Neto. At this time, he also stayed busy playing in the DIY circuits of Seattle and Bellingham, further developing his musical voice and passion for live performance.
As an instructor, Sam emphasizes an individualized approach to his students and rejects a "one size fits all" mentality. Through examination of each students' natural skills and shortcomings, he curates a custom lesson plan each week that will challenge each student to expand their knowledge of the fretboard, from scalar single note improvising to the broad study of harmony. Sam also teaches the role of the guitar beyond technique, emphasizing its placement in bands and ensembles; this approach offers students pragmatic and marketable skills that will teach them how to "fit" into any given musical environment.
As a performer, Sam specializes in Fusion, Neo-Soul, Jazz, Blues, and free-form improvised music. You can usually catch Sam playing with Hard Maybe or with fellow guitarist and writer Eric Olson in their Jazz Guitar duo, Out of the Blue. He has also performed with Montana-based country singer Miller Campbell, trumpeter/bandleader Bobby Medina, Jovino Santos Neto, and under the leadership of the late composer and the late Jim Knapp. He lives in Seattle with his partner Kelsi Hooper and dog, Wendy.
guitar and Bass instructor
Demarcus Baysmore is a skilled and engaging guitarist from Texas who is best known for his jazz, blues, and funk musical stylings. He began playing at age twelve and has since performed across the northwest in venues both large and small with a wide variety of talented musicians throughout his career.
Demarcus studied guitar at Oklahoma Baptist University and the Navy School of Music before joining Navy Band Northwest, where he played and toured as their guitarist for four years. Upon moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2019, Demarcus quickly became immersed in the Seattle music community and has collaborated with numerous musicians and groups as a performer, writer, and recording artist.
Influenced by musicians like Wes Montgomery, Mark Lettieri, and Tosin Abasi, Demarcus aims to inspire creativity in not only his listeners, but also fellow musicians and students through his music and teaching.
"the guitar has a home in so many musical genres, you don’t have to pick just one, but learning jazz will give you a framework to understand most other genres in depth. " Dan R.
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