Our Team

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Mack Grout

Head Piano Instructor

Born in 1985 in Seattle Washington, USA, Mack started playing piano at the age of three. Studying classical piano seriously until age fourteen, he then became interested in jazz and blues music and started studying with Larry Key. Upon graduating from South Kitsap High School in 2004 Mack won the national Louis Armstrong award, and obtained scholarships to multiple schools including Berklee College of Music and Cornish College of the Arts. At Cornish he studied jazz piano performance and composition under his mentors Dave Peck, Denney Goodhew, Chuck Deardorf and Jim Knapp, graduating magna cum laude in 2008.

Since then, Mack has worked full time as a jazz composer, soloist and band leader, performed nationally and internationally in styles from jazz to pop and everything in between, and also worked abroad for several years as a musical director for international jazz clubs throughout Asia.

 As an instructor, Mack has taught at colleges in the pacific northwest and mentored a full studio of serious students, over a dozen of which have gone on to continue their music study at high level conservatories around the world.

 

Mack continues to perform as a soloist and sideman in original projects, and in 2016 founded Seattle Jazz Academy, a school for serious adult pianists interested in jazz and improvisation.  

 

To date he has mentored over 350 student and provided 17,000 hours of instruction.    

 
 

Monica Parshotam is a performer, songwriter, vocalist, and pianist from Seattle. She began studying music at age five with classical and contemporary piano, then discovered passions for composition, vocal performance, theater, and audio recording. Over the years Monica has performed a broad range of genres, including R&B, soul, musical theater, folk, and rock. She became especially interested in jazz piano at age 24.

 

Monica graduated from Western Washington University with minors in Music, Audio Technology, and Education and Social Justice. She has performed as a solo artist and in numerous bands for over ten years. Monica managed Guitar Center’s Music School in Bellingham from 2016-2018 and coached at multiple youth arts organizations such as Bellingham Girls Rock Camp and Bellingham Children’s Theater, encouraging music education and performance as tools for self-empowerment. 

 

Currently Monica is a front person, vocalist, keyboardist, and manager for Seattle based neo-soul band, Motus. She began taking lessons from Mack Grout in 2021 and is excited to continue spreading the joy of music through Seattle Jazz Academy. 

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Monica Parshotam

Piano Instructor,
Administrator

 
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Jeremy Bacon

Piano Instructor

Jeremy Bacon was born into a family with deep roots in jazz. He studied jazz improvisation and composition at Oberlin College and was a student of the great Don Pullen. who was a major influence on the avant garde scene from the 60’s to the 80’s. Jeremy was also the regular pianist with the Charles Fambrough Trio. In this group, Jeremy worked with Jeff “Tain” Watts, Joe Ford, Johnny Coles, Pat Martino, Mike Mossman, Ralph Bowen and others.

 

Jeremy has worked in a broad range of situations, from leading his own group on two extended tours in Japan, being musical director for Joey Arias’ Billie Holliday show at Carnegie Hall, and working with many singers and instrumentalists including renowned vocalist Queen Esther. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Smalls, Smoke, Minton’s of Harlem, 55 Bar, the Blue Note, Penn State University and many other clubs in and around New York. Since arriving in Seattle in 2018, Jeremy has been working as a full time musician, teaching piano on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts, accompanying dance classes in the Cornish Theater Department, performing with Jazz Ed at many regional elementary schools, and leading his own quartet at Tula’s jazz club.

 
 
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Alex Chadsey

Piano Instructor

Alex Chadsey is a professional improvisational pianist with over 20 years of experience as a performer, composer, arranger, and producer. With three albums of original music and credit on a GRAMMY award-winning record, Alex has harnessed his lifelong passion for music to grow a successful international career in the music industry.

Alex holds degrees from the Universities of Michigan and Washington, where he graduated with a Masters in 2020. In all musical endeavors, he draws from a wide range of knowledge and traditions, informed as much by formal academic training as by apprenticing with master musicians the world over—from Cuba, Mexico Puerto Rico, NYC, LA, and elsewhere. Notable works include recording with the legendary Reggae artist Clinton Fearon, as well as touring and recording with the award-winning, East LA-based Chicano band Quetzal.​

Alex sees music as an intuitive source of knowledge and wisdom—one that is critically needed in the present to confront the challenges we collectively face as a species. Music is an expression of the multifaceted intelligence of the human spirit, and a powerful catalyst for connecting with others—and with ourselves.

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Jona Brown

Piano Instructor

Jona Brown is a Classically trained Jazz Pianist, Organist and Bassist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Professional Music. Jona started on Piano and Bass at the age of 13, playing for church recitals and services every Sunday, along with playing the Hammond B-3 Organ. In high school, he auditioned and was accepted into Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter school in Pennsylvania, in which he was first introduced to the jazz idiom.

After graduating high school, Jona left to study under Cleveland pianists Joe Hunter and Jackie Warren. Jona attended Berklee College of Music on the North American scholarship while also spending one year studying at Berklee's Valencia Campus in Spain. During his time in Boston and Valencia, he studied with renowned pianists Kevin Harris and Albert Sanz.

After a multitude of tours and performances in the greater Boston and Valencia Area, he relocated to the Pacific Northwest to further participate in both music and programming. Jona now performs under a quartet and trio in the Seattle area. Additionally, he is a full-stack software engineer in the Seattle area.

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Shai PermIlovsky

Piano Instructor

Pianist/keyboard player Shai Permilovsky is an up-and-coming musician and music instructor in the Seattle scene. Born and raised in Kefar Saba, Israel, Shai has attended the city’s prestigious conservatory since the age of nine. He trained with renowned classical and jazz faculty, and was a pioneer in the institution’s rock and contemporary music program. He later made it into the Katzenelson Music Program in his high school years, where he proceeded to work with influential musicians and instructors Sasha Kantzberg and Ronit Katz. The program is known for producing some of Israel’s most successful musicians, including pianist/composer Idan Raichel.

 

In 2016 Shai immigrated to Seattle with his family in pursuit of higher education. He is currently enrolled as a Music Major at the University of Washington, where he is getting his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies. In addition, Shai is a part of Seattle’s up and coming Jazz-pop band- Turtlnck.

 

Formerly a student of Mack, Shai was inspired to take on a teaching position at the Seattle Jazz Academy. As a teacher, he emphasizes the importance of creative outlet, and how each student should use their own passions and ideas in their playing. Shai’s students will experiment with a variety of genres in jazz, such as Funk, Soul, R&B, Fusion, and more.

 

Some of Shai’s biggest inspirations include: Jazz pianists Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans, to more contemporary artists such as Israeli composer Idan Raichel, Esperanza Spalding, the Modern R&B group Hiatus Kaiyote, and British guitar player/ songwriter Tom Misch.

 
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Jona brown

Piano Instructor

Jona Brown is a Classically trained Jazz Pianist, Organist and Bassist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Professional Music. Jona started on Piano and Bass at the age of 13, playing for church recitals and services every Sunday, along with playing the Hammond B-3 Organ. In high school, he auditioned and was accepted into Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter school in Pennsylvania, in which he was first introduced to the jazz idiom.

After graduating high school, Jona left to study under Cleveland pianists Joe Hunter and Jackie Warren. Jona attended Berklee College of Music on the North American scholarship while also spending one year studying at Berklee's Valencia Campus in Spain. During his time in Boston and Valencia, he studied with renowned pianists Kevin Harris and Albert Sanz.

After a multitude of tours and performances in the greater Boston and Valencia Area, he relocated to the Pacific Northwest to further participate in both music and programming. Jona now performs under a quartet and trio in the Seattle area. Additionally, he is a full-stack software engineer in the Seattle area.

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Jacob Linden

Piano Instructor

Jacob started taking classical piano lessons at the age of 7. He continued these lessons until the age of 16: after a couple of years at Garfield High School, he became more focused on studying jazz. In the school's big band, directed by Clarence Acox, Jacob got the chance to perform at the Paramount Theater here in Seattle, compete in the Essentially Ellington festival in New York, and tour Switzerland, France, and Italy. Jacob also won the Best Combo Performance award at the 2019 Reno Jazz Festival, in a piano-saxophone duo.

 

Additionally, Jacob has performed in a variety of small groups, as both a leader and a sideman. He has had the chance to perform original music at local venues such as The Royal Room, The Vera Project, and Chop Suey.

 

Now, Jacob is a third-year student at the University of Washington, where he studies jazz piano under the mentorship of Marc Seales. Jacob continues to compose and perform original music, while also expanding his knowledge of the intricacies of jazz music.

 
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DanIel Rainard

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.  Dan believes that 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.  

 
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Josie zocco

Piano Technique Specialist

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Josie began her musical journey with her first music lesson at age 3 and never looked back. She earned her first dollar playing piano at a New Orleans bar at age 7. In 2007 she graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ethnomusicology and Piano Performance. In 2008 she received her Associates Diploma in Piano Performance and Theory from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has been active as a teacher and collaborative pianist since 2001. In 2011, Josie followed her heart and moved to Seattle. Currently, Josie sits on the Board of the Seattle Music Teachers Association, is an active student of professional soloist Mark Salman, and maintains a full teaching studio. She enjoys working closely with students to develop their technique, with a special focus on addressing and overcoming specific individual challenges.  Josie is an avid stride piano fan and an active member and instructor for the Seattle Jazz Academy community.  Josie is the piano technique specialist for Seattle Jazz Academy, and teaches courses such as the three month intensive Technique for Jazz Pianists.  When she is not teaching or playing music, Josie enjoys cooking, spending time outdoors, watching hockey, and hanging out with her husband, son, and cats.