Jesse Judy is more than just your everyday guitarist. He's also the founder and main instructor of Jesse and Friends, home of the Open Jam. He was inspired by an instructor from Beaufort, South Carolina. He received instruction from graduates of the College of Charleston jazz department, the Berklee College of Music, the Guitar Institute of Technology as well as street trained musicians.
Jesse attended and excelled at Trident Technical College on Rivers Avenue, majoring in Business Ownership and minoring in Business Management. He was also offered a scholarship at Mount Piscgah Academy.
Jesse began playing locally around 1997. This helped him realize the idea for his business, which focused on helping students gain stage experience at local venues. He worked in local music stores since 1999 before he decided to instruct music lessons as a permanent career. Jesse has taken students as far as opening for chart topper Bucky Covington which greatly assisted the music careers of students, Holly Hildenbrand and Katy Carlton. He was given good reviews from the Post & Courier, the City Paper and the Free Times, when it was published. He was a part of live remotes on 98 rock and 96 wave's weekly program, "The Cutting Edge".
Jesse has been involved with numerous bands including the Voodoo Rhythm Devils, the Library Fire, Cat Scan and Stealing Sunshine to name a few. He also played in a reggae band in Nassau, Bahamas and on the cliffs of Negril, Jamaica. He has performed at respected Charleston venues such as Cumberlands and the Music Farm. Other locations Jesse has played at:
Jesse enjoys a variety of music genres but allows students to choose their own or even mix it up. Students are encouraged to keep a journal and write their own songs. Learning how to read guitar tab and chord charts will enhance their skills when making their own music. Students are encouraged to perform and interact with other students and artists of all levels.
Lloyd is a music school graduate and former U.S. Navy band member. He moved to Carolina after extensive touring and gigging on the west coast. During the 90's in Myrtle Beach, Lloyd played gigs at the House of Blues, Celebrity Square and Mother Fletcher's before relocating to Charleston to perform with Eddie Bush, Graham Whorley, Jamisun and many others. He brings a unique flair and passion to percussion and has been teaching for well over a decade.
Lloyd's Los Angeles affiliations include Ray Manzarek from the Doors, Scandal(Patty Smyth), Alan Holdsworth, and Nina Hagen to name a few. Lloyd's first band, the Adiabatics, performed on the hanger deck of the USS Yorktown in San Francisco Bay.
Liz Gildea has been playing piano since the age of four and guitar since age thirteen. She has studied with accomplished musicians including Joel LaRue Smith, Suzuki pianist Libby Armour, local pianist Joe Clarke, and local guitarist James Slater. She graduated from Charleston County School of the Arts as a piano major and has since taught herself to play the classic rock and pop songs she loved growing up. She has given seven solo piano recitals, has played piano for several churches and other local venues, and has taken classes in music theory and music history. She is especially interested in the relationship between language and music and how that connection can enhance learning and teaching.
Aaron Levy has been playing piano for as long as he can remember and has played guitar, bass, mandolin and ukulele since he was 13. Since 2002, he has taught both individual and group lessons. He also helped found a rock music summer camp at Porter-Gaud School and an after school music program at Charleston Collegiate. His approach to teaching focuses on helping students excel at their instrument by learning their favorite songs while at the same time learning technique and theory. His favorite guitarist is David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. His favorite bass player is Paul McCartney. His favorite songwriters include Stevie Wonder, Frank Ocean and Joni Mitchell. He is a 12th generation Charlestonian who currently resides on the peninsula.