JESSE STACKEN BIO
Jesse Stacken, "One of the most impressive pianists and composers of his generation" (NYC Jazz Record), has been teaching music for over fifteen years. He began playing piano at the age of ten and quickly developed a passion for jazz improvisation. In 2001, he received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, where he studied classical piano with Penelope Cecchini and performed in the Downbeat Award-winning Jazz Ensemble I. Jesse followed his passion to New York City and received his Master's degree in Jazz Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Garry Dial. He is now an active performer on the New York City jazz scene, performing regularly in many top venues. Since 2007, Jesse has released eight critically acclaimed recordings on the Fresh Sound New Talent and Steeplechase record labels. He's performed internationally, including appearances at the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Vancouver Jazz Festival. He has also created a number of internet music projects on his website, www.jessestacken.com. From 2009-2011 Jesse studied classical piano with Amy Gustafson.
In addition to private piano lessons, Jesse has been a jazz piano instructor at the New York Summer Music Festival since 2013. He taught jazz ensemble and jazz combo at the University of Wisconson-Stout from 1999-2001. He has been a clinician for the International Association for Jazz Education and an adjudicator for the UWEC Jazz Festival. He is currently also on faculty at the Bloomingdale School of Music and has studied pedagogy with Carolyn Shaak.
Jesse strives to keep his lessons fun and engaging. He is fluent in teaching a broad range of styles including jazz, rock, and classical. He focuses on building a solid understanding of fundamentals in his students, in any style they are learning. Students of Jesse have been admitted into the Manhattan School of Music prep program, The William Patterson University Music School, the Lincoln Center Middle School Jazz Academy, and the Laguardia High School of the Arts.
"Jesse is a fabulous teacher. His approach makes the kids take their lessons and practice seriously, but because he is so relaxed and patient, they never feel pressured. Not only have my kids made great progress, but they've really come to love playing piano. In addition to the official list that they are supposed to practice each day, I often find that they play around on the piano at other times because they are enjoying it so much."
- Cindy, parent.