Regional Location

Miami

Upcoming Events

Institute Mentor Training
Interested in becoming a memeber?
August 1-3, 2022
Miami
Choose Your Sound
Save the date for our annual concert!
October 15, 2022
Miami
Give Miami Day
Become a champion to support our youth!
November 17, 2022
Miami

Program Locations

Working collaboratively with local schools and the broader community, Guitars Over Guns provides students a wealth of experiences in the arts. All students in the music program learn to read and write contemporary music, play instruments and perform on stage and/or in a recording studio. Performances and gallery displays are also integral to our arts-based mentorship programs.

We are happy to be serving the following schools and community partners:

Miami GArdens*

  • Carol City Middle School
  • Lake Stevens Middle School
  • Miami Carol City Senior High School
  • Myrtle Grove K-8 Center
  • North County K-8 Center

North Miami

  • Linda Lentin K-8 Center
  • North Miami Middle School
  • North Miami Senior High School

West Little River

  • Madison Middle School

Little Havana

  • Citrus Grove Middle School

Brownsville / Allapattah

  • Brownsville Middle School
  • Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School

South Miami-Dade

  • Cutler Bay Middle School
  • Homestead Middle School
  • Homestead Senior High School
  • Miami Southridge Senior High School
  • Richmond Heights Middle School
  • Redland Middle School
  • South Dade Middle School
  •  

Community-Based Programs

  • Alumni Band
  • Alumni Vocal Ensemble
  • GOGO Studio Homestead
  • GATE Program @ Jackson Health
  • Miami Virtual Program

Summer Programs

  • Arts Leadership Camp @ North Miami Middle School 
  • Arts Leadership Camp @ Linda Lentin K-8 Center
  • Summer Guitar Intensive @ South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
  •  
*powered by the Music Access Miami Fund at The Miami Foundation

Miami

GOGO Studio Homestead

Meet Our
Miami Mentors

Our mentors come from different walks of life and artistic paths, all connected by their love for the arts and a passion to pay it forward.

They are Guitars Over Guns’ heart and soul, implementing and customizing our comprehensive curriculum that uses arts-based mentoring as a powerful intervention tool for young people.

Joel Aramis

Bass

Gregory "Q" Barreto

Guitar

Bryce Bottomly

Guitar

Bertrand Boyd

Creating Writing & Poetry

"Ron Don" Dalrymple

Drums & Production

Jonathan "Beigewarrior" De Lavelanet

Production

Brandon Douglas

Brandon Douglas

Bass

Juner Etienne

Keys

Karen Feldner

Vocals

Michelle Forman

Founder, Alumni Vocal Ensemble

Justine Garcia

Vocals

Gene Paul Gayol

Director, Alumni Band & Camillus House Hope Choirs

Sean Gould

Sean "Birdman" Gould

Guitar

Jalisa Faye Graham

Vocals

Korian Hannah

Drums

Danny Hayoun

Guitar

J Howard

Production & Drums

Kaley Howard

Kaley Howard

Bass, Keys, Vocals & Drums

Chris Hyppolite

Keys

Tim Jago

Guitar

Jefferson Joseph

Guitar

Tif "Boom" Lusan

Rap & Poetry

Brahm Masla

Drums

Leo "Da Vincci" Mayorga

Rap

Mike Montero

Guitar, Keys & Percussion

Johann C. Muñoz

Visual Art

Jean Petit-Homme

Keys & Drums

Lula Rios

Vocals

John Rodriquez

Drums

St. James Valsin

Guitar & Spoken Word

Camilo Velez

Production

Contact Our Miami Location

Miami Office

169 E Flagler Street
Suite 1134
Miami, FL 33131

Miami Blog

Shining Stars

Students from over a dozen of our school and community sites all over Miami-Dade County came together to share the spotlight and show off how far they’ve come over this past year of hard work, teamwork and music-making!

Read More »

Band Together

“I’m proudest of seeing our kids fulfill a mentorship role themselves. And to see them be able to lead and take charge has been something to be very proud of.”

Read More »

Everyone has a story

Being in a position to help Guitars Over Guns give the same opportunity that I have had to others is all I can ever ask for. I love the direction the program is headed and want to be a part of it every step of the way.

Read More »
Joel Aramis

Joel Aramis

Bass

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Joel’s life as a musician began in late middle school, where he spent the rest of his scholastic tenure honing his craft through self-teaching and numerous house-party performances. After graduating he went on to further his understanding of the electric bass and music at Berklee College of Music. Upon returning to Miami, Joel found work as an instructor, session bassist, and performing musician with various corporate and original groups as well as with the St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church, for whom he continues to play to this day. His favorite styles of music to play (Bachata, Merengue, Dembow, Reggaeton, and Salsa) reflect the massive amount of pride and love he has for his Dominican roots, although he is very well versed in many other styles as well.

Gregory "Q" Barreto

Guitar

Gregory “Q” Barreto is a guitarist, producer, engineer, and songwriter. With over 10 years of experience in the music industry, he has collaborated with many local artists; performed at festivals such as III Points, Okeechobee Fest, and Jazz in the Gardens; and is known to many as a resource for helping one bring their sonic vision to life.

Q’s musicianship began at age 8, when he received his first guitar. Studying idols like Jimi Hendrix, Daft Punk, Steve Stevens, N.E.R.D., and countless others who readily took on new technologies as they presented themselves, he quickly adopted this philosophy in studying production and engineering. Soon, this led to a fascination with the creation of music throughout different eras and genres. Being able to identify the lineage of trends in music is a large part of the unique perspective he offers with any project.

His passion for teaching started in high school, when he’d mentor struggling students in math and science, and continues to this day through his YouTube channel dedicated to bridging the gap between musician and sound engineer.

With Guitars Over Guns, Q hopes to further his goal of helping inspire others to become their best selves with the experience he’s gained over his lifetime.

Bryce Bottomly

Bryce Bottomly

Guitar

Bryce Bottomly is a guitarist and music educator based in Miami. Inspired in his teenage years by the music of such luminaries as Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Keith Jarrett, Bryce relocated from Connecticut to Miami to attend the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami to study jazz guitar, where he completed a Bachelor’s in Music degree. During his tenure at UM, Bryce received several Downbeat awards for jazz ensemble work and studied with renowned artists such as John Hart, Martin Bejerano, Chuck Bergeron, and Dr. Kate Reid. Initially intending to focus all of his efforts on performing, Bryce found that the most impactful thing about his college experience was the change his teachers had elicited in him. This sparked a passion for teaching and led to his involvement with Guitars Over Guns, where he works with youth in the pursuit of life enrichment through music. Bryce still regularly performs in the Miami area, and maintains a private lessons studio offering instruction in guitar, composition, and music theory.

Bertrand E. Boyd II

Bertrand Boyd

Creative Writing & Poetry

Bertrand Boyd is a creative writer, poet, and actor from Miami, FL. He began writing as an adolescent, though it wasn’t until age 17 that he took the stage as a spoken word artist. After hearing a live performance from notable poet and soon-to-be mentor, Will “Da Real One” Bell, Boyd entered the literary world, where he performed under the stage name “Da Youngsta.”

He shared the stage with comedic greats, including Sheryl Underwood, as part of the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Tour in 2005. In 2006, he graced the infamous Apollo Theater stage in NY, leaving a 2-time winner. He dominated his local literary scene and has since performed nationally and abroad. 

Boyd is a literary renaissance man, and since the untimely death of his mentor Will “Da Real One” in 2011, he is devoted to keeping the vision alive. He teaches high school English and is founder of Scrap Paper Inc., teaching literary skills to local students through poetry. He began acting in 2011 and has appeared in over a dozen films, including Avaricious (2016), winning “Best at Fest” at the Cannes Film Festival in France, and he was featured in Kodak Black’s music video Tunnel Vision (2017) & Sir The Baptist featuring Brandy music video. He later appeared in the hit Fall films Murder Gardens (November 2019) and Queen and Slim (November 2019).

He has several developmental projects wherein he will both write and direct. His poetry and screenwriting is an ongoing endeavor and he’s expanded to incorporate live music. As both student to his craft and mentor to his community, Bertrand Boyd is determined to break barriers and defy odds through the power of his creative prowess.

Ceeka is an Artist and encourager seeking to be a light of hope in all that she does.

Growing up music was mainly a hobby for Ceeka. It started with taking over her mother’s music collection of artists like Bob Marley, Otis Redding, Kenny Rogers, and Whitney Houston. Using all the ink in the printer to print the lyrics of her favorite songs— to study song structure. Humming melodies into an old tape recorder.

At age 11 she began writing poetry and songs after the death of her aunt who helped raise her. It became an outlet to process and cope. By age 15 after making a friend with the same interests in High School she decided she would begin teaching herself to play guitar and sing. The first song she learned was “Who Will Save Your Soul” by Jewel. After learning a few covers she felt confident enough to put her own words to the test. She made a home recording of one of her songs “Constant River of Love” co-written with her best friend and played it for a trusted family friend who encouraged her to keep going.

Ceeka kept music as her hobby and decided to study visual arts in college. From that point, Ceeka started performing at different events and open mics around campus and the local community. Performing allowed her to see that her voice and her words had the power to bring light and hope to others and many people could relate.

While she continued to study art most of her free time was spent developing her musical abilities. After graduating from school with her BFA in Studio Art she moved back home to Fort Lauderdale and pursued her music career. She jumped into the local open mic scene and began performing weekly to continue honing her skills eventually leading her to create a 3-track home-recorded EP called “Life Is Beautiful.”

She went on to compete in Lauderhill’s Got Talent, an annual talent show, winning First Place in 2017. This led to opportunities to perform for the city and eventually partner with other local artists and create arts events within the community. These days Ceeka hopes to take it a step further and release an official album. She continues to use music as an outlet to be a light of hope in her community and the world paying it forward to young people whom she sees so much of herself.

"Ron Don" Dalrymple

Drums & Production

Ron Don is a seasoned South Florida-based producer, musician, and recording artist. His production is affiliated with projects of multiple local artists. He has also performed at several major festivals and has over 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry.

Ron‘s musicianship began in early childhood when his father, also a musician, introduced him to piano-playing in the form of classical music. In high-school, Ron studied music production as well as joined the marching, concert, and Jazz bands where he became a proficient drummer. These factors combined birthed his production style of 90’s era of hip-hop, R&B, Jazz, and Funk.

Ron has toured in multiple cities across the US. He has also performed in major festivals such as III Points (2016), Jazz in the Gardens (2017), Okeechobee Fest (2018), and SunFest (2019). In 2019, Ron released his single “Die For This” on all streaming platforms which touches on the harsh truths of police brutality and modern racism. Ron ultimately aims to contribute to the culture by collaborating with other artists and spreading social awareness to both the current and upcoming generations.

Kamel Daniel

Kamel Daniel

Vocals

I’m happy when creating, portraits illuminating. Painting beauty within, empowering youth to win.

I am Kamel, a.k.a. Miss K., born in Miami-Dade and raised in Mississauga, Canada. I received my BFA in Painting & Drawing from OCAD University. Professor Chinkok Tan taught me shapes and light value. It gives my work a hard edge. My school looked like a box on stilts with colorful windows. At night, I’d sit inside on top of Toronto’s nightlife, dreaming big. We were near MuchMusic. It was like the MTV of Canada. I painted Kid Rock, Common, and Drake. I was blessed to give them their portraits as gifts. In my mind, they were seeds.

I also received my Associate of Science degree from Miami Dade College in Music Business & Creative Performance. Professors like Carol Ann Steele, Karen Nagy & Marc Douyon believed in me, teaching me to believe in myself.

I’m honored to officially join the Guitars Over Guns family! I went from interning, to substituting, to becoming a mentor. I hope to help my children see themselves as GREAT! Motivating & encouraging them to give their best.

I am excited about the next decade. I’ll see my sold-out exhibitions and commission portraits through my company ABK (Art by Kamel). I’ll create annual S.T.E.A.M. albums for youth globally with my future husband, through my company Sang at Lunch. I have faith that I can create my life through my words. And since faith without works is dead, let me get back to work.

Juner Etienne

Juner Etienne

Keys

Juner Etienne is a 25-year-old sound engineer. His love for music started at a young age at his local church, where he learned to play the piano. From then on, he became invested in all things music, from mixing and mastering to recording and composing.

Juner’s love for music intensified when he started his college career in Miami, at the School of Audio Engineering where he learned to master his skills.

After graduating from college in 2014, he went on to open his own recording studio in partnership with Jean Berrouete. There, he has helped artists with a passion for music to hone their skills. He continued his work in music when he opened a production company, Fast Track Music.

Now a member of the Guitars Over Guns mentorship team, Juner invests in his community to prevent heightened hardship and to create a place where the youngest members of our community can have a voice.

Karen Feldner

Karen Feldner

Vocals

Karen Feldner is a singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, and private music teacher. She released 4 seasonal albums, The Collection: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, in 2019 and is currently creating an album for release scheduled for end of 2021.

Karen founded a nonprofit homeschooling group with 2 other women, H.O.M.E. (Homeschoolers of Miami Enrichment) from 2006-2012, which oversaw and developed up to 20 classes for homeschoolers every semester.

Karen is currently a committee member of the North Beach Bandshell, the hub of the Rhythm Foundation, secretary of Gigs Up, Inc., and is a member of Ballad of America, a nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and celebrate America’s diverse cultural history.

Last year, Karen began creating her brand Hugabop with Jammie Jeanz, urban pajama jeans!

Karen holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Miami.

Michelle Forman

Founder, Alumni Vocal Ensemble

Miami native Michelle Forman is the type of artist and person who wears it on her sleeve both on and off the stage.  For her work across diverse fields, Mish has been featured in local and national media including CBS Miami, The CW South Florida, Miami NewTimes, Miami Herald, NBC South Florida, Telemundo, Lifestyle Magazine, and others.

Mish is a self-taught singer/songwriter/instrumentalist whose voice can be heard on over 30 albums. She has recorded, toured and collaborated with a variety of talented musicians including Premio Nuestro and Grammy-nominated artists. Michelle is also a longtime member of Miami’s iconic local band ¡Suénalo!, notorious for their high-energy performances and infectious, multicultural grooves.  ¡Suénalo! has contributed to the soundtrack of Miami for over 15 years, crowned the Miami New Times’ Best Latin Rock Band (2005), Best Latin Band (2011), Readers’ Choice Best Band (2014) and one of Miami’s Best Latin Rock Bands of all time.  Michelle is also the creator of She Said, an eighteen-piece multicultural, multi-instrumental women’s ensemble which galvanized the power of many female artists of our city.

Mish spent many years working in the entertainment industry while exploring multiple paths involving music, advocacy and mentorship.  She is a wardrobe stylist with 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, ranging from film, television and theatre to catalog, still photography, editorials, ballet, Broadway and opera. Ultimately, she found a passion in working with early to mid-century clothing while maintaining a Key Costumer position at The Florida Grand Opera.  In 2018, Michelle decided to part ways with the production world to focus on better serving her community.

Celebrating over a decade of community service with Guitars Over Guns, Michelle is responsible for making a lasting positive impact on youth from disadvantaged backgrounds in Miami-Dade.  Mish began with Guitars Over Guns as a volunteer for two years, prior to the organization acquiring 501(c)(3) status. She has dedicated her time and talent to serving her community, pouring her heart and soul into empowering youth through music and mentorship.  Mish’s ability to empathize and intuitively connect with others enables her to forge everlasting bonds with her students.  In 2019, she was honored as a Champion for Children by The Children’s Trust, receiving the prestigious Award for Excellence in Direct Service to Children & Families.  As the founder and director of Guitars Over Guns’ Alumni Vocal Ensemble, Michelle has empowered a rising generation of talented young artists, guiding them to develop their vocal technique and leadership skills. Additionally, she has served as a Community Coordinator for the organization’s Miami region, helping to implement high-impact programming and leadership coaching for a team of more than sixty professional mentors.

Justine Garcia

Vocals

“Justine Garcia is a JAZZ singer. Taking imaginative chances with melody, rhythm, and lyrics. Ms. Garcia had me paying close attention.” –Al Kanovsky, Jazz and Blues Florida

“Funny how an old standard can seem like a brand-new song when sung by the right person” –Tim Fath of Miami Children’s Theatre

“Her rich, velvety voice and unique interpretation of jazz classics will leave you with no doubt that this girl is going places.” –Acme Lounge

Justine Garcia is a Miami-based jazz and pop vocalist. In 2015, Justine received a Downbeat Award for Best High School Jazz Vocal Performance, and another in 2018 for Large Jazz Vocal Ensemble, and was recognized by YoungArts as a Jazz Vocal Finalist in 2016. She has also worked with greats such as Becca Stevens, and has sung backgrounds for Darmon Meader and Ben Folds.

As a graduate of the Frost School of Music studying Jazz Vocal Performance, Justine continues to hone her skills as a musician and educator. She is always seeking opportunities to help the music community thrive, and she can be found at various venues throughout Miami singing jazz, pop, soul, and sharing her love of music.  

Gene Paul Gayol

Gene Paul Gayol

Director, Alumni Band & Camillus House Hope Choir

Hailing from Miami, Florida, Gene Gayol is an alumnus of Miami’s New World School of the Arts and a musician and plays in a variety of genres. 2015 sees Gene hitting the road with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Terry Johnson, as well as recording his own debut album. Gene has had the pleasure of performing in concert and on television with Latin Grammy and Platinum award winning recording artist David Bisbal, and has worked in the Miami and Los Angeles music scenes. A quote from an author that Gene loves: “We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

Jalisa Graham

Jalisa Faye Graham

Vocals

Jalisa Faye wears many hats as a singer/songwriter/vocal coach. She released her first project (EP) in 2014. Jalisa Faye has had the the privilege of working as a background vocalist for Grammy-nominated and Stellar award-winning Gospel artist Travis Greene. Currently, along with working on her first full-length album and traveling as a solo artist, she also travels as a background vocalist for Grammy-nominated Gospel recording artist James Fortune and International Gospel recording artist Jonathan Nelson. Jalisa Faye also serves as a worship leader at Redeeming Word Christian Center Int’l of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her goal in all she does is to relate, inspire, uplift, and encourage everyone that is exposed to her music.

Korian Hannah

Korian Hannah

Drums

Korian has been a musician in the Miami community for over 20 years. His experience comes with playing in church; he currently serves as the drummer for St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in Perrine, Florida. He is also the the drummer for Juke, one of Miami’s finest bands. Throughout his career he has toured and shared many stages with acts such as The Lee Boys, G. Love, The Rockin’ Jake Band, and many more. Korian also has experience in music production, video production, videography and photography. 

Danny Hayoun

Guitar

Danny Hayoun is one of the most versatile guitarists in South Florida. From his musical leanings to his love of all things artistic and creative, variety and diversity are his two most prominent criteria. Growing up in Israel and eventually moving to Miami, Danny took up the guitar at age 14. He then began his foray into a multitude of other styles while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. Danny has worked with such diverse artists as Lionel Richie, UB40, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Exodus, Malevolent Creation, The Allman Brothers and many more. He teaches privately and performs extensively. Danny also plays the bass and produces in his home studio. Apart from his musical abilities, Danny is also a visual artist. A versatile and multi-talented individual, he prides himself on being original and fun, traits that can definitely be found in his work. Danny has been with Guitars Over Guns for two years.

J Howard

Production & Drums

Among South Florida’s legion of live music loyalists and millennial party-rockers, J. HOWARD is already low-key famous. The multi-instrumentalist / singer / songwriter collects new fans faster than his trusty Boss Audio Loop Pedal collects a new crowd-pleasing improvisation. It’s one of the reasons promoters have summoned J. HOWARD as far north as AFROPUNK FEST Brooklyn, and partly explains how an Ohio native could ultimately be tapped to curate the popular MIAMI IN ATLANTA music showcase (Parts 1 & 2). It’s not often that a generation produces an artist whose cosmic sense of style, showmanship and innate musicality transcends culture, genre, and locale; thankfully, J. HOWARD’S time has come.

As the son of Eddie Howard Jr. (Commissioned), one of the busiest multi-instrumentalists in Detroit, J. HOWARD was privileged to watch his father work with artists like Anita Baker, Fred Hammond, and The Williams Brothers. Now, as a veteran live performer in his own right, J. HOWARD wields drumsticks, guitars, loop pedals, keys and vocal runs with the artful precision of a Samurai wielding his sword. He’s won over audiences with electrifying sets on many of Miami’s most notable stages: Faena, Bardot, The Stage Miami, The Stage Wynwood, Wynwood Yard, Piano Bar, Little Haiti Cultural Complex, African Cultural Arts, E11even, and Sidebar are just a few. A consummate collaborator, J. HOWARD’S humble beginnings included playing as part of the house band for events like the Vagabond and SpeakFriday’s, and a stint at Churchills from 2014-2016 where he performed in a band called Black Rock Kills. Since then, J. HOWARD has performed with Latin, gospel, R&B and hip-hop artists, including Tye Tribbett, The Clark Sisters, Domino Saints, EA Musica, Marger, Encore, Entourage, Louis Miguel, and Los Wizards. Recently, J. HOWARD was invited to take up a Saturday night residency at the Hardrock Hotel and Casino playing drums alongside DJ Cardi (Miami Heat). He’s also performed with DJ Vertigo (Miami Dolphins), DJ Peewee and DJ Waytrae. Last year, J. HOWARD was invited to perform at the Wynwood’s Finest Music Festival, and the Okeechobee Music x Arts Festival, where he joined legends Chaka Khan, The Roots, Travis Scott and Snoop Dogg. Most recently, J. Howard opened for neo-soul originator Erykah Badu at the Three Points Music Festival.

HOWARD is as dedicated to the studio as he is to the stage. Original tracks like “Know It” (feat. Ill-logicz, prod. Sean Wright), “Push,” “Without You” and “Out of Space”  showcase his heart-melting, four-octave vocal range and songwriting abilities. J. HOWARD’S take on the art of seduction shines through on the vampy “Out of Space,” where he asks “Let me see into your eyes / And see what has compiled / I see some things that I can change for you /….I know exactly what you need / how you think how you breathe / I’m going to be the one that don’t fall through.”

“I been grinding for a long time / People told me give up and I almost lost my mind / Too many times, but I know and God knows / There’s something bigger than me…” J. HOWARD explains on “Know It.”

As a lifestyle brand, J. HOWARD’S influence is undeniable. When he’s not moonlighting as an event planner and host, the artist is busy coming up with new scents for his fragrance line, or new slogans for his J. HOWARD t-shirt line. Bearing his name in swanky script, or signature J. HOWARD expressions like “You Too Sleep,” the J. HOWARD brand has already graced stages he has yet to touch himself. LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, the Late Late Show with James Corden, concert tours with Rita Ora and Baby Cham—all have featured fellow musician friends (and family) rocking the J. HOWARD brand.

“I want to give the Word, love, hope, positivity and perspective with my music and brand,” says the artist soon-to-be-recognized as “The Godson of Soul.” “I’m letting everyone know that they are great. You just got to wake it up in yourself and realize.”

Current J. HOWARD projects include The Freedom Tapes alongside activists The Dream Defenders, an EP, Low Key Famous set to release in the first half of 2019, and Perspective, his first album slated for release in the latter half of the year. A strong advocate of “Each one, teach one,” J. HOWARD also lends his talents to the mentoring program Guitars over Guns, where he instructs middle school students in drums and production.

Chris Hyppolite

Keys

Chris “hy.pp” Hyppolite is a Miami native, born and raised. He has been banging on instruments consistently since the age of 4 and has never looked back. A self-taught to now classically trained musician, Chris has been passionate about educating the next generation on emotional and musical standards for nearly a decade. He has a history with and appreciation for nearly every artistic outlet from music, dancing, photography, and media. He is active in the Miami music scene performing with Kingdom Vybez as he pursues his degree in Music Therapy. As a rose from the concrete, Chris hopes to change the world from one paradigm to another.

Tim Jago

Guitar

Australian guitarist/composer/educator. 

Tim Jago began performing in jazz ensembles at the age of 21. He completed a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and was awarded the Melville Toyota Scholarship for the most outstanding final year jazz student (2006). The following year he became an adjunct guitar tutor at the same institution. Also in 2007, Tim was selected as a finalist in the National Jazz Awards to perform at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival.

In 2010 he was a selected candidate for the Freedman Fellowship in Australia. Tim relocated to the United States in August 2010 to undertake the Master of Music program in Studio Music and Jazz with a major in jazz guitar performance at The University of Miami Frost School of Music. There he held a Teaching Assistant (T.A.) position for the duration of his Masters and graduated in 2012. Tim continued in the T.A. position, returning to The University of Miami to complete the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in May 2015.

Throughout his musical career Tim has performed/recorded extensively across Australia and The United States. He has led and co-led groups at jazz festivals including The York Jazz and Soul Festival in Western Australia (2008, 2009), The Perth International Jazz Festival (2013, 2014), and The Melbourne International Jazz Festival (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015). Most recently he was announced as a semi finalist in the inaugural Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Competition (2015). He has performed and recorded with a host of world-class musicians including Patti Austin, Terence Blanchard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chick Corea, Dave Douglas, Gloria Estefan, Wycliffe Gordon, Dave Liebman, Bobby McFerrin, Vince Mendoza, Steve Miller, James Morrison, Danillo Perez, Chris Potter, and Arturo Sandoval, to name a few.

Tim has released three albums – ‘The Grid’ (2010), ‘Wear More Headbands’ (2013), and ‘The Grid III (featuring four)’ (2015) with his trio, The Grid. He has recorded in the U.S. as a member of many bands, including Troy Roberts’ Nu-Jive, ‘Nu-Jive 5’ (2013).

Jefferson Joseph

Jefferson Joseph

Guitar

Jefferson Joseph is a multi-genre bassist based in Miami, Florida. 

While formally being trained on lower brass instruments during grade school, he is self-taught on bass guitar and acoustic guitar. 

Jefferson began his career as a frequent performer within the South Florida open mic circuit. Working as either a session musician with existing groups or formulating small ensembles as a bandleader, he has tackled a wide variety of live performances and recording projects. 

Jefferson also acts as bandleader for The UnCanny Reservoir, a genre-bending instrumental project that combines elements of psychedelic rock, hip-hop, funk, jazz, and blues. 

Tif "Boom" Lusan

Rap & Poetry

Born and raised in South Florida, Tif Boom has been passionate about art and music for more than two decades. At a young age she fell in love with poetry, and began writing, performing and competing locally. At the age of 16, Tif published her first poem, and later went on to perform at Jazz in the Gardens and featured on Maybach Music Group (MMG) projects. She believes poetry and music are tools of empowerment, and uses her voice to deliver messages of equality, love and injustice.

In 2015, Tif joined forces with Papa Keith and 103.5 The Beat, Miami’s urban radio station, where her affection for underserved communities and upcoming artists flourished. She sits on the Papa Keith 4 People Matter (PK4PM) 501(c)(3) board, where she aids in bringing useful resources to forgotten neighborhoods.

Annually, the PK4PM team organizes a free hip hop concert for Liberty City that includes arts, sports and family fun. Tif books unsigned artist, including high school and middle school students, to perform positive music in front of thousands.

Year round, Tif Boom can be found servicing client’s public relations needs, hosting events and offering artist development tools to rising talent.

Brahm Masla

Brahm Masla

Drums

Brahm Masla is a professional musician from western Massachusetts who focuses mainly on playing drums/percussion, singing/rapping and songwriting. Growing up part time in JAL, Mexico, Brahm has always valued cultural, social and artistic difference. This has led him to dive deep into explorations of a great variety of different musical cultures, genres, and traditions. Brahm incorporates profound lessons that he’s had the honor of learning from all different facets of the musical world. West African drum and dance groups, South Indian konnakol teachers, Cuban percussion masters, and American jazz legends have influenced Brahm’s musicality to mold a sound that is unique, bold and innovative.

Since he started playing drums at the age of 6, Brahm has been passionate about spreading positivity, healing and love through his music. His artistic vision has brought him across North America, performing with his own projects and working as a sideman to accompany many incredible, world-class musicians and artists.

Some of the artists Brahm has performed or recorded with include Charles Neville, Arturo Sandoval, Glen David Andrews, Nestor Torres, Tony Perez and Peter Eldridge. 

Brahm is a part of the future pop music unit JUNE ARC, and he leads his own band, “brahm,” a 3-drummer, all multi-instrumentalist group that performs his original music.

Brahm’s debut EP will be released in the fall of 2021 featuring a small collection of some of the songs that he’s written in the past few years and that he holds very close to his heart.

Leo "DaVincci" Mayorga

Rap

Leo “DaVincci” Mayorga is a HipHop producer and song writer hailing from West Kendall Florida. A well seasoned underground MC with a wide range of production including HipHop, RnB-Soul, Trap and Reggae as his medium. Credits of production include DJ EFN, Dead Prez, David Banner, N.O.R.E., Sizzla, Bernz, MC Eiht, Ras Kass and Killer Mike. Leo also has been working as a rap mentor for Guitars 

Over Guns Org. Since 2015 working in Dade County at Georgie Jones Ayers Middle, Citrus Middle and Brownsville Middle in Liberty City.

Mike Montero

Mike Montero

Guitar, Keys & Percussion

Mike Montero is a well-rounded music instructor who has worked at Miami-area private schools since the late 90s. As an independent instructor, Montero employs a natural drive for teaching the art and theory of music as applied to guitar, bass, beginning piano and drums, as well as with ensemble classes. Montero possesses the patience and natural ability to provide a pleasant learning experience through which his students are motivated to skillfully apply the basic principles of playing their instruments while learning to read the language of music.

Mike’s musical journey began in the 4th grade when he received a Casio keyboard for a birthday gift. He went on to select concert band as an elective when it was time to transfer to middle school, and that’s when his stepmom (a professional music director in her own right) began teaching him music theory lessons at home. Then one day his little brother received an electric guitar for a birthday present and, as Montero noticed it was going unplayed, he decided to pick it up himself. That’s when everything changed. Suddenly lower brass and keyboard took a back seat to string instruments. Montero went from the concert band at Glades Middle to an audition for Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville and landed seats in their orchestra and jazz band. In his first two years at DA he held it down on euphonium as part of the lower brass sections, but eventually he auditioned & transferred over to the strings section on upright & electric bass.

Since then, Montero’s formed several Miami bands such as Oso, Symbiotic Simians, and Westchester Sauce. Playing live music all around South Florida has been a teacher in and of itself, and attending Miami Dade College for music business led to solid connections in Miami’s music scene. While at MDC, his indie-rock band, Oso, recorded and released the album You Know, which can be found on all the online streaming services nowadays.

The future is bright with friendships in music and students learning to live and love this universal language.

Johann Munoz

Johann C. Muñoz

Visual Art

Johann C. Muñoz is a visual artist, curator, and educator from Bogotá, Colombia. Muñoz is an interdisciplinary practitioner whose work encompasses drawing, photography, sculpture, aural installations, and pedagogy. Johann C. Muñoz received his BFA in painting from New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL.

Muñoz has been a visual arts educator for over ten years, with experience working with K-12 students and adults. Through a situation-oriented educational framework, he favors active student participation in developing more positive interactions in the classroom. His teaching philosophy fosters community engagement through the arts, to contextualize art objects/performances in daily life, and promote tangible social change. He regards his role as an educator, ‘an extension of artistic and social practice’; he is an advocate of education that is creative, sensitive to social contexts, and expands upon conversations regarding representation. He encourages students to exercise sociocultural awareness in their work.

Throughout his career, Muñoz has worked on a series of community-oriented projects like Concerto on the River, a grant-funded performance at Kingman and Heritage Islands in Washington, D.C. (2019), and Forest (2011), in partnership with the Miami-Dade Public Library System. His curatorial projects include a_part (2020), an international collective of more than 40 artists, DOMESTIC (2019), an alternative exhibition space, and Unfolding: Series I (2016), a co-curated exhibition hosted by Miami Biennale. Muñoz has exhibited work in Miami Zine Fair (2019), Activist Small Press Fair at Exile Books (2018), and the 23rd International Biennial in Gabrovo, Bulgaria (2017). His works are in public art collections, including Miami-Dade Public Library System and Museum House of Humour & Satire, Gabrovo, Bulgaria.

Muñoz is currently the lead instructor at Art Box, Coconut Grove, FL.

Jean Petit-Homme

Keys & Drums

Jean Petit-Homme and is a piano mentor at GOGO who started his journey with us playing in our Alumni Band. He loves working with kids and believes it’s a privilege to be able to have such an impact on young people to help them grow and learn more about the art of music.

Lula Rios

Vocals

Award-winning singer and musician Lula Rios is a veteran of the Miami music scene. During her 12-year tenure as the lead vocalist of the tropical soul band The Elastic Bond, she has collaborated on dozens of songs, and co-produced three albums, helping to earn the group recognition from Billboard Magazine, NPR, PRI The World, and the Los Angeles Times. In 2018, she shared the honors of a Grammy nomination with Venezuela’s world-renowned Latin alternative band Los Amigos Invisibles when their album El Paradise was nominated in the Best Latin Alternative/Rock album category. Rios co-wrote and sang on the album’s track “Esperame.” 

When she’s not on stage, Rios is out teaching others what she knows by serving as a private voice and music instructor. It all began as a child in her native Honduras. At family gatherings, her uncle would serenade the relatives by playing guitar and singing nostalgic boleros. Rios learned to do the same for her young neighbors. When her babysitter wouldn’t let her out to play with other kids, she’d lure them to her front door of her house by singing along on a microphone to her dad’s Spanish and American pop records.

Rios came South Florida as a teenager in the early 1990s, and in 2004, she obtained a business degree with an emphasis on creative performance at Miami Dade College, where her project was recognized as Music Business of the Year. In addition to her work as a musician and private instructor, she has participated in numerous workshops and volunteer projects aimed at using music to elevate the community’s quality of life. For her work and leadership in music, the City of Miami presented her and her bandmates with a Proclamation Award for elevating Miami’s artistic and cultural life. 

John Rodriguez

John Rodriguez

Drums

Born in Hialeah, Florida to Cuban-American migrants, John’s musical journey began before he was even born. His father, who grew up playing classical guitar in Cuba, would put headphones over his mother’s pregnant belly, shaping John’s  love for music from inside the womb. Growing up, music was a mainstay in the Rodriguez household. In middle school, John joined the school band and continued his musical education all through high school, performing in numerous music programs and countless local bands throughout his adolescence.
 
After graduating high school, John began giving private lessons while continuing to perform with local artists, all the while furthering his musical vocabulary. Today, with over 20 years of experience, he continues to teach drums and percussion while furthering his career and education. John primarily focuses on teaching the basics to newcomers, focusing on technique and fundamentals, giving drummers the skills they need to progress and excel to the best of their ability.
James Valsaint

St. James Valsin

Guitar & Spoken Word

James Valsaint was born in the neighborhood of Little Haiti in Miami, Florida. After graduating high school, he traveled the world, first to Barcelona where he managed a company and then to Amsterdam where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Audio Engineering. Upon returning to the States, he worked with Greenpeace in LA to fight against deforestation and offshore drilling. Back home in South Florida, James got involved with both the Occupy Movement and Black Lives Matter, with a focus on ending the school-to-prison pipeline. James has always been both an artist and an activist who believes in utilizing the power of music and love to overcome social hardships and uplift his community. He now works with Guitars Over Guns as a mentor at North Miami Middle and Senior High School where he teaches guitar and spoken word poetry.

Camilo Velez

Camilo Velez

Production

Camilo Velez is a bassist, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist based out of Miami. After studying Music Composition for TV and Film at the prestigious Frost School of Music, he has performed in a wide range of opportunities around town and abroad. Currently his main focus is in the band Butterfly Snapple.

Camilo is featured on Where’d You Go (2019) by Butterfly Snapple and on the Orden album by Muning (2017).