Meet Gabe Pietrzak, Guitar instructor at South Island Studio

Ryan Oliver – Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute

“Whenever I am teaching, I try to impart my love of music, belief in the fundamentals of technique and repertoire, and passion for creativity and self-expression. I have taught woodwind lessons at all levels, from students playing their first notes to university level jazz musicians. I have also taught small combos and big bands. Over the years this has allowed me to learn about teaching; how to impart my knowledge in a way that will get across and address a student’s needs. In lessons, I focus on tone and technique development, while working on music the student is interested in learning. While I want to help each student improve and try to tailor lessons to address an individual student’s specific needs, I think the most important thing is that the lessons are fun and that music becomes an enjoyable part of their lives!”

Victoria based, Juno-nominated saxophonist Ryan Oliver honed his craft on Canada’s west coast before moving to Amsterdam, Toronto and New York. During his 16 years in Toronto, he maintained a busy schedule as one of Canada’s most in-demand saxophonists. Oliver has toured India, Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada with the legendary eclectic jazz group, The Shuffle Demons. He is also a member the Cookers Quintet and Juno award winning blues/rock performer Derek Miller’s group. Oliver is featured in the horn section on Derek Miller’s most recent recording, “Derek Miller and Double Trouble”, featuring Stevie Ray Vaughn’s heralded rhythm section Double Trouble and musical icon Willie Nelson.

Ryan Oliver’s debut recording, Convergence, was selected by CODA Magazine as one of the top 10 Canadian jazz releases of 2007. His latest release Strive! features jazz legend Victor Lewis on drums. Oliver has received numerous Canada and Ontario Arts Council grants and was nominated for the 2013 Prix De Jazz at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Jazz education is also an important part of Oliver’s professional life. Holding a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University, he has been a featured clinician at Vancouver Island University, Western University, the University of Windsor and high schools throughout Canada.


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