Ella Fitzgerald, Sara Vaughn and a set of musically inclined parents made up the early influence of her piano and singing career. A prodigy of sorts, she started playing the piano and singing at the early age of six inspired by a home atmosphere that continually permeated with talk and practice of music. Her father a jazz pianist and mother a jazz singer.
She continued her goal for music and studied at the Conservatory of Music at St., Paul’s College and University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. It came to no surprise when she embarked on her own singing career, joining a host of singing contest using them as stepping stones to her musical career.
Winning the prestigious “Star Search of Asia” finally brought her some recognition, and since then became a regular guest at various TV Shows which included a Broadway Sunday Musical Comedy Show for five years. She was selected the Representative for the Asian countries touring with other Asian performers. This exposure brought her to the attention to perform at some of Manila’s Premiere Five-Star Hotels. A recording contract with Blackgold and Villar Records singing her own compositions capped her career. She worked with a Talent Agency Company in the bay area called “Singing Stars” based in San Diego for many years.
The San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival has featured Ann Marie at concerts over the past few years, most notably as guest artist of our Festival at the SF Pistahan and Parade at Yerba Buena Gardens, the Jazz History Month Celebration at the SF Main Public Library, Yoshi’s, The Scottish Rite Theater, Angelica’s and continues to perform at Jazz Venues in the Bay Area.
There is no doubt that she has musical chops and talent in abundance. Ann Marie has brought together the crème of the crème of first-class musicians in the Bay Area. Musical Director, Mr. Dioscoro “Boy” Palacio and Ann Marie worked on exceptional and original arrangements of standards such as “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” “Love For Sale,” “It’s Alright With Me,” “Cry Me A River,” “Lover Man,” and “Gypsy In My Soul.” Her original compositions, “I Was Only Dreaming” and “Come Back” show off her composing and songwriting abilities. “Sing a Song with Passion” her debut CD has now been released.
Ayumi Asayama enjoys teaching piano to children and exploring her student's interests in Music together. In her teaching, she includes ear training, rhythm training, finger technique, and fundamental music theory. For beginner students, the first goal of the piano lesson is to play the melody line of the student’s favorite song and motivate practicing the basic skills.
Ayumi Asayama started playing classical piano when she was 3 years old at Private Yamaha Music Studio in her home town Osaka, Japan. After she learned classical piano, she explored Jazz, R&B, Soul, Blues, Rock, and Pops Music. She started singing cover songs by R&B musicians such as Alicia Keys, and Steve Wonder with a band or playing piano by herself, and performed at live music cafes, bars, venues, hotels, and welfare facilities.
Besides Ayumi working as a kindergarten teacher/child care worker after graduating from College with Early Childhood Education in japan, she continued to perform and pursued her passion for Music. She learned Piano and Vocal performance at Music Performance Academy from professional Musicians in Los Angels in 2012. She joined the Christmas concert of Victoria Bible Church in Pasadena, CA as a part of the choir. Most recently, Ayumi received an associate degree in Arts in the field of Music from Skyline College in 2022
Guanhua Ge (Monica) is a pianist, singer, composer and music producer living and working out of California. She had 24 years of experience playing piano and 7 years of experience singing. As a soprano singer, she won 3 awards in Italy, and 3 awards in the USA for choir. She composer for a animation film that won 10+ international film award nominations and awards, including The 53rd Taiwan Golden Horse Awards Best Animated Short Film Nominees, The 57th Krakow Film Festival, The 33rd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival narrative short film selection etc. She scored 14 original songs for Taiwanese Public Television service Broadcasting, with an estimated 18 million viewers.
Guanhua Ge (Monica) began the musical career at the age of 4, taking piano lessons with Ms. Sao Jin. At the age of 16, she began learning harp lessons with harp professor in Tianjin Conservatory of Music, China. When she was 20 years old, she began to learn Musicology in Xinghai Conservatory of Music, China. Monica earned her Master degree of Fine Arts in Music Production and Sound Design for Visual Media at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She had a Bachelor of Music Degree in History of Western Music and Modern Chinese Music in Musicology at Xinghai Conservatory of Music, China.
Monica's teaching style emphasizes music to understand music history, music culture and music literature. She is good at teaching students to think differently and encourage learning and understanding of music. She is very satisfied with the patience of the students, because she believes that the golden keys to teach music not only tell students to play musical instruments or singing skills, but also to maintain and understand, love and enjoy music. Students can expect to learn music theory, chord / scale relationships, piano and vocal music, Western music history in different periods, national and cultural backgrounds.
Raised in Santa Clarita (Southern California), Helen has been singing in choirs since freshman year of high school. This includes the famed Show Choir of Golden Valley, Rhapsody in Gold. In 2011, Helen moved to San Francisco to study at SF State University where she received a bachelor of fine arts in music with an emphasis in jazz studies. As a singer, her vocal styles range from Brazilian to Latin Jazz, Salsa, Swing, Blues, R&B and Pop. During her time at SF State she studied and played with John Calloway in the Afro Cuban Ensemble. She later performed with his latin jazz septet at the Redwood City Salsa Festival in 2017, 2019 and at the 2020 Latin Heritage Day concert. Helen has also sung in Anthony Blea’s City College Charanga Band for three years and has conducted the CCSF choir (under Michael Shahani) during their 2019 Winter Concert. Helen’s own group, the Helen Palma quartet, has performed at the Ocean Ale House for over two years. Helen is also a teacher of voice and piano, currently teaching at the ViBO Music School.
Brazilian-American Isabella Da Silva has been singing since she was three years old; the age in which she sang her first solo at Message of Peace Church. Growing up, she wrote her first song at the age of seven years old and has been a songwriter ever since. Isabella is also a self-taught ukulele, guitar and piano player in addition to being a vocalist. Some of her greatest musical theater achievements include playing Vanessa in In the Heights, Adella in The Little Mermaid, and Papa Ge in Once On This Island in her high school productions. Isabella still sings at her local church’s choir, leads a kids choir, and recently was hired as Assistant Musical Director where she teaches harmonies and vocal techniques in addition to other things. She has also performed alongside the Vibo Simfani group at Music in the Parks where she.
Apart from her vocal experience, Isabella has also been playing violin for seven years. Starting in the beginning of middle school, she continued and was named concertmaster at her high school. She has led the chamber strings group in many performances including school concerts, CMEA Festival, senior center performances, and Music in the Parks where they performed in Disneyland's California Adventure to name a few.
She was hired as the youngest teacher at ViBO the summer of 2019 for Camp Allegro and has loved working there ever since.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Natalie knew from a young age music was the path she wanted to follow. She quickly took up singing and trained her ears to pick up unique harmonies within songs. Soon after she learned to play acoustic guitar, keys, and the ukulele. Natalie decided to use the best of her musical abilities to busk with friends across the city and share her passion by getting involved with the local art scene as well as teaching students K-12 in groups or individually. She encourages all to incorporate some aspect of music or art into their lives as a creative release from stress, and to discover the fun and freedom it has to offer.
Zahra Rothschild is a music educator and performer from San Francisco whose goal is to work with young musicians to foster a lifelong passion for music. She is a recent graduate from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo with a B.A. in music (specializing in vocal performance) and a double minor in Latin American studies and Ethnic studies, where among other things she cultivated skills in classical vocal technique, piano, conducting, music research and classical and commercial music performance. She has been a private music educator in San Luis Obispo, and has been a part of a diverse array of ensembles including the Cal Poly SLO Arab Music Ensemble, Cal Poly SLO Chamber choir, and Cal Poly Vocal Jazz Ensemble. She is versed in a wide array of musical styles including jazz, Latin American music, pop, and classical, and she loves exploring both traditional techniques and more "jam" based skills with students.