Award winning team of professional musicians, each gifted in his or her own right. Our instructors have vast experience of playing and teaching music.
A native Tennessean, Frank Bumpass grew up in Chattanooga. As a child, his biggest influence was his father. Music runs deep in his family, with a host of relatives who always gathered to play around him.
Frank found himself continually surrounded by music, and it was no surprise that at age eleven, Frank picked up his first saxophone and began to express his thoughts, views, and emotions through his music.
Bumpass has played with many musical groups in the Southern United States, and this has imbued his playing with a distinct R&B edge. When he is not on the road, he enjoys teaching jazz lessons and teaching private lessons. (BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE/
As a professional trumpeter for over 20 years, Antoine “Steely Bruno” Williamson has been traveling all over the southeast fusing: jazz, reggae, soul, funk, salsa, and calypso for audiences of all ages.
Williamson has been a constant student of the American Art Form known as Jazz, and studied Music Education and Instrumental Performance at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
He is considered one the best jazz trumpeters in the state of Tennessee. He has been a member or performed with Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Rhythm Nation, Soulfinger, Milele, Roots, Ogya World Music Band, Bluesette, the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, and Atlanta Jazz Orchestra.
When he is in town, he enjoys teaching music and giving private lessons with Doors Open Jazz.(BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED).
Solomon Family Solutions’ Co-Executive Director Yattie Westfield brings music to at risk youth and children that are unable to afford music lessons through his vision Project Chance.
For over 10 years with Kings of Killerfish (KOKF), Yattie got the opportunity to tour, playing festivals and opening for acts such as 311, Widespead Panic, ARU, Snoop Dog, Charlie Daniels, The Jerry Garcia Band and many others.
Later Yattie would tour and share the stage with reggae greats such as Cedric Myton and The Natti Love Joys and would play International Festivals such as The Dominican Jazz Festivals with jazz greats, Poncho Sanchez and Chu Chu Valdez.
Today Yattie continues to write, record and teach at his “The Art of Noise Academy” which specializes in opportunities for children and adults to discover and hone their musical talents and learn from a working professional musician.
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Thomas “Tee” Bumpass was born in Chattanooga, TN. He comes from a family of eight siblings; four of them also being musically inclined.
Fresh out of high school at age 17, he went on tour with a well known artist at the time by the name of Dyke and The Blazers traveling across the US as a trumpeter. After returning home from his year-long tour, he played with several local groups on “Big 9”, known today as MLK BLVD. Two years later, he moved to Nashville, performed and toured with the Jimmy Church Band for about six years.
Bumpass traveled the US with numerous bands and performed on Ozone ‘s very 1st album “Walk On” where it was included as part of the title song of the soundtrack to the Michael Douglas’ movie “It’s My Turn”.
He moved back to Chattanooga and played with many local groups and has taught many private lessons. He is now heading up his own band, The Tee Bumpass Band, and looking forward to working with the youth in Doors Open Jazz in our great city of Chattanooga. (BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED)
A versatile musician and teacher based in Chattanooga, Michael Ake has performed in a diverse array of venues around the region, from the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and Mizpah Congregation Temple to Walker State Prison. Michael currently serves as the Chair of the Performing Arts Department for the McCallie School.
As a teacher, he is recognized as a culture carrier at his school, being awarded the Faculty Fellows Award by his administration and the Lipscomb Davis Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence by his colleagues. He has presented sessions at the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools Biennial Conference and the Tennessee Music Education Association In-Service Conference.
Michael is committed to empowering students to think creatively. He currently works in collaboration with Chattanooga-based composer Tim Hinck to create original works involving every arts discipline taught at McCallie. Bringing together dancers, actors, visual artists, and musicians, Michael and Tim work with the students to create unique multi-media performances twice per year.
Michael holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Christian Roemer has loved music his whole life. From piano lessons as a young lad in elementary school to playing punk rock in dive bars during college, it’s rare to see him without headphones of some kind on his ears. While guitar is his main squeeze, he also plays piano from time to time. He’s a decent bassist, mediocre drummer, and pathetic harmonica player. Aside from teaching music for Doors Open Jazz, he also writes fiction and poetry, rock climbs, and hangs out with his rad family. He appreciates almost all forms of music except for post 2000s country. His dream concert would be to go back in time to watch Motley Crue at the Whiskey A Go Go or Townes van Zandt at the Old Quarter.