Our Team: studio

Chuck Leavell-rockstar!

Chuck Leavell

irocku founder

irocku was conceived by Chuck to teach the fundamentals of rock. Chuck is excited to share his passion for rock with you all.
Chuck is one of the greatest keyboard players in rock history. Chuck has shared the stage and recorded with some of the most influential players in rock and roll including, The Allman Brothers, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, The Black Crowes, Chuck Berry, John Mayer, Gov't Mule, Indigo Girls, Aretha Franklin, Keith Urban, Train, The Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Linda Rondstadt and The Rolling Stones.

Collin Dejoseph-piano instructor

Collin DeJoseph

irocku piano instructor

Collin is a keyboardist, arranger, and composer and a graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. As a child in Syracuse, New York, Collin got his musical start playing songs on piano by ear and later studied classical music extensively, before moving to New York City to study jazz. His influences include Frank Zappa, Dr. John, Richard Tee, Bill Evans, and James Booker. He currently works playing jazz, blues, R&B, and rock’n roll with a number of distinct groups, as well as teaching privately.

Gabe Gordon-piano instructor

Gabe Gordon

irocku piano instructor

Gabe Gordon is a keyboardist, pianist, arranger and songwriter living in New York City. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Gabe performs and records across the northeast with a variety of acts (most notably as a founding member of NYC Indie-Soul sextet, The Rooks). Gabe also coordinates the Distance Learning program at the Manhattan School of Music. His work spans a vast array of genres, including Rock, Jazz, R&B and Soul, and his influences include Stevie Wonder, Steve Winwood, Billy Preston, Herbie Hancock, John Medeski and many more.

Jacob Bergson-piano instructor

Jacob Bergson

irocku piano instructor

Jacob Bergson is a pianist, keyboardist, producer, and composer currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. He received his formal musical training in jazz piano performance at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He is interested in hearing, writing, and performing all kinds of music, and is a member of Jojo Mayer's band, Nerve. Jacob finds constant inspiration in the music of Miles Davis, Igor Stravinsky, Samuel Barber, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Jimi Hendrix.

Conun Pappas-piano instructor

Conun Pappas

irocku piano instructor

Conun has been playing music since the age of seven. Conun attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, majoring in Jazz Piano. Conun has performed as soloist, ensemble member and currently performs with The Bridge Trio, rooted in New Orleans Jazz. He has appeared with jazz figures Donald Harrison, Alvin Batiste, Chico Hamilton, Barry Harris and Branford Marsalis, among others. He has performed at the Jazz and Heritage Festival for the past six years and at the Satchmo Music Festival for four years.



irocku performer

Jagger plays the piano and the clarinet. Jagger has been humming Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker since he was 4 years old. His affinity for music has led him to irocku. He started playing the piano at age 11. His progress and his enthusiasm have skyrocketed since he became a member of irocku.

Cary Brown-piano instructor

Cary Brown

irocku creative director

Cary is our creative director. Cary is a versatile pianist, having performed worldwide with many diverse performers ranging from The Band’s Levon Helm to jazz legend John Scofield. Cary is a classically trained pianist and earned a double-degree from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester. Cary is a fanatic about rock rhythms and syncopation, an obsession he developed while playing keyboards for the Jamaican-jazz pioneers, The Skatalites. Cary is the musical director of the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance as well as the Director of the Rock'nRoll Camp at the Harvey School in Katonah.

Matthew Watanabe- piano instructor

Matthew Watanabe

irocku piano instructor

Currently based in NYC, Matthew is a pianist and composer, who can be heard playing in pop and jazz groups when not rocking out on his own. Matthew gigs at the esteemed Soho house every week. Having found his musical beginnings in Japan with pop and rock music, Matthew set off to New York to study jazz at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, from which he graduated in early 2012. Matthew's musical influences are Jamie Cullum, Elvis Presley, and Herbie Hancock.

Ben Fink-guitar instructor

Ben Fink

irocku guitar instructor

Ben started playing guitar at age 11 and has never stopped playing.  Ben attended the Berklee College of Music and has recorded with Richie Goods (Manhattan Transfer, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston) and Peter O’Brien (Orleans, Edgar Winter, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells).  He currently leads The Ben Fink Trio and is also Lead Guitarist for the Boston-based rock group Some Say Fire. When not performing, Ben provides guitar accompaniments for modern dance classes throughout New England and teaches at the Bedford Youth Performing Company music program.

Jake Sherman-piano instructor

Jake Sherman

irocku piano instructor

Jake is one of the top young jazz artists in the country. As well as an accomplished jazz musician, Jake is a gospel keyboardist, playing organ every Sunday at the Greater Antioch Temple Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Jake has performed at the Grammy Awards and the International Jazz Festival in Bern, Switzerland and at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Regattabar, Cachaca, the Berklee Performance Center, and the Lily Pad. He has studied with acclaimed jazz musicians such as Sam Yahel, Ari Hoenig, Marc Copland, Gerard D'angelo, Dave Zoffer, Doug Johnson, Dan Loschen, and Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Freddy Dylan-irocku performer

Dylan Citron

irocku performer

Dylan plays the drums and keyboards and has played in bands with his friends throughout high school and is currently a Music Industry major at Northeastern. Dylan's musical influences include Waxahatchee, Sufjan Stevens, Radiohead, and Modest Mouse. As an irocku student he's learning to dig the rock legends!

Katie-irocku performer


irocku performer

Katie plays the keyboards and French Horn. And, man, can Katie play! Katie plays classical, jazz, and rock. As an irocku student she's been getting into the rock rhythms and syncopations.