Lesley fell in love with Music for Aardvarks in Brooklyn in 1996...first as a parent and later as a class leader. Inspired by the program’s spirit and originality she brought Aardvarks with her when her family re-located to Larchmont in 2003. Groove has twice received a Best of Westchester Award for Best Kids' Class, as well as numerous accolades from parenting publications and real live parents, too! Lesley has a BMA in voice from the University of Michigan and a MFA in arts management from Brooklyn College. Before Groove, she proudly served as Director of Development for Jazz at Lincoln Center (alongside Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis), Playwrights Horizons and Celebrate Brooklyn. She lives in Westchester with her musical husband, son and daughter.
Allie has been involved in a range of musical endeavors — from performing in two Broadway productions growing up, to training as a classical vocalist, to singing and playing keyboard as a solo act and in bands. She is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase, and while there, managed a band on a three-month national tour. Outside of Groove, Allie continues to write and record her own music. She hopes for her musical experiences to engage Groovers (of all ages!) in finding their own love of music.
Philip was raised in Westchester by a family of musicians and in addition to the drums, he also plays guitar, bass and piano. Since 2014, Phil has attended The Collective School of Music and is currently in 4 bands that play alternative-folk, psych-punk, blues-funk, and neo-soul/jazz. His mentors include: Terry Silverlight, Etienne Bowler, Adriano Santos, Frank Katz, and Peter Retzlaff. Philip firmly believes that the whole world is a drum and finds it very fun to play.
Zev’s original music for children draws from many musical cultures and traditions to create songs about everyday childhood: family, fantasy, silliness and whimsy. After studying Ethnomusicology in college, Zev spent time traveling and learning more about World Music, as well as deepening his understanding of American folk traditions and instruments. The result is a fun and eclectic style of music that incorporates a variety of musical instruments such as the banjo, guitar, piano, berimbau, and didgereedoo. He has recently released his third album, Chicken Scratch. Zev lives in Westchester with his wife and two daughters, Lucy and Daphne. musicbyzev.com
Tom has taught music to children and young adults in both school and camp settings for the last 20 years. He regularly performs and records music and has releases and press via iTunes, Xbox 360’s Rock Band, Wonkavision Magazine, AP Magazine, Pandora and Spotify. Tom has toured nationally with several bands including performing on the Van’s Warped Tour. Originally from Westchester, Tom holds a degree in Performing Arts from WCC. He teaches privately all throughout lower Westchester.
Originally from Seattle, Johnny graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and has played Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Bear Creek, Gathering of the Vibes, Telluride Jazz, and Voodoo Fest in New Orleans and more, He helped write and record the tenor and baritone saxophone parts on Beyonce‘s album 4, played with tUnE-yArDs at Summer Stage in New York, Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan) and Warren Haynes at a Midnight Ramble at Levon Helm’s Studio, Govt Mule at the Beacon Theater in New York, Joe Lally (of Fugazi), Strangefolk at StrangeCreek, La La Brooks of Phil Spector’s Crystals, worked with Grammy-award winner and former American Idol Judge Randy Jackson at Jim Henson Studios in Los Angeles, and has opened up for Stevie Wonder, The Avett Brothers, Dr. John, Fitz and the Tantrums, Counting Crows, moe., Soulive, Sharon Jones and Dap Kings, Trombone Shorty, + the Funky Meters. johnnybutler.com
Jake is a longtime musician who has been playing in bands since he was 9 years old. He has also written and recorded multiple albums in which he plays every instrument. He is currently performing with 3 different bands that perform 3 different types of music (alternative punk, hardcore and a Beatles tribute act). Jake is working towards a certification in sound engineering from at the School of Audio Engineering in New York City.
Katherine grew up in Larchmont and now lives in New Rochelle with her three kids who are all Music for Aardvarks alumni. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Union College with a double major in Music Vocal Performance and Psychology. Katherine has performed in musical theater from grade school through college, including attending specialized programs at Carnegie Mellon and James Madison University. She is really looking forward to grooving with you and your family. Katherine believes that life is better with jazz hands!
Jesse plays lead guitar for the NYC-based band Dolly Spartans with whom he has performed at Mercury Lounge, Highline Ballroom, Rockwood Music Hall, Shea Stadium/Bklyn, Webster Hall and on college campuses through the Northeast. Jesse interned at independent record label Captured Tracks and music venue Shea Stadium, both in Brooklyn. Jesse is also the founder of Evergreen Records. Fun fact: Jesse's dad took him to David Weinstone’s Music for Aardvarks classes in NYC from 1997-2000.
Paulie is a guitarist/singer/songwriter from Peekskill, NY. Since starting on guitar at age 7, Paulie has blossomed as a session musician and songwriter. He's done multiple east coast tours, performed at Vans Warped Tour and venues the likes of The Bitter End, Webster Hall, and the Paramount Center for the Arts. In 2016, Paulie released a mini LP entitled "Retrospect" under the name Paulie and the Bluechips. The single "Looking For Love", mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, has since achieved radio play. In addition to his own group, Paulie is currently touring with Triple Crown recording artists A Will Away. He is also the guitarist for the progressive soul outfit, Vinegar Mother
Kim has a Master's in music education from Lehman College as well as a NYS teaching certificate. She is also certified in the Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze early childhood teaching methods. Kim serves as music teacher for numerous pre-schools and day care centers and after-school enrichment programs. An accomplished musician, Kim has extensive training in music theory, composition, classical and jazz piano, ear training and sight singing. Kim resides with her husband and three daughters in Westchester County.