Craig Graham, Guitar
Craig Graham has become one of the most versatile guitarists in the tri-state area. Comfortable performing many styles of music, including jazz, classical, bluegrass, Latin, blues, jam band, rock and pop music, Mr. Graham performs intimate solo gigs and with orchestras and bands in all types of venues. He has toured in Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, and the USA.
In addition to performances with his own band, Mr. Graham has also performed and recorded with Jeff Andrews, Vince DelGato, Joe Deninzon, Craig Handy, Molly Holm, Carol Lawrence, Donny McCaslin, Danny Paradise, Bill Rogers, Bobby Ridle, Ben Vereen, and Rural Free Delivery. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and workshops with great musicians such as Dave Creamer, Pat Matheny, and Michael Brecker.
Rob Heinink, Guitar
Rob Heinink began playing guitar at the age of eleven and as a teenager he played in local rock bands in Hackensack, New Jersey and with the bands Jona’s Ark, The Yorkshire Pudding, as an opening act for artists Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, and Gary U.S. Bonds.
After spending two years at St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida, Rob attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied guitar with Bill Leavitt, Pat Metheny and John Damien. As a freeleance musician, Mr. Heinink has worked with The Drifters, Del Shannon, The Marvelettes, Chuck Berry, The Crystals, Leslie Gore and believe it or not Tiny Tim.
He has appeared in recordings, Off Broadway shows, as well as the European tour of the musical Hair and productions of Tommy, Big River, Fiddler on the Roof and Grease. He also writes and collaborates with others making original music.
From 1994 to 2000 Mr. Heinink was the guitarist for The Royal Scam, a Steely Dan tribute band, and during that time Mr. Heinink was hired by Hal Leonard Music Corporation to write a guitar transcription book called The Best of Steely Dan. He composed and recorded a national radio jingle called P-TOUCH, with Corey Glover from the rock band Livng Colour, for Brother International Corporation.
Presently Mr. Heinink divides his time between teaching, which he enjoys as much as performing, and playing guitar for the jazz quartet …and All That Jazz, whose 2005 CD “Reflections” was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mr. Heinink in his home-based 24-track recording studio. He is also involved in themandolin/classical guitar project Music Of The Ages.
Joel Perry, Guitar
Joel Perry, one of the premier guitarists and musicians of our time, has performed in over fifteen countries and in venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Garden State Arts Center, The Rainbow Room, Windows on the World, and the U.S. Department of State tour of West Africa with blues artist Johnny Copeland.
Mr. Perry has performed with such legendary artists as Papa John Creach, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Lavern Baker, Joni Mitchel, Herb Ellis, Rosemary Clooney, Leslie Gore, Margaret Whiting, Eddie Fischer, James Cotton, Percy France, Leon Thomas, Jimmy Dawkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Ken Peplowski and Al Hibbler.
He has recorded with Johnny Copeland and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and has three of his own CD releases: “Rainbow Skylight”, “Perry Airs”, and “Sonata to the Blues”. Mr. Perry holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, graduating magna cum laude, Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of Buffalo, Master of Arts Degree in Guitar Performance from Jersey City State University, and completed a Summer Fellowship at Northwestern University.
He is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the National Association of Jazz Educators, Music Educators National Conference, and American Choral Directors Association.
Andrew Nitkin, Guitar
Andrew Nitkin is the original Founder and Director of the American Institute of Guitar in New York City, established over three decades ago.
There he developed a specific curriculum geared towards the teaching of all styles of guitar playing as well as an international concert series that featured many of today’s great performers on the instrument.
Mr. Nitkin’s education includes having attended The College of New Jersey, Hunter College and Mannes College of Music in New York City.
His private studies included Howard Fraidkin, Leonid Bolotine, Ariadna Mikeshina, Mario Escudero, and Tiberio Nascimento.
Mr. Nitkin has performed in a variety of venues and settings over the years having performed chamber music with Juan Carlos Rybin of the Quartetto Amati, most recently The Sacred Hymns and Carols Choir of New Jersey, and on the Community Concert Series at the New Providence Memorial Public Library both as a soloist and ensemble player. Having been classically trained, his performing style is a mix of classical, Spanish, and Brazilian guitar.
Since having left the American Institute of Guitar in 2004, Mr. Nitkin joined the staff of the Wharton Music Center in Berkeley Heights in 2005 as a faculty member and an administrator. He believes that the study of music helps to enrich and make for a better quality of life for every person who chooses to pursue it. That is his life’s passion and mission.