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Jeanette Kangas: Director and Main Instructor
Described by Cadence Magazine as a whirling dervish of rhythmic coloration, an exceptional drummer by Jazz Times Magazine and a creator of brilliant compositions and exquisite sound by Modern Drummer Magazine, Jeanette Kangas (aka Wrate) has performed in major venues in Europe, Canada and the USA, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz Festival at Sea, Playboy Jazz Festival, Freiburg Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Great American Music Hall, Zellerbach Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.
Jeanette received her Master of Fine Arts in Jazz Studies from California Institute of the Arts and a Master of Music from San Diego State University. Some of Jeanette's teaching experience includes teaching percussion ensemble, music theory and jazz history at Los Angeles Harbor College. She also taught music theory and mentored music students at El Camino College in Los Angeles from 1987-2006. Jeanette has been performing and recording for over twenty-five years in Los Angeles and San Diego. She is currently the director and instructor of Umpqua Valley Drum Lessons and the director of J Kangas Music which are programs of Progressive Health Services, a nonprofit tax-exempt 501-c3 organization that offers educational programs in support of health and wellness through music and the arts.
Artists she has performed with include Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Witherspoon, Cris Williamson, Charlie Haden, Stacy Rowles, Big World, Maiden Voyage, Michael Vlatkovich, Steuart Liebig, Ellen Burr, Holly Hoffmann, Tokeli, Peter Sprague and Bob Magnusen. She is featured on recordings by Big World, Cris Williamson, Tret Fure, Glenn Horiuchi, Steuart Liebig, Ellen Burr, Nate Jarrell, Ensemble Off n On and her own quartets: the Jeanette Wrate Quartet and The Northern Lights Ensemble. Recently she just finished recording and mixing a CD titled Mystic Poets by Sounds of Devotion where she can be heard playing various hand percussion, guitar and voice.
Some of the teachers that Jeanette studied privately with were Richard Wilson, known for 'the Wilson Grip' and world renown percussionist John Bergamo, who she studied with while attending Cal Arts. Jeanette currently resides in San Diego where she actively teaches, performs and records. Download Jeanette's Curriculum Vitae (CV).
The Ensemble Off N On Trio features Jeanette Kangas on drums, Harley Magsino on Bass and Nate Jarrell on guitar and .
Jeanette Kangas on drums and percussion performing a solo piece as a tribute to drummer Tony Williams.
The language of drumming crosses all boundaries of style and genre. If a drummer understands this language completely, they can play any style that they wish. My approach to teaching is to teach the student the language of drumming, giving them the tools that they need to play whatever and however they wish." -Jeanette Kangas