Keyboard, Vocals, Bass Lessons | THOR Alt/Indie Director
Stephanie Sanders is a gifted musician who has been writing and performing music for over 10 years in and around the New York area as well as around the country. Early on in her career she wrote and recorded a full-length album with her band The Saras. Siamese Connection, released in 2001 on Starry Eyed Records. The band subsequently toured opening for Amfibian (featuring Tom Marshall, lyricist for Phish).
This led Stephanie to further pursue music by continuing her education at the New School Jazz program in New York City. After graduating with a BA in Keyboard Performance in 2003 she has continued her study of voice technique, bass, and guitar. She began teaching in New York with The Piano School of NYC teaching at multiple public schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan while also working with numerous private students of all ages. She has been working with Tomato’s House of Rock since it’s conception.
Stephanie currently gigs regularly in NYC. She can often be found playing bass and singing with the band Hawk and Dove. She can also be heard playing bass and/or keyboards as a frequent special guest with Chris Harford and the Band of Changes (featuring members of Ween and Joe Russo of The Duo / Furthur). She worked as musical director and pianist for a production of A Charlie Brown Christmas alongside a local Brooklyn acting troupe and performs on miscellaneous recordings and concerts in New York.
THOR House Band & Beginner Director
Multi-instrumentalist Joan was born in Singapore and is a classically trained violinist and pianist with a penchant for ROCK. With more than 10 years with her teaching and performing experience, she moved to NYC and has found herself in great demand playing bass, keyboard or electric violin in a myriad of creative situations. Her bands, Bright and Loud, Hawk and Dove, Instrument Thieves and Party Lights can often be found playing in various venues like Mercury Lounge, Bowery Electric, The Knitting Factory, Bitter End, Rockwood Music Hall and the like. She is also sought after by singer-songwriters for her creative musicality, whether it’s the instruments she plays or singing. She pursues music with ferocity and love as she believes in the truth that it reveals. With her vast experience, she seeks to inspire and pass this on to emerging talents.
Basist | Composer | THOR Instructor
Dave Johnsen, multi-instrumentalist, composer, native New Yorker and current Brooklyn resident, has been studying music for most of his life with a focus on Electric Bass. Working full time as a freelance bassist early in his life has acquired him a long list of touring and session credits both nationally and internationally. Currently, Dave is the touring bassist for the GrandMothers of Invention, performing the music of Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention led by original Mothers of Invention members Don Preston keyboards and synth as well as Napoleon Murphy Brock on lead vocals, sax and flute. Also he is currently working for the fusion outfit Darren Lyons Group with Chris Clark and Chad McLaughlin. Dave has shared the stage with many Frank Zappa Band alumni including Ike Willis, Ray White, Mike Keneally and Ed Mann as the bassist for Project/Object: Frank Zappa Tribute led by Andre Cholmondeley. He worked for the Mahavishnu Project, a Mahavishnu Orchestra/John McLaughlin/Jeff Beck repertory group, and is featured on their Cuneiform Records release, “Return to the Emerald Beyond”. He has also worked for Miles Davis keyboardist Adam Holzman in his jazz fusion group Brave New World and has worked for Adam’s wife and jazz guitarist Jane Getter. He has performed throughout NYC at many premier venues including BB Kings’, Gramercy Theater, Webster Hall, the Blue Note, Central Park, Knitting Factory, Brooklyn Bowl, Iridium Jazz Club, Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom and festivals like Moog Fest and Green Apple Music Fest, as well as various clinics throughout the city. Besides freelancing, he was a long-standing member of the funk/surf/punk group the Insidious Rays Produced by Andrew Weiss (Ween) as well as co-led the underground progressive rock group Wavetaster.
Dave has also had the pleasure of working with such fine musicians as Jan Hammer (mahavishnu orchestra, miami vice), Anton Fig (david letterman band), Jon Fishman (phish), Dave Fuzinski, Joel Rosenblatt (spyro gyra), Chris Clark, Chad McLaughlin, Denny Walley (zappa, beefheart), Chuck Garvey (moe), Darren Lyons, Jamie Masefield (jazz mandolin project), Gregg Bendian (pat methany, ornette coleman), Darrin James Band, Gary Lucas (captain beefheart), Zach Brock (stanley clarke band), Glenn Alexander, Skerik (les claypool), Rob Thomas (berklee-strings dept), Eric Slick (dr. dog), Catch 22 (victory records) and many more. Dave currently has endorsements with Gallien – Krueger Bass Amps and Tech 21/ SansAmp Pedals.
for more information:
Guitar | Drums | Bass | THOR Alt/Indie & Beginner Co-Director
Wayan is a full time musician based in Brooklyn. When he was an infant, he would only fall asleep if Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced? was playing in the background, and he saw his first concert, The Pretenders in Philly, at the age of 2. He has been performing on a variety of instruments for as long as he can remember, though he is oddly incapable of playing violin or piano, two of his earliest explorations in to music. He majored in Jazz Performance at Lewis & Clark College, under the guidance of guitarist Dan Balmer (Diane Schuur), and has independently studied drums with Jojo Mayer (Nerve) and Joe Russo (Furthur). Wayan currently plays drums with jazz-fusion supergroup Russ Kaplan +7 and guitar with afro-funk ensemble The Funk Ark (both on Ropeadope records), as well as performing with an assortment of Brooklyn-based songwriters, and serving as Interim Drummer for THOR-based band Youth Posse. He makes sure everybody’s name is spelled correctly for Relix magazine, and writes obituaries for Jambands.com. In his free time, he likes to think about what it would be like to have free time.
THOR Songwriting/Recording Director | THOR House Band Co-Director
Max Hodes is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, experimental sonic architect, audio engineer and producer. He was trained in the art of listening since conception, when his mother would practice classical singing and piano, touching the body of the instrument with her own pregnant form,. He picked up the violin at age four and promptly ground off the strings and destroyed his bow. He has been navigating an esoteric study of music, destroying instruments and shredding faces ever since: from the Concord Community Music School, where, beginning in 1990 he studied drums, bass and guitar; traveling his folks who played in, according to allmusic.com, “the only band for children and families that sounds like The Grateful Dead;” through Berklee College of Music, where he unstudied guitar and learned how make records; to Occupy Wall Street, where he used to disrupt downtown Manhattan with colossal solo renditions of “Nessun Dorma.” He lives in Brooklyn, where he plays and sings in a plethora of psychedelic rock bands.
THOR Metal Co-Director | THOR Instructor
Josh Musto is a THOR graduate (class of 2012) and a versatile guitar player and vocalist. He is the Co-Director of the THOR Metal program, teaches guitar lessons at THOR, and currently plays in the bands ShitKill, Sound of Urchin, and Youth Posse.