Instructors

Slam Academy instructors are pulled from the leading industry professional producers, DJs, and educators. Whether they are teaching a class, or just hanging out, Slam Academy is the destination spot for the best electronic music talent in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Katie Kramarczuk (Hydrah)

Music Industry Program (MSP)

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Katie aka Hydrah is an electronic music composer, vocalist, and classically trained cellist and pianist. Led by her powerfully indelible vocals, Katie’s emotionally charged yet melodic, driving sound is most inspired by house and techno genres. The unusual combination of her training and influences culminate in an unforgettable stage performance of live vocals, keys, launch pads, and synths.

Katie’s most formative experiences, however, stemmed from her work in conservation. After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology, she developed a deep reverence for nature through her work in the field. Of all the beauty she experienced, the sounds were what left the strongest impression on her musical ears.

Katie has been featured on platforms such as Glamglare, Electronic North, Dancing Astronaut, Nest HQ and Vice among others. She has spent years developing her story and brand, and executing a successful release strategy with an emphasis on Spotify, SoundCloud, Instagram and YouTube.

Aaron Mader (Lazerbeak)

Music Industry Program (MSP)

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Aaron Mader, known professionally as Lazerbeak, is a Minneapolis-based artist and producer. Aside from being a founding member of the Doomtree collective, he is also the CEO and General Manager of Doomtree Records, handling the day-to-day operations, management, and inner workings of the crew and label. Over the past decade he has worked with a wide range of artists including Doomtree, Lizzo, Matt and Kim, Trampled By Turtles, Dessa, GAYNGS, P.O.S, Speedy Ortiz, Mac Lethal, Mixed Blood Majority, and The Plastic Constellations. In addition to original production and songwriting, Beak also works musically behind the scenes on commercials, movie trailers, TV shows, and remixes. Little money, lotsa places. Legend Recognize Legend.

Grace Davies

Music Industry Program (MSP)

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Grace Davies is an attorney with Tilton & Dunn, P.L.L.P., with experience litigating cases in both state and federal courts and representing clients in a wide variety of disputes and contract negotiations. In the area of entertainment, Ms. Davies has represented and provided counsel to indie musician clients in a diverse array of situations including licensing for movies, TV and video games; negotiating label deals; and creating and implementing release strategies.

Ms. Davies is actively committed to pro bono representation which includes work as a volunteer attorney for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. Ms. Davies is also a volunteer facilitator and community member of the Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership and the Restorative Justice Community Action Project of Minneapolis.

Ms. Davies is admitted to practice in Minnesota before the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. She is also a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee.

Mr. Bill

Ableton Live Program (DEN)

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Mr. Bill has been a leader in the audio production world for years. Beyond producing dazzlingly intricate originals, remixes, and collaborations with other stars of the industry, his eagerness to share his massive library of technical know-how has made him just as sought-after for studio work as he is for highly energetic and crowd-pleasing live performances.

Mr. Bill has toured North America and Australia with a live drummer, supported Beats Antique on multiple U.S. tours, and has played major festivals around the world. Last year he scored the Nicolas Cage horror-comedy MOM AND DAD, and his techno side project Electrocado was signed to deadmau5’ mau5trap label for a multiple EP contract. Mr. Bill will release his latest IDM album, Apophenia, on October 9 (also on mau5trap).

Stefon Taylor (Bionik)

Recording Arts and Producer Programs (MSP)

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Producer-performer-composer Stefon “Bionik” Taylor is at one in both acoustic and electronic realms. He sings, plays a verity of instruments, and writes and records all of his own sample-free music. As a producer of electronic soundscapes, his recent live performances have taken him to Minneapolis’ First Avenue, Los Angeles’ Low End Theory, and Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory.

Taylor has worked with classic and contemporary artists. He’s made singer/songwriter John Martyn’s voice sound like a horn, hip-hop trio Far East Movement’s first single a radio smash, and rapper Ice-T’s lyrics chopped and screwed. He’s been in the studio with legendary producers like George Martin (The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix) and Peter Mokran (R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, The Flaming Lips). His original compositions and productions have been synced in the Fast and Furious series, Entourage television show, NBA 2K12 video game, and many more.

James Patrick

Ableton Live and Sound Design Programs (MSP; Online)

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James Patrick is a Minneapolis-based DJ and music producer, label owner (Timefog Recordings), entrepreneur, and educator. James has over 20 years of professional experience performing at and directing electronic music events, including curation of the International Spark Festival. A pilot member of the Ableton Trainer Certification program, James participated in the first wave of trainer certifications, and has been a critical force among the user base in the US. After more than a decade of teaching synthesis and sound design at various institutions including Dubspot and the Institute for Production and Recording, in 2012 James co-founded Slam Academy, an Electronic Music School and Ableton Certified Training Center. James uses his professional involvement in both academic and popular electronic realms to unite the creative energy, ideas and people of his community.

Teaches Private Lessons (MSP; Online)
[Ableton Certified Trainer]

Greg Grease

Hip-Hop Producer Program (MSP)

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Greg Grease is a Musician/Visual Artist/Sewer out of Southside Minneapolis. There is a blue-collar Afro-centricity present throughout all of Grease’s music, particularly with his band Astralblak(aka ZULUZULUU), a Soul/Funk/Future Space movement created to empower and elevate through sonics. Grease creates reality raps reflecting his environment growing up in a lower middle class neighborhood as a black youth, and feel good music with a hard smack that pulls listeners. Greg also owns and operates River Life Dry Goods, where he designs, hand sews leather goods, canvas bags and bespoke menswear.

Kyle Goodrich (Kyle King)

DJ (MSP) & Music Theory (Online) Programs; Youth Camps & Adult Workshops (MSP)

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Music is my sword and shield – The motto of 30 year old producer Kyle King. Born in Germany, and raised in America, Kyle developed a love of music at a very early age. He has played and learned several musical instruments, and is always looking to expand his repertoire. Eventually finding electronic music, Kyle was hooked from the start.

Reaching almost two decades as a DJ, Kyle’s selections draw from his experience, and his desire to weave new music with the classics, and always leave the dancefloor blissful and exhausted.

Choosing to focus on production the last couple of years, Kyle has consistently challenged himself with various genres of music, refusing to be compartmentalizations. Kyle then found Slam Academy and now works as a TA and Instructor, while also acting as the student ambassador. Kyle’s passion for all things music truly shows.

Charlie Erickson
(Chuck Love)

Recording Arts and Producer Programs (MSP)

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Over 4 decades Chuck Love has been a producer, and multi instrumentalist totally driven by music.

Chuck co-wrote the theme to Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the 80’s and was the musical director for the reboot on Netflix (2016). This gig alone had Chuck overseeing the recording of a 10 piece band, and a full orchestra for his Mighty end theme.

Chuck is probably best known for his funky brand of original soulful house music, and has performed as a DJ to worldwide audiences from Dubai to Australia, and hundreds of dance floors  all over the US. His vast discography of original tracks and remixes stand the test of time, and more are coming every day. Love has seen technology evolve a great deal over his career and is perfectly positioned to guide students of all levels through the exciting landscape of electronic music production and performance.

Tanya Leigh

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Tanya has a Bachelor of Science in Music with a Business Emphasis from Winona State University coupled with a Recording Engineering diploma from Music Tech in Minneapolis.

Tanya manages OMEN Recordings, a record label and promotions group she co-founded. She performs and produces techno music and was 1/2 of the duo known as Complicit. The pair performed in the US and Canada, and have tracks released on record labels from the US, Canada, and Mexico. As a solo artist, Tanya has released remixes for labels such as Webuildmachines and Rheostatus and performed across the country & continent from Seattle to Mexico.

Tanya has been invited to speak at a Women Composers, Performers and Business Founders in Music seminar. She initiated and directed a program called Breaking the Glass Ceiling in 2015. She co-taught an all-female electronic music production class for SheRockSheRock and then joined Beats By Girlz, and ultimately launched the LA chapter.

Jimmy Cavanaugh
(DJ Adatrak)

Hip Hop Producer Program (MSP)

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DJ Adatrak made his way to the stage in a decidedly unconventional way. After graduating from University of Minnesota with a degree in architecture, he knew his passion was more about building beats than structures. With this, Adatrak devoted his energy full time to honing his skills as a hip hop producer and DJ. Making a name for himself as a go-to DJ for private parties, Jimmy Cavanaugh a.k.a DJ Adatrak secured his first residency in 2008. Since then, he has performed in numerous major venues in and around his hometown of Minneapolis.

Making the rounds on the local hip hop scene eventually led to his becoming a prominent fixture as well as a member of Slipmats Radio. Thanks in part to this exposure, Adatrak is now DJ for Rhymesayers artist, deM atlaS. In addition to solo slots opening for Atmosphere and Prof, along with deM, he has played the same stage with well-respected artists including: Nas, Brother Ali, Cypress Hill, Joey Badass, Grieves, Dialated Peoples, Grouch & Eligh, and Statik Selektah.

Andrew Hill (Nostalgia;
of Ternion Sound)

Mixing & Mastering Program (MSP)

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With a Bachelors of Science in Music Production from McNally Smith College of Music and a Masters of Science in Arts Technology from Illinois State University, Andrew Hill has the paper credentials to teach audio and music production. What makes Andrew Hill a great mentor in music production, however, is his real-world experiences as the artist Nostalgia where he has been able to play his own compositions around the world to thousands of people, DJing in Paris, Australia, Canada, and of course the USA.

These two educations, hard-knocks and traditional, were not always separate, however. Andrew blended these educations at school and at home, first taking the real-world to school with the creation of the Electronic Music Production Club at McNally Smith and second by working with his friends in the music business to create the Redline Reload Network that utilized the multi-media production skills he was learning in his graduate studies at Illinois State.

J. Anthony Allen

Music Theory Program (Online)

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J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theatre. He currently is an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, is the CEO and co-founder of Slam Academy in Minneapolis, and a Grammy-Recognized educator.

(If you run into him on the street, he goes by J. – as in, Jay.)

His music can be found on the Hackademica, SEAMUS, and Panacea3 labels. His music is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Teaches Private Lessons (MSP; Online)
[Ableton Certified Trainer]

Zimo (Hello Psychaleppo)

Music Unite Minneapolis (MSP)

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Hailing from one of the most mystical and musically rich cities in the Levant, Hello Psychaleppo is deeply rooted in oriental music tradition.

Hello Psychaleppo is the electronic music project of the young Syrian producer Samer Saem Eldahr (AKA Zimo). He made his mark, with his unique and experimental sound. He uses melodies of the Arab bedouin “Mawwals” and the ecstatic strains of tarab, and threads it through convoluted, industrial structures made from dubstep, drum & bass, electro and trip-hop. He creates a journey away from boundaries of style, engaging souls into letting go while experiencing a new dimension of sonic blends.

Alec Ness

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Alec Ness is an artist and educator who creates and teaches music in Ableton Live who is sometimes also known as Su Na and was born in a small town in the middle of America but currently lives in a larger town in the middle of America after spending some time in an even larger town on the side of America where the idea of making and teaching music for a living was personally conceived and perceived by many as a contrary decision to the American Dream but regardless followed and eventually led here.

Teaches Private Lessons (MSP)
[Ableton Certified Trainer]

Jack Denney
(of Ternion Sound)

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Currently 1/3rd of the Dubstep super group Ternion Sound, Jack has had experience over the years as a producer of many different styles of music.  Starting with a copy of FL Studio at age 14 in 2004 he began in the world of extreme music, making Speedcore, but quickly became bored and sought to expand his horizons to the rest of the Electronic Music spectrum, and other DAWs like Ableton Live.  Learning lessons from the various schools of thought and taking parts from each genre to create unique music has been his main focus as an experienced producer.  No matter what type of sound you’re going for there’s a good chance Jack will have some insight on how to achieve it.

Teaches Private Lessons (MSP; Online)

Joe Woodling (Dumpling)

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Joe has been a musician for 19 years. Starting off he was classically educated with the viola and trumpet. From there he moved on to playing in jazz ensembles, the Minnesota Youth Symphonies, and picking up the guitar to play in multiple heavy metal bands. Starting 3 years ago, he has culminated his experiences to produce his own musical pieces through Ableton. He has experience creating genres like dubstep, trap, and future bass, and has exceptional skills in sound design, mixing & mastering, and DJ’ing.

Mike Johnson (Baard)

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BAARD, (aka Michael T. Johnson) can be found DJ’ing at just about every known venue in Minneapolis, with gigs regularly every weekend.  But, he wears many hats, (both figuratively and literally). Versatility is a skill that he balances well, as he is equipped heavy in education with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of St. Thomas.  His studies dove him deep into communications, recording arts, choral ensemble, music business, music theory & acoustics, social media branding, marketing, and graphic & web design. Baard is an Ableton Live enthusiast, getting daily mentoring from the top ACT’s for over 2 years now after completing the Ableton Live program at Slam Academy. He teaches privately as well as providing support for other instructors. Baard’s creativity comes from being a multi-instrumentalist with a forte in vocals. He knew, ever since making his first beats and raps in high school, that music was his direction. Baard also keeps himself busy as a music producer, clocking in endless hours of studio time to create music for short films, documentaries and reality shows. His most recent new hat is artist management, providing guidance and connections for new artists.

Kaite Watson (Aimerie)

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Kaite Watson (Aimerie) is an electronic music producer based out of Minneapolis, MN. Her journey as a musician began with piano lessons at a young age and continued as she was classically trained as a flautist. While her main focus today is on the deeper side of electronic music, Kaite draws inspiration from past training to push her productions further and create a sound that is uniquely hers. Kaite is looking forward to the release of one of her original tracks on the upcoming Slam Academy compilation, as well as her first EP coming later this fall.

As a Slam Academy graduate with nearly 5 years of production experience in Ableton Live, Kaite continues to contribute to Slam Academy as a teaching assistant and private lessons instructor. She specializes in Ableton Live, Sound Design, and live audio recording.

Aaron Neff (NuAge Knight)

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Aaron Neff aka. NuAge Knight is one of the few recognized chill electronic music producers in the twin cities demonstrated by his performances as direct support for similar sounding electronic producers like Sweater Beats and Luca Lush.  He has had multiple releases with EDM.com sub labels, Chinchilla and The XXX and understands what it takes to make a label ready song. Starting making rap beats on Garageband, that progressed into buying Logic. Followed by making the decision to move to Minneapolis to attend IPR to pursue a career in music production.  Aaron was introduced to Ableton Live as well as a brand new world of lo-fi, funk inspired, downtempo electronic music on the contrary from the extreme high energy EDM that he thought electronic music was only made up of. Since then, Aaron created his NuAge Knight alias and has shifted his focus from hip hop beat production.  Obtaining his associates degree in Audio Production and Engineering in 2015, no matter what sort of music you’re making, Aaron knows what your song needs to be finished and how to get to that point.

Mike Pendergast
(MikeRat)

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Michael Pendergast (MikeRat) is a producer, DJ, and promoter that has been heavily involved in the Minneapolis dubstep scene for the past 4 years. He was introduced to Ableton Live in 2009 and has since created his own blend of dubstep, glitch, and hip-hop which he affectionately refers to as “sneaky bass”. He has shared the stage with plenty of talented artists such as Thriftworks, Ott, NiT GRiT, Mr. Bill, KJ Sawka, and ill.Gates. With 2 EPs currently out and an album slated for early 2017, his ninja skills are reflected in the classic kung-fu movies he frequently samples.

Nick Shvetzoff
(Nicky Boy Floyd)

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Nick Shvetzoff (Nicky Boy Floyd) has been producing deep electronic music since 2010. From the foundation of an MPC and a small vinyl collection, Nick has been pushing himself and his productions to new heights. Currently, his areas of expertise include Ableton Live, sound design, drum programming, Serato, and Dubstep production.

Nick has played in many venues across the Twin Cites and has shared the stage with acts like L Wiz, Tunnidge, Thavius Beck, and more. He made a guest appearance on Bassport.fm for the Bristol based record label 140 Ninja, as well as Run That Radio in Eau Claire, and Bassment Jams out of Minneapolis. Nick has been on stage at numerous music festivals including Infrasound, Sonic Fusion, and New Autumn Experience. He released his first EP on Minneapolis based record label The Great Magnet, and also has a remix featured on J. Anthony Allen’s album Conic Arias.

Teaches Private Lessons (MSP)
(not currently accepting new students)

David Wiesjahn (CORA)

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David Wiesjahn is a Minneapolis based music producer, sound designer and drummer. David has been performing professionally for the past 10 years and producing electronic music for the past 8 years. After receiving his degree in drum set performance from McNally Smith College of Music, he began writing and performing electronic music under the artist name CORA, which continues to be an active member of the Minneapolis electronic music scene. Additionally, David is aiding Slam Academy’s Sound Design Program, as well as developing new coarse material for Slam.

Private lessons with David Wiesjahn are available in person at Slam Academy. David specializes in Sound Design, Mixing, Synthesis, and Drum Programming.

Additionally, David offers drum set lessons at the Slam Academy campus.

Teaches Private Lessons (MSP; Online)

Joe Gonzalez
(Juke Nukem)

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Juke Nukem, a DJ/Producer with roots firmly planted in Texas during the bolstering DnB scene of the early 2000s, relocated to Minneapolis, Mn in 2006. By 2011, he founded Slipmats Radio, the weekly internet radio show for turntablism, which later evolved into the local dj cooperative.

Following that, he was introduced to the Chicago juke/footwork culture and never looked back. As a result, the proclaimed duke of Minneapolis juke was inducted into TekkDJz; The international DJ collective founded by the late DJ Rashad and Traxman.

Subsequently in 2013, Juke created his brand, DISTRICT160. A record label dedicated to 160bpm music culture; including but not limited to juke/footwork.

Scott LeGere

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Over the past 15 years, Scott LeGere has played key roles in the ownership and operation of audio recording facilities, independent record labels, media schools, and commercial music production companies. During this time, he has engineered Grammy nominated albums, produced critically acclaimed independent projects, lectured economics classes of 75 students, and foolishly hauled both Yamaha CP-70s and Hammond B3s (concurrently) to gigs.

Inspired to return to composing and playing music in addition to record production, he co-founded NoWare Media in 2010 and since then has helped produce Clio, Emmy, and Cannes Lion award winning commercial spots for Target, General Mills, PepsiCo, Bauer Hockey, BluDot, and others; proving that you can make money in music even if your job requirements might include finding lyrics to rhyme with the word “broccoli.” In addition to his industry endeavors, Scott has taught economics and media strategy at several Minnesota colleges for over a decade.

Nick Bjelopetrovich
(Bjelo / InSoul)

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Nick Bjelopetrovich, aka bjelo (techno) & InSOUL (house), has been on the midwest circuit for 9 years, starting off as a DJ at age 16 and began production shortly after.

Nick hails from the northern suburbs of Chicago and arrived in Minneapolis in 2011 to study Audio Engineering at IPR and during his time there he came under the wing of Slam Academy co-founder, James Patrick. Instantly, Nick made massive leaps in his career from the knowledge gained while attending school.

Nick doesn’t pigeon hole himself to just one general style of sound. He keeps busy with many projects that force him out of his comfort zone and require critical thinking of the emotions he’s trying to evoke within people.

Currently, Nick has released over 30 tracks with numerous labels and is also a label manager for KMS Records, Kevin Saunderson’s brainchild for the past 30 years.

King Karnov

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King’s recent work includes tracks with Dr. Dre, Toki Wright, Busta Rhymes, I Self Devine, Snoop Dogg, GZA, 88 Keys featuring Kanya West, Bishop Lamont, and many many more.

Beatrix*Jar

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Beatrix*JAR is a dynamic duo that works together to spread the good word of hands-on electronics with hands-on Circuit Bending Workshops and unique Sound Collage Performances. The duo has been featured on MAKE TV (PBS) and on ABC’s Nightline. Beatrix*JAR received a 2010 Archibald Bush Fellowship in Media Arts. In 2009 they received a Minnesota American Composers Forum Subito Grant for support of a Southern Tour and a MetLife Creative Connections: Meet the Composer Grant to complete a week long residency at the Erie Art Museum.

Beatrix*JAR has also been featured at Art Museums, Night Clubs, Universities, Libraries, Hacker Spaces and Art Galleries all over the country including the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, PA), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (San Diego, CA), and the American Visionary Art Museum (Baltimore) to name a few.

John Keston

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John Keston’s work involves performance, composition, music software development, and sound art. In 2007 he founded the sound design resource and community, AudioCookbook.org, where he documents his ongoing projects and research. The site has attracted an international group of industry professionals who participate as contributors. Keston has a group called Keston and Westdal, performs as a soloist in Ostraka, with his duet Ostracon, and his trio DKO.

John is an instructor in interactive media and audio production at Art Institutes Minnesota. He has a BA in Music Technology and is currently pursuing an MFA in interactive media at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His graduate work involves developing hardware and software based electronic instruments that respond to gesture, touch, light, or video for performances and installations.

Ivo Ivanov
(Glitchmachines)

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Ivo Ivanov is a seasoned sound designer, educator and electronic musician with over 20 years of experience. He is best known for his vast creative contributions to Glitchmachines, where he is the Audio Director and Lead Sound Designer. In addition to running Glitchmachines for over a decade, Ivo has also worked with numerous audio companies such as Ableton, Native Instruments, Apple, SoundMorph, Twisted Tools, K-Devices, Soundsnap, and more.

Ivo earned his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Audio Engineering from the Ex’pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville, California. He subsequently spent five years working with the SAE Institute of Technology in San Francisco, where he wore many hats including Campus Director, Director of Education and Head of the Audio Technology and Electronic Music Production programs. Ivo has also taught sound design and synthesis at Pyramind in San Francisco.

Chris Cunningham

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Christopher Cunningham has enjoyed a long musical career as a guitarist/ producer/ composer/ remixer/ songwriter/ bon vivant, collaborating on stages and in studios with many international and Twin Cities artists— including Marianne Faithfull, Joan Osborne, John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, Gavin Friday, Boukman Eksperyans, Coloring Time, Kill the Vultures, Omar Farouk Tekbilek, Katell Keineg, The Contortions, The Golden Paliminos, Marshall Crenshaw, Richie Havens, John Zorn, and The Saqqara Dogs.

He has a master’s degree in Music Performance and is currently a lead professor/confessor in the Sound Arts faculty at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). He has served as Department Head of the Songwriting and Composition Department at McNally Smith College of Music, and as head of the Entertainment Business Department of IPR.

Michaelangelo
Matos

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Michaelangelo Matos is a Twin Cities native who lived for several years apiece in Seattle and New York. The former music editor of Seattle Weekly and managing editor of eMusic, he is the author of two books, a volume of the 33 1/3 series on Prince’s Sign ‘O’ the Times(Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2004) and The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America (Dey Street/HarperCollins, 2015), Rolling Stone’s number-two book of the year, and is at work on a third, Can’t Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop’s Blockbuster Year (Da Capo, due fall 2019). Matos currently writes columns about DJ mixes for the Village Voice and Mixmag (and formerly for City Pages) and contributes writing on dance music (and other music) to The New YorkerNew York Times, NPR, Spin, and many other outlets. He also scripted Do You Remember? A Podcast About Husker Du for The Current, and is currently working on more podcasts about the rich history of Minnesota music for the station. Matos brings a deep well of knowledge and passion for musical history to Slam Academy.