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Meet Our Team


Ernesto Mazar Kindelan

Art Director

Ernesto Mazar Kindelan is a Grammy Nomimnated Jazz Bassist, Father of two, and teacher. He was born and raised in Santiago de Cuba and studied and later taught at Escuela Nacional de Arte before moving to the United States to begin his career as a US-based artist and teacher. While raising his young family he continues to play with top artists in the Jazz, Funk, and Latin music communities while also studying Pedagogy in the Master's of Music program at Holy Names University. 



Director of Youth Advocacy

Jelani is a San Jose, Ca native that does not shy away from the stage. He was introduced to music by his father and began playing the violin at 12. He wrote his first hip hop song at 13. After taking first place in a local talent show he has gone from the orchestra pit to the stage playing violin in several musicals such as Hello Dolly, Pirates of Penzance, and Peter Pan. He's also performed in several plays such as Othello, The Summer Survivor Improv Show, and Metamorphosis. He was a finalist in the regional Valley's Got Talent competition. Jelani is always looking for a way to give back to the community. With his love for hip-hop and community service, he founded the G.A.M.E program, (Gratitude, Attention, Motivation, and Education) that collaborated with different middle schools and community colleges throughout the central valley and bay area regions. He's also played with local hip-hop group Imprint and alternative-rock band Dim City Lights. Jelani is a recent graduate of The University of the Pacific with his degree in Music Management. While attending he released his solo EP “First Impression” through Pac Ave Records. This was the first hip hop project in the conservatory’s 140-year history. He wants to be an example for anyone who aspires to do hip-hop to speak their truth and be who they are.



Teaching Artist/Student Mentor

David Lechuga is a Mexican-American guitarist, multi-instrumentalist,
and educator from San Jose, California. He is an active performer in
the Bay Area, working with renowned artists including Edgar Pantoja,
Jesus Diaz, Thomas Pridgen, Christelle Durandy, and Mario Salomon. He
holds a Bachelors in Music from Sonoma State University, where he was
honored as Distinguished Graduate in Jazz. He is now a MFA candidate
at Mills College, where he holds several teaching assistant positions.
David grew up as a classical pianist, but since switched to guitar. He also teachers for the San Francisco Symphony’s
Adventures in Music program. He has also taught group classes for
Oakland Public Conservatory, and he maintains a roster of private
students in guitar, piano, and music theory. David sees music as a
tool of mental, physical, emotional, and social development for anyone
that practices it, and strives to highlight students’ unique personal
talents. He is bilingual, and comfortable with students of all ages
and socioeconomic backgrounds.


Joseph Osborne


Joseph is a multi-instrumentalist who has been teaching for 8 years with 30 years of musical experience ranging from classical singing to Jazz. He recently completed his Master's Degree at Holy Names University in Oakland, CA. He most recently taught music at a Public School in East Oakland. His journey with Music as an orphan drives home his belief that with mindful practices and the arts, the next generation will overcome the obstacles of our time and change the world. 


Ranzel Merrit

Recruitment Director

Ranzel is an Oakland Native and Second Generation musician, having studied Jazz Saxophone and composition across the country. Began his music studies at the Oakland School for the Arts, excelling along his way to programs at SF State, Berkelee and the New School in New York City.  He has toured with Grammy award winners, Solange Knowles and Macy Gray with David Murray’s Big Band in January of 2013. His recent work experience includes projects with the Young Musician's Program at Cal Berkeley and the San Francisco Jazz High School All Stars. He recently launched his third album that he self produced. With a Social Media base of 80k followers and hundreds of thousands of listens on digital media platforms, he brings practical experience and creativity to the team.

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