Rob Taube, Director
Guitar, Voice, Piano, Uke, and Music Production
A busy musician, songwriter, producer and independent music teacher in New York City, Rob Taube brings a big-city edge to his country/rock-influenced music. He is the founder of and main energy source of Groove Garden music studio. A former member of the Detroit rock band Scratch, Rob has worked all his life as a professional keyboardist, guitarist and singer. His credits include gigs with major musical acts like Hank Williams Jr., Leon Russell and James Taylor. Recently Rob has been writing songs with Simon Kirke, from the legendary rock band Bad Company. Several of their joint compositions are featured on Simon’s recent album All Because of You and on Rob’s own album Halfway Home. Rob also has written with Carla Torgerson of beloved indie band The Walkabouts. A new album featuring their songs “Amadeo” and “The Hourglass” will be out soon. He is also co-producer for the activist rock act Nikki and the Human Element.
In addition to helping a full roster of students learn guitar, voice, and piano in the Groove Garden space, Rob also produces tracks and writes songs daily with a growing list of musical artists.
Jim Bloom is a Brooklyn-based drummer and percussionist. After growing up playing in garage rock bands in Philadelphia, Jim attended New York University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance. At NYU, he studied with notable professors, such as Mike Richmond, Tony Moreno, Lenny Picket, and Ari Hoenig. In 2014, Jim traveled to Costa Rica as part of the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center’s Promising Artists Program, where he performed and gave masterclasses. Since graduating, Jim has worked as a freelance musician throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He has toured nationally and performed in prestigious venues, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music; The Kessler, in Dallas, Texas; and The Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C. Jim also plays in NYC regularly with his bands The Academy Blues Project, Anacortes, and The Grasping Straws.
After graduating from NYU’s Jazz Department in 2014, Brown has been working as a trusted session bassist/guitarist/pianist and producer on the New York City scene playing all styles from Jazz, Gospel, Classical, R&B, Pop, Rock, Blues, Funk and Salsa. Brown has performed at many of NYC’s finest music venues including The Blue Note, Brooklyn Bowl, Highline Ballroom, BRIC Jazz Festival, Nublu 151 as well as having toured the country with various bands. In 2018, Brown was awarded the Harold Adamson Lyric Award as a producer by the ASCAP Foundation for Rhythm & Soul. He was also named MVP of the entire competition. Brown has also worked with Beat Butcha, a grammy award winning producer, when he was in LA for Grammy week in early 2020 which can be viewed in the highlights section of Brown’s instagram at @trevors- brownmusic. One of Brown’s most treasured accomplishments, is that he had the opportunity to play an event for Paul McCartney where he got to play “I Saw Her Standing There,” The Beatles classic song with the man himself. In 2019, Brown played Electric Bass on the film score for “El Robo Del Siglo” which was the highest selling movie in the history of film in Argentina, which was musically directed by the great jazz guitarist, Mike Moreno.
Samora Free—Voice and Piano
Samora has a gift and love for teaching, passing on her passion for music to her students, fostering their gifts while meeting their needs and goals. Samora attended LaGuardia HS as a Classical Voice major and continued her music studies at Oberlin Conservatory. A native New Yorker, she brings over 30 years of experience as a performer and songwriter in every style of music. Samora has shared the stage with Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight and Lenny Kravitz to name a few. Samora has also devoted her talents to the community by working with youth and special needs children. She has taught piano,voice, and band for the past 10 years at The Boys Club of NY leading them to perform at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Apollo, Carnegie Hall, and Symphony Space.
Sean Mahony—Trombone, Voice, Piano
Since studying at the Dalcroze school and graduating from the High School of Music and art, Manhattan School of Music and Julliard, Sean has performed/recorded with the New York Philharmonic, has performed onstage in two Broadway shows: Rags, starring Teresa Stratas, and Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, conducted the Rainbow Room Orchestra atop Rockefeller Center as vocal and trombone soloist, toured with Latin bands Johnny Colon and Larry Harlowe, and accompanied Ray Charles, Marvin Hamlisch, the Chieftains, Johnny Mathis, Dinah Shore, Al Martino, Tommy Tune and Jimmy Roselli. Currently, his trombone, vocal, piano and acting performances include leading his own orchestra, performing in clubs, singing as soloist/cantor at OLGC church in Yorkville, and entertaining at senior residences.
Tamara Hey—Guitar, Piano, Music Theory
Singer-songwriter, Tamara Hey, has nearly 20 years of experience as a teacher of music theory, ear training, guitar, and piano; she is also the founder of Alphabet City Music Workshops and a graduate of Berklee College of Music.