Get to know our instructors. All of our instructors are performing musicians.
Andy was born in Joliet, IL in 1965, and is the youngest of 7 children. Coming from a musical family, both his parents and several of his siblings were highly skilled musicians. In addition, an uncle and aunt played trumpet and violin (respectively) for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Andy began playing the guitar around age 9, presently giving him over 40 years of playing experience. Much of that time was spent performing live, at times being in touring bands and releasing recordings over the years. As a member of various bands, Andy has opened shows for many internationally known artists, including The Wallflowers, John Michael Montgomery, Jackyl, Gin Blossoms and yes, even the mighty Lynyrd Skynyrd. He has also appeared on several television shows, music magazines, and been heard occasionally on the radio. He has been honored with winning several awards presented by Midwest Beat magazine, the French publication “Bands of Dixie”, and is a proud recipient of 8 Kankakee Area Music Awards. Andy has been working with Axes Music of Mokena for the past 16 years, and considers it his home. Throughout the years, Andy has branched out to play other stringed instruments, lap steel guitar, mandolin and ukulele among them. He enjoys music instruction, having taught hundreds of students, young and old, during his association with Axes Music.
JD has been teaching at Axes for 16 years. He is our primary drum instructor and also teaches guitar. This lends a unique advantage to his drum students. Many students learn to play with a band from their in class jam sessions. He and Andy are half of the band Coopers Grove. See video below to hear their playing. Album recorded at Axes Music Group Studio