Meet Our Instructors


Kevin Chess

  • Guitar (Beginner-Advanced)

  • Drums (Beginner-Advanced)

  • Bass (Beginner-Intermediate)

  • Piano (Beginner-Intermediate)

Kevin Chess has been playing music since he was 13, and spent the last 12 years playing professionally. He grew up in San Diego with both parents being musicians; his mother is a classically trained pianist, and his father is also a professional guitarist, pianist, singer and songwriter.

In college, Kevin majored in music, studying: Composition, Theory, Classical, Jazz and Rock guitar, Singing, Bass, Drums, Hand Percussion, Digital Music Production and Piano. He's played professionally in many different  styles and bands including: Classical ensembles, Jazz, Funk, Country, Metal, Punk Rock and Reggae. In addition to being a teacher and studio musician, he composes and records his own music in between playing music all over San Diego with multiple bands, groups and artists.


Astra Kelly

  • Vocals (Beginner-Advanced)

  • Piano (Beginner-Advanced)

Astra Kelly is a natural talent with a lyric-based, melodic sound fusing her Chicago roots in funk and blues with rock and acoustic elements. She performs over 150 solo/acoustic shows a year, has released seven records on her own label and toured the country extensively. In San Diego, she DJ'd the Homegrown Hour on KPRI, hosted numerous showcases to support the local music scene and is a voiceover talent represented by San Diego agency Shaman Freitas. She also writes and produces music for other artists and has managed four recording studios over the last fifteen years. She teaches voice, songwriting, piano and guitar and loves supporting new artists and songwriters by helping them tap into their true creative potential.


Verdell Smith

  • Bass (Beginner-)

  • Guitar (Beginner-)

  • Drums (Beginner-)

  • Vocals (Beginner-)

  • Piano (Beginner-)

Verdell was hooked on music when Guns N’ Roses’ first album, “Appetite for Destruction,” came out in 1987. He saw Slash and was instantly hooked!

He toured with the Army Soldier Show as a singer during his time in the military and then went on to study opera, music composition, and recording at Mesa College. Today, Verdell can be found playing all over San Diego with his band, Soul Ablaze, and has been an instructor at Rock and Roll San Diego for the past few years.

If you’re interested in learning Funk, Soul, Jazz, or Rock, Verdell is your guy.


Kristina Bennett

  • Vocals (Beginner-Advanced)

  • Guitar (Beginner)

Kristina Bennett is a Professional Vocal Instructor, Beginner Guitar Teacher, Musician, Songwriter, Sound Practitioner and Performer in California.  She has been singing, acting, and performing for over 30 years, and has been working with clients privately for 10 plus years now.

Trained at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Kristina, studied Music Business & Music Therapy, with her main instrumental focus on the Voice.  She also earned her certificate in Sound, Voice, & Music Healing, at the California Institute of Integral Studies in June 2014.


Tristan Brooks

  • Guitar (Beginner-Advanced)

  • Bass (Beginner-Advanced)

  • Piano (Beginner-Intermediate)

Tristan discovered music when he picked up a guitar at he age of 12. He soon progressed his musical passions and talents to Vocals, Bass, Piano, Drums and Audio Production.

Tristan has been through a lot in the music industry, from producing and recording his own album for his band, Everything Undone, in Hollywood to touring with his band across the South West, US.

Tristan finds inspiration in many different genres of music, but some of the idols that have influenced him most include Green Day, Linkin Park, Tool, Radiohead, Depeche Mode and Muse.