Musicians Institute


Kenza Haize

Talented guitarist Kenza Haize has  been named as winner of the 2021 D’Addario Women in Guitar Scholarship. The French and Senegalese guitarist comes to Musicians Institute with five years of playing experience in alternative rock, hard rock and metal genres.

As a current Bachelor’s degree and MI Guitar Program student, Kenza decided to attend MI because “I saw that many guitarists that I admire went there, like Jennifer Batten, Paul Gilbert and Synyster Gates.”  

She added, “Since I’ve been at MI I discovered and learned to play so many other styles of music, and I started to really enjoy playing jazz.  I really hope to be a well-rounded musician by the time I graduate from the Bachelor’s program, so that I can get hired to play any style of music.”

Kenza sees these skills as an important key to achieving her dream of one day being able to “to go on tour, either with a band or as a supporting musician for other artists.”

“I’m very proud and honored to have received this scholarship. To me, it’s a sign of progress, and it is largely due to all the wonderful teachers I’ve had at MI.”

Everyone at Musicians Institute congratulates Kenza on winning this very prestigious award!

Special thanks to our longtime industry partner, D’Addario and The D’Addario Music Foundation for  generously sponsoring this scholarship as a part of its ongoing  Music Education for Girls Initiative, which helps to provide talented students like Kenza with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful and creative careers in the music industry.

To learn more about the full line of D’Addario products click here:

The Musicians Foundation

2021 Schecter Nick Johnston Guitar Scholarship at Musicians Institute Winner: Hunter O’Dore

Hunter O’Dore

The 2021 Schecter Nick Johnston Guitar Scholarship, named in honor of the talented and versatile Rock guitarist; has been awarded to Hunter O’Dore.  

Hunter comes to Musicians Institute from Tucson, Arizona with ten years of guitar playing experience with specialization in Progressive Rock, Jazz and Blues genres, and is currently enrolled in MI’s Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance program.

While attending MI, Hunter continues to focus on gaining the skills needed to “learn my instrument the best I can, but really dial in on my note choice and fretboard knowledge. I’d also love to expand my vocabulary across all genres of music.”  

He added, “I chose to study at MI for the school’s reputation, having educated some of my favorite players. The staff and exceptional musicians I’ve met through the school is also a huge factor, not to mention the connections they have to the music industry outside of the institute.”

When asked what winning the scholarship meant to him, he shared, “This scholarship is very nice reassurance that I’m on the right path. With the huge influx of social media, it is very easy to get stuck comparing yourself to all the other musicians out there. I think it’s important to stay true to your own sound and having this under my belt is a gentle reminder of that.”

Hunter described his long term career goals as follows, “my dreams as a musician are to become the best player I can be, release music that I am proud of, land a gig as a touring artist, and maybe front my own band someday!

Everyone at MI congratulates Hunter on winning this prestigious award that supports the education and of a talented, evolving, and very deserving guitarist!

Special thanks to our longtime industry partner, Schecter Guitar Research for generously sponsoring this scholarship, which helps to provide talented students like Hunter with the support, tools and recognition they need to launch successful and creative careers in the music industry.

To learn more about the full line of Schecter Guitar and Bass products click here

The Musicians Foundation

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2019 Stanley Clarke Scholarship Finals!!!!

Congrats to all five winners of the 15th Annual Stanley Clarke Scholarship Finals Concert, held at Live House Hollywood on Feb. 23, 2019!  We’re thrilled to award $24,000 in scholarships to these very talented and impressive Musicians Institute students!

Every one of them inspired the capacity crowd, and wow-ed the “A-list” music industry judges.

Here’s a selection of photos of each of the five finalists and the overall event! (courtesy of Toshi Sakurai)

Co-Winner: Roman Collins

Co-Winner: Roman Collins – Finale

Co-Winner: SirDwight Tashibish

Co-Winner: SirDwight Tashibish – Finale

Co-Runner-up: Pedro Asfora

Co-Runner-up: Pedro Asfora

Co-Runner-up: Jakhari Durham

Co-Runner-up: Jakhari Durham

Co-Runner-up: Chase Carpenter

Co-Runner-up: Chase Carpenter

The Five Finalists w/Beth Marlis (MI Vice President & Event Producer)

The Three Co-Runners-up w/Stanley Clarke

Judges: Salar Nadar, Aleena Gibson, Frank Gambale, Histake Shibuya (owner of MI), Tierney Sutton, Beth Marlis, Richie Garcia, Stanley Clarke, Greg Phillinganes, Sheila E., Oskar Cartaya, Bunny Brunel

The Legendary Stanley Clarke

Stanley, Oskar, Sheila, Arturo Webb

Frank, Richie, Oskar, Stanley, Armand Sabal-Lecco, Bunny

Stanley and Sheila

Salar and Stanley

Stanley and Tierney

Stanley and Frank

Stanley Clarke, winner of the 2019 Musicians Institute Legacy Award


Co-sponsor of the 2019 Stanley Clarke Scholarship

Co-sponsor of the 2019 Stanley Clarke Scholarship








In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’re featuring the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.  

For the ninth (and final installment) in our ongoing series of weekly snapshots, we catch up with the legendary Sheila E!



“Live your life. Live it beautifully and bravely, knowing that nothing can leave you broken forever. Follow the beat of your own drum, your own heart, and you’ll be happy.”- Sheila E

Known worldwide as a Grammy® and Emmy® Award-nominated singer/songwriter (including mega-hits: “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre”) dynamic drummer/percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and Pop, Latin and R&B superstar …Sheila E. is also an actress, mentor, and philanthropist.

She continues to build upon her well deserved status as a music legend and role model with the upcoming release of her new autobiography on Sept. 2nd  “The Beat of My Own Drum” :


Upcoming book release and signing events: New York: 9/7 – Hollywood: 9/10 – Boston: 9/27

Sheila E’s extraordinary career has spanned 7 album releases, countless appearances on A-list recordings, tours, TV and film appearances.

In 2014, she also released a brand new CD: “ICON”:


Whether chosen by Prince to join his band…


With The Purple One

Or, to perform at the White House…


Or to perform for the 2012 Academy Awards (with Pharrell Williams and composer Hans Zimmer)… 

Sheila E, Hans Zimmer, Espernaza Spalding, Pharrell Williams

Sheila E, Hans Zimmer, Esperanza Spalding, Pharrell Williams

Or serving on behalf of The Recording Academy (The Grammys®) Board as a Governor and Trustee…

With Neil Portnow, President of The Recording Academy

With Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy

Or getting a standing ovation at the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors…

Being surrounded by many friends and collaborators…

Stevie Wonder and Sheila E. appear onstage during the International Jazz Day Concert held at the United Nations General Assembly Hall 2012

Stevie Wonder and Sheila E. onstage during the International Jazz Day Concert @United Nations General Assembly Hall 2012

Or performing (one of many times) at the Hollywood Bowl…

Playboy Jazz Festival 34TH Anniversary 2012 at The Hollywood Bowl

With Pete Escovedo at The Playboy Jazz Festival 2012 at The Hollywood Bowl

She credits her father Pete (and her godfather Tito Puente) as tremendous influences…

Or by ringing in 2014 performing with Sergio Mendes on New Year’s Eve at Disney Hall…

With Sergio Mendes at Disney Hall New Years Eve 2014

With Sergio Mendes at Disney Hall New Years Eve 2014

Or being known at Musicians Institute as “Dr. E”…

Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from MI 2010
Honorary Doctor of Music 2010

It’s CLEAR to all that Sheila E. has not only lived “the glamorous life”, she’s lived the life of an incredibly inspirational role model. When away from the spotlight, music doubles as a source of healing and giving back for Sheila E.  Between gigs, she crisscrosses the country speaking at schools and colleges, shelters, church organizations, music classes and clinics about music’s effect on her life and career.

In 2001, she founded The Elevate Hope Foundation, which has supported numerous programs (thru its grant awards) that provide abused and abandoned children an alternative method of therapy through music and the arts.

Most recently, (in tandem with the city of Oakland), Sheila and Elevate Hope staged the very successful first annual “Elevate Oakland” benefit concert in February of 2014.   The goal: to raise funds to improve student academic achievement and attendance through music and arts programming, and bringing new opportunities and supporting the creative potential of Oakland youth. 


We are deeply honored and immensely proud to have Sheila E. serve as a member of the Board of Directors for The Musicians Foundation.


 We’re extremely proud of our board, and their dedication in support of music education!



In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’re featuring the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.

For the second in our ongoing series of weekly snapshots, we catch up with four-time Grammy™ winner, jazz pioneer, bass virtuoso and living legend: Stanley Clarke!

Stanley Clarke, Liberator of the Electric and Acoustic Basses

Stanley Clarke, Liberator of the Electric and Acoustic Basses

We know that (in reality) we can’t actually “catch up” with Stanley, because he is an amazing blur in perpetual creative motion: performing, evolving, composing, mentoring, and serving as an inspirational role model.


We’re honored that Stanley has served as member of our board since 2009 and that he has generously sponsored a performance scholarship in his name via his own foundation  for “the best and brightest talents” at Musicians Institute every year since 2000.

Grammy Award Winning Stanley Clarke, Honorary Doctor of Music-MI at 2012 scholarship event

Stanley Clarke, Honorary Doctor of Music (MI) at his 2012 scholarship event

Here is the classic and extremely star-studded video from “Night School” filmed at Musicians Institute (for the SC scholarship concert) in 2002! You’ll even spot fellow MF board member Sheila E taking a slamming drum and timbale solo: 

We’re looking forward to the 2014 scholarship concert event (with very special guest judge/performers TBA) to be held on November 23rd at Musicians Institute Concert Hall. This event will be open to the public, and ticketing details will be posted as the event gets closer.  Applications and full information for the 2014 event is available HERE.

We found Stanley last weekend, (coming off of several live dates performing as The Stanley Clarke Trio (feat. 17 year old virtuoso Beka Gochiashvili – keys, 19 year old phenom Michael Mitchell – drums) closing the Toronto Jazz Festival on June 28th.

Beka and Stanley

Beka and Stanley

Here, Stanley talks about bringing up talent, teaching and being a mentor to younger players (with appearances by Beka and Michael): 

old school george and stanley

George Duke and Stanley Clarke

Just two weeks ago (June 14), Stanley and vocalist Al Jarreau headlined a special tribute in honor of longtime friend and collaborator George Duke featuring John Beasley, Marcus Miller, Dianne Reeves, Ndugu, Byron Miller, Greg Phillinganes, Jeffrey Osborne and Phil Perry at the 2014 Playboy Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl.


Yet another accolade was extended to Stanley recently when The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy Awards) invited him to join the organization along with 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.

The 2014 invitees are listed here.

Chick and Stanley

Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke

For the entire month of July, Stanley will be touring Europe with Chick Corea, on the festival circuit performing “The Songs of Return Forever” as a duo. First stop is tomorrow (July 3rd) for the Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway.

SC at home

Looking ahead…Stanley has a new record set to be released September 30th featuring Stewart Copeland, Paul Jackson Jr., Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic and MI alumnus), the Harlem String Quartet, and more.

To stay up to date on the latest of what’s happening with Stanley, you can find him online:

Here are a couple of other great clips of Stanley showing us how it’s done!:

Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stanley Clarke & Omar Hakim -Cantelope Island

All we can say is…”wow”:

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Joe Henderson. (L’S BOP)


MF LOGO LARGEWe’re extremely proud of our board, and their dedication in support of music education!

Our Music is Our Future


As 2011 comes to a close, I am reminded daily of all the ways that the students of Musicians Institute rely on the support of those who understand the power of music education and the important role it plays in our lives.

Private support for our students from alumni donations, sponsored music industry scholarships and friends like you helps to make professional, college level music education possible for many of our students.

If you haven’t yet made a contribution to our scholarship fund, I invite you to join us by making a tax-deductible donation to the Musicians Institute Student Scholarship fund administered by The Musicians Foundation.

Together, we can accomplish the extraordinary, and make a lasting investment in our future, our culture, and ourselves.

Beth Marlis, Executive Director, The Musicians Foundation