The Southeastern Music Academy has an outstanding music faculty – successful performers with strong academic credentials that perform regularly with professional groups. This talented group of instructors hope to help all levels of students achieve their goals in a fun and encouraging atmosphere.
Southeastern Music Academy Faculty
The Louis Smith Jazz Orchestra (L.S.J.O.)
A product of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, Sean Dobbins has stayed devoted to education throughout his life. Early mentor Louis Smith, an Ann Arbor Public Schools band teacher, impressed the importance of a good education upon Sean at an early age. Sean is known in his community as a band director, drum teacher and positive influence for many.
In 1999 Sean was asked to become the director of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Summer Jazz Program. This program was designed to help educate and inspire young artist as they began their quest of learning jazz. In 1998, a year before Sean’s arrival, the program was in jeopardy of being cancelled due to low enrollment. In 2000, a year after Sean took over the reigns, the enrollment more than tripled and a year later, the group was featured on WEMU, a national jazz radio program. Read more
Tad Weed is a powerhouse of a pianist who recently relocated from Los Angeles to the Midwest. Tad’s discography includes over a dozen CD’s, and he has performed with some of the greatest names in jazz including John Patitucci, Mundell Lowe, Carmen McCrae, Charles Lloyd and Woody Herman. His artistically rich and diverse background allows him to command a wide range of styles, from Be Bop to the Blues, and from Funk to the Avant Garde. He has played concerts, clubs, television and radio around the world, in such exotic places as Brazil and China, as well as Holland, England, France, Germany and Finland. Some of his more noteworthy appearances include The Concord Jazz Festival, The Boston Globe Jazz Festival at Symphony Hall, The Kool Jazz Festival and The Berlin Radio Festival. Read more
Rayse Biggs is gifted with a unique quality and sound blended from musical greats and topped off with his own style. His musical career began on the family piano in the living room mimicking his older brother, Travis Biggs, and performing musical skits during family gatherings. His formal training began in the Detroit Public Schools playing the French horn, drums, string bass and tuba. After much begging in music class, he was finally allowed to play the trumpet in high school. He continued his formal training majoring in music at Oakland University. Read more