About The Instructors

GUITAR, BASS GUITAR, KEYBOARDS - PHIL MAGALLANES

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Phil Magallanes was born in New York City in 1970. Blessed with perfect pitch, he started playing piano age four, adding guitar and bass to his musical arsenal at age six. A hard-worker and largely self-taught, Phil earned a full-scholarship to the prestigious University Of North Texas. He went on to tour, record and compose for many artists, including Al Di Meola, Arturo Sandoval, Blood Sweat & Tears, Gil Parris, Debbie Gibson, Engelbert Humperdinck and Spyro Gyra. 

Since relocating to the Tampa Bay Area in 2010, Phil quickly established himself as an exceptionally capable, versatile and reliable sideman on all three instruments, within every imaginable genre...displaying a virtuosic command of blues, bebop, Latin jazz, funk, classical, Bossa Nova, gospel, rock, reggae, African music, and pretty much everything in between. 

Phil also founded the award-winning Show Biz Kids 12-piece Steely Dan Tribute, a highly-swingin' jazz piano trio and Choosy Muthas, an exciting five-piece funk/fusion group. He was the Artist-In-Residence at Players School Of Music for several years, and continues to be heavily involved in music education. Phil currently teaches at Berretta School Of Music.

During the pandemic, Phil rediscovered his lifelong love for guitar, and decided to refocus and devote his creative energies exclusively to the instrument. He now leads jazz combos of varying sizes on guitar (duo to sextet), with a rotating cast of top Tampa Bay talent. 

Regardless of style, Phil's powerful groove and love for all forms of music is infectious...and his upbeat sense of humor is sure to keep all who meet him highly entertained! 

Phil’s jazz guitar trio brings a fresh, adventurous take to classic jazz repertoire, as well as performing compelling original compositions. Fans of Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Pat Martino, Grant Green, Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans, B.B. King, Albert King, Robben Ford, Jim Hall and Thelonious Monk and will hear their influence in Phil’s playing, plus something new.

Treat yourself to an unforgettable night of world-class jazz with this master musician and his trio.

“Real McBop"...on piano with Arturo Sandoval, live at the Blue Note in NYC:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLEh1ZM_qJXHacNSN0QtX-zMvlWrnLGB-s&v=xS63wTWafmM

“In A Silent Way/Kid Charlemagne” with Show Biz Kids 12-piece Steely Dan Tribute: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=_WZxZyF1zgk

“Footprints” with Phil's Juke Joint:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KhIXCe9KBrE

“Medieval Overture” with Al Di Meola:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nEO0GEIvPas

“Planet J”, composed for Spyro Gyra by Phil Magallanes and Joel Rosenblatt:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qvaP09Zh6k8


“Little Sunflower” with Phil’s Juke Joint

https://youtu.be/kBDkJrJ2T9Y

“Frankenstein” (Marcus Miller version) with Phil's Juke Joint:

https://youtu.be/xO3WcX8VnzQ

DRUMS -JIM BERRETTA

CEO Jim Berretta has a bachelors degree in Communication, graduating with honors from The University of Tampa in 1992.  He also graduated with honors from the world renowned Musicians Institute(Percussion Institute of Technology) located in Los Angeles in 1996.

Jim Berretta has been a drummer nearly 80% of his life.  He owns his own business, Berretta Drum Instruction, Inc., and has been instructing students male and female anywhere between the ages of 3 and 80.  Now in his 22nd year of business, Jim has instructed over 600 students through his private instruction and Jimbo's Rock Camp at The Belleair Recreation Center.  On the performance side, he has made a name for himself as the "go to fill-in drummer" with many of the top Tampa Bay area bands including Sweet Spot, Men From Mars, Category Three, Big Brother, Double Vision, Green Light Go, The Red Sunday, The Danny Brantley Band, Acoustic Thunder, Swipe Right, The Railway Kings and Mixed Signal.  He has now found a home as the mainstay drummer for the country band Slim Tippins! 

Growing up on Long Island, NY, Jim's musical story starts around the age of 9.  He laughs as he tells the story, " I believed I was the drummer for Linda Ronstadt at the time. The only catch was I had wooden spoons instead of drumsticks with pots and pans all over the floor by the family record player." Seeing this, his parents got him his first drum lesson on February 26, 1981.  The private lessons would be the foundation of his musical career. "One of the biggest things I got out of my lessons was that I learned how to read music.  I cannot stress enough how important it has been over the course of my career.  It helped me land gigs that I wouldn't have been able to otherwise get. It also is a great way to communicate ideas, especially through my teaching.  No matter what instrument you play, I would highly recommend at least knowing the basics of reading music."

Relocating to Florida in 1990, Jim attended The University of Tampa.  However, it was not as a music major but as a communication major, specializing in radio and television.  Along the way he noticed that private percussion lessons were available as an elective.  "As I was looking at courses to choose from, my eyes nearly jumped out of my head when I saw 2 credits for an hour percussion lesson once a week. I used to practice my lessons in the band room at the school, and the music department was always trying to get me to switch my major. But my thought process was to learn something else that I could use to enhance my drumming and teaching in the future." Studying with David Coash, a percussionist for The Florida Orchestra, Jim expanded his learning to classical snare drum playing and various styles of music. That knowledge led him to be hired as the percussionist/drummer for The Musical Theater Project of Tampa: An intensive training program for both high school and college-aged students who wanted to hone their skills in the industry of musical theatre, headed by Tony Award Winner Ann Reinking (Annie,Chicago,Micki and Maude). The program culminated with a sold out performance at The Performing Arts Center in Tampa.   

After graduating, Jim worked at The Home Shopping Network, where he moved up the ranks in Master Control, the brains to all of the technical aspects you see and hear on TV. As an audio engineer, camera operator and various other roles, Jim honed his technical skills to keep the shows looking and sounding smooth. After leaving HSN, Jim produced a morning talk show on 1010 AM. But his true love of drumming never wavered.  So he took every penny he saved from the last three years, bought a one way ticket to Hollywood, California and enrolled in the prestigious Percussion Institute of Technology, a one year intensive program that hit every imaginable aspect of drumming. Studying with Ralph Humphrey (Frank Zappa, Dancing With The Stars), Joe Porcaro (Studio and Movie Soundtrack legend, who's son Jeff, was from the grammy award winning band Toto), Ray Luzier (Korn, David Lee Roth) and many other major educators and musicians in Los Angeles, took his education to another level. Jim cites this experience as the catapult to his journey as a professional educator and performer.  This is also where he made the decision that motivates and drives him to this day. "I thought about staying in Los Angeles with everyone attempting to be a musician and waiting tables in the meantime, but the last thing I wanted to be was a starving artist.  So, I decided to go back to Florida where I knew there was a need for excellent drum instruction, get my practice started and play gigs in the area. 

Jim worked at Thoroughbred Music full time for a few months and on his days off he would give private lessons.  Working behind the counter at the drum department gave an unexpected perk that would eventually increase his student base. "I would sell a drum set or some kind of merchandise and I had customers asking me who gives drum lessons.  I would give them names and tell them I also teach on my days off. Usually they would say, 'we would love to have our son or daughter take lessons with you!'" It got to the point that I was full on the two days I taught, so I began making a waiting list.  A few months went by and I thought to myself how many names and numbers have I taken?  I was surprised to count up about 30 potential students and that's when I knew it was time to make my move!" After convincing the drum manager that he could develop a full time drum instruction department, Jim made the transition to full time drum instructor and has never looked back. He now teaches private lessons to students of all ages and skill levels in his private studio.        

"I firmly believe that if I wouldn't have taken that leap of faith by purchasing that one way ticket, my life would never have been as fulfilling as it is.  Whatever your passion, follow your heart and make it happen! Take risks. I'm glad that I didn't listen to people who tried to extinguish my dream by saying my chance of success in the music business is minimal.  It didn't come easy and took a lot of work, but in the end I'm doing what I love everyday. It is SO true that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life."   

BASS GUITAR -MILES HANSON

Miles Hanson is a versatile, professional performing bassist in the Tampa Bay area with over 25 years of musical experience. As well as teaching bass guitar lessons at Berretta Music Academy, he also teaches general music/chorus/strings in the public school system for elementary school age kids.  In college, he learned to play the double bass as a jazz performance major, which helped broaden his musical views and sharpened his natural gifts.  

Miles started his musical journey by listening to his father's saxophone playing in a variety of groups during his childhood. In Middle school, he started on the clarinet and then gravitated to the electric bass. He played in his garage with his brother (on drums), learning songs on the radio by ear, while also learning to read music at school.

He graduated with a music education degree and has taught in the Pinellas county School system since 2007.His openness to all musical genres has led him to play a variety of styles, such as reggae, jazz, country, rock, blues, soukous and pop. He regularly performs with various cover bands, at church, at weddings/private events and musical theater.

Miles currently lives in Clearwater,Florida, has two children and leads the music ministry/plays drums at his church. He spends his days as a father and music teacher and his nights as a bassist. This gives him the opportunity to share his love of all kinds of music with the next generation as well as continue to perform at a high level.


SAXOPHONE -Eric "Ric" Santiago

Born and raised in New York City, Eric began playing for dances, restaurants and other publicly social events at age 13. Through his teens in the tri-state area, he performed with some of the areas popular Top 40 dance bands. 

Most of these bands being comprised of some of todays recognized artists and producers.

While attending college, ‘Ric’, as he is known by friends, became involved in New York’s Latin music scene which led to performances throughout the US and abroad. He later graduated from the City University of New York's Local 802 program with degrees in music. His diverse performance background and formal music training have enabled him to perform with acts ranging from Rock, Soul, and R&B, to Latin, Jazz, and Pop.

Instrument repair courses with the 319th Army Band and apprenticeship studies, laid the groundwork for an ongoing career working with teachers, students, and pros. This includes being a veteran repair tech with Sam Ash Music, Gigliotti Woodwinds and currently running

 Bay Winds and Strings in Clearwater Florida.

Over the years other associations, affiliations, stints and media credits include those with Eric Darius, BK Jackson, John Purcell, David Sanborn, Jazmin Ghent, Jose Valentino, Marlon Boone, The Cadillacs, The Del Vikings, The U.S. Stones (a nationally marketed Rolling Stones Tribute Show), Stardust Memories (a nationally marketed David Bowie Tribute Show) Millie Puente, Alex Bueno, A&C La Banda, Fausto Rey and Jose Alberto to name a few.

Since moving to Florida Ric has served the Tampa Bay community as technician, performer, teacher, saxophone consultant and life long music and art advocate. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends in Clearwater Florida and Greater Tampa Bay.