RJAM Professional Studies Diploma
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  2. Faculty

RJAM Continuing Education Faculty

Learn about Roots, Jazz and American Music from our fantastic Continuing Education Faculty.. View current courses

Terrence Brewer, Guitar

In addition to being a first-call and in-demand bandleader, record producer, concert performer and studio musician, Terrence Brewer has established himself as one of the San Francisco Bay area’s foremost music educators. For 20 years Brewer has been a private lesson instructor, master class instructor, clinician, lecturer, music workshop facilitator, and presenter to students of all ages, skill levels, and musical styles.


A Multiple-Award Winner, in addition to being a music educator, Brewer is a first- call and in-demand bandleader, record producer, concert performer, studio musician. Brewer has produced and released 11 nationally acclaimed albums (including the latest in 2019, "Don't Worry 'Bout Me; A Tribute to Ella Fitagerald and Joe Pass") on his own record label (Strong Brew Music) he started in 2006. Those albums have had several top 15 and top 10 appearances on the national jazz charts.


Brewer has performed to multiple sold-out crowds at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s, and the SFJAZZ Jazz Festival. When he's not touring regionally and nationally, he finds time to instruct/facilitate music history courses, master classes, clinics, workshops, and lecture for the likes of Stanford Jazz Workshop, SFJAZZ, The Jazz School, Jazz Camp West, Blue Bear School of Music, Lafayette Summer Music Workshop, CMEA (California Music Educators Association), and presenting at colleges, high schools, and middles schools throughout California including Los Medanos College, Chabot College, Santa Rosa Jr College, San Francisco University High School, Edna Brewer Middle School, the Nueva School, and many others.


“One of the most important aspects, of all music traditions, is the passing on of that tradition – educating – teaching – spreading the knowledge – its essential to the continued growth of all musical styles. For me, educating, presenting, sharing what I’ve learned and observed, continues to be an important part of my journey. I was blessed to have amazingly passionate teachers who helped shape me into the musician/educator I am today and I want to give that same love of music to as many others as I can." tbrewer@sfcm.edu

Ken French, piano

Pianist Ken French has been performing jazz piano professionally for nearly two decades on the San Francisco scene and as far afield as Japan and the Atlantic seaboard. A wide variety of contexts and venues has allowed Ken to develop as soloist, accompanist, ensemble leader, and arranger.


In the new millennium, Ken began collaborating as accompanist, arranger and musical director with Clairdee, an internationally rising singer. With three nationally released CDs on their ”Declare Music” label, they are gaining international recognition for the quality, passion and creativity of their recordings and live appearances.


With an extensive background in classical piano, music composition, arranging, theory, and a love of philosophy, Ken has a natural affinity and great passion for teaching. Between performance engagements, Ken may be found teaching aspiring singers at Diablo Valley College in tandem with Clairdee, teaching piano privately, or conducting vocal, piano, and improvisation workshops across the nation. kfrench@sfcm.edu


Accepting intermediate and advanced students.

Clairdee, Jazz Vocals

“A whole lot of interpretive brilliance” is how JazzTimes describes Clairdee’s soulfully alluring style and rich timbre. She swings, has an intimate, vulnerable way with a ballad, and can shout at will, revealing roots in the gospel church. Her masterly interpretation of lyrics is a gift aptly described by the inimitable Nancy Wilson who said, “In the tradition of all great vocalists, Clairdee infuses each song with her own unique style while always remaining true to the song itself.” 


Clairdee sings in night clubs, concert halls, and festivals in Edinburgh, Tokyo, Bangkok, Toronto, Moscow and St Petersburg Russia, New York, San Francisco, Monterey, and points in between. She leads her world-class band and performs with pops orchestras, big bands, and some of America’s most notable jazz instrumentalists, including NEA Jazz Master Dick Hyman, Russell Malone, Wycliffe Gordon, Houston Person, and Ken Peplowski. 


Clairdee’s discography as leader includes four highly regarded albums on her Declare Music label. “A Love Letter to Lena,” garnered international press and was acknowledged in three categories in the 2020 Grammy® first round nominations. 

2018 recipient of the Bay Area Jazz & Blues Artist Lifetime Achievement Award, she is a passionate advocate for music education: Professor of Jazz Voice, San Francisco Conservatory of Music; Teaching Artist, SFJAZZ and San Francisco Symphony; Artist Advisory member and mentor, Jazz in the Neighborhood. clairdee@sfcm.edu