Get to Know Us
Lee Zimmer – Guitar
Lee Zimmer’s background includes years of experience in rock bands, classical guitar and jazz. As well as being an instructor at the Fender Center, he heads the guitar studies at La Sierra and California Baptist Universities. Lee was one of the original instructors when the Kids Rock Free program first opened its doors to students in the summer of 1998 and was involved in establishing the current curriculum.
Mr. Zimmer’s classical studies include studying privately for several years with Maestro Seiko Sesoko, as well as performing in Master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isben, David Russell, Michael Newman, and Jorge Morel. As well as performing and teaching, Lee has arranged music for one, two, and four guitars. His arrangement for two guitars of Le Tombeau de Couperin, by Maurice Ravel, is featured on a CD that he recorded along with guitarist Eric Brenton as Duo Sesoko, a premier guitar ensemble. Lee performs concerts regularly with the duo, as well as a soloist.
Since 1985, Lee has been on the board of directors for the Orange County Guitar Circle, a guitar society that has been in existence for over 35 years. He was the president of the organization from 1996 to 2005.
Ruben Guaderrama – Guitar
Ruben has been a musician since the age of 11 He was mentored by several local talents in his neighborhood growing up including drummer Victor Bissetti, and guitarists and multi-instrumentalists Cesar Rosas & David Hidalgo (who eventually put together the band Los Lobos).
He has performed from the age of fifteen onward; proficient in guitar, mandolin, tres, bajo sexto, baritone guitar, bass, and ukulele as well as teaching guitar, bass, & ukulele.
He has recorded six albums with his band “The Blazers” and has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe since 1994. Ruben teaches both privately and for local schools including: The Music Academy in Rancho Cucomonga, and here at Kids Rock Free®.
Henry Rodriguez – Drums
Contact Henry: firstname.lastname@example.org
Henry has been playing drums for 25 years. His background includes learning from the best –Bob Dominguez, a well known local instructor, Richard Wilson a cutting edge drum Instructor, and Murray Spivak one of the world’s leading percussion instructors.
Henry has been teaching private drum lessons since 1998. He was one of the original instructors at the new Fender Center Museum from 2002-2005 and rejoined the faculty in 2008. Henry has been performing and recording with the Jazz Junkies, a popular local Jazz band and Them Novus, an up-and-coming world power pop band. Henry also teaches private lessons.
Vicki Woods – Piano
Vicki Woods always wanted to play piano or organ, but because she is the oldest of 8 children, she didn’t start lessons until she was 15. That’s when the family bought an organ. She made up for lost time quickly because she began teaching at 18. She attended the College of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois for 2 years where she was majoring in organ. Vicki began playing keyboards in live bands at local clubs after moving to Corona, CA in 1976. Her favorite “gig” was at Disney’s California Adventure where she played on Santa’s Beach Blast Float during the Winter of 2003-2004.
She has played at many local churches and is currently playing at St. Mel’s Church in Norco and St. Matthew’s Church in Corona. Vicki is very happy to be teaching at Fender. It’s so great to pass on the fun of music to the next generation.
Jessica McKee- Vocal
At the age of 11, she was writing her own music on guitar and piano. By the age of 12, Jessica was studying voice (predominately Opera) with Master Teacher Professor Rose Edwards.. After receiving her degree in Liberal Arts, with emphasis on Music, Jessica went on to work with several artists in the industry. She helped establish SILK Productions, where she was a featured vocalist for several different genres including Jazz, R&B, Rock and Roll and also Big Band music with Chris Davis. She has performed on stage at various venues across the U.S. such as on Cruise Ship lines, in Las Vegas, New York, Denver and here in Southern California. She also performed as an entertainer for the Radisson Hotel chain for over 2 years.
She worked with such artists as Rosie and the Originals, The Spinners, The Drifters, The Olympics, Joe Vincent and Fred Barry (Re-Run from What’s Happening). Jessica has been teaching voice for over 10 years and truly loves helping others find ‘their’ voice.
Anna Larson Kernes- Musical Sign Language
Ms. Anna has a degree in Behavioral Sciences from Concordia University and is fluent in ASL at the conversational level supported by four semesters of college classes in American Sign Language. Having worked with people with developmental disabilities for most of her professional career (from job and life skills coach to behavior and early start interventionist to social worker), she realized that both the use of music and ASL helped aide in skill acquisition and retention. Ms. Anna then left her social services career to become a Stay At Home Mom but continued using her skills both with her own children as well as throughout the community. She began teaching music and movement classes and then became a Signing Time Instructor where she was able to combine all of her skills to create the music and movement style ASL classes she now teaches. She has now been teaching children and their families of all abilities and hearing levels the love of ASL since 2011. Sign language can help create an early and lasting bond with your child and aid in reducing miscommunication and frustrations by creating a mode of communication before a child can speak. Music and ASL go hand in hand, which is what makes the class so fun and memorable! She looks forward to meeting you and your little one!