Nicholas is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and composer hailing from New Zealand and South Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Arranging as well Jazz Performance from Canterbury University. He has had the opportunity to study and work with amazing mentors and musicians like Tom Rainey, Michael Story, Darren Pickering, David Berkman, Dave Dobbyn, Delaney Davidson, Nadia Reid, Pat Pattison, and Richie Pickard.He has performed as a touring musician, a busker, in musical theater pits, and as session musician in recording studios.
Nicholas has made a career in music by being in love with the idea of songwriting and composition. He flourishes in moments where he can write and be creative or assist in other people's writing. His writing credits cover a broad range of musical styles as well as other mediums such as dance and visual media.
As a teacher, Nicholas has had 15 years worth of teaching experience with people of all skill levels and ages. His students have gone on to win awards, record their own original music, and become professional musicians. He has taught people from all walks of life, from at-risk youth to the children of A-list celebrities. Along the way, these experiences have refined his teaching to a relaxed, yet practical approach that centers the students own personal taste and experience, while creating a fun learning environment. Over the years this collected wisdom has now evolved into Solar Music Academy's value of "Joy and Community Through Music"
Vancouver-based jazz musician Patrick Kao is an active member of the Vancouver jazz scene with 10 years of experience in playing the guitar. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Music (BMus.) in Jazz Studies and has studied under Juno-award winning Oliver Gannon, Juno-nominated Bill Coon, and has himself taught music to folks of various levels, ages, and musical styles since 2016. He iss a multi-instrumentalist that can teach piano, bass, and ukulele, as well as theory, improvisation, composition, and arranging.The long list of events and venues that he has performed at includes the Vancouver TD Jazz Festival, Fort Langley Jazz Festival, Kiwanis Jazz Festival, and many more. He has been performing as a session musician for many years, and now Patrick is currently on the rise as an emerging band leader.
As a teacher, Patrick brings patience, wisdom, and a clear method of communicating musical concepts so that all skill levels are able to understand. He distills all his skill, technique, and musical insights into practical and actionable steps for his students. He makes music fun, connects with you on a personal level, and actively shares his love of all things music with you. Outside of teaching, Patrick goes to church, and is an avid gamer. He enjoys playing DnD with his friends in his spare time. In the future, Patrick has his mind set on producing an EP, and finishing his Masters in Jazz.