After graduating, Caio moved to Boston in 2011 after receiving a scholarship to attend New England Conservatory, where he studied with several of his musical idols, including Jerry Bergonzi, Brad Shepik, Frank Carlberg, Jason Moran and Miguel Zenon. At NEC, Caio was part of the NEC Jazz Orchestra and shared the stage with jazz greats Dave Holland, Bob Moses, and Fred Hersch.
Since moving to the United States, Caio has been performing extensively as a leader and a sideman not only in Boston, but also in New York, Vermont, Washington D.C, and Chicago. In 2013,he teamed up with award-winning singer Liz Tobias, and Michael Mayo, currently a student at the Thelonious Monk Institute, for a tour of Brazil and Australia.
In 2014, after multiple performance and workshops at the Panama Jazz Festival, Caio was selected to be part of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program, directed by Jason Moran. That same year Caio recorded his self-titled debut album, featuring exclusively original compositions. “Prebenda”, the opening track was awarded an ASCAP Young Composer Award, and “Dido”, the closing track, was an official finalist in the 2015 Hollywood songwriting competition.
Caio Afiune is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in jazz performance at New England Conservatory
Jack Byrne, a Massachusetts native, began studying the guitar at the age of ten under the instruction of his father, who attended Berklee College of Music. To this day, his family is known to pull out the guitars and
spend hours singing. The first song he ever performed was at his 6th grade talent show and he remembers being pleasantly surprised by how positive and encouraging his classmates were to him.
Jack enjoys playing a variety of styles including rock, pop, metal, folk, jazz, and classical. Having a passion for singing and songwriting from a young age, Jack has done a number of recordings of his own music, and performs his songs in Boston and New York. In the summer of 2009, Jack toured the Northeast as the guitarist for Indie-Rock band, “The Narrative,” and in 2013 he released his first full length solo album, “Complications.”
Jack received his Bachelors in Music from UMass Amherst, and his Masters in Voice Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College. While working towards his Masters, he appeared in a number of Operas with groups such as the Harvard Early Music Society, Boston Opera Collaborative, and in 2012 sang with NEMPAC in their production of “Carmen.” Since finishing his Masters, Jack has been teaching Guitar, Voice, Banjo, and Ukulele in the South Shore, singing in the Old North Church choir, and working on his next solo album.
Jack believes it is important to support music because music makes us smarter, more creative, and able to express ourselves better and it is one of the many reasons NEMPAC is grateful to have him on our staff.
Eric Gaudette, a resident of Boston, has been active in music since age 10 when he began his studies playing the trombone for the local school band, at which he excelled as both student and performer. At age 12, Eric officially made the switch from trombone to guitar which has been his primary instrument ever since. Throughout his high school years, Eric performed in various bands of many styles wherein he became acquainted with rock, blues, jazz and pop, among many others. At the age of 17 he began studying with Berit Strong in preparation for his enrollment at the Boston Conservatory.
In 2006, Eric entered into the Conservatory studying under Bill Buonocore, where he could be found performing in a myriad of ensembles ranging from duos to orchestras, as a soloist or improvising with friends, in a range of styles from the Renaissance to the present. Eric graduated in 2010 and has since been working as an instructor for guitar, bass and ukulele, as well as performing around New England in musicals, Top 40’s bands and the Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble to name a few projects. Eric currently teaches at NEMPAC and Boston College High School.
Jeremy Sarzana graduated from Berklee in 2001 as a guitar principal. He is currently a substitute teacher for Boston Public Schools as well as a counselor at an after school program at the Nazzaro Center. He’s given private music instruction for several years, as well as at NEMPAC for nearly a year. As lead guitarist, Jeremy has played in some Boston area based bands.