School of Rock alums Big Bad Buffalo enrich local music scene.
  • School of Rock alums Big Bad Buffalo enrich local music scene.
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Asked why San Diego’s School of Rock chose to open an new branch in Encinitas, music director Tyler Ward credits popular demand and sympatico vibe. “We have recently had tons of requests from families in North County for a more central location,” he elaborates. “I worked at Lou’s Records for years and we all love the culture of Encinitas. It’s a perfect fit.”

School of Rock Encinitas

165 South El Camino Real, Encinitas

The new school’s opening coincides with the older San Diego branch’s move to a larger space at Liberty Station. According to general manager Laura Bratlien, “It was time for an upgrade, and Liberty Station feels like the best fit, especially since it is surrounded by kids and students.”

To which Ward adds, “We reached a point where we needed to add more lesson and rehearsal rooms to accommodate our student body. We’ve been interested in moving to Liberty Station for years now....”

After the Encinitas space was nailed down, the school went to work recruiting new teachers.

“We were lucky to find some real heavy hitters,” explains Ward, such as “Marc Deriso [Cults, Japandi], Araby Harrison [Jejune, Jesse LaMonaca], Kevin Higuchi [Gilbert Castellanos], and Clint Sobolik [Jesse LaMonaca, Whiskey Avengers]... We just put on a show dedicated to all the great local bands we have in San Diego and members of those bands played onstage with the students. This included members of Mrs. Magician, Lord Howler, Midnight Pine, Creepy Creeps, Beehive & the Barracudas, and a bunch more.”

School of Rock graduates have gone on to enrich the local music scene as well. Continues Ward: “Josh Smith has toured and recorded with local bands Uber Monk and Monkeys from Space. Current student Jordan Krimston has worked with Tim Pyles at the Local 94/9 radio show. The band Big Bad Buffalo is made up of three current and graduated members: Jordan Krimston, Silvio Damone, and Alex Staninger. They are working on a new album and play regularly at places like Soda Bar, Casbah, and Ché Café.”

The school plans a “grand-opening celebration,” as Bratlien terms it, celebrating both the new school and the expanded older one, on Saturday, March 8, from noon to 3 p.m.

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