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Listen to BandWorks Pro Band Mrs. Sandman on the KFOG morning show.


Watch the Eyewitness News Team become the Eyewitness Blues Band with help from BandWorks in a Rock n’ Roll Fairy Tale.


Music in Community – BandWorks!

Published October 12, 2012 — By Brendan Lai-Tong

Have you ever wanted to play in a rock band? For some, the buzz of electric guitars, sonically sublime vocals, and the energetic roar of the crowd are enticing enough to want to give it a try. As you all know, not all of this is as easy as it seems. Read more…


Rock to Rachmaninoff | Getting your kid into the after-school groove

Published November, 2010 — By Kate Madden Yee

Grade-schoolers don’t usually perform at clubs. But after an eight-week session in the BandWorks program—which matches musicians at the same levels of experience with a professional musician and teacher—newly minted rockers can show off what they’ve learned at local venues like Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center in Berkeley. Read more…


A Crash Course in Rock ‘N’ Roll

Published January/February, 2006 — by John Otis

If you’re going to San Francisco…” Scott McKenzie’s 1967 song suggests, ”you’re gonna meet some gentle people there.” But don’t expect all the gentle musicians of the Bay Area to be playing flower power folk music these days. At BandWorks, an Oakland-based school of rock, amateur musicians are given a chance to get amped-up and satisfy their craving to rock, roll, and cut loose. Read more…


Best School of the Rockin’est

Published 2007

Fourteen years ago, long before Jack Black scolded those private school kids for not getting the Led out, session musicians Steve Gibson and Jeremy Steinkoler founded Bandworks, an institution that has since helped countless kids, teens, and adults from San Rafael to San Jose live out their dreams of playing their favorite songs to audiences outside their own living room. Since Bandworks’ initial sessions in a single room in Berkeley, the program has expanded to four recording studios, fourteen summer camp locations, and fifteen after-school programs throughout the Bay Area (much appreciated in this age of school arts cutbacks); the organization has even put on shows in Ireland, courtesy of U2’s the Edge. You don’t need to be a guitar whiz and go through tense auditions to enroll in Bandworks – snobbish Juilliard it ain’t. Nor do you even need to play guitar, drums, or any other standard rock instrument. Everyone from young Hendrixian prodigies to beginner flutists, violinists, and conga players is welcome.

(510) 843-BAND


I’m With the Band
Release your inner Mick Jagger at this East Bay School of Rock

Published October 2005 — By JoAnn Tobias

I’ve been taking classical cello lessons for three years, and not once in that time have I felt inspired to passionately smash my cello to bits, Pete Townshend-style. To me, this is a sign that something is missing from my musical education. This is why I have come to the BandWorks studio in Oakland. I have come to satisfy my primal urge to play rock and roll. And I am not alone. Read more…


The school of hard rocks educates the future rock and roll star

Published April 16, 2005– by Keith Axline

SITTING IN A rehearsal space in Oakland, it’s difficult not to be impressed by Lunchbox’s rendition of Modest Mouse’s “All Night Diner.” The instrumentation is partially stripped down to bass (Connor O’Brien, age 14), guitar (Lexi Visco, 17), and drums (Steven Hendricks, 17) but spot-on nonetheless. And although 17-year-old Caitlin O’Brien’s choir-cultivated voice is a far cry from Isaac Brock’s creepily layered rant, it captures the essence of the original song surprisingly well. Read more…


All-ages School of Rock

Published March 28, 2005 — by Chip Johnson

Jason Reeder quietly rocked back and forth while pounding out visceral licks on his guitar during a solo at a band practice at Shark Bite Recording Studios in Oakland’s waterfront warehouse district.

Fine-tuning the acoustic version of Eric Clapton’s rock standard “Layla, ” Jason jammed with fellow students Mike Ruby on drums, Alyssa Diamond on bass guitar, Austin Zumbro on keyboards and vocals, and teacher Matt Hulett, who filled in for guitarist Andrew Harris, who was home sick. No member of the band, save for their teacher, is older than 17. Read more…


Rockers team up at BandWorks

Published March 29, 2005 — by Quynh Tran

Among her roles as mother, dentist, and hip-hop aerobics instructor at the Oakland Hills Tennis Club, Jessie Nakamura, 37, is also a rocker. After watching a drummer play at a New Orleans club five years ago, Nakamura decided to pick up the sticks herself and join a rock band. Read more…