Louis Lee II
He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His love and devotion for music evolved at a young age and inspired him to play various instruments such as drums, bass guitar, and lead guitar.
At the age of 8, he learned how read music on the drums. At the age of 11 he learned how to read music on the bass guitar and at the age of 13 he learned how to read music on the guitar
He was asked to substitute for Norman Harris, his former teacher, who was the guitarist for the house band at the Uptown Theater. He performed so well that Kenny Gamble asked him to play the guitar on Billy Paul’s album, 360 Degrees. Subsequently, he toured with Billy Paul in United States to Paris, Amsterdam, Madid and Copenhagen. On his off time, he toured with Sister Sledge, Horace Silver, Teddy Pendergrass and the jazz fusion group Catalyst. Most recently, he has also performed in Las Vegas with Macy Gray and with other artists.
Eventually, he decided to go to college and pursue a degree in music. He attended Los Angeles City College where he received an Associate of Arts Degree. He transferred afterwards to the University of Southern California and received the first Ernie Freeman Memorial Scholarship. This was a full academic scholarship and he was the first student to receive it from USC. He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies; he continued and got his Master’s Degree in the Science of Education.
He has utilized his academic training, professional experiences, and devotion to the music industry in numerous industries. Because of his passion for teaching, he created the cultural arts program for the students at several school sites for the Inglewood Unified School District. The program is a catalyst to cultivate and develop academic excellence in urban arears. It reduces the recidivism rate by offering a positive alternative to gangs, drugs, truancy, teen pregnancy, graffiti and destructive behavior.
At this juncture, he would like to acknowledge three very influential mentors, that profoundly chiseled his guitar artistry, while he was a student at U.S.C. Lenny Breau, Joe Pass and David Koontz were very profound in sculpturing his execution on the guitar as a Bebop solo chord melody guitarist.
As a full scholarship recipient, each year Louis would receive a financial allotment for on campus work study/employment. During that particular year, He was a practice room monitor. However, since he resided at the Shrine apartment, directly across the street from U.S.C., the convivence was very accommodating and afforded him to maximize is studies and practice time.
The practice rooms hours were 9:00 A.M. to 9: P.M., seven days a week. On one particular day, as he was locking up the facility, Lenny was giving a private guitar lesson and asked if he could have an extra two hours. Louis said yes! When he returned, at 11:00 P.M. to lock up, Lenny asked him why he had not signed up for some private guitar lessons? He told Lenny he had a lot of homework and he was extremely busy. Lenny knew what the real reason was, Louis did not have the money. Therefore, Lenny said, look, I am going to give you a free guitar lesson. Surprisingly, the lesson lasted from 11:00P.M. to 3:00 A.M.
As they were leaving, Lenny asked him for his telephone number, he gave it to him and they parted ways. A month later, Lenny called him and said he needed a place to stay. He called him from a phone booth, in downtown Los Angeles. Louis immediately drove his car and picked him up. Lenny lived with him for nine month until his demise. The experience was akin to living with a god.
As a music major, he was able to analyze Lenny’s solo playing, approach and chord melodies style. He was amazed!
With Lenny’s untimely demise, Louis was honored to perform with legendary guitarists and musicians, at Lenny Breau’s memorial service at Donte’s, in Studio City California. The roster was as follows: Guitarist Mundell Low and Bill Berry with Marty Harris, Monty Budwig and Dick Berk, John Collins and Al Viola with Mary Harris, Monty Budwig and Shelly Manne, Herb Ellis with Ross Tompkins, Andy Simpkins and Ted Hawke, Joe Pass with Andy Simpkins, Ted Hawke, Joe Diorio and Ron Eschate with Paul Gormley and Ted Hawke, Raj, and Louis Lee with Marty Harris, Monty Budwig and Shelly Manne. Wow!
Louis had never heard any of the guitarists on the show, perform live before, except for Herb Ellis and that was when he performed on the Merv Griffin show with Billy Paul.
Joe Pass was phenomenal! In a very unique way, he reminded him of Lenny. He had a very vast knowledge of chord melodic movements, incorporating the bass, chords and the melody. Most guitarists play, separately, either the chords or the melody. Joe, as with Lenny, played the chords, melody and bass simultaneously. This is what Louis learned from Lenny.
In his Junior year, at U.S.C., he transferred out of Studio Guitar to the Jazz Studies Program. That afforded him the opportunity to take private guitar lessons off campus. David Koontz was highly recommended by Dr. Thomas Masson, who was the head of the Jazz Studies Department. David’s son is Larry Koontz, who he also taught and is highly recognized as a jazz guitarist.
Three years later, when Louis was completing his Master’s Degree, he asked to have Joe Pass as his instructor. Dr. Thom Mason managed to get him, as his guitar instructor and taking guitar lesson from him was reminiscent of when he studied with Lenny.
This book is constructed to offer the student the maximum pedagogical guitar theory with theoretical orchestrated guitar chords. The philosophy that Louis used in writing this book and when teach guitar, he learned from David Koontz, which is to exclude all of the unnecessary stuff and go straight to absolute, indispensable, essence of learning how to be a master of the guitar.
I have been taking guitar instruction from Louis Lee for over 3 years and now I am performing in my senior high school jazz band and reading clarinet music because they have no guitar music. Awesome! All of my musician friends think I am the best guitar in the entire school. Well, since I have been studying with Louis, I am the best guitarist in the school
1. My typical process in instructing guitar lessons is to establish pedagogical objectives. If these objectives are followed the student can achieve guaranteed success in a short amount of time. The objectives are: They most practice at least 30 minutes a day and 5 days a week and adhere to the following:1. Finger and wrist exercise (10 minutes), 2 Theory (10 minutes) and 3 They must have FUN in the process (10 minutes). The fun part is learning how to read music and performing their favorite song.
2. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies and a Master's in Science of Teaching and both degrees are from U.S.C.
3. Guitar, bass, theory, Ukulele and Voice lessons are $30 an hour.
4. I got my start teaching when I was 17 years old. Since my first instrument was the drums. I was 8 years old and I took lessons on how to read drum music. When I was 12-year-old the next instrument that I learned how to play was the classical guitar and I took classical guitar lessons on how to read guitar music in the Treble Clef.
5. I have taught students all gages, ethnic background and genres.
6. We recently had out quarterly guitar recital at the LA Studios Live, at the South Bay Galleria Mall in Redondo Beach California.
7. A student can learn all about our program from our website:the-ecma.com
8. What are the objectives of the program.