Mandy Rowden-Founder/Director
Guitar, Bass, Mando, Piano, Drums, Theory, Violin, Songwriting, Rock Band

 


A lifelong musician and multi-instrumentalist, Mandy has played all around the US with various bands on guitar, bass, mandolin, keys, drums, and violin.  In March of 2007, after having taught privately for 10 years, she combined her love of teaching, playing, wine, and good old-fashioned fun to form Girl Guitar!

Mandy currently plays original music with her band and just released her 2016 Album '1,000 Miles'. Her 2015 album titled 'These Bad Habits' (#2 Album of the Year, Austin Chronicle Music Poll) featured Lloyd Maines, Redd Volkaert, and Brad Rice. Mandy tours regularly when not teaching in Austin or Nashville.  As well as lead guitar in Cover Girl (#2 Cover Band, Austin Music Awards), Mandy sits in all over Austin with different artists on violin, mandolin, piano, drums, and bass. Get more info on Mandy at www.MandyRowden.com.

Contact her at Mandy@GirlGuitarAustin.com. 
 

 

Heather Webb-Bass, Rock Band, Guitar

Heather Webb is a rock solid bass specialist, with a natural gift for music. She can and will rock anything you throw at her. Coming from a family of musicians, Heather started playing music professionally while in college studying for her teaching degree. Since then, Heather has toured the USA and Europe extensively, playing with bands and artists such as BugGiRL, Adrian and The Sickness, Rosie Flores, Patrice Pike, Christa Hillhouse (4 Non Blondes), Kathy Valentine (The Go-Go's and Girlschool). She fronts her own all-female tribute to Ozzy, Princess of Darkness, and you can catch her on 6th on the weekends with Cover Girl. Aside from being an accomplished musician, Heather is also a professional teacher, website designer, videographer, business manager and overall bad ass.

Contact her at Heather@GirlGuitarAustin.com. 




Cass Brostad-Guitar, Songwriting

Cass Brostad grew up on the mean streets of small town Nebraska where her Grandfather toted her around to every Bluegrass festival in the tri-state area. Meanwhile, her mother put her on a rigorous regimen of church music and piano lessons. At the same time, her Uncles were teaching her classic rock and all the wonders of singing with a rock band. When she picked up a guitar herself around the age of 9, she knew she had found her calling. Since, she has been a member of too many bands to count. She has played guitar, bass, accordion, keyboards and tambourine (yes, tambourine) . She has been the leading lady and sung the back-ups. She has written the songs and co-written the songs. She has been in blues bands, folk bands, rock bands, metal bands (ok, band), indie bands, and most of the things in between. She has booked tours, booked for the bands, booked for the venues, and run a whole slew of open mics. She even makes her own band merch. Basically, she’s a lifer. She moved to Austin in 2010 and joined the Girl Guitar family in 2011. She currently plays all around Austin both solo and with her current band, Big Cabin. Also, she can’t wait to meet you. She thinks you guys are going to have a really great time.

Contact her at cass@GirlGuitarAustin.com. 




Larisa Montanaro - Voice, Vocal Harmonies

Larisa Montanaro has been teaching voice in Austin for 20 years.  She has performed in concert halls from New York City to Seattle and many places in between.  She specializes in avant garde and popular styles and uses classic techniques to serve the modern singer.  She has been a guest lecturer at several colleges and worked closely with Darlene Wiley at UT Austin to create the Vocal Arts Lab, where they conducted research on the voice and published two journal articles from their findings.  She completed her doctorate in performance in 2004 and has been diving into the Austin music scene ever since.  She has performs with The Dime Store Poets, The Rust Tones, Walter Tragert, the Austin Jazz Workshop, and many others.  Her debut record, A New Era, includes standards from Cole Porter and Duke Ellington, but also incorporates jazzy tunes by current songwriters like Phish, Bruce Hughes, and Matt Smith.

Contact her at Larisa@LarisaMontanaro.com.



Sophia Johnson - Guitar


Sophia Johnson is a powerhouse triple threat British invasion of the Austin roots scene. With her lead guitar playing, singing and songwriting, she has found herself at home in a competitive music city in a short span of time. Johnson started off as a classical player and earned a spot in Birmingham Schools Guitar Ensemble, one of only ten students deemed worthy of the project. This led to her working with Trio Gitano, whose debut jazz record “Who Ate All the Tapas” was named the No. 4 album of the year by the Sunday Times in 2005.  Johnson fell in love with Bluegrass and she and sister Hannah convinced their father to form family band the Toy Hearts. As principle songwriter for the group, Sophia led them on extensive tours of the UK and Ireland, Germany, and the US. The Toy Hearts recorded 5 albums and one EP, “Femme Fatale”, with Nashville’s David Mayfield, landing spots on BBC radio, an official showcase at IBMA, and opened for Chris Thile, Hot Club of Cowtown, Ricky Skaggs, the Quebe Sisters, and Robert Plant. The Toy Hearts band can even count Ronnie Wood as one of their fans!  As her interest and passion for Western Swing guitar grew Johnson realized she had to move to where the pulse of those rhythms seemed to emanate most: Austin Texas. Sophia Johnson now lives in the capital city of the Lonestar state, where she is in demand as a lead guitarist and backup singer for artists such as Whitney Rose, Jim Stringer, the Carper Family,  and many others. As the only British female to ever be featured in Flatpick guitar magazine, be assured that she is blazing trails with her flat picking siren and songstress skills. Check out more at www.sophiajohnsonmusic.com. 



Reece Herrera - Drums, Rock Band

Reece has been playing drums and swimming through the waves of music since 1993. She dives into a pool of music daily in a purely creative world. She brings truth to any musical endeavors she is a part of. Because of her experience with music and understanding of people, she naturally fell into booking and management. In addition to working for Westfall Recording Studio, she is a drum instructor for two amazing organizations called Girl Guitar and Girls Rock Camp. She is able to live the dream of supporting female musicians while spreading empowerment and confidence daily. As a private drum instructor, she finds it rewarding and exciting to unlock her students' unique learning styles. She creates unique lessons for each student, teaches precise ear training, and helps the student discover their personal style. Rather than focusing on counts and perfection, she teaches them to fully adapt to the flow and rhythm of the music. Reece is all about becoming one with the music.

 

Katie Marie - Rock, Bluegrass, and Folk 

Katie Marie is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from Devon in the UK.  For the past 20 years she has toured extensively all over the UK, Europe, and USA with various bands and artists as well as performing her own solo material (previous acts include Martin Barre (Jehtro Tull), Disappear Fear, Elli Erl (2nd Season Winner of German Idol), Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), Dan Crisp, Nicky Swann). An award winning songwriter, Katie has released 4 albums all of which were recorded in her own studio.  For each album she performed all the instruments and vocal parts herself.  Her music has been featured in various TV shows and commercials both in the UK and US.  Katie is proudly endorsed by Takamine Guitars, Schlagwerk Percussion, Logarhythm Stomp Boxes and L R Baggs.

Here in Austin Katie plays regularly with various acts including bass guitar for the Susan Arbuckle Band, acoustic guitar in the Susan Arbuckle Trio, and drums for Ginger Leigh, NagaValli, Rebecca Loebe and Raina Rose.  

Find out more at Katie's website: www.femalesessionmusician.com


Jana Pochop - Songwriting and Guitar
Jana Pochop is a guitarist, teacher, and performing songwriter based in San Marcos, Texas.  Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, She has played guitar for 2/3 of her life, beginning when she was 11 years old.  Taking classes through college and then moving to Texas to pursue music, Jana has never been without her guitar in all her endeavors.

She has spent the past 8 years working with and touring across the U.S. with Texas troubadour Susan Gibson, and most recently toured the United Kingdom and Ireland playing electric guitar with Kiya Heartwood. Jana has released 3 albums of original music and currently performs in a trio called The Homeslippers.

Jana approaches teaching guitar with a firm foundation in the basics, but tailors lessons to each student's goals and strengths.  Above all, playing guitar should be fun, and Jana strives to find that thread in every lesson, from learning favorite songs to working on good technique and form to composing your own.

Learn more about Jana at www.janapochop.com.