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November Student Spotlight: Jack Dourakos

Jack Dourakos was already a successful singer/songwriter – fronting his project Mia Mera when he came to Stages to learn the drums. That’s when he found Jason Cohen, who says of this passionate multi-instrumentalist:

Jack’s passion for music is huge. His enthusiasm and curiosity have a magnetic effect, making my job super easy. He soaks up knowledge like a sponge, and is always pushing the boundaries of his musical prowess. I couldn’t be prouder of Jack’s relentless dedication and his fearless pursuit, from recitals to drumming for a band, achieved in a remarkably short span.


Click the link to hear Mia Mera’s track “Long Gone and Holding” and read on to learn more about this energetic and creative artist!

What is your instrument and how long have you been playing?

I’ve been taking drum lessons with Jason Cohen for the past year. He is an amazing teacher and a musician’s musician. I’ve learned so much thanks to his patience and persistence.

What inspired you to start playing music?

Nirvana changed my life. Once I heard them all my plans changed. I had to learn guitar, write music & start a band. I ended up moving to Seattle in the late 90s and my band Severna Park played shows with Modest Mouse, Death Cab For Cutie, Harvey Danger, Rocket From The Crypt. I also worked for the legendary grunge record label Sub Pop, the original home of Nirvana.

What kind of music do you like to listen to and play?

I love Alternative Rock, my era was 90’s. Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, The Breeders, Superchunk, Guided by Voices and Helmet are among my favorites.

What are your musical goals?

I am a singer-songwriter. My band is called Mia Mera and my goal is to record and perform all over the world. I sing, play guitar and hopefully soon I’ll be able to record my own drums!

What’s your favorite thing about Stages?

My first Stages experience was a lecture by Sam Sessa of WTMD about how to properly promote your music. I love the friendship and community of open mic, I’ve met some talented bands there, like Love For All.

Who is your teacher and what do you like most about them?

I can’t say enough about Jason Cohen! He’s so knowledgeable about every kind of music, every style, and my favorite thing about him is he encourages me to learn the songs I love and drummers I want to emulate all at my own pace.

Who are the musicians that inspire you?

I’m inspired by the young generation out there keeping rock music alive like Snail Mail, Momma, Wet Leg & Fontaines DC. I also love the “lifers” who never give up no matter what like Local H, Guided By Voices and Juliana Hatfield. I’d say I’m most inspired by the integrity and work ethic of Fugazi.

What do you love most about playing music?

My favorite thing about playing is that music bypasses the intellectual part of our brain and goes right to our emotions. Music is transcendent, it is used for spiritual purposes, for celebration, and most importantly for healing. Music heals me. I love writing music, I love playing music, but most of all I love listening to music.

Congratulations to Jack for being recognized as November’s Student Spotlight!

Do you know a student who is deserving of being in the spotlight? Nominate them by emailing us and telling us why they deserve to be recognized! 

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