About Us

Meet Our Team

Keith Sinclair
Guitar, Bass Specialist, B.Mus. Capilano University

Keith Sinclair has been making music since the earliest years of his life. He is a founding member, singer, songwriter, and guitarist of local rock band No Island and a graduate of the Capilano University Jazz Studies Degree program. 

Enjoying a busy musical life, he has performed with many local indie rock artists such as Sadie Campbell and Sister Says and important eclectic ensembles in Vancouver including world renowned Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, Capilano University’s NiteCap, the Impressions Big Band and many local jazz, blues and rock groups. His performance history includes gigs in many of Vancouver’s best venues as well as tours of Canada, U.S.A, Scotland, England, Bosnia, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.  A recipient of the MusiCounts Fred Sheratt Award for outstanding post-secondary graduates of Canadian music programs, 

Keith also spends his time as a clinician and private guitar instructor.

Assel Zakarina
Vocal and Piano Specialist, B.Mus. Capilano University

Assel is a Vancouver based vocalist, piano and trumpet player. She has obtained a diploma and bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from Capilano University, as well as a diploma from the Institute of contemporary music performance in London, UK. She is passionate about the art of improvisation, performance, arranging and composition, and has been performing since the age of 5, including performances at international festivals and competitions in Italy, Bulgaria and Slovakia. She now performs regularly as a jazz vocalist around Vancouver.


Assel is passionate about sharing her love for music as a voice and piano teacher. She focuses on encouraging her students to explore their musicality with confidence and enjoyment, while gaining technical skills and theoretical knowledge they need to find and express their own unique voice.

Andrew Wilson
Drum, Piano and Vocal Specialist, B.Mus. Capilano University

Andrew has been studying music from a very young age, starting with the piano when he was 5 years old. He began singing and taking voice lessons when he was 12 and has since been singing in churches and choirs. Moving from the Okanagan in 2011 to study the drums, Andrew graduated from Capilano University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music in JazzAndrew has been performing and recording with his rock band Sleepcircle which released their album From The Heavens, Through The Window in May 2019. He also plays in a alternative/indie folk group called Fake Cascade and is currently Music Director at St. Andrew’s United Church in North Vancouver.

Jamison Ko
Drum Specialist, B.Mus. Capilano University

Jamison was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta.  There he began his musical journey at the age of 10, taking drum lessons at a local music shop.  Since then, music has been the greatest pursuit in his life.  He has been performing live since he was 15 and as well as teaching.  He has played in numerous bands with varying genres including rock, r&b, country, jazz, hip hop, metal, pop, latin, and more.  After graduating high school Jamison began his formal education in music.  He first completed a diploma in jazz studies and Mount Royal University, and then went on to finish his Bachelors of music at Capilano University.  Jamison is still actively gigging around town playing in various pop, r&b, and jazz groups.  He continues to practice and grow as a musician and an educator.

James Huumo
Piano, Bass Specialist, B.Mus. Capilano University, Director

For over 20 years, James has been tickling the ivories and captivating audiences by bringing his virtuosic style to a broad range of musical projects. Earning a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies in 2014, he has been a busy performer, composer and music educator in Vancouver for many years. His jubilant approach to piano and composing are highly influenced by Herbie Hancock and Robert Glasper.

Cole Tinney

Cole Tinney is a professional pianist based in Vancouver. His musical focus is in jazz and contemporary piano, ranging from music from the forties to funk and blues, powered by a background in classical music. Having a degree in Performance, Cole has traveled throughout Canada and the United States performing at various venues. A versatile performer he has worked as a solo artist as well as in groups ranging from accompanying soloists to performing in both classical and jazz full sized orchestras . Another passion of Cole’s is education – one of his core beliefs is bringing all the different aspects of music together every lesson so learning can be more intriguing and insightful. Theory, harmony, technique all can seem dry if not delivered with explanations as to their roles in creating and performing music, including what you hear on the radio! With this in mind, Cole likes to inspire students to learn through songs they feel a connection with and delivers unique lessons customized for each student.

Ria Tinney

Ria’s strong background in leadership and management enables her to bring a person-focused perspective to the operations of CoJa Music Academy. Ria’s current area of expertise is business administration. Ria brings creativity and enthusiasm to any opportunity she finds and tackles all projects head-on.

Ian Willmer
Guitar, Bass,Voice and piano
Ian is a passionate multi-instrumentalist with over 15 years of professional experience in various music genres. He started in school, playing and performing in several ensembles while receiving private vocal training for seven years. During his decade-long career in a band, Ian performed at hundreds of shows, including an 80-date Canadian tour and a memorable arena performance for 16,000 people.
Ian‘s music experience goes beyond the stage. While collaborating with renowned writers and producers, he performed on music that reached the Billboard Top 40 charts and gained over 40 million streams. 
However, what truly matters to Ian is the meaningful relationships and sense of community he has found through music. Drawing from his rich musical background, Ian is eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with aspiring musicians. He believes in creating a positive and supportive learning environment, where students of all ages and skill levels feel at ease to ask questions, make mistakes, and explore their creativity. Ian is excited to share his love for music while guiding the next generation of musicians as they learn and grow.

Ready to pursue
your dream

We can’t wait to meet you!