Cami MacDonald

Cami MacDonald

Instruments: Piano

Students: All ages; Beginning to Advanced

Styles: Country, Jazz, Blues, Classical, Pop

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Cami and her husband Chris are the founders and managers of West Side Music Academy. The school started with the two of them; Cami teaching piano and Chris teaching guitar. Cami has been teaching piano since the late 1980s, all the while performing in various rock, jazz and big band groups. She studied music at Skagit Valley College, Western Washington University and Northwest University. Her classical teachers/mentors include Ford Hill, Sonya Hanke and Mizue Yamada-Fells. For jazz, she studied under Dick Cady and Bogey Vujkov.

Cami is currently playing with several local bands, including Mannequin BBQ, Collapsible Rodeo, the Loose Heels and the ABBAgraphs.

Cami’s ideal student is anyone who wants to learn. Chances are, if you don’t come with a big desire, she will likely change it. She says, “I love music so much, it usually rubs off on my students. “

On Cami’s Stereo:
I love old timey country like Hank Williams and Bob Wills, plus the piano styles of Bobbie Nelson and Floyd Cramer. I listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jack White, Ray Charles, Oscar Peterson and so much more. On the local scene, I love The Pornadoes, The Stevendone, PromQueen, The Polyrhythmics and Cecil Moses & The S.G.s. my good friends play solo or in duos, combos and bands. I love listening to their music at home, seeing their concerts and discovering new local talent along the way.

Favorite Gigs:
Singing alto in a Western Washington University performance of Mozart’s Requiem – it was so huge and powerful. Playing with a swing band at the San Sebastian Jazz Festival in Spain – it was a beautiful day, beautiful city and my biggest audience ever. Playing at Darrell’s Tavern with “Caleb and Walter” and “The Suffering F@*k Heads”: two local bands I love; they inspired me to start my own projects.

Why Cami Loves West Side Music Academy:
My favorite memories here are the ones when students have that “Aha” moment. They’ve listened, practiced, studied – and then it comes together all at once and they realize they’ve jumped up a notch. There’s nothing better than the satisfied look a student gets when they are genuinely and rightfully proud of themselves.