Derek Westra

Derek started playing guitar at 10 years old, influenced by such rock legends as Slash and Angus Young. What he loved the most though was that the guitar allowed him to explore other styles ranging from rock, to extreme metal, to jazz and classical.

After practicing religiously for his teen years, he joined his first band, Memorial Brigade (with whom he still plays) at the age of 17 and, as a result, began exploring/studying the composition aspect of music. 

Although Derek had experienced teachers who taught him the basic building blocks of the instrument, he came to his own when he decided to pursue the guitar on a more personal basis.  Eventually he enrolled in the Music Cellar where, under the mentorship of multiple instructors, he refined his talent and became a much more well-rounded musician. 

A large part of Derek’s success as an artist is his willingness and passion to learn, develop his skills, and find new ways to get inspired.  He is excited to have the opportunity to play with the Jump Start Dance Band because it provides him with a fresh outlook on a variety of guitar styles, tones and textures. 

A dedicated musician and guitarist, Derek understands the development of his instrument and uses all his knowledge and experience to provide the band with a unique yet very accessible sound.