Kick out the jams

JamPro Music Factory

Founder and president Chris Sewell and chief engineer Jeff Cloyes in one of JamPro’s recording studios.

Founder and president Chris Sewell and chief engineer Jeff Cloyes in one of JamPro’s recording studios.

Photo By Brad Bynum

JamPro Music Factory
9300 Prototype Drive
will host an open house, with refreshments and live music by the instructors on
Dec. 14, from 3 to 7 p.m.
For more information, visit

Chris Sewell, the president and founder of JamPro Music Factory, grew up in New England and worked on Wall Street for most of his career. He moved to Northern Nevada in 2004 and retired three years ago before deciding to launch JamPro.

He was inspired by his three kids, now between 12-15, who are all very enthusiastic about music. He joined the board of a nonprofit organization based in Incline Village that raises funds for school music programs, and organized a series of youth concerts with professional stage lighting and sound systems. The concerts, he says, had a very positive reception. And he was impressed by how hard the kids, including his own, worked.

“If there’s something cool that they’re working toward, they practice, and they get good,” says Sewell. “So I designed this whole concept around that—creating programs and an environment that was so engaging and so inspiring that kids are practicing. They’re not being told to. They want to practice because they’re working toward something.”

There are three primary components of JamPro Music Factory: retail, education and recording. The 10,000-square-foot facility has 11 sound-proofed private lesson studios, two commercial recording studios, and a mock concert hall performance room with seating for 200.

The music education begins with what Sewell describes as “mommy-and-me, early education type programs” for kids as young as three months. Then there’s individual and group lessons for children and adults. Each of the private instruction rooms has a glass slider door, so there’s a ton of visibility, as well as audio and video security for each room.

“And all of my employees are background checked,” says Sewell. “We’re super family friendly.”

JamPro employs about 20 instructors and has the capacity to serve about 400 students.

The facility offers lessons in voice, guitar, bass, drums, piano, woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion. There are loaner guitars for beginning students, including three-quarter sized guitars. Sewell says that it’s hard to teach with instruments that don’t stay in tune. It’s frustrating for both students and the teachers if much of the instruction time is squandered tuning guitars—thus, the loaners.

They run their lessons by the semester and follow the Washoe County School District calendar. Their first semester began on Aug. 20 and ends Dec. 21. The next semester starts Jan. 13 and runs til June 7. Registration is available at

During the weeks that the school district takes off from school, the JamPro hosts music camps, including rock camp, jazz camp and choir camp. Each camp is limited to 10 students. During each camp, the students learn and record three songs and present them onsite at a Friday night concert for family members.

“It’s a concert setting,” says Sewell. “A recital doesn’t begin to describe what we do here.”

Students in the regular semester-long classes, receive mid-semester evaluation recording sessions—a recording experience and an opportunity to see how they’re doing. They then participate in another, more professional recording session at the end of the semester.

The store sells music equipment like Legator guitars, Marshall amps, and Earthquaker effects pedals.

The recordings studios are spacious, state-of-the-art rooms. Jeff Cloyes, the chief engineer, is a Reno native who has worked in studios in Nashville, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami.

“Everyone’s an asset here because we all have multiple talents that contribute to everything that goes on,” says Benjamin Rilea, the facility’s retail manager who also assists in studio productions and education.

“This is a fantastic spot,” says Cloyes. “I think we’re going to do great stuff here.”