MARK BOOKIN - Sales
Mark Bookin’s tenure at Westwood Music spans over 30 years of rock-and-roll history.
Mark has supplied gear to a virtual who’s who of touring groups including the Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Moody Blues, Earth Wind & Fire, the Beach Boys, Jackson Browne, the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, CSN, Richard Thompson and many, many more. Mark has mastered getting the artists those hard-to-find pieces for their stage shows and to add to their collections.
Being an acoustic guitar player and singer-songwriter himself, Mark has the knowledge to connect with his customers and pair them with the right instrument. His specialty is acoustic guitars, but he is well versed in all aspects of music retail including recording, pro audio, live sound, band and orchestra and keyboards. His connections go deep into the musical instrument world both new and vintage. If you need help with your first instrument or to add that special piece to your collection, you will be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable ally than Mark Bookin.
JONAH RIVERA - Lessons
Jonah Rivera has been a valued member of Westwood Music since 2006. His guitar playing, songwriting and singing can be heard on Seneca Hawk’s 2010 album, which charted on the CMJ Top 100. He has a background in classical piano and trumpet, and played professionally as a drummer while studying creative writing at Cornell University.
Jonah is Westwood's House Lesson Instructor, and is great working with kids of all ages.
Jonah’s teaching specializes in blues, classic rock, finger style and pop guitar. He also teaches beginner piano and ukulele.
JAMES MCCRONE - Sales/Lessons
When he was just 10 years old, James put on a record to listen to because of the cool album cover. That record was Led Zeppelin I and it changed the course of his life. Today, after years in the music business as a professional guitarist, bassist,
recording engineer and teacher, James calls Westwood Music home.
A graduate of Musicians Institute (Guitar), UCLA Extension’s Film Scoring Department and with an Associate of Arts degree in music from Santa Monica College, James happily shares his knowledge and experience with students from the beginner to the advanced in guitar, bass, ukulele and drums. His style expertise includes classic rock, grunge, pop, punk, modern funk-rock and modern blues-rock. In addition, James teaches music theory, as applied to guitar and bass, and loves helping students discover their own personal creativity on their instrument.
DAVID RUTCHINSKI - Repairs
David Rutchinski has been Westwood Music's luthier for the past seven years. As a young musician in his native Canada, he was mentored in guitar craft by Luthiers in Vancouver and Toronto. His experience as a guitar player and luthier brings precision and "feel" to how he practices his craft. He is a master of doing setups, electronics, acoustic repairs, PLEK, and re-frets.
David has a long career as a guitarist/singer/songwriter as David Raven. He spent the 1980's performing gigs with Long John Baldry, Tower of Power, Joan Armatrading, Ronnie Hawkins, Bo Diddley, Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, and John Mayall.
David is currently a member of Blowin' Smoke performing monthly at Harvelle's in Santa Monica.
Pavel Maslowiec - Repairs
In 1999, Pavel Maslowiec left a seven year career as a pediatric surgeon in Krakow, Poland, to come to California to follow his passion for music and guitars. He dreamed of playing the guitar as well as David Gilmour, or else to build guitars good enough for Gilmour to play. His profession as a self-taught luthier began by taking guitars apart to see how they were constructed and then building guitars utilizing his background in physics, chemistry, and math, as well as his surgeon’s hands. Over the years since then, Pavel has serviced, repaired and built guitars for many of the world’s most famous players (yes, including David Gilmour). No repair job is either too minor or too difficult to interest him — as long as it’s a guitar, he’s happy. Pavel is a pro at neck resets and extensive repairs.
Alex Sinclair - Operations Manager
Alex Sinclair is the third generation of his family to be involved with Westwood Music. Alex’s grandfather, a concert violinist, and Hermann Walecki, founder of Westwood Music, had a close professional and personal friendship dating back to the 1940’s. Alex’s mother grew up around the Waleckis, and in 2000, Alex’s father became acquainted with Fred Walecki and became a partner in the store. Alex interned at the store during high school and after graduating from Pitzer College, he worked at the store, utilizing his photography, computer and visual skills, in the areas of marketing and online sales. Alex says he was lucky enough to be mentored by Fred when asked to take over as store Manager in the summer of 2015, and Fred has continued to be, as Alex says, “a guiding angel.”
Alex hopes to continue to build the store into a 21st Century destination both online and at 1627 Westwood Blvd. for accomplished artists, music aficionados, and anybody who wants to learn or play or just hang out with other musicians.
Evelyn Danciger - Media Manager/Lesson Coordinator
Evelyn found her way to the Westwood Music team after a year of interning for co-owner Nigel Sinclair’s production company, White Horse Pictures, where she had the opportunity to be a production assistant on the latest Ron Howard documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years. While Evelyn’s academic background is in screenwriting and film studies from Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television, she has been growing as Westwood’s media manager since May. Growing up in a household that embraced classic rock and the blues, most of Evelyn’s film and writing revolves around or is heavily influenced by music. As the media manager, Evelyn hopes to work with all members of the Westwood team to continue to build Westwood’s online presence and reaffirm Westwood Music as LA’s number one destination for musicians and fans alike.
Eli Gabrieloff - Repairs
Eli began repairing guitars as a teenager because he didn’t know any guitar repairmen growing up in Tel Aviv, Israel. He quickly began repairing guitars for friends and family, enhancing his love for repair. When Eli moved to Los Angeles in 2001, he began buying and selling used and vintage guitars online. This business element helped him fine tune his attention to detail and accuracy in his repairs, as he refused to send anything to customers that was short of absolute top-notch condition. Eli repaired every vintage guitar he bought and sold, and his expertise eventually landed him a job at Guitar Center as their vintage repair tech for the entire chain.
Over the years, Eli has repaired over 15,000 guitars, and has photos of nearly all of them! Some of those repairs were simplistic, but some were incredibly challenging, and required Eli to practically rebuild the guitar. He sees every repair as a challenge and strives for excellence with each one.