Lee Zimmer

Applied Faculty, Guitar

Lee Zimmer has been an adjunct professor of guitar studies at both California Baptist and La Sierra Universities since 1990. He also teaches at Riverside City College starting in 2015. At California Baptist, Lee teaches private lessons, a guitar class for Music Education majors and non-music majors, and started and continues to direct the CBU Guitar Ensemble.


Lee was one of the first instructors to start the non-profit music program, Kids Rock Free at the Fender Center for the performing Arts, in 1998. He became instrumental in developing the curriculum for guitar and bass studies, as well as developing the performing rock band program, which has been going since 1999. He has been the Music Department Chairperson for the program since 2005. Lee was the music director of the Kids Rock Free band show that performed at Kennedy Center’s Millennium stage in Washington D.C. on December 10, 2011.


Lee has been on the board of directors for the Orange County Guitar Circle since 1984 where he served as the president of the organization from 1996 to 2005. Lee is currently partnering to build the Inland Guitar Society which held its first meeting/recital in January 2019.


As an arranger, Lee has arranged a variety of music for one, two, and four guitars. He recorded and released a CD as guitar duo, Duo Sesoko, in 2003 which features his arrangement of Le Tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel. 


In 2007 Lee recorded a solo CD, Encarnacion, which features the music of Augustine Barrios, Manuel Ponce, Federico Moreno-Torroba, and others. 


Mr. Zimmer was a guest performer at the International festival, Experiencing Villa-Lobos in 2008 where he performed the complete Five Preludes by Villa-Lobos.


Lee studied classical guitar extensively with Maestro Seiko Sesoko from 1978 through 1984. He also performed in several master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isben, David Russell, Michael Newman, and Jorge Morel. In 1985, Lee was a finalist in the Guitar Foundation of America’s International guitar competition.


Lee received an Associate of Arts degree from Orange Coast College. He earned his designated subject credential through courses taken at Cal State Long Beach.


Lee’s background includes experience in classical, pop, rock, blues, and jazz styles. He has also worked as a consultant for Fender Musical Instruments on a hand made classical guitar line by Spanish luthier Manuel Rodriguez. 


Lee continues to perform a number of recitals as a soloist and in chamber ensemble throughout Southern California.