I fell in love with jazz music at age 4. Ella Fitzgerald was singing Star Eyes on the Ed Sullivan Show and I was mesmerized. She shone under the studio lights and her eyes were radiant. My parents tried to tell me her name was Ella but I called her Star Eyes for years.
At my 8th birthday party my father had brought home some LPs from the radio station where he worked and the grownups were drinking and talking loudly while a Miles Davis record was playing Bitches Brew... I screamed out "please be quiet this is very important music!" That was it, I was hooked.
In my life music has been central, from school orchestra, choir, concert band, jazz band, pep band where I played trumpet and sang daily in grades 2-12. I toured Europe in Graduate level ensembles 1972 singing in the Choral, and playing trumpet in the Concert Band. I had a 7-9 piece funk band from age 16-22 and performed statewide.
In my early 20s Jazz came into my life and under the strict tutaledge of older Musicians Union jazz artists I learned to stand up and play at live venues... no music just memory and using my ears.
There have been many famous teachers/jazz artists who took me under their wings and pushed me to reach for my highest expression.
Jon Hendricks, Johnny Hartman, Leon Thomas (the jazz yodeler), Eddie Jefferson... all have been strong influences. Mel Torme and more. Doc Cheatham, long time trumpeter with Joe Williams once told me "You sound just like Joe baby... just like Joe".
My achievements include Co-founding the Monterey Peninsula Jazz Orchestra a 25 piece studio jazz which played at Clint Eastwoods' Mission Inn 89-92.
I have studied and performed with Julian Priester, Hadley Caliman, Gerry Granelli, Buddy Catlit, Randy Halberstadt, Clarence Acox, Bobatune Lea, Loren Pickford, Don Weed, Jay Clayton, Gene Morris... and more. Over my career I have and the pleasure of playing with many of the West Coast's finest musicians.
Now after having raised my family as a Widower/Single parent for the past 18 years I am free to follow my muse and play Jazz with others around the world.
Selected resume highlights...
https://www.academia.edu/29034250/Dissertation_Jazz_As_A_transformatiove_Process_.. (free signup to view).
2001-Present Arcata, California
• Humboldt State University (HSU) Music Academy: I have taught K-12 private lessons on piano, voice, trumpet, bass, guitar and jazz ensemble classes for 17 yrs.
• Redwood Jazz Voices: Explored original compositions and newly lyricized jazz classics regionally. This project yielded 2 CDs.
• College of the Redwoods: Directed Big Band for 11 yrs. building a 14-89 yr. old ensemble which studies and performs America’s Classic Jazz Music.
• Bandamonium: Play trumpet in ensemble which performs Global brass band music forms from everywhere, bringing joy to the community at a variety of seasonal and special events.
• Master’s Degree in Transformative Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies (2016) in San Francisco. My research on Racial and Social Equity has been published on-line (Kindle) “One man’s Journey Through the History of Jazz as a Transformative Process”.
• Artist in Residence at the Laurel Tree Charter School K-12 in Arcata, Ca. designing a culture of music education as an integral part of core curriculum. To build this community effort I teach both upper and lower grade piano, ukulele, guitar, bass, drums and voice.
• Artist in Residence at the South Bay Schools in Eureka, Ca. design and implementation of music programs for K-9 at these Title 1 schools. Funded for 2018-2019 through Turn Around Arts Ca., I have produced 5 performing ensembles and taught singing, ukulele, piano, guitar, trumpet, African/World Drumming to these students with great success.
1994-2001 Seattle, Washington
• Summit School, Seattle (Based on the English Summer Hill Community): Formed a jazz choir with 4th – 12th graders.
• Eckstein Middle School, Seattle: Directed two choirs which explored a broad range of choral composition including classical folk and jazz.
• Garfield High School, Seattle: Directed Women’s Choir and Jazz Choir.
• Langston Hughes Summer Music Theatre Camp, Seattle: Directed students in composing and performing musicals for 3 separate sessions, ages 5-18.
• Composers and Improviser’s Collective, Seattle: Learned to compose and perform with some of the regions finest musicians. We performed quarterly concert-recording sessions at the Jack Straw Studios to critical acclaim.
• Jim Knapp’s Chamber Groove Orchestra, Seattle: Sang as an instrument and performed Mr. Knapp’s amazing music.
• Seattle Jazz Voices, Seattle: Performed and recorded several CDs of my original arrangements and lyrics for previously instrumental jazz and new free improvisational music (available here as downloads!).
1989-1994 - Monterey CA (Post Graduation; BA in Vocal Jazz Performance in Seattle 1989)
• Monterey Peninsula Jazz Orchestra: As Co-founding vice president of the board and Director of Education, redefined nonprofit parameters to include a community based big band composed of ⅓ studio musicians, ⅓ union musicians and ⅓ educators as an associate faculty.
• Monterey Bay Blues Festival (MBBF): Developed a 3 yr. program for the MBBF Board, the Youth Blues and Jazz Chorus which included weekly classes and had two successful MBBF performances.
• KPLU FM: Public Radio: Hosted and produced for two years a weekly show “New views of Contemporary Jazz” which explored the compositions and collaborations and evolution of Jazz artists.
• KRML AM: Hosted a weekly program on a commercial jazz station.
• City of Carmel Theatre Technician: at both the Sunset Center & at the Forrest Theatre Sunday series, including serving as an emcee, holding this position three years.