My first musical memory is vivid both visually and sonically. It was December 26, 1978, circa 7:30PM, and I was freshly 3 years old (I'm a Scorpio). I thank my cousin Eric for playing Van Halen's "Eruption" (mostly for my older brother, but I simply happened to be there). Both the feature film "Star Wars"--of which I remember my cousin's blue Star Wars bed spread in this memory's snapshot--and the album "Van Halen I" were released earlier that year letting me know in retrospect exactly when this went down! Those sounds were amazing that first time...are still amazing...so creative on the performance angle!
Six and jealous of my mother's classical piano lessons, I complained enough until she took me along. I had a few teachers growing up in Northeastern Indiana, but quickly settled in with mom's private instructor, Nancy Hall, who made a huge impression on me. A few years later, I joined the 5th grade orchestra and 6th grade band playing the violin and trombone respectively. Soon after I won a state title for solo piano performance and was paid for my first gig... one-fourth of a stringed quartet for hire. I sang a little in both the church choir with my parents as well as the high school choir. Tending to my Midwestern needs, I purchased my first banjo senior year of high school.
Furthered my studies at Indiana University where I majored in English and enjoyed a few minors: History, Philosophy & Music. Post college, I thought I'd be penning fiction... still have plans to publish in the near future. My musical studies were focused on classical theory and history, private jazz piano lessons with pianist/arranger J. Michael Lucas (accompanist and conductor for Johnny Mathis & Andy Williams), jazz theory and first person history with mogul David Baker, and rock history. I continued to refine my chops as I performed with different blues/pop/rock/funk bands around central Indiana and the Bloomington Campus.
After college, I moved to New Jersey in 1999 where I managed a music store and taught private & class lessons. Two years later, I met my bride-to-be in Asbury Park & started playing keyboards and singing backups for the latin rock band deSoL which has consumed a large chunk of my time since. This was that fated moment when I started growing the beard which has allowed me to 1.) magically harness the rather untapped zen energy of the bustling Jersey suburbia and 2.) keep a mental chronology of events over the years.
Taking advantage of the band's radio charting, we toured the U.S. heavily between 2004-2009 (as well as trips to Mexico, Africa, and the Persian Gulf). Watch some deSoLtv to experience some of the trip. We've performed for both intimate radio and industry audiences as well as larger scale shows such as a Miami stadium of 65,000, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo... we played about 2000 shows. The band took a three-year hiatus, but recently played a few reunion gigs. Before that our last show was in 2010. It felt like we never skipped a beat.
Dori & I married September 25, 2010 at the Strand Theatre in Lakewood, NJ! We enjoyed taking a month off from life to rent a cabin in the middle of Georgia to complete a first draft of our first novel.
For an Easter 2014 date, Dori and I decided to go flying around Long Island! I wrote an instrumental ditty to accompany the video...hope you enjoy:
I spend most of my time as the Music Director of the Marlboro School of Rock. I also enjoy teaching privately.
Check out Musical Project "4"
A lifelong fascination with the piano combined with the love of hefty detail-oriented projects, I've apprenticed with tuning guru Rob Gardner (Cherry Hill, NJ) studying the ins-and-outs of piano tuning and repair.
Writing is my passion. I love staying up into the wee hours clicking away listening to my characters tell me what their worlds are like. It calls to me now as I write these words. That being said, I'm going to go work on that and I hope to share something with you sometime soon.