Teachers and/or influences?
I've had a lot of great teachers over the years. Most notably, Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews Band), who is such a natural musician that he's inspiring just to be around. Then I went to VCU and studied with Mike Ess, David Toussaint, Corey Blake, and John Patykula (who were all great teachers in their own way).
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I knew I wanted to be a musician the first time I heard Elvis Presley sing "Hound Dog."
Your sound and approach to music:
My sound is the sound of a guy with a guitar who loves music. My approach to music is: I play what I like and hope other people like it too. I play jazz on a classical guitar. I prefer playing finger-style, because it allows for more polyphony than pick-style. A good finger-style guitarist can play several independent lines or "voices" simultaneously. I went to music school and studied classical guitar and jazz guitar, and now I'm sort of combining the two. Learning some of the great classical guitar repertoire taught me the potential of the guitar as a solo instrument. I'm just trying to realize that potential in a different genre. It seems perfectly natural to me.
Your teaching approach:
My approach to teaching varies depending on the student. I try to make it fun for the student, and focus on the music or style that they want to learn. You can always use their favorite song as a means to learning some chords or theory. Students can get chords, scales, and arpeggios anywhere, but what they really need from a teacher is inspiration and motivation. The last thing I ever want to do is cause a student to get frustrated or lose interest. It's inevitable that some students will (get frustrated or lose interest), I just don't want to be the cause of it.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
My favorite recording so far was Easy Living. Easy Living is a collection of classic jazz standards arranged for solo guitar. What I like most about the recording is the pure acoustic sound I achieved by using a great sounding guitar, proper microphone placement, and minimal post-production. One listener commented that it was like having me right there in front of them, playing a private concert. That's the kind of intimate sound I was going for. My next project will be recorded in a similar way, but will feature the wonderful music of Luiz Bonfa
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