Alto saxophone.Teachers and/or influences?
Starting with my alto sax teacher in high school, Andy Fusco
of Buddy Rich
Band fame, and throughout college at Indiana University I studied with Tom Walsh, who is a great jazz and classical player that really knows how to bring out the individualism in each student. I also mentored under tenor great Eric Alexander
and pianist Mike LeDonne
and took lessons with Chris Potter
, Dick Oatts
and several others over the years. I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I knew I wanted to play music for a career when I was in eighth grade. I was a member of a jazz big band directed by two great musicians and teachers, Mike Fitzgerald and Robert Rietzke. I remember thinking to myself at that age, "This is going to be a tough career, but you need to decide if you will do it for a living."Your sound and approach to music:
My major influences specific to sound are Stan Getz
, Joe Henderson
(particularly '90s), and Paul Desmond
. I am most true to myself when I'm not thinking about execution and just trying to create beautiful melodies.Your teaching approach:
My teaching philosophy is based on the rudiments of music and diversity. I make sure my students have a good sound; know their scales, chords, practice their rhythm and reading ability, listen to all styles of music and see live music.The first Jazz album I bought was:
The first jazz album given to me was The Essential Stan Getz
. I really fell in love with it, particularly his playing with strings. I then went out and bought The Essential Charlie Parker
. After that, I could not stop buying jazz records.CDs you are listening to now:Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
, Fiddler on the Roof
, The Kicker
(Blue Note);Sonny Stitt
, The Complete Roost Studio Session
Arno Bornkamp, The Classical Saxophone
Chicago, Chicago 16
(Warner Brothers). What is in the near future?
I just released my second album, Escaping Shadows
, on Concord Records. We are touring throughout this and next year and just hope to spread the word and keep playing better and better. If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
Real Estate Agent; I find it very interesting and you can do very well financially.