I've always been musical. My mother says I sang in my crib as a baby. The most common response I get to my playing is surprise that a drummer can be so "musical."
Teachers and/or influences?
My biggest influence is the broad array of styles I've listened to and absorbed over the years.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I tried to quit playing in college. Pretty soon I had sticks again and was playing on my desk, much to the chagrin of my roommates!
Your sound and approach to music:
I pick up the groove from the bassist and absorb the rhythmic approach of the frontline instruments. Then, always recalling the song form, I create musical lines that state and propel the time while supplementing the overall musical impact of the group.
Your dream band:
Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Bill Evans, maybe Paul Desmond and Jim Hall.
Did you know...
I once played a duet with doumbek and pipe organ.
CDs you are listening to now:
Lee Ritenour, Stolen Moments (GRP) Jacky Terrasson, Smile (Blue Note) T.S. Monk, Monk on Monk (Encoded Music) Jeff Hamilton, The Best Things Happen (Azica) Eliane Elias, The Three Americas (Blue Note)
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
As long as musicians keep making the music they enjoy, and keep listening to the great music of the past during their (never ending) development, great music will continue to be made. And great music will always find an audience.