I'm the author of four books, a journalist with bylines in top U.S. periodicals, playwright, amateur pianist and swing dancer.
Books include Beam Me Up, Jesus and Who Moved My Secret?
Publications list includes: Salon, The New Republic, Washington Post Book World (in which I
reviewed books about music), Huffington Post, Boston Review, Art & Antiques, N.J. Monthly.
Performed as a swing dancer in the 1st New York Fringe Festival in the late 1990s.
Achieved Jazz Scholar status at Swing University at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
I had the great fortune to see and/or meet Teddy Wilson, Benny Carter, Lionel Hampton,
Count Basie, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Harold Nicholas and many other legendary musicians
My website is www.gangof60.com. On the home page, click Music Writing to read samples
of my work on jazz.
My Jazz Story
Published on: 2016-09-19
When I was 21, my uncle Pete gave me as a graduation present "The Smithsonian Collection
of Classic Jazz." When I got to "Doggin' Around," by Count Basie & His Orchestra, with Pres
flying over that explosively smooth rhythm section, I knew I'd found nirvana.
Jazz has changed my life in so many ways besides the thousands of hours of inherent
pleasure I derived from listening. It has steered me toward many close friends, helped me
discover a latent dancing ability, provided the opportunity to see and even speak to many
of its legendary figures, provided an ancillary education in American history, politics and
sociology not to be found in texts and induced me to take up piano studies. But most of all
jazz has been an inspiration in my darkest hours; proof that even the most downtrodden of
human beings can create works of towering, incandescent brilliance; that from the most
improbable circumstances, a figure such as Louis Armstrong can change the course of an
entire century, and that man can transcend evil and destruction and forge a path to the