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I was born in 1981, and have lived around the world due to my family being part of the Baha'i Faith. I graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2003, and have been living and playing in Northern California since.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I realized there was no other way to achieve my musical goals than to have music be my primary focus on a daily basis.
Your sound and approach to music:
It really just comes down to beauty. I feel music is a rich, nuanced medium that can be a multitude of worthwhile things, but what interests me is the creation and realization of sounds that through the power of attraction uplift and inspire the human heart.
My goal as a player is to create the music that I would personally find the most beautiful.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
At First Glance, at least in part because it's the only recording in my discography. Hahaha.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Well, what I am striving to contribute is a genuine and unique voice. As to whether that contribution is in fact being made is a subjective matter!
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Honestly? Kind of weird and self-indulgent. I mean, virtuosity and complexity and innovation are all wonderful things but it sure seems that they tend to become ends unto themselves. Parallels in society in general are sure easy to find, so maybe this question has less to do with jazz as an isolated entity than the human condition as a whole.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Artistic honesty, humility and hard work, as well as a general shift in values on the part of humanity.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.