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.
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr. Garner, I love playing the piano... is there any advice you could give me?'' He hesitated, then looked back at me and said, Keep playin' and don't stop!'' That was great advice because at 60 years old, I'm still playin' and haven't stopped!