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I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I knew basically from the beginning that I wanted to do something in music. Once I started playing the trumpet I was convinced that I was going to be a legit player, do all the orchestra things and so forth. Fortunately I heard a Charlie Parker record with Diz on it and it was off to the races for me. To really know that I wanted to be a musician has been both difficult and enlightening. All the things I earn are from hard work and a little luck and timing.
Practice Practice Practice!! I can't say it enough.
Your dream band: I already have the concept for my bands but as far as some people I would like to work with? I would really like to work with David Binney and Avishai Cohen (the bassist). There are others, of course, but I am very awe struck with their musical compositions, I think they are very prolific writers, I would love to join the ranks.
Favorite venue: I think my favorite venue has been between two places: The Green Mill in Chicago and a place in Alphabet City in New York called Nu Blue. Both places have had a true impact on me, the Mill mostly since it's a place I work in a lot, since I live in Chicago.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why? I would say that one of my favorite recordings is a combination of tunes I made for myself off of all my friends recordings and some of our influences. It's a collection that showcases our progression throughout our lives as of now. To hear great music just looks towards your friends and musical familythere's always something there that's great!
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? I like to think that my music is accessible. I try to write music that takes the listener on a little journey and hopefully at some point gets them to remember something. I think that my music has a tendency to have repeated sections, almost like pop tunes, so that you walk away remembering something. I want the melodies to be honest and true to my vision and also stay interesting for a band.
Look inside and tell the truth...Love blinds all other things.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.