For me music has always been a way to find connection within myself and with my family because I was around it and it felt natural. My grandfather used to walk around the house playing the accordion singing Arias in Italian or German, and he also played the electric Organ. He was a bit of a madman but brilliant. I remember being boored out of my mind but also fascinated and connected with what he was doing because that's what kids do with what we give them. My sister and I used to play his old classical records that had to have been a quarter of an inch thick, no less to survive the trip in a wagon from Ohio to California. You know old days.
My uncles and cousins played guitar and I wanted to do that with them so I learned guns n Roses, Metallica tunes, and Red Hot Chili Pepper tunes that were more on the lyrical ballady side. Stuff that I could sing. Man I loved REM and the Sundays as well, in fact in high school I'd ditch school and listen to albums and read the lyrics and feel my feelings with a honey suckle candle lit for effect.
How'd I get into classical singing? Well my friend Tony lent me a tape Pavarotti singing La Donna É Mobile, and I couldn't get enough of the energy and tone of the performance. I found I was naturally able to reproduce the sound which got me into Duke Ellington School of the arts on a late and reluctant audition.
The hours for rehearsal were grueling, and I found myself touring with the show choir, performing at inaugeral events, singing backup for the likes of Anita Baker. At the same time, when I could I'd frequent the guitar department which I was not a part of but where I was also welcomed.
DC was an incredible place to absorb some of the most incredible musicianship when it came to Jazz, RnB, and Fusion. You could find world renowned players in a hole in the wall restaraunt and get a master class and even sit in.
Around that time while I was studying Bel canto singing and classical guitar outside of school I got into steel string acoustic guitar big time after Hearing the Late Great michael Hedges. My friend lent me his Live on the Double Planet CD and was completely initiated into that world. That led me to finding, studying with, befriending, and working as a tour manager for the Great Dadgad player and composer Pierre Bensusan. I also studied some flamenco in my twenties and now I have this alternating steel string/nylon string guitar set that I can only call world music or crossover music that includes tonalities of my classical sing, playing and RnB background.
What am I proud of?
Well, I have two beautiful, and talented musician daughters, now 21 and 13 who I expect will go beyond me in musicianship. I'm a life long martial artist, a somatic educator (my second love), and I've tried my hand in working years for an organic farm(sales/management quite successfully), and Arboriculture(Chainsaws and Tree Health).
I've been praised by some of my heroes, shared a stage with the Gypsie Kings, sung a duet with the amazing Hannah Waddingham (Game of Thrones, WestEnd Everything, actress and singer).
I've also done lead roles in musical theatre (A little night music, Spreckles in Sonoma county), as well as playing the role of Morales in the Opera Carmen(Walnut Creek Festival Opera), even though that's a Baritone Role and I'm actually a Tenor. No one knew.
Currently I'm playing events corporate and the like, house concerts, and weddings, while also planning a recording project of originals and some covers. Love you. Thanks for reading.