Many years ago my father and mother would take my brother and me to a Unitarian Church in Birmingham, MI. On one particular Sunday one of the kids brought in a solid body guitar and a small amp into the Sunday School classroom. I was mesmerized at the look of the guitar – the strings, the neck, those weird metal things on the body under the strings (it was much later that I learned those metal things things are called pickups 🤪). But when he plugged the guitar into the amp, turned it on and started playing the hair on the back of my 11 year old neck stood straight up.
I even remember what he played – the opening lick to Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman.” That guitar and amp were early low cost imports (you know, one of those guitars that had way too many of those metal things, many switches and the amp had a single control for volume). I’m sure if I saw and heard that guitar and amp today I would cringe but to my young ears it was a little slice of heaven on earth! But I will also say that even junk instruments can sound great in the hands of someone who knows how squeeze every last ounce of musical vibe out of even the worst made instruments. Those people are called musicians! Needless to say, from that day on I was hooked and in the winter of ’65 I got my first guitar.
Since those early years I have listened to and studied a myriad of musicians and their approach to playing. I’ve performed and recorded rock, jazz, and blues in a number of bands over the years as well as played in pit orchestras and performed in solo instrumental settings. For my formal education I attended Berklee College of Music in the mid-1970s and I was in one of the first graduating classes from Musicians Institute (then known as GIT).
Post-graduation I worked with a number of companies here in the US and in Europe performing various sales, marketing and product development roles. These companies included Roland, Korg/Marshall, Apple, Inc. and most recently Mackie. And I’ve done a fair share of non-profit work with organizations including a stint as the executive director of a symphony orchestra.
I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting and sometimes working with high profile people in the business of music making. Among these are Lee Groves and Pete Marrett from Hex Orchestra, my dear friend John McLaughlin (Miles Davis/Mahavishnu Orchestra/4th Dimension), Pat Metheny, Wix Wickens (keyboardist and arranger for Paul McCartney), Dominic Miller (Sting), Vernon Reid (Living Colour) and a very memorable one-time meeting with Sir Paul McCartney. I’ve had the opportunity to work on the business side of musical instruments and technology with some of the greatest minds in musical instrument development – including a 10 year association with one of the founders of modern electronic music products and the mind behind MIDI, the late Ikutaro (Taro) Kakehashi, the founder of Roland.
I left the tech and musical instrument products industries in 2017 in order to devote myself full time to performing, teaching, composing and recording. I currently play solo gigs in the Boise area, and I also compose and record new music with my writing partners in Hex Orchestra, and teach a limited number of students at my home studio.
In my spare time I volunteer with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby here in Boise doing my part to reverse carbon emissions and the heating of this blue marble we call Earth, and the whole family loves taking long walks along the Greenbelt.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to send me a note to introduce yourself.