I started playing drums at the age of 14. Like a lot of other kids in the suburbs of Chicago, I was learning rock beats in the back of a mom & pop music store. Fortunately my teacher turned me on to jazz music and the Jazz Showcase which was then in the Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago. I then became serious about drumming and started studying orchestral percussion to prepare me for studies at Northern Illinois University where I received a Bachelor of Music.
I drove into Oakland CA in 1998, and have enjoyed living in the Bay Area ever since. Some of the musicians whom I've had the pleasure to play with include: Cody Anderson, Brenda Boykin, Jamie Brewer, Gary Brown, Steve Carter, Michael Coleman, Delta Wires, Todd Dickow, Sharman Duran, Brandon Essex, Lorenzo Farrel, Ben Flint, Jesse Foster, Evan Francis, Herb Geller, Aaron Germain, Rich Gerrard, Jim Grantham, Rev. Johnathan Green, Gerry Grosz, Ken Husbands, Henry Hung, Sasha Jacobson, David Jeffrey, Saul Kaye, Art Khu, Grant Levin, Mark Little, Mark Levine, Damien Masterson, Paul Mausavi, Jimi Mitchell, Jason Muscat, Lila Nelson, Len & Ellen Patterson, Fred Randolph, Brad Russel, John Santos, Naim Satchia, Don Seaver, Dayna Stephens, Adam Shulman, Suzanna Smith,Mary Spalding, Yancy Taylor.
I got back into playing steel drums in 2009. Before then, I hadn’t played the instrument since 1993 while studying percussion at N.I.U. I stayed in touch with an Alumna from N.I.U. who was playing with the steel drum band Steel Jam. In 2009 Steel Jam needed a double seconds player, so I went to the woodshed and was playing on gigs several months later. In 2011 I took a trip down to Trinidad so I could experience steel drum music at it’s finest. Here are some photos from Panorama, the yearly competition among local steel drum bands.