Of your touring and gigs so far in your career, do any stand out as being particularly memorable or defining moments?
When I was a teenager, I broke my left wrist 3 days before a Grover Washington Jr./Pieces Of A Dream tour. I was the main keyboardist in both bands. The tour lasted 3 months. I wore a cast the entire tour and never missed a gig.
Who would you say has been the single biggest influence in your life in getting you to where you are now in your career?
That's an easy one, the late, great, Grover Washington Jr.!
What would be the most important piece of advice you'd impart to a young musician just starting out in the jazz/smooth jazz arena?
Step 1: Practice until you throw up.
If you were asked (and we are asking now!) for your advice as to what the Smooth Jazz format could do moving forward to insure it's relevance and growth, what would your suggestion(s) be?
I would love to see Smooth Jazz, well, Jazz altogether for that matter, have more visual representation. An integral part of the beauty of what these great musicians bring is missed if it's heard but not seen. Someone needs to start a Jazz video program. Jazz is also not represented visually at award shows very much, if at all. But these performances would be very exciting to watch.
What's your favorite non-music activity?
Martial Arts and Cooking. I will be testing for my 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do in a few months. I also do about 90% of the cooking at home.
Going back in your life as far as you can remember, what song or performance is the first you recall hearing and being affected by?
I saw my first major concert when I was twelve years old. My mother took me to see Grover washington Jr. and Al Jarreau. We sat so far, I could barely see, but I heard it. As an encore, Al performed the song "Mr. Magic" with Grover. It was awesome! Years later, while I was touring with Grover, Al Jarreau was in the audience. Grover invited Al to play with us. He did. You can probably guess what song we did. That's right, "Mr. Magic"! Talk about coming full circle. It was an incredible feeling that brought tears to my eyes right there on stage. I will never forget it!