I am a trumpet player/composer from the greater New Haven, Conn. area. I was strongly attracted to the sound of the trumpet at an early age and began trumpet lessons at the age of 16.
I was first influenced by traditional jazz players such as Louis Armstrong and Bobby Hackett, and started sitting in with local Dixieland bands at about 19yrs. old. Later on, after a U.S. Navy tour of duty, and being introduced to more modern (Bebop) jazz, I returned home and began sitting in at jam sessions at local jazz clubs and meeting local jazz musicians including Michael Gregory and Dicky Myers. At this time my interests and influences were changing to more strait ahead type jazz. I did a great deal of listening to the music of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and much of mainstream bop and post bop.
After hearing Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew I became attracted to more Funk oriented rhythms on the radio, and joined a series of R & B Funk bands, while still frequenting the local jazz clubs sessions. I was looking for something more than just standards, although I enjoyed working with them, and became very attracted to the funk rhythms.
Later, I got to hear and meet Wadada Leo Smith and was introduced to the more free creative music. I eventually joined the CMIF (Creative Musicians Improvisers Forum) started up by Leo Smith as a sort of spinoff of the Chicago based AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). Through several concerts and performances of the CIO (Creative Improvisers Orchestra), I met and performed with a number of creative musicians such as Carla Bley, Slide Hampton, Richard Muhal Abrams, Oliver Lake, Amina Claudine Myers, Leroy Jenkins, Ray Anderson, Mario Pavone, Marty Ehrlich, and others. I was also doing some playing with Dwight Andrews, Anthony Davis, and Pheeroan AkLaff in local clubs and workshops, as well as with Michael Gregory.
Eventually the CMIF disbanded and I began to loose interest in the repetition with most of the local club scene. I occasionally played with Michael Mills and The Children of the Sun (a Creative drum ensemble), and did some local jamming with recording artists Marion Meadows and Rhon Lawrence, but for the most part I began getting more interested in composing in my home studio.
My listening interests by this point, had expanded to include classical composers such as Charles Ives, Toru Takamitsu, George Crumb, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Philip Glass, John Cage, Igor Stravinsky, and other classical composers, as well as several motion picture composers like John Williams, Vangelis, Peter Gabriel, Danny Elfman, and Brian Eno. I also began to listen to many world musics. As a result, my writing began taking on a kaleidoscope of all of my previous musical interests & influences. A melting pot of avant gard & mainstream jazz, classical forms & structures, New Age colors, world rhythms, free forms & funk.
My first album, Spiritual Awakenings, exhibits some of the first manifestations of the blending of the influences mentioned above. As well, my second CD, Images of Movements thru Time and Space reflects my further explorations into different areas of music.
I am continually listening, experimenting, and learning about different ways of involving my creativity into new musical adventures and now have had the opportunity to mix what I have learned so far by playing and collaborating with a new wave of young musicians (and what I consider a new movement in music that has an underground following all over the country and the world). This is a very exciting time for me. Some of these musicians I have worked with, are: Carl Testa, Ben Klein, Anne Rhodes, Nathan Bontrager, Adam Matlock, and Brian Jarawa Gray.