My love of music started very early...
Some of my earliest memories are of endlessly playing my parents’ 78 rpm records by Burl Ives and Gene Autry, the singing cowboy. Later, in elementary school, I would go to bed listening to R&B and rock and roll on the little transistor radio I had hidden under the covers. I especially loved the harmonies of the “doo-wop” sound from the street corners of my native Philadelphia and other big cities in the 1950’s. While there was always jazz and big band music in my house, and I enjoyed that music, my first love (musically speaking) was rock and roll. When I got to college in the mid-1960s, my tastes broadened to include the folk and folk rock music that helped define my generation’s identity and culture. Again, it was the element of harmony that I loved most about that music, and the sound of guitar chords was, for me, pure magic.
Fast forward to 1995. I was married with two daughters. I had been practicing law for many years, and while my family and career didn’t leave much time for hobbies, my love of music never waned. I found myself regretting that I had never acted on my desire to learn to play guitar, and in one of those “what the hell” moments, I asked my wife to get me a guitar for Christmas. I was lucky enough to have a friend who was studying with Chuck Anderson, a master guitarist and internationally renowned jazz performer and guitar teacher. I began studying with Chuck in February of 1996, and I have continued to study with him for the last 20 plus years. Chuck has not only guided the growth of my skill as a musician and my knowledge of music theory, he has inspired me to expand the range of music that I listen to and play. I still find the element of harmony to be the most interesting aspect of music. That, more than anything, has led me to a renewed interest in jazz and the music of the “Great American Songbook.” But it also has given me a deeper appreciation of some of the contemporary pop music that I grew up loving — like the music of the Beatles and Billy Joel — which I feature in my performance repertoire.
I retired from practicing law in 2013. Now, I spend most of my time working on my craft as a musician, playing out when I can, and enjoying the blessings that have resulted from the “what the hell” impulsive decision I made more than 20 years ago to follow my passion.