"I make a living doing the things that I teach in class. I write arrangements of jazz and pop music for recordings, concerts, and television broadcasts. I speak passionately about the subject because it is not a theoretical exercise for me; I am living it. I try to make my classroom reflect my reality in the professional world. I assess my students given where they are in their education, but I also try to assess them as someone outside the Berklee community would. They’ll get two grades from me on their projects: the student grade and the grade they would get outside of Berklee. I like to think of myself as their client. From week to week I am commissioning them, and I expect them to wow me every time."
"I'm trying to get students to analyze the music all the time. For instance, if you're a vocalist you probably will not focus on where the snare drum is placed. But if you know what's going on behind you, you can sing better, and you don't have to hire an arranger. I think you can learn the most by analyzing what you like. Why do I like it? Let's try to imitate at first and then make it our own."
Composition and production credits include major albums by renowned artists such as Paco de Lucía, Bebo Valdes, El Cigala, Enrique Morente, Wynton Marsalis, and the acclaimed Spanish singer Concha Buika
"I teach Arranging 2 and Big Band Arranging. When I went to Berklee, I was a very reluctant arranging student. I just didn't think I needed it, and I wanted to become a studio musician. Taking all the other mandatory classes made sense, but arranging didn't. When would I ever arrange? It's funny that now I teach arranging and sell a lot of my arrangements. That's something that I try to instill in my students: You think you know what you want while you're here, but keep your mind open, because you have to be prepared when opportunities come up."
"At Berklee in general, and in our department especially, we strike the right path between the traditional composition and arranging techniques and the technological aspect of production. We teach the latest technology in terms of production, recording, and sequencing, but we also provide our students with the traditional orchestration techniques for acoustic ensembles, tools that are extremely valuable these days to any professional musician. I always strongly encourage my students to stay updated on new musical trends, new arranging techniques, new styles, and new technologies. Technology should be regarded as a tool to improve the quality of music and to help develop new musical idioms, but it is imperative for the student to sustain a balance that includes strong musicianship"