"I basically learned on the bandstand. I got called for these gigs that I shouldn't have taken, I suppose, looking back. People just proceeded to shout and scream at me, and that's how I learned. Piecing things together. So when I teach it's the same thing. A student walks in, I teach them the tune, and—bang—we're off. It's pretty much playing all the time. Once we get into it there's sheets and things like that, but it's mainly playing and then talking about concepts. To me, it's the best kind of learning. You learn fast."
"I want them out there working and playing actively, the sooner the better. If they have problems, they can always come back to me with them. But my goal, more than showing them a lot of different stuff, is to get there out there so they can experience performing in a professional setting. I never think it's too soon to do that. You're never really ready. You've just got to dive in and hope for the best. You're going to sweat; you're going to get scared, but you don't learn if you're playing with people who are less than you. I've been thrust into situations—I don't even know how I got into them—that were way above me. But that kind of pulls you up. You sink or swim."
"When I'm on the road, a lot of my students come to my gigs. We hang out; it's kind of loose. The great thing is that they're pretty flexible, so I can make up lessons at any time. Even twelve o'clock at night sometimes. It's crazy, but it works. Some want more structure, but some like the off-the-wall stuff."
- B.M., Berklee College of Music
- Performances with Gary Burton, Dance Umbrella, Donal Fox, the Fringe, Eddie Harris, Johnny Hartman, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Dave Liebman, Joe Maneri, Tate Montolia, Makoto Ozone, Joe Pass, Danilo Perez, Pharoah Sanders, Carol Sloane, Clark Terry, Kenny Werner, James Williams, and others