"My father was a fantastic jazz trombonist. When I was about 10 or 11, almost every weekend my mother, grandmother, and I would drive up to this club he played in with my uncle, a great trumpet player, for Sunday matinees. They let me sit in the band and watch them play the show."
"I acquired my knowledge not just as a student, but from 40 years of practical experience on the road. Almost every night you go to work, you're going to school to a certain extent. The reason that being on time is as big a part of ensemble class as performance in the class is because if you show up late for a gig, you think you'll get called a second time? No."
"Every week I bring in new tunes to ensemble classes. This gives students the chance to sight-read and play tunes they've never played before—everything they're going to have to do if they decide to be performers. As we play a tune, I stop a lot to iron out trouble spots. Many times I'll have each of the players play by themselves with the rhythm section so others can see how it's done."
"I pull apart a tune to show its different intricacies. By the time we finish, we have really wrung it dry; there isn't much to do after that except just play it. I want students to leave class understanding exactly everything they played and feeling good about that. If someone asks, 'How did you do that?' I want them to be able to explain. I'm very serious about it because that's how I learned."
"The Urban Outreach Ensemble—cosponsored by the Community Affairs Office and the Ensemble Department—is a very rewarding part of my teaching at Berklee. It's an educational jazz orchestra that I've led for the past 12 years. Its primary purpose is to travel and present live jazz to inner city schools. We've played several times at Symphony Hall and other venues. Many of the students who have heard us end up joining Berklee's summer program and even getting four-year scholarships to study at Berklee."
- Alumnus, Berklee College of Music
- Trumpet player
- Performances, recordings, and tours with Tony Bennett, Chase, Count Basie, Jimmy Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Harry James, Stan Kenton, Glenn Miller, Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughan, and Lawrence Welk
- Conducted for and played with numerous high-profile acts as musical director in the show rooms for two Atlantic City hotels
- Broadway experience including A Chorus Line, Beatlemania, Mame, and No No Nanette