"So much of my life has revolved around music in one way or another. I started playing piano when I was five years old. I took up the saxophone when I was about 10 years old. I decided to continue my studies in saxophone performance after having the opportunity to play in a big band on a tour of Europe when I was fifteen. The tour lasted six weeks and the band played in seven different countries. We were lucky enough to play at the North Sea and Montreux jazz festivals. I was hooked! Afterwards, I decided to attend the University of North Florida so I could study with saxophonist Bunky Green."
"No one had to sell me on the idea of teaching; I've always enjoyed it. I've been fortunate to have studied with numerous great teachers throughout my career. I believe this has been a major influence on my teaching style. I was lucky to get all this excellent instruction, and I hope that I can offer the same and make a difference in somebody else's musical life."
"I like the balance that teaching provides; teaching gives me a different perspective and allows me to see both sides of the coin, so to speak. It also brings a nice balance to my work as a performer. I don't think I'd want to do all of one or the other. Besides, being only a performer is a tough road these days."
"In the classroom, I strive to use real-world experiences so the students see that they're not just sitting here copying down notes and memorizing things for the exam. I want them to see that the things they're learning have real-world applications that will help their careers. I think if they hear that from me, they're more likely to tune in and see the relevance of the material I'm presenting."
"One of the things I try to do is make a somewhat complicated subject seem easy. I think a lot of students tend to get intimidated in theory-type classes. In some ways, it can be mechanical and abstract, and I try to bring that musical element into the classroom so they can see the relevance of what they're studying. Another thing I try to do in the classroom is get the students to have some fun. There's no reason that music theory has to be a drag. We can learn and have fun at the same time."
- B.M., Berklee College of Music
- Jazz performance studies, University of North Florida
- Continuing private study with Hal Crook and Mike Longo
- Member, Big Bang Evolutionary Big Band and Bending Dogma
- Performances with Marcus Printup, John Faddis, Eddie Daniels, Ramsey Lewis, New York Voices, Elmer Bernstein, Bob Brookmeyer, Herbie Hancock, George Garzone, Joe Lovano, and Bill Pierce