"The pace at Berklee is super-charged compared to other colleges. Our undergrad program would be a masters program anywhere else, especially the last couple years. So there's a tremendous amount of pressure; you just have to go all the way. But I tell my students, 'We're the luckiest people in the world. We get to make music for a living.' In my case I use the analogy of my Duke Ellington class. It's kind of a scandal. I get paid for two hours to talk about Duke Ellington? I would do that anyway!"
"Since I approach my own life with a sense of adventure, I also tell my students to take a step back from their music, take a look at the adventure they want to undertake, and appreciate the fact that we’re fortunate to be able to spend time developing a relationship with an instrument."
"I love the concept of fusion. We attract students from all over the world, who bring with them their own ideas, their own innate ethnic rhythms, harmonies, melodies, and sometimes instruments. And they combine this with the American ideal of jazz."
"I show my students why fundamentals are important and how working on fundamentals is eventually going to get them to a place where they can make whatever music they want to in the professional world."