- IN HIS OWN WORDS
I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in a musical family in Houston, Texas. I grew up surrounded by a whole lot of Classical Music and a little bit of Jazz.
When I was 12, I found the music of Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, Billy Gibbons and Duane Allman (yeah, all those guys!) and taught myself to play the electric guitar. My classically trained parents were not happy about this, and did everything they could to discourage me. But I played around in some local bands in Houston and had some great times.
Then after getting introduced to live Jazz through some of the great players here on the Texas Gulf Coast, I got way into John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, Keith Jarrett, everybody really. All that was way over my head, but I was in love.
And I needed help! So, I spent a couple of years at Morehead State University, where I studied arranging, composition and piano, and was very fortunate to find guitarist Marty Crum, who had been studying with the great Pat Metheny, as my Jazz guitar teacher.
Back in Houston, I hit the local scene , which was very rich at that time. I worked with various Big Bands, the Houston Symphony Pops, Broadway roadshows (Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar), top 40, Blues, Rock, Country, Jazz and R&B groups. We backed up Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Trini Lopez and Marvin Hamlisch. My group opened for Stevie Ray Vaughn once, right before he got big. I was the in-house guitarist and sometime arranger/producer at Huey Meaux's Sugar Hill Studios for a number of years, and taught Jazz guitar at several local colleges and music stores as well as a stint teaching class guitar in the Texas Dept. of Corrections maximum security prison. Yikes! Not as an inmate, OK? I was playing some Erich Avinger Group gigs, and started a couple of Rock bands, "Drastic Measures"and "The Cry", but I was looking for another voice, a new way to combine and integrate my influences.
In the mid-1980s, all sorts of folks were into the big "Spiritual" scene at that time in Houston. Meditators, Gurus, Psychotherapists, Body Workers and Healers of all sorts were everywhere. And so I did have my own "awakening" and "healing". Believe me, I needed it. I remembered why I had gotten into this music thing in the first place! So I dropped out of the professional gigging scene altogether and began writing a record of original music, combining elements of Jazz and Rock, acoustic and electric guitars, culminating in my debut CD "Heart Magic" in 1989, and my second CD "Si" in 1990. They got a lot of national airplay and press. I lived in Italy for a year where I performed in Verona, Florence and Rome. What fantastic friends I made there!
Upon returning, I lived in Taos, New Mexico, where I was involved in Eastern Philosophy and World Music for several years. I learned to play the Bansuri (bamboo)flute, and played Indian Ragas. I got to play with Steve Gorn, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Phil Hollenbeck, and produced and engineered a CD for the acoustic group "Taos." It was a serious "un-plugged" experience!
After returning to Houston in 1995, I plugged in the electric and did a couple of tours with my old friend Jazz trumpeter Gary Gazaway (a.k.a. "El Buho"), and got to play with Walfredo Reyes Jr, Victor Wooten, Cody Dickinson and many other amazing musicians.
In 2000 I released a live CD, "Poets, Misfits, Beggars and Shamans" with a fantastic group of Austin musical legends, virtuoso Jazz pianist Doug Hall and wild man drummer "Mambo" John Treanor.
Then, unplugged again. An emphasis on fingerstyle acoustic guitar, and production, arranging, engineering, mixing and mastering in my small home studio, which I call Invisible Audio.
I teach students in a variety of musical genres.
Definitely plugged in again! I am loving coming full circle back to the Jazz and Blues music that I first fell in love with when I started. Looking at New Orleans, the city of my birth. New directions to travel.
Way too much information, right?
Hope to see you around!