Musician, Band Leader, Recording Artist
I have been a semi professional musician for over four decades, and have received two Grammy nominations. Starting with a high school rock band who played Santana covers, I brought some cheap curio shop drums back from Zambia, where my parents lived at the time. The drums sounded terrible, but it wasn't long until I replaced the drummer.
Since then I've always played drums or percussion in a band, up until about five years ago when I took a break from live gigs and touring, to concentrate on producing music for my own 2D animations.
I have played in big band, rock, punk, funk, classical, reggae, latin, world, pop, disco, and jazz fusion bands. If it has a beat, I want to play it.
Notable bands include The Brown Paper Bag, a cover band I founded in 1985 in Atlanta. We played weddings a for a few seasons until some visas ran out.
Turbid Blue, from Atlanta continue to be the most inspiring and enjoyable band Ive ever been in. Long time friends since 1985, and keen followers of a wide and eclectic taste in music. We played the Little Five Points Pub where The Indigo Girls and Bruce Hampton & ARU were regulars. Some fans described us as Atlanta's Phish. Among the bands we opened up for were Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and Tower of Power. We are planning new recordings next year.
In 2000 Missouri while living in the remote Ozarks, there was a lot of music. Old tyme and folk music abounded at every social event (especially in kitchens) and I played in two great local bands, Renée Woods After Hours Big Band, and the quintet/sextet version. Tremendous fun, and while gigs were not as busy as a city band, they were always well attended by great dancing in beautiful dance halls.
I also played in the Uncivil Servants, a Missouri blues band with a great following. We played some great blues festivals and bars. So much fun!
In 2005, we moved to Portland, Oregon, and I joined Brothers of the Baladi, a middle eastern and world music rock band in their 30th year. They were very busy playing a lot of college and festival gigs. Two California tours each year and two UK tours. The band had already been nominated for an album that Santana Woodstock drummer Michael Shrieve produced. In 2008 I played on and designed the cover for Just Do Whats Right which was nominated for a Grammy for contemporary world music album.
I have been fortunate enough to know some tremendous players. Graham Lear, Oteil Burbridge, David Patterson, Sandin Wilson, Kevin Andrews, George Trotter, Jonathan Bonds, Kerry Movassagh, Paul Jorgensen, Fernando Paulette, Ronnie Wood, Rick Brischetto, Renée Woods, Tom Rowley to name a few.
Currently, as well as producing music for my 2D animations, I am in the early stages of re-inventing a new band, one that can actually make some money and have fun playing.
My primary instrument is percussion, but I also play guitars, keyboards, & woodwinds. I received formal training on violin and recorder at 6, piano and voice at 10-13, clarinet and guitar at 15. Before my voice broke, I stood with hands clasped in front of a piano and sang competitively, and won the coveted Antelope Trophy in Aldershot, UK. That lasted until my voice broke, and soon after, I discovered rock and roll.
As a child, I was incredibly lucky to live in very musical cultures. My parents were international aid consultants, so we lived for two to four year projects in Nigeria, Kenya, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Zambia and Bolivia. My parents encouraged interest in all the arts, themselves theater producers, directors and actors, and we collected music from wherever we lived. I love world music and music from all over the world.
REACH - HIV prevention 2D animation - original music
Turbid Blue - "Sorry Shankar "- Tucker Fest - Early 1990's
Brothers of the Baladi - "Ma Shaal" - Triple Door, Seattle 2008
2D animation in Sleeping Beauty Style - original music
Turbid Blue - "Beck & Call" - King Fest - Early 1990's
Brothers of the Baladi - "Laz" - Triple Door, Seattle 2008