I began playing the Alto Saxophone at the age of eight in the quiet outskirts of New York City. In high school, my teacher Chasey Dean exposed to me bebop -- its spirit seemed to flow naturally through his fingers -- and I realized for the first time how powerful an expression of spirit and intellect music could be.
When I began college, my study of jazz improvisation with NYC trombonist David Gibson opened up the language of bebop, which is among the most sophisticated and challenging melodic idioms, while my studies with ethnomusicologist James Kimball seasoned my playing with an awareness of the staggering range of the world's musics.
Since receiving my BA in Music in 2009, I have studied with Michael Hashim, Bob Reynolds, Stuart Bogie, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, Jason Rigby and Dmitri 'Zisl' Slepovich. I am deeply nourished by Brooklyn’s creative energies, which invigorate me to connect intellectually, culturally and spiritually with a host of diverse musicians. Although I’ve maintained a connection with the traditional roles of the saxophone in forms like jazz, R&B and soul music, my playing has also branched out to embrace afrobeat, cumbia, klezmer, new music, and electronic experimentation.
I’ve had opportunities to perform at some of the greatest venues in the world with my astro-soul band King Holiday, with the cumbia rockers of Escarioka, and in consummate composer Ben Brody's Ensemble Flow State. I regularly perform unaccompanied at Brooklyn's Ouchi Gallery, infusing original compositions with improvisation based on the ideas of the artists being exhibited. For several years, as compelled by teaching as I am by learning, I have worked as a woodwind instructor, both on a freelance basis and at the Laconia Music Center.
For me, music is a tool of transcendence, a joyful means of making contact with the infinite. In all of my projects, I am guided by this belief, which anchors my perspective even as it pushes me to explore ever newer and more wondrous horizons.