I started piano lessons when I was 4 ½. I studied the traditional piano lesson literature of the time (all classical.) Along the way, at around age 11, I started playing blues and boogie-woogie at my dad’s request. He was from Texas, and, being somewhat tired of hearing only classical music, asked me if I would consider playing some Texas music. I’m glad I took his suggestion. Later, during my time at University of the Pacific Conservatory, I began to explore improvisation, jazz, and ragtime.
It took me many years to stop thinking in the genre-specific mindset. When I had occasion to perform, I would always keep different styles of music separated and on different programs. I finally stopped doing that and just started playing whatever I felt like playing. In the beginning, it might have been a little disconcerting for some listeners, since we have all been conditioned to expect music to conform to fairly strict stylistic boundaries. It’s less of a problem now, (2015) as more and more people have become accustomed to genre bending and what the industry calls, “crossover.”
I have composed, and sometimes still do compose in the traditional manner. My focus has been on piano, choral, solo vocal, and chamber music. My wife, Maggie, is a poet, and we have collaborated on many projects. We live in Mystic, CT USA, where I continue to teach, compose, and perform.