I started playing keyboards (actually accordion - stop smirking!) back in 1965; several of my uncles played, so it was naturally the instrument I'd choose first. I actually attempted to improvise over the tunes I was learning (my teacher was somewhat amazed that I'd come out with reasonable lines - he had me work on very simple standards), as well as work on rock tunes. (Imagine the Beatles and Cream on the accordion. Does your head hurt yet?) I studied for 5 years - while it's fun to belittle the accordion, especially back then, I learned a LOT from my teacher (he played around the NYC area quite a bit and emphasized solid time and reading and theory skills), and don't regret it at all.

I stopped playing regularly for a few years, I just picked up a cheap little acoustic and banged away at it using the chord boxes in the old Beatle books. At 14 I started getting more serious, and at 16 I started practicing as much as I could, but still didn't take lessons on the guitar. (I REALLY regret that - I would've grown so much faster had I found a good teacher.) I learned from records (great for the ear, as we all know), various books, and Guitar Player magazines columnists - by 18 I was gigging, but also growing weary of the various rock players I was listening to at the time.

Guitar Player helped in my development - I was intrigued at the interviews with people such as Pat Martino, John McLaughlin, Jimmy Raney, etc., so I started investigating their playing. The fusion days were helpful as well - listening to Return to Forever, Weather Report, Tony Williams Lifetime, etc. leads you to check out the players' previous history, and THAT leads you to Coltrane, Miles, and the rest of the pantheon of jazz.

I decided, after two years of majoring in accounting, that I DIDN'T want to be an accountant - I was spending all my free time jamming, gigging when I could, teaching, and practicing, so I thought it would be best to focus on music. I started studying classical guitar - great teacher in NY, but that just wasn't what I wanted to play. I continued the study of classical theory with Herbert Sucoff of the Sea Cliff Chamber Players, and started studying guitar with Howard Morgen (THE MAN!). I learned VOLUMES from Howie - if I had to credit my musical development to any one person, it's him. I started teaching in earnest, up to 70 students per week, gigging with my fusion band "Visions", with two great players, Greg Jolly and Jeff Indyke (if anyone reading this knows of Greg's whereabouts, please tell him to drop me an email!), doing sessions, jamming, and playing weddings and clubdates.

The '80s were spent on Long Island and in NYC with music, but teaching, weddings and clubdates started to burn me out - it's not what I got into music for, so I decided I'd be better off leaving the profession. I did my last gig for some time playing with the Phil Costa Something Special big band - great group of guys, great players, and a real blast! - and plunged into the WORLD OF SOFTWARE. (OK, it's not THAT momentous, but at the time I thought it was...) I didn't play much in the '90s - I needed new inspiration and to clear my mind. I finally decided to get back into playing recently - I have to thank my wife primarily, who subtly pushed me back into it, and also Kurt Rosenwinkel, by way of a good friend, Rob Cecil, who took me to see Kurt at the Flynn Space up here in Burlington Vermont. Kurt played a trio show, all standards ('Round Midnight, Soul Eyes, etc.), and all of a sudden the fire was rekindled.

I'm now happily playing jazz only, as well as accepting students who want to learn theory, technique, improv, and reading, and I'm currently revamping my seven string solo guitar repertoire so I can pick up a few solo gigs as well - feel free to contact me for lessons or if you need a jazz group for your event; no venue is too small or large!