I grew up in Philadelphia, PA..."Philly". I began my musical pursuits on flute in elementary school and soon added the saxophone. Throughout my schooling I was involved in orchestra, marching band and jazz band as well as taking lessons at school and privately. Ready to rock, I began drumming at age 16 with the support of my Uncle Dennis, who gave me my first drum set, and my family (grams, mom and sister Rachel), who dealt with the noise....I mean music. In the summer of 1987 I had my first experience caring for and nurturing children as a camp counselor. Off to college at Pennsylvania State University where I earned a B.S. in Physics and found an inspiring drum instructor.
In 1993 I moved to New Orleans seeking to tap into the source of jazz. I began my music studies at The University of New Orleans in 1995 and graduated in 1999 with a Masters of Music in Jazz Performance with a 4.0 G.P.A.. While at the University I taught music theory, ear training and jazz ensemble as a teacher's assistant. I received the Ernest O. Svenson Jazz Composition award and The Deptartment Chair award for “excellence in your major and for making an important contribution to the general life of the department of music.” I toured throughout Austria and Italy in the summer of 1997 with the jazz quintet, Quintology, that went on to record the "Best new Jazz Album in New Orleans, 1999". The gem of my university studies is the time I spent learning from my drum instructor Johnny Vidacovich, one of the most unique voices of drumming in New Orleans and in the world. Along with my studies I performed extensively in New Orleans with great bands such as Astral Project, Quintology, The New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, James Singleton and Ed Petersen. I regularly performed at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Throughout my time in New Orleans I taught drum lessons privately and worked as a music teacher in after school programs. I volunteered for organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Head Start and for 8 years I cared for the young children in the nursery at The 1st Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans.
In 2002 I left The Big Easy to take a break from music and wander through the forests in search of something or nothing. I had a short and difficult time in Brooklyn, New York and then a few months at Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh's buddhist monastery in Thenac, France. Back to New Orleans in the beginning of 2005 and back to music. Hurricane Katrina flooded me out of that magical city and I washed up on the west coast in Portland, Oregon.
Portland and the people were kind, helpful and gracious. I performed all over the city with great local musicians as well as a small contingency of displaced New Orleanians. I taught drum lessons, toddler/parent music classes, music classes for young children and summer camps at Forte Music School, a private music school in the burbs. I also taught jazz drumming and jazz ensemble after school at Fernwood Middle School and drums at a summer rock music camp. In December 2007 I had the honor of touring through 5 countries in West Africa with a jazz quartet, Devin Phillips and New Orleans Straight Ahead, that came together in Portland from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. We were selected by Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center from over 400 bands to be cultural ambassadors of the United States under the auspices of The U.S. State Department.
After 2 years in Portland I moved to Seattle to start a family with my wife, Lilla. As a full-time private teacher in Seattle I had a full teaching schedule and I collaborated with 3 other brilliant musicians and teachers and together we presented our bi-annual rock recital, The Coffee Shop Jam. I also performed and record with the The Kora Band, Dan Kramlich's Grunge Trio, Hereward and producer Geoff Stanfield.
After 10 years in Seattle we relocated to Sant Monica, CA but we are currently spending a year in my wife’s hometown of Florence, Italy.