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BA University of Washington English/Creative Writing
AA Seattle Central College
1996-2014_toured throughout United States, Central America, Europe, and Asia with four different groups
2000-Best Acoustic Seattle Band (Seattle Weekly)
2009-Fulbright Recipient (toured Eastern Europe for the State Department)
2016-Joan Grayson Poetry Prize
2017-present arranger and co-leader of 15 piece soul/funk band
I am in my late 40's, married, and the father of a crazy 9-year-old daughter. I started studying music on piano at the age of five with my mother (also a musician). I move from piano to alto sax, and continued to play it through to college, later switching to tenor. At age twelve, I started playing electric bass and have continued up to the present day. I started on acoustic bass at fifteen, and guitar when I was 30 years old. Much of my focus has been on improvisation, jazz, soul, and Cuban music. I received a degree from the University of Washington in 2016 in English (I also write fiction, poetry, and offer copywriting, editing and tutoring services). I love teaching people of all ages in virtually any style of music. My only regret is that I haven't yet played in a Reggae band.
I have been a performing and teaching professional for over 25 years and released over 20 albums with many different artists. Since I was in my early twenties, I have performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Central America. I bring my experience to the lesson room through a thorough and varied approach to harmony, technique, sight-reading, improvisation and performance techniques. Acoustic and electric bass are my primary instruments, but I teach to advanced level on guitar and ukulele, beginning piano, and in multiple genres of music. The highlight of my career was playing for refugees of the Russian/Georgian war in 2009 on a Fulbright scholarship. I hope to meet you soon!
With younger students, I focus on rhythm, simple ear training, and light reading. I will gradually introduce harmony and more intensive ear and rhythmic studies as the student progresses. I think it is important for students to apply their knowledge through performance opportunities and songwriting. Every student is different, of course, but we should all be able to leave lessons with the ability to excel and learn on our own. A great deal of what I teach is with the intention of creating within the student the ability to create their own exercises and recognize their own weaknesses.
I take one lesson at a time while careful to scaffold the information. I want students to improve, but I also want them to know what it is that they must do in order to become a competent musician. I can be tough, but at the same time, I don't mind changing directions and moving from say, ear training to sight reading or some other approach. At the base, I believe that rhythm is the most important concern for a student. I start with close study of rhythm and time, and gradually move into study of harmony and other approaches.
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