How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?
“Dancing in the Window” came about after I was asked to be the opener for a CD release concert for a friend. I sat down and wrote a few songs because I wanted to do original music instead of covers. After friends, family and others heard my music they all kept suggesting and hinting that I put the music out for the world to hear. I finally decided to take on the endeavor after adding the idea to a “bucket list”.
How would you describe what inspires you to do what you do?
Live performances “Inspire Me” the most. The look on the faces of the audience as the music rejuvenates, heals and takes people to other places seemingly leaving their problems behind is priceless.
Who are some of your current favorite artists, Smooth Jazz or otherwise?
here are so many. A few of my favorites are George Duke, Marcus Miller, Joe Sample; Kirk Whalum, Wayman Tisdale, Kim Burrell, Yellow Jackets, Stevie Wonder, Esperanza Spaulding and Frank McComb.
Who would you say has been the single biggest influence in your life in getting you to where you are now in your career?
Tom Braxton has been my biggest influence. I am grateful to him for the opportunity to play alongside him and learn from him for the past 5 years. The experience has really helped me better understand musicianship and how to put on a great performance.
If you were magically allowed to spend an hour with whomever you chose in history… alive or dead… and really be able to get inside their head, who would that be?
PRINCE! Prince is my favorite musician/performer of all time. If I could spend one hour with him to hear him express his approach to music and the music industry would be the greatest gift I could ever ask for as a musician.
What would be the most important piece of advice you’d impart to a young musician just starting out in the jazz/smooth jazz arena?
My advice would be to learn everything you can, not only about music and your instrument, but also the production of music and the business side of the music industry. Being a great musician is wonderful. But producing a quality project and understanding industry business is the key to great success and longevity.