How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?
The concept for “Playtime” came from the idea of exploring more of my jazz roots. I felt I needed to concentrate on more of a traditional jazz guitar sound and songs that use more jazz chord changes. The ultimate goal is to have a hit single in the smooth jazz market.
Who would you say has been the single biggest influence in your life in getting you to where you are now in your career?
The biggest influence in my musical life since 2011 has been my friendship with Chuck Loeb. He produced the single "Playtime" and encouraged me to focus my playing and writing into more of a jazz format.
Who are some of your current favorite artists, Smooth Jazz or otherwise?
Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, and Fourplay.
What would you define as the most life-changing event so far in your musical career?
When I decided to attend the University of Miami and pursue my Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance. I met my close friend Bruce Hornsby there in addition to many of my life long musical friends.
Who currently is drawing your attention as artists you’re excited about?
Joey Alexander, and an 18-year-old jazz piano student of mine, Wendel Donald. Wendel plays on my album “Playtime” and is starting to tour with Norman Brown. He is a future star for sure.
Going back in your life as far as you can remember, what song or performance is the first you recall hearing and being affected by?
James Brown and The Famous Flames!!