Biography

I'm a musician, in a lot of different senses: pianist, keyboard player, composer, arranger, educator, scholar, and most recently, home studio producer. Starting in August, 2017, I'm an Assistant Professor of Music, Music Theory, and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of West Georgia. I previously taught music theory and aural skills at Oberlin College Conservatory and have a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Kentucky. My research focuses on issues of temporality (time) in jazz, and my dissertation is called “Meter, Phrase, and Form in the Compositions of Maria Schneider.”

I’ve moved around a lot, which has meant working as a musician in the amazing communities of NYC, New England (mainly Boston and the NH Seacoast), and Central Kentucky (especially Lexington). I'm new in the Atlanta area, but I can't wait to start playing here! I’ve been fortunate to travel for gigs internationally - in China, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean -  and domestically - in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Hawaii. I’ve played with countless musicians, but if I have to name drop, I could mention professional work with Winard Harper, Avery Sharpe, Barry Ries, Marion Cowings, Stjepko Gut, and Endre Rice.

I love composing. My debut album, The Narrative, was called “...Colorful, intriguing, and well worth hearing” by Scott Yanow of Los Angeles Jazz Scene. Check out this description of a piece I wrote in collaboration with choreographer Annie Now for my jazz sextet along with three modern dancers; we premiered it at the Tea Lounge in Brooklyn and it’s on my album. I also wrote incidental music for Finger Paint, an original play featured in the New York City International Fringe Festival. The American Spiritual Ensemble has performed seven of my arrangements, both with the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the Barcelona Jazz Orchestra. These included adaptations of pieces from Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert.

I also love teaching. I’ve taught at Oberlin, U of Kentucky, UMass, Centre College, Nashua Community College, Rivier University, and now the University of West Georgia. I’ve often had taken private students, so I’ve taught all kinds of musicians: five-year-olds and retirees, professionals and beginners.

When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to study with musical disciplinarians including Lisa Cleveland and Sophia Santerre. Along the way, I’ve also studied with some top-notch performer-educators including Hal Galper, Jon Faddis, Ivan Davis, and Raleigh Dailey. I have a B.M. in Studio Music and Jazz from the University of Miami Frost School of Music and an M.M. in Jazz Studies Purchase College (SUNY).

I live in Carrollton, GA with my fiancé Samantha and our cat, Jingles. We love eating great food and exploring the world of beverages. We’re big sports fans: we cheer for the New England Patriots and the Kentucky Wildcats. Sorry, we’re not sorry.

Photo by Katherine Walton

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