I always say that music chose ME as a career … there aren’t enough hours in the day to work, sleep, relax, AND play music, so I decided to make my passion my career, and never looked back.
1958 - Playing (coffee can) drums at 3, (toy) guitar at 6, and then hearing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan at 9, all helped to shape the drive that became a career direction. In scouts, I earned a merit badge for music, and I played the hits of the day … “Help” by the Beatles, and “One” by Three Dog Night. By age 13, I had a band, playing parties and dances for local events ... even a college graduation party. I remember, it was our first real “gig,” and we were only in eight grade – we knew about 7 songs, so we repeated the best ones 2 or three times. “Hey Jude” was the first song I ever sang for money, and I still love performing it today.
1969 - High School introduced me to the clarinet, marching band, and my love of jazz and Broadway musicals. I studied with local Philly pros, and played in the pit orchestras for many high school musicals, parades and concerts. We recorded at the Academy of Music, opened Vet Stadium for both the Phillies and the Eagles, and I even got to sing our Nation Anthem at a baseball game in 1984; one of the highlights of my career, and still, one of the HARDEST songs I've ever sung.
1973 - As I prepared for college auditions, I found out that it was difficult to sing with the clarinet in my mouth, so I began to study piano. Buying my first Fender Rhodes was a turning point – playing the electric piano, and singing the melodies, made it easier to lead the band, and orchestrate the arrangements with a creative edge that was not possible as a side man. It also helped launch my solo career. The beautiful, bell-like tones of the Rhodes are still among my favorite sounds. It's a fantastic instrument, and present in ALL genres of music, still.
Disco took the world by storm in the 70s, and I started playing in nightclubs, and at corporate events with local Top 40 groups. By this time, my arsenal included electric bass, guitar, piano, drums and woodwinds. Work was plentiful, dance-floors were crowded, and I was a full time professional musician. Life was good.
The 80s saw the rise of DJ's, and DUIs, and the bands began to shrink from 8+ pieces, to 5 … to 3 ….. to 2 ... and eventually, into what is now referred to as the “power single” ... a better description for a "one man band." Technology is amazing today, and I make sure that I have the absolute state of the art gear to accompany my strong vocals. The 90s gave us Karaoke, and suddenly EVERYONE was a star. (or, so the thought!)
Turning 50 was the next big change in my career path – I decided to use the skills I learned at Temple, and started teaching high school music and drama. School kept me busy, producing/directing and performing in 5 or more shows/plays/concerts each year. My teaching career was a brief 10 years, but I learned a lot from my students, and co-workers, and maintain friendship with many of my graduates, and their families to this day. I'm proud to be a part of their creative lives, and it's comfortable to call them "my kids."
I have enjoyed steady work at several restaurants over the years, including "Casmirri's" in Bensalem PA, the "Washington Crossing Inn" in PA, the "Crab Trap" in Somers Point NJ, the "Whitemarsh Valley Inn" in Lafayette Hill PA, and the "Revere" in Ewing NJ. These 3 fabulous locations have supported the arts and featured live entertainment for many, many years, and I've been blessed to be among the featured entertainers at each venue.
Since March, 14th 2020, my current work load has been "modified" by CoVid19 safety regulations. It's been a challenging adventure, but the music WILL go on - I promise. There are live streams to Facebook, and YouTube, outdoor pop-up concerts in areas that support safe social distancing, and little by little, things will improve, and morph into our new normal. 2020 is NOT the year the music died ... far from it. It's just a time to become more aware, and practice better, safer social interactions. Enough of this - you all know the drill.
I've relocated from the Philly/Jersey Shore area to the Finger Lakes Region in upstate NY, so if you like wine country, lake activities, and a slower, quieter pace of life - come visit! Penn Yan is the Buckwheat capitol of THE WORLD, and it set a Guinness world record by cooking a buckwheat pancake that was more than 28 FEET in diameter. C'mon - who WOULDN'T want to live here?
I run a small production studio, so digital recording is always available, I have mobile setup so I can record live at your location, then bring the raw tracks back to the studio to enhance, and master. I can make custom backing tracks for singers, dancers, and all performers.