(Ok, this is a bit wordy, but I'm SO excited to share the story with you!)
“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 livelihood, and never looked back. It's been quite a ride.
Playing (tin can) drums at 3, (plastic) guitar at 6, and then hearing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan at 9, all helped to shape the drive that became a career direction. Scout camp gave me the opportunity to earn 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.
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 (solo!) at a game in 1984; one of the highlights of my career, and still, one of the HARDEST songs I've ever sung.
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.
The 80s saw the rise of DJs, VJs 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 modern term for "one man band." Gear began to improve and shrink, so it was possible to make the sound of a full dance band with just a keyboard, a mic and a computer. Technology is amazing today, and I make sure that I have the absolute state of the art gear to accompany my strong vocals.
In 1989, I went solo, but still maintain a network of professional players, and singers to augment any performance.
Turning 50 was the next big change in my career path – I decided to use some of 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 2 "home bases" for the bulk of my work. I'm proud to be one of the staple entertainers at "The Whitemarsh Valley Inn," Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, Pa (Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday) - Great food, fantastic staff, and LIVE MUSIC every day of the week.
When Summer hits, I'm back at "The Crab Trap," Somers Point NJ (Mon-Tues) Mary Poppins must've designed this place, cuz it's "practically perfect in every way!" Another amazing venue that supports the arts every day during the summer, and 4 nights weekly throughout the rest of the season ... with the addition of my new Wednesday Happy Hour Home in Florence NJ - BT's Tavern on Rt 130 where the NJ TPK meets!
I've built a new demo studio, so recording is always available. I even have a mobile setup that I can record live at your location, then bring the raw tracks back to the studio to enhance, and master. Let me make your band demo sound fantastic!