My musical background began with the clarinet at age 10 in Qualicum Beach BC Canada under the guidance of Mr. Bill Cave – a tremendous teacher and mentor to me from my beginnings in 6th grade through high school and beyond. After clarinet I moved on to trumpet and eventually the alto saxophone by age 15. The alto became my primary instrument, but I also play tenor, soprano, and occasionally baritone saxophones. I also sing, play MIDI wind controller, and a little keyboard, guitar & bass.
On the alto saxophone, I was encouraged early on to mimic Charlie Parker, but this style just did not resonate with me. When I first heard David Sanborn play, I got really excited about hearing his approach to the instrument and started on the journey of emulating that, but I also love the styles of many other players, such as Cannonball Adderley, Michael Brecker, Branford Marsalis, Candy Dulfer, Eric Marienthal, Paul Desmond, Eric Dolphy, Joshua Redman, Maceo Parker, Phil Dwyer, Campbell Ryga, to name but a few.
Growing up around my parents’ record collection, I discovered great music by artists like Herb Alpert, Pete Fountain, Chuck Mangione, & Zoot Sims. As time went on rock & blues started to become a much bigger influence on me with bands like Led Zeppelin, Cream, Rush, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Yes, Genesis, The Doors, Frank Zappa etc., while my parents were still taking me to the opera and to concerts by the likes of Liberace. So I think it’s fair to say that by the time I finished high school I had enjoyed a fairly broad range of musical experiences.
In my college years I spent as many evenings as possible attending the local (Nanaimo BC) jam scene with my buddies, playing with as many people and in as many styles as possible. A couple of years later, I moved to Victoria BC and got involved in a variety of original music projects as well as a number of cover bands tapping into genres like soul, R & B, blues, rock, funk and more. While my main function has always been the saxophonist, I also expanded into developing my vocals, and adding keyboards and a synth+MIDI wind controller into my skill set. I also attended a lot of shows as a spectator during this period from many inspiring artists like Rush, The Who, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Sting, Santana, Miles Davis, Rod Stewart, Robben Ford, Albert Collins, Pat Metheny, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, John Mayall, Maceo Parker, Supertramp, John Lee Hooker, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ornette Coleman, BB King, James Cotton, Joshua Redman, David Sanborn, Courtney Pine.....the list goes on.
I've always been comfortable around technology. I first laid hands on a computer in 1980 and also got involved with audio & video equipment in the ’80s, plus I worked in the audio/video business from 1987-2003. I started gigging in the late ’80s, started learning to arrange, track & mix projects in the early ’90s and since then have become pretty handy at working with music production software like Cubase as well as a wide variety of plugins, VST instruments, and hardware.
In terms of live performance, I’ve had the pleasure to play at many of the local (Vancouver Island) venues & festivals at some point, with some band or another. A few highlights include the Filberg Festival (with Soul Station), Victoria International JazzFest (with Soul Station), Blues Bash (with Soul Station, Soul Shakers, and Groove Kitchen), the Oak Bay Tea Party (with Soul Station, Soul Shakers, and Groove Kitchen), the Saanich Fair (with Groove Kitchen), Expo 86 with the Kwalikum Secondary School Concert Band, and have opened for established artists such as Eric Burdon & The Animals.
In 2018 I had a project studio built in my home and started on the journey of producing my original songs for wide release, with the help of several outstanding guest musicians. Having my own space where I can play saxophone & produce tracks at all hours has been a dream come true! I’m currently taking a hiatus from gigging to focus on finishing this first project created in this inspiring new space, with the release of new material intended for 2020 and beyond.