Extremely talented musician, teacher and more!
You come from an amazing musical family, at what age did you realize you wanted to be involved in music as well? The musical bug hit me when I was about 5 or 6 years old. On my father's side of the family were singers. I grew up listening to my father sing and my uncles and aunts as well. Music was was around me constantly while I was growing up.
You are known for playing trumpet, but you also play guitar. Who gave you lessons early on?
I started out as a singer first my father gave us vocal lessons. While I was taking singing lesson I started to play guitar on the side. I took lesson at the YMCA summer program during that time. I pick up the trumpet when I was in the 7th grade, pretty much self taught. I played in middle school band, high school band and college.
Where did you grow up? What is the local music scene like there?
I am originally from Oklahoma City, OK. Born and raised there. The music scene was very big during that time growing up and still popular at this time. There were lots of places to play and to perform. I had the opportunity to play and to grow as a musician while I was there in Oklahoma City.
You are a busy musician, what made you finally decide to pursue a career as a solo artist?
I felt it was time for me to come out in the front from being in the back or on the side for so long. My schooling on the road, and musical education has help me tremendously to feel more confident on pursuing my solo career. I feel that my music can be enjoy and share by others around the globe. I love to share my talent and music for other to hear and to enjoy my composition. I love for them to take part in my musical journey while I am performing.
Through your life, you have reached a long list of accomplishments including degrees in music, composing, teaching and more. Is it tough juggling your career as a solo artist, along with being a band director, among many other things? Someways yes and no. Yes, I do find myself being more critical with my music, my trumpet playing and performing my gigs. No, I don't let it stop me from doing what I enjoy doing performing my music and sharing it to others to enjoy. Yes, I do find jugging myself more being a band director. I am constantly teaching my students the fundamentals and the basics of music. I want them always to strive to be their best while they are in band. I try to be an example for my students while I am there teaching them. As a performer and educator I am constantly making sure I am doing my best when performing and teaching. As a teacher and performer, you have to prioritize your time and energy to make sure both of them work together. Sometimes it isn't easy but I do the best that I can to make sure both work together.
How much do you feel Jazz music has changed through the years? What is the future of Jazz in your opinion? Jazz has change over the years and it continue to change. Any art form over the years has it's beginning but hasn't come to its end. Through out time all art forms, such as, music, art, dance and etc. has change for the best. Each generation gets to learn and experience all types of art forms, and learn to appreciate it's beauty. I feel the future of Jazz will live and continue to grow for all generations to come.
Are you willing to work with other genres? Would you play on a Hip-Hop record, or maybe a Pop song? Yes I am willing to work with any other genres. I started out playing classical trumpet then other genres of music. Classical, Big band, Latin, Rock, Pop, Funk, R&B and yes Hip-Hop. I had the pleasure working with so many great artist in these different genres.
Where do you record? I record at "Blue Tone Recording Studio" in Chicago IL.
Do you have any new projects going on? Yes, I am working on my third project at this time. I hope to have it out the summer of 2015.
What can we expect from you in the future? Touring in and out of the country. Radio and tv interviews. Looking for jazz festival to perform. Completing my next project. Making myself known to my fans and others to get to know me as a solo artist.
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