I played all classical music when I was [growing up]. That instills the soul in you, you know? Liszt, Bach, Rachmaninoff, Gustav Mahler, and Haydn.
The Musician In His Own Words:
"My musical influences range from classical masters Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, to jazz legends Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington, to contemporary artists Keith Jarrett and Ramsey Lewis. I've had extensive classical training since childhood, first in my home town of Cleveland, Ohio -- where I was by far the only person in my poor, inner-city neighborhood with a passion for classical music -- from noted music teacher Ethel Morton, and continuing at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts (where one of my classmates was prize-winning jazz pianist Bill Cunliffe) with New England Conservatory of Music teacher, Albion Metcalf, he himself having studied under the world renown Tobias Matthay.
"I had initially planned to become a concert pianist, having given recitals and participated in piano competitions at an early age. But that plan evolved when I went to Harvard (where one of my classmates was nonpareil cellist Yo Yo Ma). When I wasn't partying or just having a good time (and studying, of course; hey, I graduated with honors!), I was broadening my musical vocabulary by immersing myself in many other musical genres and performing with professional musicians unaffiliated with Harvard. Since then, I have performed in jazz, R&B and rock groups on the east and west coasts, I've been tutored by and performed with jazz greats and I've accompanied Broadway musical stars. Those experiences have been phenomenal.
"I had the privilege and pleasure of giving a private, impromptu (unauthorized and rogue!) recital at the truly magnificent Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles shortly after it opened. It was heaven. Very inspiring. I’ve also had the privilege of composing, arranging and performing music for a documentary by an Academy Award winning filmmaker.
"Knowing since I was a child that I would be a musician as my profession, I decided to earn a law degree and an MBA, primarily for the purpose of becoming my own attorney so that I could handle my own contracts and understand the business of music and the arts. But alas, despite the best laid plans, life still seems to take you wherever it decides. Contrary to my original plans, I have provided legal assistance along the way to many other creative individuals, arts organizations and entertainment corporations. I am not complaining about the direction my life has taken. Far from it. I’ve been very fortunate to have met, worked with, and assisted many amazing and immensely talented artists – well known as well as those deserving much wider recognition. For that, I am very grateful and truly blessed.”
"Meanwhile, through my music, I hope to spread my positive approach to life, and to touch a chord with as many people as possible."