I have been playing guitar for over 50 years. I became a professional musician and started playing jazz when I was 15 years old. When I was 18 years old I began teaching and working as a full-time musician.
In 1974, I was signed to Blue Note Records. After two albums I left the recording business with a sour taste in my mouth and did not record again as a leader till 1999 for CIMP records and only because friends had urged me to do so. Between those years I made my living composing, teaching and arranging. In 1998 I went back to school and recieved a BS in composition where I studied with John Corigliano at CUNY.
Because of a drummer by the name of Joe Coleman, I did have an opportunity to work and perform a with many jazz giants including Arnie Lawrence, George Coleman, Frank Foster, Harry Sheppard to mention a few.
I also worked for Young Audiences of New York, where I was the first teaching artist to use song writing as a learning tool in Literacy Programs for the NYC Board of Ed.. Since then I've composed over three hundred children songs.
After recording, Finishing Touches (CIMP 196), and Dialing Privileges (CIMP 197 as co-leader with Blaise Siwula), my wife, Carol Mennie, and I formed CDM Records. Because of earlier experiences of constantly getting fired for playing too far out, especially Ellington, Carol urged me to finally record Ellington the way I heard it.. I put together a new trio with Ken Filiano on bass and Jackson Krall on drums and on April 23rd, 2001 we recorded "Takin 'The Duke Out" ' live', at the Knitting Factory in NYC, in one set. Jon Rosenberg engineered the recording and High School friend Jay Messina mixed it. It was released in October 2001. I expected this record to be the last recording CDM Records or I would ever make as a leader.
Recently I have been writing new music for my new string quartet and looking for a label to record our second CD. Guitar- myself, Violin-Jason Kao Hwang, Cello-Tomas Urlich and Bass-Ken Filiano
"I truly believe we are here to learn and grow. My path has always been through music".