I am a trombonist, composer, and music instructor. I play lead trombone in the Bridge Project Big Band and the Nighthawks Jazz Dectet, both to which I have also contributed some compositions and arrangements. I provide private brass instruction (plus the occasional clinic) at Evola Music. I also have a strong interest in just intonation, which is a system of deriving musical melodies and harmonies from mathematical ratios. It offers much greater flexibility and control with tonal color than the standard 12-note equal temperament that is common today, and understanding it is practically required to at least some small extent for anyone who wants to do a good job of arranging music, because of it’s direct relationship with how sound psychoacoustically works.
I left the Army’s service after 5 years in October of 2011. My last assignment was spending 3 years in the SHAPE International Band in Belgium. Before that, I spent 2 years in the 3d Infantry Division, based in Fort Stewart, Georgia. Both were good experiences, but the top professional highlights happened while I was at SHAPE: opening for McCoy Tyner with the NATO Jazz Orchestra at the 2010 Imatra Jazz Festival in Finland, and recording the album A Taste Of NATO Part II, contributing 5 aggressively modern arrangements of my own.
From 2008-2010 and 2012, I taught at the Great Basin Jazz Camp as a trombone, theory, and digital media instructor. 2011 didn’t happen because of an unfortunate schedule conflict that I had in the Army. The students there are always great, and so are the instructors.
I received my Masters of Music in Jazz Studies from Wayne State University in 2004, where I had the very special luck to befriend Mel Wanzo, who was a long-time veteran lead trombonist with Count Basie, while he sat in with the school’s Lab Band I.
The University Of Michigan – Flint served up two degrees for me: Bachelor of Arts in Trombone Performance, and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Ironically, even given the common perceptions of the relative strengths of job rates in those two fields, I have never been able to earn any money with computers since getting that degree. So, those skills have mostly gone to rust. Interestingly, I don’t particular miss them that much; the path I am on now is quite fulfilling.