Born and raised in Texas, I attended North Texas State University (now called the University of North Texas). There I studied Jazz Performance and Music Education with Jack Petersen and Rick Peckham. Later I moved to Boston to study for my Bachelors degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging which I received in 1990 from the Berklee College of Music. While in Boston I studied guitar with Brett Willmott, Jon Damian and Mick Goodrick. My arranging teachers included Herb Pomaroy and Ken Pullig. In addition, I've studied improvisation in New York city with Lee Konitz, Richie Bierach and Jerry Bergonzi. I also spent a summer at the Banff Center for the Arts attending the 3 week summer Jazz Workshop.
I started playing guitar in 6th grade, 1977. I played mostly mostly progressive Rock and Jazz Fusion in high school. I became a music major at North Texas State University. I transferred to Berklee College of Music where I got my degree in Jazz Composition. I played full time in professional bands in Boston after college. I relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife Janine. I fell in love with teaching guitar and improvisation which I did all over the bay area for years in addition to lots of Jazz performance.
Now I'm in the north bay, Santa Rosa, CA where I live with my wife and daughter. My day job is a high school music director at Cardinal Newman High School. I also perform often in several Jazz and Jazz Fusion groups in the bay area. I also love to compose new Jazz and electronic ambient music, mostly in my humble garage studio.
Maintaining an active teaching practice in Jazz Guitar and Improvisation for many years, I have been on the faculty of Blue Note Music in Berkeley California and I was a guest lecturer in Jazz Improvisation at the University of California at Berkeley. I taught guitar classes during the summer guitar program at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. I was originator of the JAZZ GUITAR, and CHORD THEORY FOR GUITAR classes at the Bluebear School of American Music in San Francisco California. I have twice received a Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education for the International Association of Jazz Educators (I.A.J.E.) for co- leading lectures on harmony and chord voicing concepts for the guitar along with author Brett Willmott. I was the Jazz Guitar and Improvisation teacher the University of California at Berkeley's Young Musician's Program (YMP). It's a program for talented high school and Jr. high kids. I gave lessons and taught Jazz Improvisation classes and Jazz combos.
I'm currently the Director of Instrumental Music at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, CA and reside in Santa Rosa with my wife and daughter.
I have performed with an unusual variety of Jazz and Pop artists. In the Boston area, I played with Joshua Redman, Jim Black, Ken Vandermark, the Either Orchestra, the Charlie Kolhase Quintet, organ Trio Be-3 and the Matt Wilson group. In the San Francisco Bay Area performances include Richie Cole's Alto Madness Orchestra, Dam East and various groups lead by me. I also spent several years in one of the early incarnations of Charlie Hunter drummer, Scott Amendola's group. Pop music performances include motown / top-40 group the Marsels and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas in the Boston area. The strangest gigs I ever had was an acoustic "un-plugged" performance with pop legend Boy George as part of a dance music conference in San Francisco. Last but not least, I have been a proud member of eclectic pop-groups lead by Emily Bezar,Jessie Turner and Noe Venable. One noteable Bay Area group I played in was vocalist Ann Dyer's quartet which included bassist John Shifflett and drummer Jason Lewis.