I am primarily a jazz composer. A wide range of influences are found in my music including tango, blues, samba, fusion, ragtime, new music, and back to American roots music. A quirky humor is found in much of my work.
I have a large number of original tunes and extended pieces written in a lead sheet format. They can be easily adapted for solo instruments and small groups. I especially like to write for mid-size jazz ensemble, tango-jazz band, woodwind quintet, and other ensembles as I feel inspired.
Jazz and classical composition teachers include Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Mariano, William Maloof, John Bavicchi, Dr. Robert Wykes, Dr. Stephanie Owen, and Dr. Champ Tyrone.
Listed in International Who's Who in Music.
A selection of my music is licensed for use in TV, film, theater, and other media. See the music licensing page on my website for details:
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Born in Kansas City, I discovered jazz as a child thanks to my mother’s collection of big band recordings. I started on alto saxophone when I was 9 and developed an interest in composition in my early teens. This led me to study composition & arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
My studies at Berklee included jazz composition with Herb Pomeroy and Charlie Mariano, classical composition with William Maloof and John Bavicchi, and woodwinds with Joe Viola. After Berklee, I studied with Dr. Robert Wikes, Dr. Stephanie Owen, and Dr. Champ Tyrone. I received a B.A. in composition from McKendree University and a M.A. in composition from Highlands University.
After working as a composer-arranger, music director, and educator, I discovered that my composition training could be applied to computer programming. This offered a more stable way to support my family. I made a career change in 1977 to become an analyst and worked at Southwestern Bell, Bell Atlantic, Fannie Mae, and DecisionPath Consulting for what became a 34-year career. Due to a busy work and family schedule I was away from music for 12 years.
A business transfer from Missouri to Maryland in 1983 set the stage for new developments in my music. When I started to compose again in 1989 much of the music was directly inspired by my life in Maryland and the natural beauty of this region. I also began to explore an interest in fiddle music after hearing old-time fiddle players in West Virginia. It was easy for me to envision Appalachian music as an early branch of the jazz family tree.
In this new phase of my music I focused on composing tunes for close to 20 years and did not return to writing ensemble scores until 2008. As the music evolved it drew upon many genres (sometimes intertwined in unusual ways) and developed a peculiar sense of humor, expanded harmonic colors, and a fluid approach to time. In hindsight, it is clear to me that I needed to live in Maryland and West Virginia in order to write this music.
I composed as I was able to between my work and family lives from 1989 to 2011. More than 600 pieces were written during that period. I retired from systems work in 2011 and now have more time for music projects.
While I have been composing for many years, I did not have a good way for others to hear my music for much of that time. I prefer to focus on composition and have other musicians perform it. In 2010 I began to use various internet resources as a way for more people to discover my work. Since then, my online projects and collaborations have expanded and the music is now being heard by an international audience.
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