I was raised in an extremely musical environment. There was always music playing when I
was young, as my Dad himself was a bassist, and my Mom was an avid music lover with a
great ear. Tons of records, cassettes, and 8-tracks played their way into my heart. Posters
of my parents' favorite bands were the wallpaper of my earliest memories. I can see
images of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Boston, ELO, Elvis Costello, Styx, and others just as
clearly as I can recall events, friends, and family.
When I got my first real guitar at age 5, my Dad gave me three books to get started with:
The Guitarist's Picture Chord Encyclopedia, and The Compleat Beatles Vol. 1 & 2. The
prospect of learning tons of chords, and lots of Beatles' songs held me over for a little
while. Being able to play those chords helped land me my first gig; playing guitar while
the kids sang at my 3rd grade spring concert. I also started picking up my Dad's basses, and
learning songs on them as well.
Shortly after that, I started to expand my musical horizons. With suggestions from my
Dad, as well as choosing records at random, I started to learn songs by ear. I began to get
into more classic rock, such as Led Zeppelin, Queen, Yes, Boston, Deep Purple, etc.
Learning music by ear came easy to me and my repertoire began to grow rapidly. This
helped me to contribute to the jam sessions my Dad would have with his friends. I quickly
took to this as well, and ultimately became the lead guitarist in various incarnations of
lineups with my Dad. Throughout middle school and early high school, I was regularly
rehearsing and gigging.
In 5th grade, I took up saxophone in school, where I became a favorite of music teachers,
playing alto & tenor sax in concert, stage, and marching band, as well as guitar and bass
for stage and jazz bands. I also began playing upright bass, electric bass, and even did
some arranging for school plays. Somewhere around 6th or 7th grade, it was discovered
that I had perfect pitch. I had no idea this was an exclusive phenomenon, I thought all
musicians could identify a note's pitch just by hearing it. It did help explain why music
came easily to me though.
At 15, my family moved from NJ to AZ, where I went to three more high schools over the
next two years and participated in each of the schools' music programs. I even auditioned
for All-State Jazz Guitar and came in 2nd place, which put me in the "Clinic" band. I also
won a Jazz Soloist award in state jazz band competition at Northern Arizona University.
At age 17, with the aid of a Yamaha 4-track recorder, a Roland TR-505 drum machine, and
eventually a Yamaha RY-10 drum machine (on loan/donated by great friends), the aspect
of home recording got tacked on as well. I recorded many a demo with those devices, and
developed a new ability and new love. At that time, I wasn't committed to any serious
bands, and recording my own songs was my primary musical outlet. I would jam with
various friends here and there, but at home and recording was the meat and potatoes of
After graduation I headed back to NJ and began working at Sam Ash Music. Working there
helped make connections and led to a whole slew of new musical experiences. It also
helped in building a clientele of students in my venture as a private guitar and bass
Since then I've acquired so much more in terms of experience, recordings, and gear.
Currently, I invest most of my time working with Angel Vivaldi and my personal project,
Reinvision. No matter how the musical frontiers seem to unravel, the one thing that I
never lose sight of, is the fact that has motivated me since childhood: I absolutely love
music. Whether I'm playing in front of a crowd, recording scratch tracks for my latest song,
showing a new student how to play an open E chord, listening to music as I drive, or even
organizing my MP3 collection, the utmost love and respect for the power of music is what
gives me the strength to go on from day to day.