I grew up in Los Angeles in the 1960's. At that time the big bands were still in business.
At a tender young age I was in the front row to see Harry James, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, etc etc.
I had private trumpet lessons, classical and jazz, and I was a weekend warrior musician at the age of 15, playing in a teen
combo for private parties.
I played in school bands all the way through college. I graduated from UC Northridge, California, which had an excellent instrumental music program.
For graduate school I attended the University of Houston, Texas, where I received a Master's Degree in Education. The Houston program
stressed teaching basic skills and to this day I make sure my trumpet students are well grounded in the fundamentals.
In 1992 I became one half of a duo. My partner was an excellent jazz guitar player. At this time I started playing electric bass, so I
could go back and forth between trumpet and bass. Therefore the duo had two sounds, horn backed by guitar, and
guitar backed by bass. We hung together for 25 years and our sound (our two sounds) never got stale.
I have been in Fort Collins just since November and I have met many musicians. I have begun commuting to Denver to rehearse with a jazz band
In closing I want to mention that I really enjoy teaching, it is not just a job. It is a real shot in the arm when a student's face lights up as they realize
how much fun music is. If you had to pick just one activity to prepare a young person for the future, to sharpen their concentration and discipline, it would be
music lessons. And music can be a life long activity, not limited by age. Unlike football and baseball season, music season is all year round.