Questions by Sandy of Voices and Visions…
How has music inspired me?
The first time I can consciously remember experiencing the sounds of music as a child, I was exhilarated! I loved what it did to my soul, my spirit, how I felt. I would get so excited and jump around and dance in time as my mother later told me. It was a language I already instinctively knew before I could even utter a word of English. I was four years old. I grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey. My mother would take me to the famous Steel Pier, which extended a half-mile in to the Atlantic Ocean. It was quite something. I remember her taking me to see Louie Armstrong and hearing his genius. Mind you, I was four and had no idea who he was; I just remember how I felt. It didn't stop there; She herself was quite the singer and loved music herself. She took me to see Count Basie, The Four Tops, The Allman Brothers, Buddy Rich and his orchestra, Louie Bellson; the list goes on and on. From the Motown sound to the big bands, from southern rock bands like The Allman Brothers to Afro-Cuban artists like Tito Puente or Willie Bobo. I saw it all before the age of ten. Believe me when I share this with you, I was inspired! I saw the best of the best doing what they did. I told my mother I was going to do that, be a musician. That never changed. To this day, I live for the love of music and the art of making it. It's as much a part of me as a limb.
Your musical inspirations?
My musical inspirations are vast as I stated in the prior answer to the first question. From Johann Sebastian Bach to Niccolò Paganini. From Charles Mingus to Charlie "Bird" Parker. From Thelonious Monk to John Coltrain. From Lennon & McCartney to The Kinks. From Stevie Wonder to Steve Winwood. From Peter Gabriel and Genesis or Kate Bush to YES, From Sly Stone to Prince, From Led Zeppelin or the Yardbirds, to Deep Purple or Frank Zappa. I mean I could just go on and on. My inspirations are so vast. I mean, what an incredible library of music I have to choose from to be inspired to create my own each and everyday!
It's not just people that can inspire me musically, but sounds them self's heard in certain sequences. Wind chimes, the sound of trees blowing in the wind. The rhythm of footsteps. I mean I hear symphony's everyday just walking through the streets of New York City, where I live.
Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?
That changes every other minute. A favorite? They’re all my favorites. Not just the artists I mentioned above, but many many others and at different times. To have a "so called favorite" would be to confining. If I'm listening to Pat Metheny or Michael Brecker, then they're my favorites. If it's the Beatles that day, then they're my favorites. It's too limiting for me to have just one favorite CD, song, or musician.