Growing up in Virginia, I began guitar lessons in 5th grade. After a couple of years, my instructor, Ron Fetner, had me audition for Fernando Jones’ Blues Camp. There, I learned the art of performing and connecting with an audience from the great blues frontwoman, Jackie Scott. In middle school, I started putting bands together for performances. I even wrote my first song and was asked to perform it for our graduation. During high school, in addition to the usual concert band (French horn), marching band (mellophone and drum major), and jazz band (guitar and bass), I performed solo and with small bands I organized hundreds of times around my hometown of Williamsburg, playing farmer’s markets, street festivals, parties, restaurants and anywhere I could get a gig. In my last two years of high school, after attending a jazz camp at Eastman School of Music, I began guitar lessons via Zoom with Bob Sneider. Under his tutelage, I was a two-time selection to the Virginia All-State Jazz Band and was ultimately accepted to The New England Conservatory.
I chose NEC because I felt it offered the most well-rounded education. My goal was to become the best musician I could be, not just the best jazz guitarist. Even though I was a jazz performance major, I studied and performed with classical musicians and those in our contemporary improvisation program. Just as valuable as my guitar instructors Julian Lage, Joe Morris, and Brad Shepik were my other mentors Mark Zaleski, Ken Schaphorst, and Frank Carlberg, who helped me discover the joy of composition and orchestration. Outside of my formal instruction, I composed, arranged and music directed two original musicals and composed and orchestrated a third. I was also accepted to the New York Youth Symphony Musical Theater Writing Workshop where I studied with Anna Jacobs and was able to interact with Alex Lacamoire, Kris Kukul, and Tom Kitt. Finally, near the end of my time at NEC, other students and I formed the folk trio Heartwood Junction and we are in the studio recording our first EP of original material.
In August 2022 I moved to New York City where I have performed for Shadowbox Puppet Theater, arranged music for JVKE’s appearance on The Tonight Show, and played for a new musical headed for Off-Broadway. I continue to look for work performing, arranging, orchestrating, and music directing.
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