I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and started on violin when I was 5, through the Suzuki method, at first because my parents forced me to. After several months, when the indomitable scratches I was making finally turned into something vaguely resembling “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” I gradually became hooked. I loved music, loved the feel of the violin under my neck, and loved playing in front of people…
A few years later, I branched out to Celtic, Old-Time and bluegrass fiddling styles in as many jam sessions as I could find the time for. I really loved the chance to do something more fun, more freeing, and more a part of my culture and heritage. I then further branched out to jazz and rock improvisation, growing a whole new understanding of how music really worked, and how I could learn to create my own musical voice.
I have created music with hip-hop groups, a band fusing bluegrass and klezmer, an orchestra playing traditional Arabic music, gospel choirs, a cumbia and ranchero group, folk singer-songwriters, and country bands. Currently I am performing with folk-punk group The Bandini Mountaineers and singer-songwriter John Koah. I also love singing and making music with my sweet wife Bethany, in our band, Toucan Panda.
Basically, musically speaking, I don’t believe in boundaries – I don’t think musicians need to be categorized or put into little boxes. I think people should be allowed to explore whatever voices they find something true and beautiful – and feel free to add their own voice. Just as with my own playing, as a teacher I seek to unleash the creativity and freedom and love of music I believe is within everyone, and strive to do whatever it takes to help you empower yourself!