What is your hometown?
Oklahoma City—then Albuquerque—now New York City.
What are you passionate about outside of music?
Food/wine, books, and science/astronomy.
Who were your major teachers?
John Clayton, Rodney Whitaker, and Ben Wolfe.
What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?
What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?
My dad is a musician/educator and used to teach at the Interlochen Arts Camp. Over the course of one summer, I was able to try every instrument in the orchestra. I couldn’t get enough of the bass and would beg to be taken over to where the string instruments were kept. A couple years later, I knew I didn’t want to do anything else.
What was a turning point in your career?
My first professional gig in Albuquerque when I was twelve years old. Also, my first real touring experience (with Greg Osby).
If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?
Hard to imagine, but maybe a chef.
What is your daily practice routine?
Whatever I didn’t get to yesterday! Probably some Bach on piano or bass, maybe a transcription of some kind. Reviewing music for upcoming gigs.
If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?
Bach, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn.
From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?
I was born in Oklahoma City, so that region has a lot of meaning for me. Oscar Pettiford is from there as well as Charlie Christian, Don Byas, and Chet Baker. The time period during which the early territory bands were around was incredibly vibrant.
Who are three students you have had the privilege of teaching?
Rick Rosato, Chris Smith, and Nick Dunston.
What recordings can we hear you on?
Greg Osby ‘Channel Three’ (Blue Note)
Gonzalo Rubalcaba ‘Charlie’ (5 Passion)
‘Mythology’ and ‘Unspoken’ (Criss Cross)