Sep 25, 2015 - The past month has been a whirlwind of poignant reunions and farewells. Twenty years after leaving the Washington DC area, I have come full circle and returned here to be closer to my family. It was not easy saying goodbye to all my treasured friends in SoCal and students at LA College of Music, though the welcome I have received from my old DC compadres has been truly heartwarming. I have been having a ball, playing again with many folks I hadn’t seen in ages. Here is a pic from a recent Zydeco Crayz gig with my old buddy Trent Van Blaricom. It’s good to be back!
May 8, 2015 - It’s been 27 years (yikes!) since I had the privilege of studying with master bassist Gary Willis. What a hoot to see him again during his recent master class at LA College of Music. Here we are with my benevolent bass department boss, Mr. Jerry Watts. Esteemed company!
January 19, 2015 - Hard to believe another year has flown by! Thanks to the support of so many friends and supporters, 2014 was my best year yet. I’m really looking forward to what this year has in store musically. One recent highlight was playing for the massive Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Westlake Village. I was honored to lead a great band accompanying some fantastic singers for the show, plus the Grinch!
July 15, 2014 - So far this summer, I’ve enjoyed fun gigs with the Wonderelles, Ron Kobayashi, Little Ray, and others. This past Saturday, we got to play with Chicano music legends Rudy Salas and Mark Guerrero on Little Ray’s gig at the 50th anniversary of Sounds of Music. One gig I really look forward to every year is the annual recital for Jessica KhanVariba’s vocal studio. This year was the most successful recital to date, expanded to two shows (45 songs!), and we had a top notch band again. Here’s a pic of us in our “pit band camouflage”.
March 21, 2014 - I have several exciting developments to announce. First of all, Los Angeles Music Academy, the school where I have been honored to teach for the past twelve years, has further expanded their programs to offer bachelors degrees, and is now officially renamed “Los Angeles College of Music”. They also have added a beautiful new building, new courses in brass, woodwinds, and songwriting, and lots more on the way. It’s a great new era at LACM, and I’m more involved than ever with this fine school. The second big announcement is that my music is now being featured on the weekly podcast for my brother’s awesome trivia website, Futility Closet. I am so proud of Greg for the tremendous popularity and high quality of his website and book, and really happy to now be able to contribute to the new podcast, sponsored by BoingBoing.net. Oh yes, and I’m still performing on the first Sunday of every month with Maureen O’Sullivan and Ron Kobayashi at Mozambique in Laguna Beach, in addition to gigs with Ray Jimenez and others.
September 30, 2013 - Hope you had a great summer! I sure did, including lots of gigs with a variety of artists. Just this week, I had the pleasure of playing with the Orange County Swing Band for the first time. I forgot how much fun big bands can be! I also joined Ron Kobayashi and Ronnie Ciago, backing singer Blythe Bunnee on the "American Stars" TV show. Blythe won the competition! Looking forward to meeting the new students as our newest class gets underway at LAMA next week.
Jun 30, 2013 - It has been a wonderful, and very busy, year so far. Apart from settling into my new home/studio in Glendale, gigs have been picking up quite a bit. Ray and the Idols have been making the rounds of So. CA community festivals - lots of fun playing classic oldies with top notch musicians. I also have a steady jazz gig nearly every Sunday at Mozambique in Laguna Beach with Maureen Bryant and Ron Kobayashi. And my own group recently played a series of gigs at the Grove in LA. Meanwhile, I have been busier than ever teaching at LAMA, and last week had the honor of performing with legendary drum department chair, Joe Porcaro, for a faculty concert at the school. Joe is just about the nicest person I have ever met, and I only hope that I will be able to swing half as hard as him when I am his age! My hero.