My Greatest Mistake:
Music has been around me my entire life. Growing up, my father was a drummer and performed at weddings and corporate gigs on the weekends. When I was five, my parents bought me my first guitar. It was a little Stratocaster knock off with a built in amp, made by a company called Terminator. After struggling with it for a year, I quit because it hurt my fingers. We tried a few different teachers, but no one was accustomed to teaching such a young child and they couldn’t get me excited about it. My dad was so disappointed I’d quit that he literally threw my guitar out the front door.
As I reached my teens, I started to get into music (mainly grunge music and Metallica at the time) and found myself becoming interested in playing guitar again. In school band, I tried drums, piano and clarinet, but I really wanted to be a guitarist. At age 13, I convinced my parents to buy me another Stratocaster knock off and a small amp (obviously with an overdrive channel). From that moment on, I never looked back.
When I first started teaching myself, I really struggled with technique. Once I found an amazing teacher from an ad at a local music store (ironically, it was a flyer I’d found at Alto Music), I was set. Still, to this day, I hate that I quit the first time around. If I’d only had a teacher when I was younger who could’ve worked with me, I probably would’ve stuck with it and been unstoppable by now!
At age 15, I started a band and began playing local shows. By 19, we’d put out a few CDs and performed some major gigs opening up for national acts. At 21, I went on my first tour playing gigs on the west coast. At 24, I graduated college with a BS is Music from Ramapo College of NJ and opened up a recording studio. By 26, I had picked up full endorsement deals from Dean Markley Strings, Dunop/MXR pedals and PRS Guitars. By 30, I’d toured most of the USA, both fronting my own band and as a hired gun, and released and played on numerous albums.
The After Party:
Along the way, I began taking on students between tours and running music programs for summer camps. After the birth of my son, Jack, I decided to trade in the touring, original music game for the high-end cover band circuit. I currently perform gigs 3 to 5 nights a week with my band, heatedXchange, doing a mix of public and private shows. I also write and produce commercial music with partners in Sweden, as well as around the USA. When performing at weddings and corporate gigs, I perform all different genres and styles. I can pull from a list of over 300 songs ranging from funk, pop, rock, dance, country, standard and traditional hits. Now, at 34, I am eager to take all of these experiences and offer my knowledge to the next generation. Music is who I am and it is my greatest joy to teach it to others.