mylife in mywords
I think I was 16 years old when I played guitar and sang for my first time ever on live TV. It was for the CBC Disabled Children's Telethon Of Stars. Then for another number in the same show, they dressed me up in an owl costume and made me do a dance number with a Quebec star named Veronique Beliveau. For some strange reason I was more nervous as a dancing owl. Go figure.
Anyway, I was part of a youth group that played in all sorts of large festivals and shows like the telethon and Canada Day on Parliament Hill for example. It was our regular summer job back then. Imagine us, a bunch of kids getting paid to play music all over Canada. I think we all pretty much decided there and then what we were going to do with our lives. Well, you know what? All those summers of practicing, traveling and performing have led many of us "kids" on to careers in the music business.
I couldn't afford lessons or even a guitar when I was starting out so I initially learned how to play by hanging out at the local music stores and watching people try guitars. When I thought that the salesmen weren't looking I'd casually sneak a guitar down from the wall and try to play some of the things I had observed. Didn't get too far with this method but it got me far enough to play in the high school choir. I got a bit better and joined a band. I got a bit better and joined other bands and so on and so on.
Eventually, I was able to make a living playing music in bars, weddings, hotels, studios, and anywhere and everywhere that my gigs and contacts took me. It paid for my tuition as I was pursuing my music degree at the same time. I also started teaching privately and developed a clientele of about 60 students per week by the time I graduated from university.
Later on I became a guitarist, co-composer, and band leader for World music artist Florence K and played such events as the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Canada Day 2011 on Parliament Hill, The Montreal Jazz Festival (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011) The Bermuda Music Festival and The Isle Of Wight Festival in the UK. We toured across France with French artist Bernard Lavilliers, as well as representing Canada alongside artists from different nations for a performance in Oman for Oman Oil. I performed and was a co-composer on her CD releases "Live au Lion D'Or" "Bossa Blue" and "la Historia de Lola". We also composed and produced the music for Koba Family Entertainment's children's live musical theater production "Franklin and the Adventures of the Noble Knights"
I keep myself busy by teaching, performing and recording. My latest project is my solo album called "The Woodshed Sessions".