Since I have no biographer at this point in my young life, I donʼt feel comfortable with the irony of chronicling my life in the third person. However, I do recognize the necessity of this business tool, and if you would like a resumé for professional purposes, please download this PDF.
For the purposes of this site I thought it might be better to compose a condensed autobiography instead.
I was born and raised in Raleigh, NC which is an excellent place to be born and raised. I do not come from a particularly musical family. My father had one jazz album when I was growing up: Chick Coreaʼs “Spain” on LP. My father referred to him as “Chick Diarrhea” and would only threaten to put the album on when he wanted to annoy my mother. That being said, my family has always been extremely supportive of my music career. I am very grateful for the opportunities they have provided for me. I started playing drums when I was 10 and began studying with a local teacher named Eric Okamoto shortly thereafter. Eric was a very patient man and a knowledgeable and capable teacher. I also had a number of other excellent music teachers while I lived in Raleigh, including Bill Pendergrass, Matt Savage, Richard House, Dave Albert and Jeff Richardson.
As I mentioned, I had very little exposure to jazz growing up. I didnʼt immerse myself in the music until my ﬁrst year of college. I attended and graduated from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. There I studied with a number of excellent teachers, including the aristocrat of the drums, Baron Jon Von Ohlen. Jon is one of the greatest living big band drummers and a tremendous inﬂuence on a vast number of musicians who have interacted with him throughout the years. In Cincinnati I was able to gain quite a bit of valuable musical experience. Unfortunately, some of this experience came at the expense of older and better musicians! I remain grateful to Phil Degreg, Steve Schmidt, Rick Van Matre, Jim Connerly, Steve Flora, Rusty Burge, and Brad Goode for their patience and guidance throughout my learning process during those years.
In 2001, after graduating from CCM I moved to Chicago to attend graduate school at DePaul University. After 3 weeks at DePaul, I decided I that my formal education in music was to be suspended indeﬁnitely. I immediately began to seek and was able to ﬁnd work in Chicago. For a list of the musicians I have performed with and an overview of my teaching experience, download my resumé (PDF). I have enjoyed and been humbled by my time in Chicago and would like to extend my gratitude to the countless musicians who have factored into my development while I lived there.
In December of 2004, I began dating the woman who would eventually become my wife, Sabrina Cavins. Sabrina and I have just relocated to Longmont, Colorado a small town just north of Denver. We moved to Longmont so Sabrina could pursue her Masterʼs degree in Dance at the University of Colorado. We look forward to meeting people and becoming members of the artistic community in this beautiful part of the world.