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Last Updated

05/04/2004

 

Biography

My parents bought my first saxophone for $200 from a college student in 1982 just before I started my sixth-grade year in school.  Another $200 later the horn was in playing condition and I started serenading my parents with the wonderful sounds of a beginning band student.  I played all the way through junior high and high school as a member of the concert band, marching band, and jazz band.  I was almost always the 1st-chair player which isn't saying much considering I came from a small 2A/3A school in a town with a population of around 800.  I participated and placed in All-District and All-Region band competitions, UIL music competitions, and music festivals.  I received the Outstanding Jazz Band Member award, Outstanding High School Band Student award, Outstanding Yellowjacket Band Student award, and the Marines' Semper Fidelis award for Musical Excellence by the time I graduated from high school in 1990.

Next I went in search of a college education and expected to pay at least part of my way with a music scholarship.  I thought I was pretty hot stuff at the time and auditioned for a scholarship at the University of North Texas in Denton, known for their music programs.  I was basically told, "good job little man but you are out of your league if you think you're going to get a music scholarship from us."  It also didn't help that I didn't plan on being a music major.  I auditioned for several other colleges including Texas Wesleyan, the University of Texas in Arlington, and Navarro College in Corsicana.  I settled on Navarro College in Corsicana because they offered a fairly good scholarship without requiring me to be a music major. 

At Navarro College I majored in computer science and participated in concert band, marching band, jazz band, wind ensemble, and took private lessons.  The private lessons and stiff competition from a couple of other sax players was just what I needed to start fine tuning my skills.  At this point I was still playing on the $200 saxophone my parents bought for me when I first started sixth-grade band.  I kept losing out to another sax player in chair competitions and was informed it was time to upgrade my sax.  I found the right horn at the right price and started winning the competitions.

While at Navarro I placed in the Texas Junior College All-State Concert Band every year.  I toured with the jazz band and played at many various functions with other performing groups.  For awhile, some of the band members formed a Dixieland band which later led to me playing with the Lower Beaton Street Dixieland Band made up of many veteran performers whom I was very honored to be asked to play with.  The college jazz band got to open for the Glenn Miller Orchestra one year, and I played in the pit orchestras for high school, college, and professional musicals in the area.  I started picking up other instruments such as the clarinet, flute, bass, keyboard and drums and performing in groups with them.

After graduating from Navarro with an Associates Degree in Applied Science in 1993, I earned a music scholarship to the University of Texas in Tyler.  Again, I picked this college because of the good music scholarship that didn't require me to be a music major.  I performed in both the concert band and jazz band.  The jazz band was under the direction of George Faber whom I have a lot of respect for as a musician.  Through the jazz band and George Faber, I had the privilege of meeting and performing with saxophonist Joeseph Vincelli on several occasions as well as other talented veteran musicians.  At this point, I started venturing out to the local open mic gigs in the area.  I considered myself a seasoned musician by this time, but I had little to no experience performing popular music in clubs.  I met
Grant Cook and the Starving Artist Band who was hosting most of the open mics in town.  This was another opportunity to learn another aspect of musical performance and one that I really took a liking to.

The open mic gigs led to many other opportunities.  I started playing with Tim Wheeler and the Soul Shufflers on the weekends which led to me playing with the Gutter Brothers for several years as the house band at a local club called Marshall's Other Place every Thursday night.  During these years I moonlighted with many other bands including
Grant Cook and the Starving Artists and Lobo Loggins (also known as Three of a Kind Band, Blackjack, and now Four's A Crowd.)  The Gutter Brothers finally broke up in early 1997 and I started playing with a friend of mine named Bruce who led me to some gigs in Lufkin, TX where I ran into the lead singer for a Pink Floyd Tribute Band named Brain Damage.  They were looking for a sax player and thought I would fit the bill perfectly.  I came to one rehearsal and then performed at a local club with them and I was hooked.  I played with them from 1998 to 2000 and toured with them all over the south east United States including Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and all over Texas.  So far, I had the most fun with this band.

Brain Damage broke up in early 2000 due to the usual things that break bands up.  I spent about six months not performing and barely picking up my horn to do anything.  I realized how depressed I was becoming about not performing and decided I would learn some Christmas songs with a CD accompaniment to back me up and perform for local Christmas events just to give me something to do, a goal to shoot for.  This turned out to be very good and therapeutic for me.

I learned that my friend,
Grant Cook, was performing near where I was living and I came out to sit in with him a few times.  He invited me to come play with him anytime I wanted and one thing led to another and now I am currently playing most of his shows with him.  We play clubs, weddings, private parties, whatever.  I started my (this) web site in October of 2001 with the intention of playing more shows on my own as a solo instrumentalist for Christmas parties, weddings, etc. and to satisfy the many requests from people wanting to know where they can come see me play next.