Musical Biography

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A Brief History

Music ran on both sides of my family - mainly my father's side. My mother was once a vocalist and an aspiring pianist. My father was a guitarist and a vocalist, and performed primarily with a group he was a member of since about 1975. My grandfather was a guitarist as well, and performed with my grandmother in their own group in Louisiana. My aunts and uncles followed suit - singing and playing around the local areas they lived in.

My father took our family to most of his singing engagements. Being able to witness my father play and sing on a weekly basis kindled my desire to do the same. I first developed an interest in the drums. Daily I would set up books, record covers, pillows, coffee cans or whatever I could hit to mimic playing the drums. I began to inherit instruments from whoever was giving them away. I remember having a bass guitar and a red six-string guitar, but I do not remember where I got them or what ever happened to them. With these instruments, I would mimic my father and the other musicians he played with. My desire was to one day be a member of his group. I was playing at my church for the children's choir at the time, but was only able to play once a month. I finally received the opportunity to play with my father's group full-time at the age of nine. I was ultimately voted in as the drummer, and remained until I was 17.

During those years, I sang with my aunts in their singing group. My uncle was the bassist, but unable to attend all of the rehearsals. In need of a steady bassist, my father set a bass and an amp up in my room so that I could learn the songs for the next rehearsal. From that point at age 12, I began playing bass.

Contemplating leaving his group, my father would let me play some of the songs in rehearsal and on stage to get familiar with them. He put one of his guitars in my room for me to practice on. By the time I was 15, we both knew that I was a natural at guitar. The group had a vocalist that preferred to play drums, which gave me the opportunity to play along side my father as lead guitarist. I would switch from guitar to drums as necessary, most of the time during the same singing engagement.

On Sunday mornings, I spent my time playing drums at church. Our youth choir was in a state of confusion. We were in need of both a director and a pianist. I volunteered to take on both roles. I was 18 by this time, and never really knew I had a knack for piano. As the word spread around the church, I was asked to play piano and organ for different functions. I later began playing keyboards for my aunts' singing group.

In 2001, I had my most profound musical experience ever - and it occurred off-stage. I was made aware of my genetic link to Jazz legend Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong. He was my paternal great-grandfather. Ironically enough, I portrayed "Satchmo" in my 5th grade Black History program and remember being praised heavily for my ability to emulate his mannerisms and on-stage persona. In 2001, it was no longer a mystery as to why that was the case.

All of these events gave rise to the creative experiences summarized on my Musical Bio. As time progresses, my intent is to continue in the vein of performance, production and session work.