This is the second in a series of posts detailing how I’ve gotten to this point in my life. Click here for the first part of this series.
After deciding not to continue as a Music Major, I went down to the campus radio station to see what was up. I had done a little radio in high school, playing Big Band and show tunes for a station one town over. The station at my first college was a more straight-ahead jazz station, which suited my tastes much better. I learned so much about the music and about radio there. I worked there all through college and was hired as the night DJ after I graduated. But less than a year later I decided I had to get out of Los Angeles.
My radio career then took me to stints in Eugene, OR, Boulder, CO and here in Seattle, where I worked my way up to Program Director of a great rock station. I had a good run there, working with some amazing folks and getting to meet some of my idols, like David Bowie, Tom Waits and Patti Smith. I even somehow talked Branford Marsalis and Dr. John into coming in for performances! But I became quite disillusioned by the state of corporate radio and by 2001 couldn’t take it anymore.
Shortly before I quit the radio business I picked up my horn again for the first time in years. A few days of practicing reminded me that it’s not that much fun to play all by myself. I had seen an ad for Ev Stern’s Jazz Workshop in the back of The Stranger and decided to find out what it was all about. I brought my horn to a Sunday afternoon jam session at Ev’s house, but I had no intention of playing at that first session. However, he made me feel so welcome and so comfortable that I ended up playing that very first day, and I’ve been playing ever since! I will always be indebted to Ev and his workshop for bringing me back to music, and I still play with many of the friends I made in the 2 years I attended.
Since then, I have played more and more, in rock, funk, jazz, R&B and jam bands. It took me a few years to get to the point where I didn’t have to have a “day job”, but I can’t tell you how rewarding the journey has been. Along the way I have picked up skills I never imagined, like teaching rock band classes, designing web pages, emceeing weddings, managing personalities and going with the flow (all of which could be topics of future posts)! Many of the lessons I’ve learned as a musician are lessons that apply to every aspect of my life. And I hope that through this blog I will be able to impart some of those lessons to you.