My musical journey started back in the sixth grade when my parents signed me up for the school band. After that first saxophone lesson I was hooked. I pursued the saxophone seriously thru high school and was eventually awarded a saxophone scholarship to study music at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. I went on to complete my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music Education at U of I. During my time studying music I have had the privilege of performing under the batons of many world renowned conductors, and I often find myself referring back to the lessons I learned from them while I am directing my own ensembles.
Although I love teaching and giving back to younger generations of musicians, I have a strong passion for performing as well. I have an extensive performance background in jazz, classical, & pop music. I have toured & performed with multiple Grammy Award winners, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, AMA recipients, Juno Award winners, & Billboard Magazine chart toppers, including the Buckinghams, Gino Vannelli, CTA featuring Danny Seraphine & Bill Champlin, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Lou Christie, the Rascals with Felix Cavaliere, the Box Tops, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Dennis Tufano, & Jay and the Americans to name a few. Various other artists I have shared the stage with include the Ides of March, the Shadows of Knight, New Colony Six, the Cryan' Shames, Peter Noone's Herman's Hermits, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, the Vouges, Cyrkle, the Grass Roots, and Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night. I lead my own small jazz ensemble the Swing Collective and I am a founding member of the Chicago based Tower of Power-influenced funk band Soul Vaccination (soulvac.com). I am also frequently called on to sub with numerous jazz, rock, & blues bands in and around Chicago.