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I'm very happy to have just released my 3rd CD, Bridges. It pioneers a new approach to jazz trombone by incorporating the traditional Middle Eastern system of scales and quarter-tones. I’m so excited about this new record and can truly say there is nothing like it anywhere in the world. Because of its slide, the trombone lends itself ideally to playing notes and scales not possible on the piano. These scales, known as maqamat (sing. maqam), have a very distinctive, soulful quality. As a native of the Mississippi Delta, I’m used to working with the subtle pitch distinctions in the blues -notes that fall "in the cracks"- and Middle Eastern music is the same in that regard. I spent some time in Beirut, Lebanon studying and writing music, and this new record is the product of that. I'm honored to be joined on this recording by an amazing cast of international musicians. Truly a stellar experience!
I am a trombonist, bassist, pianist, guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and music educator equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop contexts. I have performed with top artists such as Arturo Sandoval (as trombonist),Grammy-winning bands like the Gypsy All-Stars and Mountain Heart (as bassist), and the legendary guitar phenom Shawn Lane (as keyboardist) while winning three Down Beat jazz awards and contributing record reviews for the International Trombone Association Journal. On the classical side, I recently (March 2015) performed Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra by Samuel Jones with the Walla Walla (WA) Symphony.
I currently serve as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. In addition, I’ve taught abroad at the Thailand Jazz Workshop and the Lebanon Jazz Workshop.