Category: Important People

40 for 40: Highlights of my work with Henry Lugo

A 40th birthday tribute to a great man and musician with whom I’ve been privileged to share the stage, studio, classroom and car on hundreds of occasions . . .

40 Things I Love About My Wife

It’s Kate’s 40th birthday. I was going to write a song, but it’s been a tricky month. I was going to write a rhapsodic essay about all the things she is, but . . . well, I think she’d rather I spend the day with her than spend it doing that. So instead here is a list of some of the things about her I think are fabulous.

Open Letter to the Hartford Courant re: Jazz Riffs

In response to the recent news that Owen McNally’s Jazz Riffs column is slated for cancellation

Stay On the Path (Thanks Cedar)

In tribute to the incredible musical legacy of Cedar Walton (1934-2013) I am currently preparing a series of my Top 10 lists. In the meantime, though, I wanted to share a personal anecdote of how a seemingly innocuous encounter with him shaped my life.

15 Years of Wading Through the Muck Together

15 years of marriage, and now the secret to our longevity can be revealed . . .

Lessons Learned from Kenny Barron

Pretty much every time I play the piano is an opportunity, however indirect, to appreciate all that I learned from 6 years of study with Kenny Barron. This year has been a particularly fertile year for that sort of reflection, as he played two concerts in CT this summer. Beyond that, I’m currently gearing up [...]

Ode to a Great Teacher: George Raccio

Sometimes life gives you a second chance and so it seems to go with the presence of George Raccio in my life. As Playdate gets ready to do our CD release party this weekend at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, I figured it’d be a good time to reflect a bit about George, who was the teacher presiding over the jazz program at the Educational Center for the Arts, where Wayne Escoffery, Amanda Monaco and I met and began playing together.