What do you do at Walker West?
I am a piano instructor.
The piano is m primary instrument. I also play the tenor saxophone.
What style(s) of music do you teach/play?
I teach classical, jazz, R&B, and gospel. I’m classically trained and utilize my God given gift of perfect pitch to be more accustomed to various styles of music.
I grew up in Woodbury, MN
What are some performance/professional highlights?
- I was one of the keyboardists playing for the Minnesota State Baptist Convention Live Recording Concert.
- I’m an accompanist for ComMUSICation, an after school choral program in the Frogtown area of St. Paul, MN. Within that organization, we have performed at many venues in the Twin Cities such as the Orchestra Hall, St. Paul College, McNally Smith College of Music, and the University of St. Thomas.
- I have also done some studio work with local gospel artists in the Twin Cities.
What was your first gig?
My first gig was a wedding. I played for Noel and Theresa Nix. It was an honorable and humbling experience.
Favorite Walker West memory/experience?
Feeling welcome by staff and students.
There are far too many to name, but a few influences for me are Frederic Chopin, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, Robert Glasper, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Oscar Peterson, and Art Tatum.
- Off The Wall – Michael Jackson
- Black Radio – Robert Glasper Experiment
- The 20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake
- Leave It All Behind – The Foreign Exchange
- Family Dinner Vol. 1 – Snarky Puppy
Why is music and music education so important?
Music is important because it is essential in life. Music is everywhere around us. Everything we hear and see is reflected in music. We all have a tune in our head pertaining to everyday life. There will always be a moment where all of us have a certain song in mind, whether it’s happy, sad, or anywhere in between. Music is just as important as life.
Education teaches discipline, focus, teamwork, and fundamentals. Music education gives us structure and teaches us those important elements. Music and education working together creates impressive and expressive lifelong skills.
Advice to young musicians?
When you master simplicity in music, you will be able to play anything!