What do you do at Walker West?
I teach piano and music theory.
Piano and keyboards. They are a similar interface, but very separate entities.
What style(s) of music do you teach/play?
Jazz, blues, gospel, rock, classical, latin, pop, etc…
Earth occasionally: born in Washington D.C., first half of childhood in Maryland, second half in St. Paul, currently adulting in Minneapolis.
What are some performance/professional highlights?
Performing on the main stage at First Ave in Minneapolis. Everything else is a blur. I opened for Future, Raheem Devaughn. Playing for Vickie Winans and Tremaine Hawkins. Seeing projects I’ve written on get over a million plays on Spotify is insane!
What was your first gig?
A wedding. In my early teens, I played Jesu, Joy of Man’s Dersiring by Bach. I also played Valentine by Martina McBride and Amazed by Lodestar. The gig paid $400. At age 14, I had a hard time accepting anything less than that from future gigs. I learned quickly to adjust.
Favorite Walker West memory/experience?
Practicing in the summer, in the old building, upstairs in the backroom, past the kitchen, with the window open. Best place for breeze, practicing, and watching people.
Prince, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Earth Wind and Fire, Jimmy Hendrix, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Adu, anything 70’s, 80’s, and occasionally 60’s.
Purple Rain – Prince
Why is music education so important?
Music education is important because you learn self development, discipline, patience, the art of reflection, commitment, critical thinking, focus, balance, identity, relationship management, business, investment, and soul.
Advice to young musicians?
Love yourself unconditionally and selfishly. Limit friendships and relationships; they will absorb the time and energy that you need to be great at what you’re doing. Practice what you don’t know. Say yes first and figure it out later. Question things. Listen to music, people, and everything around you; but be the last to speak. Empathize. If you aren’t an introvert, study them. Celebrate others. Find a mentor. Appreciate seasons and changes. Never compare yourself to anyone. Ask me again in another 20 years.