April 20th, 2018
Emmy Award-Winning Composer/Producer/Jazz Pianist

It's been a few months so I thought I'd touch base and let you know of some of my recent activities, from my interview on the excellent Nikhil Hogan Show podcast, to the film I scored recently winning the Audience Award at Cinequest, and more.

Needless to say, please don't hesitate to contact me for any of your producing , composing , arranging and performing needs, as I'm always on the lookout for new projects and potential collaborations !

I just had an incredibly enjoyable conversation about music with Nikhil Hogan on his excellent music-interview podcast and I just wanted to share it with you here . We talk about my life as a jazz pianist / composer , jazz vs . classical instruction , my studies with Don Pullen and Jaki Byard , scoring for media , working with The Roots , and more. Nikhil to me is truly onto something with his interview approach. As I told him myself after I heard his excellent podcast with former child prodigy pianist Matt Savage a couple of weeks ago, he really has an unusual knack for asking the exact sort of questions of artists I wish as a listener I could ask myself, probing for specifics and details, yet still keeping the whole thing broadly accessible and enjoyable for both the interviewee and audience. I also admire his open-minded attitude about musical style and genre, and, in fact, I would encourage everyone to subscribe to his podcast and also check out his past interviews!

An update on that film, " You & Me" , for which I wrote the score , as well as the songs with director (and lyricist!) Alexander Baack : we got back from it's premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival in Silicon Valley last month, and were excited when it was awarded the Audience Award (for Best Comedy)! Here's an excerpt from the film for which I scored and play the piano (beginning with the tail end of a song for which I wrote the music and Alex the lyrics), featuring actors Paul Guyet and Hillary Baack :
Also last month I was excited to participate in an unusual site - specific play created in 48 hours directed by incoming Luna Stage director Ari Kreith in West Orange and Orange , NJ , entitled "Walking the Valley". Ari has always been a true "connector", constantly making introductions among artists from diverse worlds and disciplines and dreaming up different collaborations, and this work was no exception. Designed as a way of highlighting 3 different locations, the work featured poetry , musical theater numbers , dance, and more. My contribution was " Orange Song", choreographed by Chantel Adams , sung by Joanna Warner , danced by Ilana Ruth Cohen , and written / arranged / recorded by me (of course quite quickly!) for the occasion. Here's an excerpt:
Finally, in education I've continued my part-time work at Hunter College , directing Popular Music Combos and teaching, most recently, courses in Jazz Harmony & Arranging , History of Jazz , and now Jazz Improv , as well as adjuncting at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College. I also had the pleasure recently of doing a masterclass at the Dalton School on the Upper East Side of NYC after being invited by an old friend, Glen Makos , who helps run their outstanding music program. While I spent much of it talking about my work writing for media and some of my recent projects with The Roots , I couldn't help playing some "manic Monk " up front - here's an excerpt!: