October 16, 2017
Emmy Award-Winning Composer/Producer/Jazz Pianist

It's been a while so I thought I'd update you on some of my recent activities, from arranging/conducting for The Roots on The Tonight Show and beyond; to recent jazz performances; my continued work writing in the children's music sphere; and to a former student currently appearing on The Voice!

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 !

In August, I was excited to conduct (off-camera!) 22 musicians on "T he Tonight Show " in a new version of The Roots' " Detroit " soundtrack song " It Ain't Fair ", which I arranged / orchestrated especially for this performance (working off of the already powerful original version, but adding a new intro/interlude/ending, 4 clarinets, and other touches). You can see the intense live performance by clicking below:
I also just completed a week "in the trenches" (along with conductor/arranger Miguel Atwood-Ferguson) doing 50-piece orchestral arrangements for "A Night of Symphonic Hip-Hop" with The Roots, the Dallas Pops, plus guests Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu and others . This special performance can be streamed live this Tues. Oct. 17th at 9 pm on Twitch via Amazon Music here.
In recent months I’ve been mostly “in the trenches” writing music for various projects. However, I did have an opportunity last month to perform in a very enjoyable series of concerts throughout Columbus, OH organized and led by trombonist/poet Michael Vander Does (pictured here with myself plus jazz legends Kidd Jordan & James Carter at a radio station visit we did together while there). I especially enjoyed our performance at their annual Hot Times Festival and have included a little video sample of a solo I did on a piece written by the group’s guitarist, Brett Burleson , and dedicated to the great Hamiet Bluiett (who was absent for the performances but in all of our thoughts):
I've also been busy writing music for children’s television and media , after receiving my 4th Emmy Nomination this past Spring (for “ Best Song ”, to go with my win a year ago for “ Outstanding Music Direction and Composition ”), and working out of my Maplewood (NJ) Production Studio (pictured here). Be on the lookout in the coming months for songs I’ve written for such shows as “ Sunny Day” (featuring guest Renee Elise Goldsberry ) and " Esme & Roy". I was also commissioned recently to write an arrangement of " Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" for the Ahn Trio - check out the l ovely video they did to accompany my arrangement, below:
Finally, in education I’m delighted to be continuing my part-time work at Hunter College , directing Popular Music Combos and this semester teaching Jazz Harmony & Arranging, among other activities . I was also excited to hear that a former student I directed while I was Chair of Jazz & Contemporary Studies at the Harlem School of the Arts , Brandon Brown , now joins We’ McDonald (who came in 3rd last year) as a contestant on the current season of NBC’s The Voice ”. You can also hear Brandon and We ’ in a CD I produced for HSA a couple of years ago, " Evolution ", featuring all - original compositions the students wrote (many of them developed in the Composition class I was teaching at the time), by going to CD Baby.