In a nutshell, what do I do?-I assemble notes and teach others how to have fun with sound. Weapons of choice include Banjo + Acoustic Guitar. If all else fails, I sing a few tunes as well.
Some weeks (depending on how a student’s week went), I double as a therapist of sorts…I’ve been told I have the patience of Job, I’m not exactly sure I’d go that far. I equip people with skills to one day teach themselves (as my old teacher used to say, it’s not a good business model!).
I perform with the Chuck Nation Band as well as my Acoustic Bluegrass Trio in the Atlanta area for weddings and private parties.
My Musical History:
During my career, I’ve played banjo and acoustic guitar on the most prestigious stages in the United States. I’ve also performed in six different countries.
Here I am at Carnegie Hall (2017)
I’m the lead banjoist in the Come Away to the Skies choral composition; that’s how I got there….and I suppose lots of practice.
Here I am at The Ryman Auditorium with the Chuck Nation Band (2018). This is one of my most treasured performances & memories:
In 2014, I played guitar on the Grand Ole Opry with The Randy Kohrs Band.
To name a few places I’ve toured- China, Mongolia, Argentina, and Chile.
I’m pretty sure I might be the only banjo player to have ever played the remote inner mainland China & Mongolia.
PAST AWARDS include-2004 Merlefest Banjo Contest winner; 3X Georgia State Banjo and Flatpick guitar champion.
What about my training? How am I “qualified?”
As a teenager, I took numerous private guitar and banjo lessons. Dan Acheson was my banjo teacher and got me started. Later on, I studied under world class jazz pianist Kevin Bales for six years; we worked on Jazz Improvisation (I did this with guitar).
I also studied music composition with Doug Gibson who really helped change the way I view music today.
I taught guitar to kids in the Fulton County elementary schools for five years as part of the program FINE ARTS MATTER. Yeah, I can manage a classroom of unruly kids and act like I’m 7 years old. It occasionally comes in handy.
Today I maintain a schedule of around 20 online students-teaching banjo, acoustic guitar, music theory, and songwriting.
Do I have a music degree?
No, I don’t. A factoid-My Bachelor’s degree is in chemistry and I worked as an Analytical Chemist for 7 years. 17 years ago I decided to become a full-time musician that’s what I’ve done ever since.
Other Hobbies and Interests?
I LOVE taking walks in Nature (I do so three times a week), I love animals and they tend to like me back. During my pandemic break, I picked up a couple Google certificates and was also certified in Data Analysis. I’m constantly learning these days. I also do some blogging over on http://RipeforInvesting.com
Other hobbies include martial arts, reading, investing, and more.
I’m originally from Georgia (where I still live). However, my thick accent has since left me; you’d never know unless you catch me in the middle of a relapsed YONDER, SWAN’EE or YA’LL.
My Original music:
I seek to combine elements of bluegrass/folk influences with jazz and elements from Impressionistic composers. I strive to paint a picture with the songs I compose. I’ve written everything from two chord songs, 12 tone music, to art songs for voice and piano. All of my published banjo music is available on BANDCAMP for purchase: