I first got into music in the fifth grade when we sat down in music class and watched a bunch of Disney movies that explained all the instruments in the orchestra and how they worked. After the video on woodwinds I knew that music was the thing for me and that I wanted to play an instrument. After a lot of thinking I finally ended up picking the clarinet.
I remember it taking weeks to convince my parents into renting me a cheap clarinet. Eventually though, they caved in a rented one out and paid for a few formal lessons thinking I would get bored of it in a few weeks and they could return it. After sticking with the formal lessons and practicing for several months they figured I was pretty serious and bought out the clarinet.
Through out most of middle school I was mostly interested in the classical side of music. It was around 7th grade that I really started listening to jazz clarinetists like Benny Goodman and Woody Allen. When I got to the eighth grade and could sign up for middle school jazz band I was pretty sad to learn that the clarinet wasn’t aloud in. I was still however heavily drawn toward jazz and wanted to learn more about it, so I picked the saxophone up. Because the two instruments were so similar it made it easy to still play the classical side I liked on the clarinet and continue to explore jazz on the saxophone. My interest in jazz took me all the way through high school where I mostly played saxophone in the James Wood High School jazz ensembles and occasionally a little clarinet.
When I got to college as a music education major however I ended up leaving the jazz world behind due to it being very hard to get into a jazz ensemble without being a jazz major. The saxophone I had bought toward the end of my senior year in high school sat in a corner in my room for about two years collecting dust and soda cans. Then one day toward the beginning of the summer of 2010 my friend Brandon gave me a call one Friday asking if I would be interested in playing saxophone at a local blues jam. Even though I hadn’t looked at my sax in about two years I decided that I would sweep the cans off the case, buy a reed and give it a shot again. I was a little rusty a first (okay..the entire time) but still had a lot of fun. It was after the jam that I was introduced to Terry Oates by Brandon and was invited to come out to more of their jams to play around. After a few of these jams and some help getting back up to snuff with my sax playing I was invited to be a part of Terry Oates and the Mudcats as a secondary horn player. The rest has been an awesome ride that just keeps getting better and better.
I feel truly blessed to be a part of such an awesome group of people and would like to especially thank my mom and dad for their continued support in me and my music.