I have been playing guitar for about nine years now. I especially enjoy playing blues, swing, and jazz music. I started playing guitar because I saw B.B. King on television, and he was talking about how he plays and does his vibrato. I have been very fortunate to become acquainted with Marty " Big Dog" Mercer, one of the Chicago area's finest blues performers. He has given me the opportunity to play with seasoned players in and around Joliet, IL, creating experiences that would last a lifetime. I have also had the great opportunity to have played or performed with jazz bassist Rodney Whitaker, former Motown touring saxophonist Kenny Brinkley, jazz guitarist Mark Elf, drummer RJ Spangler, drummer Stu Tucker, blues guitarist Tom Holland, blues guitarist Mondo Cortez, blues guitarist Kenny Parker, blues guitarist Brother John Kattke, harmonica player/singer Dan Devins, guitarist George Friend, jazz trombonist Dennis Wilson, blues vocalist Candye Kane, singer T-Bone Paxton, jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles, blues guitarist Laura Chavez, singer/guitarist Bex Marshall, bassist Kennan Shaw, jazz drummer Dana Hall, drummer Fred Rautmann, funk bassist Chip Ratliff, bassist Hassan Khan, The Columbia College Chicago Blues Ensemble, blues vocalist Jackie Scott, The Vincent Hayes Project, blues guitarist/ singer Pauline York , The University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble, jazz trumpeter James Olcott, jazz saxophonist Bill Sears, Planet D Nonet Orchestra, guitarist/singer Robert Johnson and his band, The Big Dog Mercer Band, The Boa Constrictors Blues Band, Stu Tucker's Coffee Time Jazz Trio, The Back Door Blues Band, M.C. Jazz, guitarist Fremont John, singer Dora Gholson, drummer Kevin Depree, drummer Scott Bonshire, The C. Avery Jazz Quartet, jazz drumming legend Randy Gelespie, jazz saxophonist Diego Rivera, Michigan State University's Jazz Band One, and blues guitarist Twist Ferguson.
I have had the privilege to perform either by myself or sit in with many wonderful musicians at the 2008 Chicago Blues Fest, 2009 Idlewild, MI Music Festival, 2010 and 2011 Detroit International Jazz Festival, 2011 Western Michigan Blues Society Fest, 2012 40th Annual Blessings of the Bikes in Baldwin, MI, 2012 Hart, MI Heritage Days Fest, 2013 Joliet, IL Barbecue Rhythm and Blues Bash, 2013 La Porte County Fair, Callahan's Music Hall in Auburn Hills, MI, Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, The University of Michigan, Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago, Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts in Fremont, MI, The Blue Goose Inn in St. Clair Shores, MI, The Blue Tractor in Ann Arbor, MI, Rackham Auditorium in Ann Arbor, MI, McIntosh Theater in Ann Arbor, MI, Cooley Lake Inn in Commerce, MI, The Mill Pond in Brighton, MI, Cafe 1923 in Hamtramck, MI, and Columbia College Chicago.Â
Some of my notable achievements include:
-Being the first eighth grader to ever be accepted into the High School Jazz Band at my high school
- Being a recipient of an Outstanding Soloist Award at the 2009 Michigan State University Essentially Ellington Regional Jazz Fest
-Being a recipient of three Outstanding Jazz Soloist Awards from CMU's Jazz Fest and three best section Awards from the CMU Jazz Fest
- Being a recipient of the Outstanding Soloist of the Entire Festival Award at the 2010 Michigan State University Essentially Ellington Regional Jazz Fest
-Being mentioned as an up and coming artist to watch in an interview that Guitar Player Magazine conducted with Paul Gilbert in its Dec. 2011 issue
-Being one of two recipients granted the honor of Best Soloist of the Festival at the 2012 University of Michigan Jazz Fest in which I had the privilege to play with University of Michigan's top Jazz Ensemble later that evening
-Being a recipient of the Outstanding Musician of the Entire Festival Award from Michigan State University's Essentially Ellington Regional Jazz Fest 2012.
- I have also had the honor of being in the 2010 and 2011 All State Honors High School Jazz Band, thus making me the best high school jazz guitarist in the state for those two years.
-Being a recipient of the national Louis Armstrong Jazz award in my senior year of high school (2012).Â
--Being one of nine instrumentalists included in Buddy Guy's "Guitar Prodigy Lineup" on his website.Â
Thank you for stopping by and checking out my material.