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I started on drums, like my dad, and I went to a lot of his jobs, so I heard live music early on. I also played Trumpet and Baritone Horn. In the late 70s, My family moved to L.A. I stayed for 15 years, and went to junior college there, and soon after I met up with, recorded, and/or and played with Jay Anderson, John Patitucci, Charlie Haden, Scott Colley, Andy Simpkins, Frank Strazzeri, Billy Childs, Diana Krall, Terry Trotter, Terry Gibbs, Bob Cooper, Don Menza, Jack Sheldon, Al Hirt, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Shorty Rogers, Conte Condoli, Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Louis Bellson, Albert Tootie Heath, Billy Higgins, Dick Berk, Peter Erskine, Peter Donald, Nick Ceroli, David Hocker, Bill Watrous, Bill Reichanbach Larry Koonse, Frank Gambale, and other great musicians who lived there.
In 1987, I received an award in honor of the late drummer, Shelly Manne, called the New Talent Award, given by the L.A. Jazz Society. Others who received the award are Cecelia Coleman, Eric Reed, Scott Colley, Gerald Clayton, and Larry Koonse. I loved playing with the older guys, many of which have passed on.They played so melodically and influenced how I approach soloing. Again, I must thank my dad who listened and played so much great music. Those great musicians will always be an inspiration for me.
In 1992, after meeting my wife, bassist MaryAnn McSweeney, I moved back to New York, and have performed/recorded with a wide variety of musicians,
Deodato, Mike Brecker, Randy Brecker, Tom Harrell, Bill Mobley, Dave Stahl, Chris Rogers. Ira Sullivan, Ingrid Jensen, Kenny Wheeler, Charles Tolliver, Bill Pierce, Donny McCaslin, Don Braden, Ted Nash, Rick Margitza, David Liebman, Dick Johnson, Donald Brown, Mullgrew Miller, Andrew Hill, Harold Mabern, James Williams, Richard Beirach, Slide Hampton, Conrad Herwig, Steve Armour, Alan Ferber,Vic Juris, Steve Cardenas, John Hart, Tim Horner, Lenny White, Ralph Peterson, Dennis McCrael, Tony Reedus, Michael Hyman, Jeff 'Tain Watts, Carl Allen, Marvin Smith, Jeff Hirshfield, Matt Wilson, Mark Ferber, Toshiko Akioshi, and others.
I have had the opportunity to work with Jerry Lewis, Ben Vereen, Leslie Uggums, Tony Bennett, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Spanish singer Rapheal, Gloria Gaynor, Gladys Knight, Johnny Colon, and Liza Minelli.
I have toured Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, France, Columbia, and the United States with some of these wonderful performers, and I feel truly blessed to work with them, see the world and play music. Check out my CD, Close Your Eyes And Listen, on the Sparky 1 Label. Also check out www.maryannmcsweeney.com and her cds, both of which I appear on. Go to cdbaby.com so you can have your very own copy.