When I met my first love, my family started visiting the Los Angeles Music Center. I was five and heard a live orchestra for the first time. People on stage were moving in time, and I was introduced to the power of live music and storytelling. I heard songs by Stephen Sondheim and other musical-theater greats during our frequent visits. And I was starstruck even then as those songs were performed by some of the world's most celebrated performers.
When I was six, an antique upright piano arrived at the house. I was part of a large Italian family living in a medium-sized home, so the piano ended up in the garage. My parents didn’t need to nudge me to practice, and I spent untold hours in that garage creating musical ideas.
In high school I honed my piano skills playing for the school musicals – my first paid gigs. Around that time I became obsessed with the Beatles and taught myself the guitar and electric bass. Soon I was writing songs, joined local bands, and caught the wave of the burgeoning punk music scene.
My desire to improve my musical skills led me to study formal composition at UCLA, lured by the opportunity to study piano with Salome Arkatov, the legendary pianist, film director and producer. I discovered the innovations of Stravinsky and Debussy. But I felt pulled between that world and that of U2 and Prince.
During this time I developed a fascination with Stanley Kubrick’s use of Bartok and Ligeti in his films. This ignited my interest in film scoring – combining the power of music with visual storytelling. I earned an MFA at the world-renowned Eastman School of Music. There I discovered the minimalism of Steve Reich and the experimental sounds of Stockhausen. Ever since then, I’ve been drawn to artists who break the mold: Miles Davis, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, and Radiohead to name a few.
I started scoring films at USC film school to get my feet wet. One of those films was featured in the Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Documentary Short. In my time scoring films I created musical odds and ends that eventually became my album, 78 rpm (Blackties and Almost Lullabies). It’s a double EP inspired by traditional jazz and light classical.
I returned to working in musical theater when I was offered the opportunity to reimagine the rock musical Godspell for the Actor's Co-op in Hollywood. The production garnered more than 20 awards and nominations, including nods for Best Musical Director and Best Musical from the LA Weekly Theater Awards.
Like so many artists and musicians, I am a multifaceted work in progress. And I’ve been grateful to teach music privately and at the college level while navigating my path as a composer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.
Currently, I work with singer-songwriter Natalie Nicole Gilbert and Latin Grammy-nominated producer Robert Eibach. I met Natalie at a songwriting workshop years ago, and we’ve been friends ever since. Our recent collaborations began when Natalie asked for a slow piano version of “Friday I’m In Love” by The Cure. I would love for Robert Smith to hear it!
I also play bass and keys with singer-songwriter Kris Angelis. She and her actor friend Jon Huertas (“This Is Us”) played some gigs, and Jon asked me to join them. I jumped at the opportunity. Kris recently did two CD release shows at Hotel Cafe. Live-streamed shows present a challenge, but we made the best of it and had a great time. Both of her CDs we promoted entered at #1 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter charts.
I am also songwriting with musican/actor Cole Marcus, and I play bass at Rolling Hills Covenant Church, where I work with Matt Sallee of Pentatonix. Opportunities like that are incredibly gratifying and make the challenges of pursuing a music career all worth it!
My own compositions are melodically driven; my range resonates with my love for jazz, rock, classical, pop, electronic, and most anything in between. And my music has been heard on five continents in various mediums on shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live, VH1, and Access Hollywood.