People that know me will tell you that I have a zealous passion for music. Both my creative practice as a supporting musician, band leader, improviser and my practice as a teacher have sought to desegregate the boundaries between styles in a way that is accessible to listeners.
Musical variety is important to me; one way that it permeates my improvisations, bands and compositions is with a diversity of styles. For example, I have played pop/folk with singer Danielle Allard at our weekly residency at the Lowertown Brewery, manouche with Django Libre at our monthly residency at Le Petit Chicago and in duos at my weekly residency at the One Up Cocktail Pub, and jazz fusion and blues at my monthly Rainbow Bistro residency.
I have also played reggae with Nile Groove at the Tulip Festival and on their debut album, Afro music with Drums 4 Life at the World Partnership Walk, and solo guitar at The Ottawa Guitar Show and The Atomic Rooster.
Some other styles I’ve done include an album of fusion and contemporary classical music in my project NoVuM, movie, tango, country, fiddle and theme music with Karolyne LaFortune, Malagasy music with Dean Pallen, and indie prog with Glenn Nuotio. I also played blues, francophone music and rock n’ roll with Claude Forget, and jazz and Brazilian music with various combos in Ottawa.
Musical variety can also be found in my compositions; for example, my composition Turmeric is inspired by Indian classical music which also has a rhythmic and melodic influence on my improvisations. My contemporary classical composition The Black Hole for vibraphone, drums and electric guitar is influenced by Bela Bartok and the band Tool’s use of the Fibonacci sequence. I have also composed 16 instrumental metal pieces including two with collaborators.
I continue to pursue self-directed study of a variety of composers and improvisers and share my progress on YouTube and Instagram by publishing performance videos. Most recently I have transcribed solos by jazz musicians Cannonball Adderley, Lee Morgan, Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, and Charlie Parker. I have arranged pieces by classical composers JS Bach and Mozart for solo guitar.
In my most recent project, Gypsy Muse, we use rhythmic variety in a way that is accessible to audiences whilst exposing them to a mix of grooves that are not typically found in a single concert or even in one piece. Some of these include bolero, bossa, gypsy bossa, rhumba, samba, waltz, 6/8 rhumba, funk, shuffle, reggae, ballads, odd time signatures, polyrhythms, and metric modulation. When I arrange music or devise a set list for my band, I sort the pieces as to vary rhythms, tempos, harmony, instrumental texture, and instrumental technique.
As an educator my goal is to share and impart my passion for music with my audience and my students. I do this by encouraging them to pursue their own interests whilst exposing them to new ideas in a familiar context and to music they have not yet heard. I have self-published my own book focused on technical aspects of the guitar to give students a resource to learn material and concepts that they can use in any style. I have taught students, even beginners, how to play along to music by ear and even figure out the key, the chords and melodies. I have made many play along videos on YouTube including of scales, chords and pieces. The most popular of which are my various backing tracks. I also make handouts uniquely catered to my students’ needs. In June 2017, I began taking violin lessons to experience lessons from the perspective of a beginner student to improve my teaching practice.