I began my violin studies when the Suzuki method was just getting a foothold in the U.S., in 1965. My teacher was Jacquelyn Corina, one of the early Suzuki pioneers who studied with Dr. Suzuki in Japan and helped to get his method known and well thought of here in California. It was with her that my bond with the violin began. Mrs. Corina is still a sought-after Teacher Trainer in the Bay Area.
A few years later, my parents learned of an opportunity to study with Romanian-born violinist, Eugene Stoia. Mr. Stoia was conductor of the San Jose Youth Symphony, a group which performed internationally and won many awards. He had an intense love of music and children, had very high standards and challenged his players. It was a fantastic experience to play with such a demanding conductor, traveling and sharing our music with kids from other cultures.
I became increasingly interested in other forms of music, realizing there were only a few violinists playing in rock and folk-rock bands. I started playing Celtic and bluegrass fiddling, as well as country swing, blues, and Cajun fiddling. My first band, Shagbark Hickory, did a bit of all these styles to enthusiastic audiences throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
As the first band was coming to an end, I met up with a trio of east bay musicians who were performing celtic and original music, the Golden Bough. We hit it off and began recording and touring throughout Europe, the UK, Scandinavia, the U.S., and the Caribbean.
As part of Golden Bough, I performed with many artists from other genres: Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy; Italian classical quitarist Flavio Cucchi; Basque conductor and accordion champion Enrique Ugarte; Hungarian cimbalom player Kalman Balogh; and Chilean multi-instrumentalist Pablo Carcamo. This group performed together in England and Germany as the World Music Ensemble in the early 1990s.
I appear on many Golden Bough albums as well as many other albums, compilations and a solo album from ARC Music, including a recording of Mexican folk songs. I appear on recordings by local artists, singer-songwriter Rita Hosking, and Latin/Celtic harp player Christine Bonner.