Music has been an integral part of my family for generations.
My grandparents were exceptionally musical and every family gathering was filled with all kinds of instruments, singing and dancing. My mom, Yvonne, grew up playing the accordion and singing in her family. My dad, Frank, was immersed in music and eventually became one of the most respected music educators of his generation. So, it should be no surprise that my wife, Debra, is a phenomenal pianist and world-class accompanist.
She’s also a great vocalist – in fact we were partners when we were in Soundsation at Edmonds Community College.
My oldest daughter, Miranda, teaches and plays the piano, and used to play the oboe. My oldest son, Gabe, plays all flavors of saxophone and played lead tenor in MTHS’s Jazz Ensemble I that placed 3rd at the Essentially Ellington Festival in 2005, and he played in the Washington State University Jazz Band.
My youngest daughter, Maria, is an excellent vocalist and performed with the Seattle Children’s Chorus. She also used to play the upright bass. My youngest son, Dominic, plays piano and trumpet, but the truth is he has a great voice and should be singing more.
As for the grandchildren, the poor kids have no choice! They’ll be playing and singing up a storm!
Me? Well, I used to sing a lot, but not so much anymore. I used to play the piano, but not so much anymore. I used to write and arrange music, but not so much anymore. Now? Well, I play a mean iTunes and listen to lots and lots and lots of music. Just ask my students about my eclectic playlists. Do you find it jarring that in my classroom you’ll be exposed to Macklemore, the Beatles, Muse, Luther Vandross, Kings of Leon, Yeasayer, Gino Vannelli, Yes, Tegan and Sara, U2, and Miles Davis in that order? That’s what’s on this afternoon’s random playlist, by the way. Yeeeesh.
So, talk to me. I love music. Okay, not country music so much, but just about everything else.
And if you want to join my family at our annual jazz festival, check this out.