Parting Gift: The Story Behind A Song

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2023 was the year I learned to grieve. Within the span of a few short months, I experienced both the sudden and devastating loss of Charles “Charley” Johnston, one of my dearest friends and most influential mentors, and the joyous and long-awaited celebration of marriage to my partner, the love of my life, with family

18 Life Lessons

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Last year the parents of one of my piano students asked me to contribute something to a book for their son on his eighteenth birthday. “I thought it would be cool if it was something that you would want to tell your 18 year old self,” his Dad wrote in an email. “18 Life Lessons” was

Daily Rituals

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Rituals saved my life. I’m not talking about animal sacrifices or fasting or self-flagellation. But when the pandemic upended my world, daily rituals provided structure, purpose, and a sense of empowerment. In the process, I learned a new respect for the power of daily rituals. My earliest encounter with ritual was through music. As a

Rhythm of the Seasons

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When asked if I would write a New Year-themed essay for the December issue of Earshot Jazz magazine, at first I hesitated. In spite of progress in our fight against COVID, it’s hard to feel optimistic about the year ahead when the pandemic drags on and our lives remain circumscribed by uncertainty. But as I

Welcome To ACM!

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One year ago, during one of the darkest chapters in the pandemic, I faced an uncertain future as a musician. My last performance before a live audience had been nearly six months earlier, in March of 2020, just as the virus was spreading silently across the land. Mass vaccinations would not begin for months, and