born in Las Vegas, Nevada and raised in Nacogdoches, Texas, i grew up surrounded by music, art, and educators. my mother is a classically trained vocalist, with music degrees from LSU and Baylor; my first step-father was the professor of music theory, composition, and electronic music at Stephen F. Austin State University for 35 years. surrounded by college art and music professors since pre-K, i was afforded the opportunity to understand how the arts can impact people and communities. my father, a law professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, and step-mother are life-long choir members of their church; and my step-father now, plus all my siblings, sing or play music instruments.
i attended the University of North Texas College of Music as a saxophonist and music education student. i have taught since 1998 in Texas public schools, both as a private lesson teacher and band director. i have performed with over 20 different music groups since graduating from college, recording on over 10 albums. i performed at SXSW multiple times, Utopia Music Festival twice, Steamboat Springs Music Festival in Colorado, and in 2013 i performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival.
originally hired as a part-time jazz band director at The One The Only LBJ Jaguar Band in 2003, i helped continue their outstanding legacy. they have been consistent award winners at jazz festivals at TCU, Tarleton Univ., Austin ISD, Georgetown, and Temple College. i have been teaching so long that i have now performed proudly with former students in professional settings! in 2007, i lead the jazz band in performances in Beijing and Tianjian, China. they even performed on the legendary Great Wall of China!
since 2010, i’ve been a full-time band director, and in 2013 i became the fine arts department chair. for the past several years i’ve been the TMEA Region 18 jazz coordinator, hosting the all-region jazz band auditions and organizing the bands for their rehearsals and concert.
- Wylie Intermediate School – 1998
- Grapevine Middle School – 1998-2001
- LBJ and LASA High Schools- 2003 – present
- KIPP Austin College Prep – 2006-2008
- Austin Jazz Project, 2003-2015
- Texas Jazz and Blues camp, since 2017
- Austin ISD All-City Jazz Band – Director and Organizer (since Spring ’04)
- Region 15 – TMEA All-Region Jazz Band Two – March 2015
- Hernandez MS, RRISD
- Cele MS, PfISD
- Bon Annee Quintet
- The Gladiators Big Band
groups i’ve played or recorded with
- 2014-2019 – Jai’beaux (jazz quintet) — Cedar Park, Texas
- 2016-2017 – Boss Street Brass Band (New Orleans style brass band) — Austin, Houston, Texas; recorded album Put It On You; performed Austin Jazz Festival (Circuit of the Americas)
- 2015 – Branford Marsalis Quartet — guest appearance at One World Theater — Austin, Texas
- 2015 – Monster Big Band — Austin, Texas
- 2013-2019 – Bob Slaughter (world music) —Austin, Texas; recorded albums The River Knows; We Are Water; The World Passes By
- 2012-2017 – K Phillips and the Concho Pearls (Americana/country-soul) — Central Texas region & Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- 2012-2013 – Nakia (Soul/R&B/Rock) — Austin, Texas; SXSW 2012
- 2011-2013 – The Wheeler Brothers (Folk-rock/Americana/Alt-country) — Austin, Dallas, Houston, Texas; ACL Music Fest 2012; Old Settlers Music Festival 2012; Utopia Music Fest 2012-13
- 2011 – T-Bird and The Breaks (funk/soul) — Austin, Texas; Fun, Fun, Fun Fest (Auditorium Shores)
- 2009-2011 – The Lucky So & So’s (Soul-jazz) — Austin, Texas; recorded album One for Grant
- 2010 – Blue J (jazz small group) — Austin, Texas; recorded album Blue J
- 2010-present – Shane Pitsch and the Smokestack Revue (Texas rock and jazz) — Austin, Texas; recorded album Movin’ On
- 2009-2013 – Akina Adderley and The Vintage Playboys (soul, R&B, rock, funk) — Austin, San Antonio, Tyler, and The Woodlands, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; recorded album Say Yes!
- 2008-2011 – Austin Jazz Band (big band jazz) — Austin, Texas; recorded album Night Flight
- 2007-2012 – The Belltower (small group jazz) — Austin, Texas
- 2004-2007 – Global Soul (jazz/Latin jazz) — Austin and San Antonio, Texas; recorded album Global Soul; performed at Corpus Christi Jazz Festival, October 2005
- 2004-2010 – Bright Lights Society (jazz/Texas swing/standards) — Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Texas
- 2002-2006 – Funk Shui (jazz/funk) — Austin, Texas
- 2002-2004 – Indagroove (funk-rock horn band) — Austin and San Marcos, Texas
- 2002 – Creeker (alternative rock) — Austin, Texas; recorded album Letters
- 2001 – EAST (rock/jam-band) — Austin, Texas; recorded albums 4113 Speedway; Habits From The Past
- 1998 – Irving Community Band — Irving, Texas
- 1996-1997 – DCF Big Band — Denton, Texas
- 1996-1997 – Travis Harris Big Band — Ft. Worth, Texas