I have been a musician in one form or another most of my life. This journey began as a young child with classical piano and orchestral percussion. Some of my early musical endeavors included six years of high school marching band, countless state and regional orchestras and concert bands, a Scottish bagpipe band, a touring ragtime marimba band and several orchestral percussion ensembles. As a student of cultural anthropology in the early 1990s, I happened upon the budding community of Zimbabwean music in Boulder, Colorado, and rather unexpectedly found myself venturing into an entirely new world of percussion. Following that discovery, for close to 30 years I performed in and directed numerous Zimbabwean-style marimba bands in and around Boulder, including my last Afro-pop ensemble, Nokuthula. For many years I taught music enrichment classes at Peaks to Plains Suzuki Institute and directed the marimba ensemble at Naropa University. Some other favorite musical adventures included serving as the principal accompanist for the Peak to Peak Chorale, playing vibes and xylophone with two different Frank Zappa tribute bands and playing steel drums with my old friend and graduate school mentor, John Galm.
In the late 1990s I began my career as a music instructor, and have been blessed to work with countless young and not so young students in many different contexts. Teaching private piano lessons, in particular, has been one of the greatest joys of my life. Given how much I cherished my relationships with my own piano teachers (Marion Scheckler, Juanita Zurbrigg and Lloyd Zurbrigg) as a child, I consider it a great honor to work with my students.
In 2014 I began guiding music- and cultural arts-themed trips to Cuba with my good friend, Laura Tyson, under her company, True Nature Journeys. With TNJ I had the privilege of visiting Cuba six times and I hope to expand these trips in the future to allow for an even greater degree of musical and cultural immersion and to explore the beautiful landscape of Cuba.
In addition to my career, much of my life has been defined by my love of adventure and travel. My explorations have taken me to Nepal, India and all over Southeast Asia, Iceland, Ireland and other parts of Europe, throughout Central America and Mexico, every state in the US and much of Canada. I’ve hiked, climbed, backpacked, kayaked, biked, and rafted around the world, and I’m far from being done! In 2018 I retired from my career as a performing musician and percussion instructor, although I do still teach piano and I continue to travel, adventure and discover the world through wide open eyes as much as possible.