Born in Rochester, New York, USA into a family of musicians and raised in New York City.
Parents were professional opera singers (father, Maurice Stern; stepmother, Rita Loving).
Brother Stevie - guitarist/ singer/ blues harp master.
Sister Heidi is the pop singer better known as Jennifer Rush.
As a teenager, learned to play the blues harp by copying Little Walter solos.
Attended the High School of Music & Art in NYC.
Took beginning saxophone lessons with famed woodwind guru Joe Allard.
Relocated with family to Germany after junior year of high school.
Played first professional gigs in US military clubs in the Frankfurt area.