I am the first-born son of a family of second-generation Jewish immigrants from Poland and Russia. I was musically active from an early age and grew up in a Conservative-Egalitarian Jewish synagogue where I led services from the age of 10. Although much of my performing method on the double-bass has been self taught, I credit the master bassist, Lisle Atkinson with showing me the pathway to self-education. As a composer I have primarily focused on works for improvisors. I write works for a wide range of artists and ensembles, including several collaborations with dance and film. I think I have been fortunate in that the critics have compared me to some of my heroes like Charles Mingus and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. In addition to performing regularly in a duo with pianist Warren Byrd and co-leading The Afro-Semitic Experience, I have had the opportunity to perform and record with a wide range of creative musical artists, including Ali Ryerson, Joe Beck, Jaki Byard, Harold Danko, Ellery Eskelin, Giacomo Gates, Frank London, Andrea Parkins, and Cookie Segelstein. I am an Associate Professor of Music at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. I hold a Ph.D in Music History from C.U.N.Y. and have published numerous articles on the history of early jazz, developed and taught courses on Jewish and African-American musical traditions and I'm currently studying the music of bassist Slam Stewart as well as exploring the music of the turn of the century Jewish cantorial tradition. I am also proud to be a member of the board of trustees of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.
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Willing to teach