1.What brought you to music?
I always loved music.Jazz especially,but many kinds of music. Its hard to describe why. It was just always there..its still like that!
I heard Jazz everyday in the house..that's not too unique because lots of young black children grew up around Jazz,but maybe they didn't like it for themselves even though they know about it.
2. Describe your role models, muses and mentors.
Hmmm...one good model for me was/is John Coltrane. He overcame certain personal issues and because he devoted so much time to the music he was able to make a living from it...and playing some very creative music as you know already! Politically some of my role models are Malcolm X and Amiri Baraka..they had/have the ability to move forward and recognize that Things Have Got To Change.
Billy Bang was a kind of musical mentor in that he taught me about dynamics and playing the personality of the composition. He had a song called The Softness Of Light and I was barreling through the thing like Ascension or something. He saidman,what's the name of the piece? I said The Softness Of Light,and he said so what the hell are you doing? It improved my playing doing workshops with him.
All the artists I listen to are muses and mentors for me..just by listening.If I name them all,that would take a loooooong time!
3. Describe your community of colleagues and audiences.