I joined Local 802 after I got some work opportunities through the union, and I’m glad to finally be a part of it. My musical goal in NYC is to continue to lead my band and play with my heroes around the world. One day, I’d love to play at the Village Vanguard, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden. One of my favorite recent gigs was playing a jazz festival in Guatemala with my band. It was amazing to play for that many people – but it was even more amazing to see so many young people coming out to hear jazz! I started playing electric bass when I was 14, but only got serious about bass (and about jazz) when I graduated from high school and switched to upright. Three years later, I moved to NYC and have been here ever since. Music is important to me because it’s a way to spread love, happiness and hope to people you can’t reach in any other way. It’s my way of communicating and being able to say things that words can’t express. Besides my own band, I play in various ensembles around the city. I also teach at Jazz House Kids in Montclair, New Jersey, and at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California.