‘Why we joined the union’
Volume 116, No. 5May, 2016
The first thing I was always taught to do when I was a young musician coming up in Birmingham, Alabama was to join the musicians’ union. When I was a music student at the University of North Texas, I immediately joined AFM Local 72-147 in Dallas-Ft. Worth. It was only natural for me to join the historic Local 802 my first day arriving in New York City, where I could associate quickly with professional, like-minded musicians. My musical goals in NYC are to re-invent my touring performance ensemble Inner City All-Stars, continue to write and compose music, develop my one-man shows, tour and perform with a major artist, freelance on trombone, and collaborate with other artists in music production. One of my most recent favorite gigs was playing with the Jambalaya Brass Band at the Water Club. The gig was interesting because of the dancers and the mermaid swimming in a 10-foot see-through Champagne glass. The musical challenge that I have overcome is accepting that I am a musician. People, friends and the world at large can do their best to degrade your talents and force you to do something else with your life, something “acceptable” for the world. It took me years to make the commitment to myself to accept the calling that I’m an artist and to live that passion regardless what the world may say. At the end of my life, I want to say that I honestly gave it my all. Shoot, I may just slip up and just might make it in this music scene. My principal instrument is tenor trombone. I also play tuba/sousaphone and digital instruments.