Who would’ve thought I’d go from hardcore punk to “Sweet Caroline”? Trust me, I didn’t know either, and I regret nothing: sitting behind a piano and entertaining people is what keeps me going, whether I’m playing “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead or the Monkees. Whatever happens between the request sheet and the smile on somebody’s face is a kind of magic I want every day!
I spent my teenage years and early twenties playing in weird bands writing their own weird music, all while working even weirder jobs (mascots for kids parties, ping pong referee, etc.), but piano was always it for me. I loved playing shows, but after-parties were more fun. What? You have a keyboard at your apartment? Let me play “All Star” at once!
My first authentic break in the music world was being a musical director for the renowned Second City comedy enterprise, working both with a touring company and on cruise ships. It was an INCREDIBLE lesson in entertainment as well as quick-on-the-feet humor, something that has amplified my piano show tenfold. I try to avoid having my shows be entirely crowd work, but no promises.
The transition to dueling pianos was natural. I’d do a Second City show in Old Town, and then bike downtown to train at a piano bar. It’s been a wonderful whirlwind of music and laughter ever since. I’m delighted and privileged to share that with Felix & Fingers event attendees, and can’t wait to play for y’all.
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