"Are you excited?...Are you excited?" The Ikea Entertainment Liaison asked.
She had posed this question with genuine enthusiasm, every four or five minutes since we'd met. My jazz band had just finished setting up in the store cafeteria. I wasn't excited. Performing to a sparsely filled cafeteria of unsuspecting diners who were just there for the meatballs, didn't hold the same allure as a smokey club. The environment is important. It made me realize my love of music is as dependent on the images created in my mind as the notes being played. I'm driven by visuals: colors, shapes, lines, expression, culture.
I grew up with the work of Ansel Adams and Andrew Wyeth in the house. They were as important as Miles Davis and The Beatles. As I turned further toward photography, I saw the parallels of line and color, energy, emotion, atmosphere, and a million other things that both disciplines share. Combined with a fascination for people, who they are, what they do, why they do it and how we all get along, I had found my voice. I shifted focus from being a full-time jazz drummer, music teacher and university professor to being a photographer.
Now I spend my days crafting images, working with inspiring people, trying to inspire in return, solving problems, communicating and finding common vision.
Putting something into the world that never existed before, expressing the simple beauty that is every person, the joy of a color and a line and the emotional power they communicate through shared culture and personal experience...these are the things that excite and drive me. This is my dream and I get to live it every day.