A: I started taking piano lessons when I was in grade 1. I always loved it. In fact, my mom used to yell at me for practicing too much! As far as challenges, I did have one teacher who nearly made me quit. She was really old school and used to hit my hands with a ruler if I made a mistake. Luckily, I found my first true mentor Marjorie Mabie. She had a great policy of always having one serious piece and one fun piece. I learned to love music with her. Later on, I met up with Ellen Silverman at a music camp and with her help really improved my technique. In grade 12, I took classical and jazz training. Bobby Doyle taught me stride jazz piano and other jazz theory. I was lucky to have such amazing teachers. My motivation for practice was simply a true love of music.
A: My favourite thing about being a musician is the ability to move people. Music has an amazing quality to speak directly to our emotions. For example, my instrumental music Mythos (www.mythosmusic.com) has been used at a lot of wedding ceremonies and even for the birth of children. I have received messages from people who said that my music helped them through a rough period. Music has the power to heal, to bring joy, to lift people’s spirits.
A: I will jump to starting as a professional musician for this question. When I started with my band Rymes with Orange in 1990, there were no real resources to help musicians to understand the business. After years of trial and error, I figured it out, but if I knew what I know now back then, my journey would have been a lot smoother! That is actually why I wrote two music business books for musicians and do everything that I can do to help musicians get ahead of the game (http://www.adagiomedia.ca/#!
A: Tough question! How about Miles Davis? Now, that would be an experience. As far as bands, being able to sit in with Dave Matthews would be the dream of a lifetime. His musicians are so amazing, just having the chance to communicate at that level would be incredible.
A: Bill Evans was probably my biggest jazz influence. What I loved about him as a player was his connection to my other big love, impressionist music. My favourite classical composer is Debussy. In many ways, there are connections between the two.
A: I would like to write one song that connects with the world. That would be something that would make me happy. I have written, produced and performed many songs over the years, some hits, but to have one really blow up would be amazing.