I have been blessed with many fortuitous opportunities over the years that have helped define me as a musical person. Musical mentors have come and gone throughout this period; each one leaving their influential experiences to me in a way that has substantially contributed to my development.
It began with the maternal family, continued through elementary school, college, and the professional years. I am lucky to have had strong musical influences throughout my life but won’t take the time to list them all here and now. There is one exception, however, my latest mentor and friend, Joe Lovano.
Lovano and I met through a chance encounter several years ago at the IAJE conference in NY and quickly became friends. He has inspired me musically to the point that I designed my dissertation research around him. If I could list the one thing that he taught me over everything else it would be how to understand. Understanding is the gift that follows interpretation. Interpretation is the tool we use to understand. Because of Lovano, I don’t understand better, I understand differently.