Concerts with Cloud 9 Orchestra12.22.2011…”Jingle Bell Swing” Benefit Concert for Noah’s Ark Ministry (Panama City Beach, FL)02.14.2012…“Valentines on Cloud 9” at Bay Banquet Hall (Panama City, FL) 04.20.2012…Relay for Life Benefit Concert at Tommy Oliver Stadium (Panama City, FL 05.10.2012…Fred Astaire Birthday Party at Fred Astaire Dance Studio (Panama City, FL) 05.19.2012…Studio 415 Grand Opening Ball (Panama City, FL) 07.1.2012…”Let Freedom Swing” featuring Cloud 9 Orchestra (Panama City, FL) 12.22.2012…”Jingle Bells Swing” at Northside Baptist Church (Panama City, FL)
I was born on July 15, 1951 in Stamford, Connecticut. With the encouragement of my parents, I studied several different musical instruments and composition from a very early age. I led various bands through grade school. I majored in music composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In the early 70s, I traveled with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and Gene Hull’s Band. Then, I left for Europe where I freelanced, mostly in France. In 1978, I settled in New York and formed my 13-piece Jazz Orchestra. From 1978 to 1980 The Orchestra recorded 3 albums. I’ve been very fortunate to have wonderful musicians on my recordings; people such as Phil Woods, Dick Oatts, Ronnie Cuber and Mike Abene. It is a thrill to hear my music performed by great players. If you’re interested to know many of the musicians who have played with me, please visit my Jazz Orchestra Alumni page. In April 1981, a survey by Jazz Times Magazine found my album, “Kef’s Pool” on the Top Ten of many jazz radio stations throughout the United States and Canada. In 1982, I moved to Tokyo, Japan. I planned to stay for just a few weeks, but I had so many wonderful performing opportunities that I stayed for 5 years. I was a guest artist on television shows, and on several recordings as well as jazz festivals. During my stay in Japan, I was a guest performer with George Kawaguchi, The Sharps & Flats, Tokyo Union, The New Breed and many others. I hurried to learn the language at least enough so I could form my own band and communicate to the musicians a little. Then, I formed an all-Japanese orchestra. We performed at Tokyo’s famous Pit Inn, and in concert with jazz greats such as Elvin Jones and Dave Liebman. In 1987, I moved to Hawaii and began composing for symphony orchestras. In 1990, I appeared in a series of concerts with the Maui Symphony Orchestra as guest performer/conductor/composer. I came back to the New York area in 1993 and began rehearsing and performing with a jazz orchestra that was mostly comprised of young jazz artists.