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Friends and Mentors

Ira Newborn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ira_Newborn
Ira has a long and varied career as a composer for film, commercials, Broadway, and the recording industry as performer, arranger, composer and conductor. He is also a professor at New York University, which is where we met. Ira taught me much of what I know about film music and I am indebted to him for being my friend and mentor.

Michael Whalen: michaelwhalen.com
Michael is a very successful composer for television, films, theater, multi-media and on his own recordings with more than 500 television scores and dozens of feature and short film credits to his name. I am fortunate to be friends with this talented and wonderful person who has given me a tremendous amount of helpful advice on how to succeed in the competitive music industry.

Sonny Kompanek: sonnykompanek.com
Sonny Kompanek has orchestrated more than 70 feature films and had compositions played by the major orchestras of New York, Boston, Montreal, Milwaukee, Rochester, Atlanta and Portland among others. He has written for a wide variety of artists ranging from Wynton Marsalis to Soul Asylum, Boyz II Men to the Canadian Brass. I am very fortunate to be studying film composition and orchestration with Sonny and have learned a lot, not only about music, but also about the industry.

Steve Sandberg: www.myspace.com/stevesandberg
Emmy-nominated composer Steve Sandberg currently scores "Dora the Explorer" and "Go Diego Go" for Nickelodeon/CBS. I had the pleasure of working with Steve on episodes of Dora the Explorer and learned quite a bit about TV music scoring in the process.

Illnois Jacquet: illinoisjacquet.com
I have been blessed to have been a close friend of the legendary Jean Baptiste Illinois Jacquet in the few years before he passed away. Illinois was the person that inspired me to pursue my dreams of being a composer and performer. He was my mentor and dear friend. I felt very special to share the same birthday with him-- Halloween (October 31.) Considered to be one of the most influential tenor saxophonists in the history of jazz music, he was a true inspiration for me and I will always cherish the time he spent to encourage me to pursue my musical dreams.

Jay Azzolina: jayazzolina.com
Grammy nominated guitarist Jay Azzolina has worked and recorded with artists such as Dave Samuels, Kenny Werner, Fred Hersch, Herbie Mann, and singers Michael Franks, Donna Summer and Carly Simon. I studied with Jay while in and out of college. Jay taught me a lot about Jazz, composition and style. He's an incredible teacher and musician and I am very fortunate to have him as a friend and inspiration.

Mark Mangold: indigorecords.com
Mark is a talented performer, songwriter, producer, keyboard player and recording artist whose impressive career started in the 70's and continues on in full force. He's not only a great musician, he's a wonderful person who helped inspire me to move forward when I needed a lift. Thank you Mark for being such a great friend and inspiration!

Harvey Rachlin: harveyrachlin.com
Harvey is the author of eleven books and the editor of two. He has written more than 100 newspaper and magazine articles, his byline appearing in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times (London), and The Writer. He has appeared on numerous television shows, including The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, the Dinah Shore Show, and Sally Jessy Raphael. He is a lecturer in music at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York which is where I was fortunate to have him as a professor and mentor who taught me a lot about how the music industry operates.

Joel Thome: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Thome
Grammy Award recipient and Pulitzer Prize nominee, Joel Thome has been acclaimed internationally as an accomplished conductor and composer of classical and contemporary orchestral music. His conducting credits include many prominent and international orchestras. I studied music with Joel at SUNY Purchase and still keep in touch as a good friend.



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