How did you get started in music?
Any advise to someone wanting to learn an instrument?
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
What kind of musician do you admire most?
How do you practice?
What are some of your favorite CDs?

How did you get started in music?

I began playing the flute when I was about 15 (I think just a few months short of it.) My brother Bob was already a great sax and flute player gigging around Denver and Boulder. I was incredibly impressed by it all. I initially wanted to play the drums. Anyway, I had a strong desire, and an intuition that I would be a good flute player. My father bought me an instrument although he was skeptical that I would have the discipline to stick with such a long term enterprise like learning to play an instrument. I was natural at it, as if I had played the instrument before. The horn, its sound and its fingerings immediately made perfect sense to me and within a few weeks I was playing it. I couldn't have done this on another instrument so it's a little spooky to me. I'm being very honest when I say it was as if I had played the instrument before.

Any advise to someone wanting to learn an instrument?

Make sure you are very inspired not only by music but by the particular instrument you wish to play. While that seems simple I know some very good musicians who ended up as children learning an instrument that was not really the one they most wanted to play.

Who are some of your musical inspirations?

My earliest inspirations were my brothers Andy and Bobby. Bobby especially because of the type of music he was playing and because the life of a young musician in Boulder he was leading, seemed about as cool as anything on the planet, and pretty much was. Amongst my biggest inspirations are Michael Brecker and David Sanborn, Hubert Laws and James Galway, Charlie Parker, Trane and Cannonball, Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and James Taylor. To name a few.

What kind of musicians do you admire most?

Many players and artists have a gift. I have begun to think it is not that rare, even for super talent. It is what one does with that gift that ultimately matters most. The greatest artists seem to be the ones who have the best sense of purpose and of who they are, even as they journey and change. I try to listen for what the intrinsic humanity of someone's efforts is and I try to learn by them.

How do you practice?

It's important to make your practice gains tangible. If one sets up a schedule and fulfills it each week then he or she can be satisfied that some practical gains toward the long-term goals are being seen to and will eventually be fulfilled. Progress is a funny thing. It's like watching the hands on a clock. If you just do your thing dutifully and consistently rather than staring at it each second, you will be struck by how much time has gone by. Remember that the art of practice is to turn what is consciously being worked on into that which will become unconscious, spontaneous and then second nature. One other note, and I am very guilty of this, is that we tend to practice most those things we are already good at - because it's the most fun. Working less fun areas that are less well developed into our practice is important. I'll try to heed my own advice.

What are some of your favorite CDs?

The Gentle Side Of John Coltrane
Cityscapes By Claus Ogerman and Michael Brecker
Travelogue By Joni Mitchell
Round About Roma by Stefano di Battista
Taking Off By David Sanborn
October Road by James Taylor
Scarborough Fair by Chris Hunter
Secret Story by Pat Metheny
Courage by Milton Nascimento
Simply Said by Kenny Garrett
Epiphany by Vince Mendoza
Wide Angles by Michael Brecker
Bird with Strings by Charlie Parker
34th and Lex by Randy Brecker
The Brecker Brothers
Time Out by Dave Brubeck
Bill Evans with Symphony
Street Dreams by Lyle Mays
Hymns of the 49th Parallel by K.D. Lang
American Dreams by Charlie Haden
New Bottle, Old Wine by Gil Evans
Talking Book by Stevie Wonder
Word of Mouth by Jaco Pastorius
Obsession by David Sanchez
Epiphany: the Best of Chaka Khan
Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley
Greenhouse by The Yellowjackets
Sleeping Gypsy by Michael Franks
New Standard by Herbie Hancock
Masques by Philippe Saisse