Bass player, bandleader

Born: St Petersburg, Florida.
Resides in: Oakley, California
Favorite Food:  My mom’s sweet potato pie.
Favorite Book:  My favorite book is Miles Davis’s Autobiography.
Relationship Status/Children: Married

How old were you when you began playing bass? I started when I was 14 years old.

Why the bass?  A friend of the family left an acoustic guitar at our house. I picked it up and tried to play it and soon realized I was picking out the bass parts to songs I heard on the radio. I was really drawn to the bass when I heard Louis Johnson of the Bros Johnson. He had a different sound and style that made the bass stand out.

Your credits as a sideman include gigs with funk and soul legends Tower of Power, Zigaboo Modeliste, and Booker T. Jones, as well as Grammy-winning songwriter Bonnie Hayes and two-time Grammy-nominee Ledisi.  What makes a musician a good sideman?  I think a good sideman is someone who is dependable, prepared, and most of all a team player. You have to be able to do what is best for the music.

You recently stepped out as a bandleader and released AgapeSoul’s “Believe in Love.”  One reviewer described your debut album as your “unconditional gift to the urban music market.”  What’s urban music? I think urban music is a broad term used to describe R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Hip Hop… i.e. “Black Music.”

What was your best moment on stage? The coolest moment on stage was when I played with Tower Of Power at the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival in Japan and I realized I was on stage playing in the shoes of one of my musical heroes. That all the years of practice led me to that moment and seeing my face on the giant hi-def monitor. It was surreal.

Who influenced your music? My music is influenced by the music I love. Tommy Sims, Stevie Wonder, Marcus Miller, Incognito, Prince, Sting and all the artists that I’ve worked with over the years.

Can you tell us about your job working at Dunlop Manufacturing here in Benicia? Working at Dunlop is really cool. We create the tools to help people create their music. I work with an amazingly talented group of people and we really care about the quality of what we do. It makes going to work fun. It’s the best “day job” I’ve ever had and it keeps me connected to music.