I was fortunate that, at the age of 18, I had friends who were studying with some of the best Jazz Improvisers of all time--Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, and Billy Bauer. I studied with Mr. Konitz at the age of 18; it was my first chance to be with an artist of his stature.
I have studied music for well over a quarter of a century and the greatest music I can create, the greatest music I've ever heard, is Jazz Improvising. It is the only time I truly feel happy, alive; that I am fulfilling my life's meaning and purpose.
I would like to say that being an artist is not a career; a career is something that you choose. Being an artist is something that you are, something that you want to be more than anything. I did not find that schools or institutions helped me to become an artist or find my way as an artist. They can give you a piece of paper so that you can teach in a school.
To become an artist, you must find your own way and, for me, this was helped by a great teacher who is unfettered by grades, time constraints [semesters], and the other stuff that is counterproductive for an artist. I have been studying with Connie Crothers for over 16 years; we also have recorded a CD, "DUO DIMENSION", and are playing in a band together.