I was born and raised in northern California where my earliest musical memories are of my mother singing John Denver, Paul Simon, and Willie Nelson songs.  At the age of 12 my Mom signed me up for lessons with the local guitar teacher, George Hanepen, and by the time I was 15 I started the inevitable garage band with friends.  After high school I studied with "Gus" Gustavson and Fred Berry at the College of San Mateo, attended as many live shows as possible and fell in love with jazz.  I then transferred to San Francisco State where I was a Humanities major.  During this time I was playing lots of gigs and teaching guitar. I was then accepted into the graduate program in the english department but opted out, deciding that becoming a full time musician was "now or never."  Since that time, 2001, I've balanced performing with teaching.