The earliest memory I have is being carried into a church on my mom’s hip, hearing this rhythm that sounded larger than life and thinking, “I am that sound!” My mother always told me that I was cursed to be a drummer because when she was pregnant with me, she recorded eight disco albums. My mother and her sister, better known as The Duncan Sisters, also sang background for Little Richard. My father is a trumpet player and back then he was touring with Z.Z. Hill until Z.Z. died. Both parents say that I began playing a full drum kit at age two — I would jam along to a live Michael Jackson album. They say I would play the whole album and hit all the hits with the drummer. I don’t remember any of that. But I do remember obsessing over the grooves, parts, hits and fills that drummers recorded for artists like James Brown, Pleasure and Herbie Hancock (to name a few).
I began playing piano at age five and I remember my first day of high school my mom told me not to mention that I play drums — to just tell them I play piano. But in high school I played drums, piano, vibes, marimba, percussion and steel drums. In college I played both piano and drums in the jazz band, but my major was classical piano.
I’ve been a Music Analyst at Pandora for a little over nine years. This job has made it possible for me to tour all over the world with artists like Tony Furtado, Lyrics Born and Booker T. Jones. When I’m not onstage I analyze pop music as well as rock, punk, blues, CCM, soul, R&B, funk, folk, bluegrass and other genres. I really enjoy discovering new artists that are pushing boundaries. I also get a kick out of turning my friends on to artists they have never heard of and watching them get “little kid” giddy.