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My first encounter with a tuba was at age 9 when a parent came and played tuba at our school show-and-tell type function. I was obsessed with elephants at the time, and animated Disney classics like Jungle Book and Tarzan encouraged the parallels I drew between elephants and the tuba. I informed my mother of this, probably as eloquently as any 3rd grader could. She said I could not play tuba at age 9.
As an upright bass player in high school, I discovered legendary New Orleans musicians like George Murphy “Pops” Foster who would double on tuba and bass, and my attraction to tuba was re-kindled. My band teacher at the time, an incredible multi-instrumentalist and educator from Memphis, hipped me to Stanton Moore, Preservation Hall Band, Rebirth Brass Band, and encouraged me to pursue to both bass and tuba when I got the chance.
I got the chance when I moved to attend the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. I marched sousaphone in the Trojan Marching Band for four years, and bought a sousaphone shortly after graduating. I played in some cool projects with friends (Katalyst Collective, Sammy Miller & The Congregation) at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center and Monterey Jazz Festival, and have slowly started subbing in brass bands around LA (Sazerac Steppers, Revelators Brass Band, Gumbo Brothers). In 2018, I got the opportunity to perform and record in Beyonce’s HBCU-marching-band-influenced-Coachella show.
Since then, I toured and recorded with Beyonce & Jay-Z and I’ve recorded and appeared in several commercials and tv shows. Just as powerful as the gigs with big names have been the gigs with the rich community of music homies in Los Angeles. I hope to share more here as the story continues!