I’m a proud SeventySomething musician, performer, teacher, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, who began studying piano and music theory in Elko, Nevada at the age of eight. Upon that good foundation, I then began teaching myself the guitar at the age of 18 and have been dedicated to practicing, learning, and exploring all dimensions of music ever since. String instruments seemed to come by Fate into my hands — first a vintage Harmony 4-string tenor banjo, then a classical Yamaha acoustic guitar. Later I was fortunate to inherit a vintage Martin 0-15 guitar and then a 1950s all-koa Hawaiian soprano ukulele.
A stint in the music industry with an employee discount helped me add more instruments to my collection reflecting my Spanish-American heritage. First came a Mexican 5-string vihuela, then a Puerto Rican 10-string cuatro, and finally a 6-string Martin tres, the unique Cuban instrument. Did I mention the Appalachian dulcimer and the lap-steel?
Yet my strongest musical passion continues to be the pleasure of learning all about the ukulele and playing all styles of music on it. For the last several years, my personal goal has been studying the culture and language of Hawaii and learning how to play old-style Hawaiian music.
My wife Nancy and I have lived in Ashland, Oregon for over 25 years where we raised our wonderful daughter Elena. We are also proud to have been founding board members of the Southern Oregon Songwriters Association (SOSA) and continue to perform at fund-raisers, special events, and small venues around the Rogue Valley. We derive particular pleasure in making ‘Parlor Music’ — singing and playing together in our own home on our vintage instruments. In December 1999, we released our first album on tape cassette Twentieth Century Songs, with eight tracks, a mix of individually written and collaborative original songs. A CD version of the original cassette is now available. In July 2013, I released a solo album, Mundo ‘Ukulele — one man’s voice and one ukulele singing music from around the world — a collection of 13 songs, some in Hawaiian, some in Spanish, and some originals, including a few instrumentals. Hear three free tracks and find out more about Mundo ‘Ukulele by clicking here.