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My long-held habit of saying “yes” to opportunity shaped my destiny in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined when I got my very first guitar at age 10.  


As a college student, I studied music, but was deeply inspired by the practice of Aikido and even learned some Japanese – imagining my life as a martial artist in Japan. An injury caused me to change my plans.  Over the years, various musical projects and gigs happened along the way – leading me to enroll at GIT in Hollywood as a student in 1985.  I never left.


Saying “yes” has meant that music wasn’t always the central force in my professional life. 

I’ve spent most of the last three decades in service to others by teaching, running/creating various educational programs, engaged in the community, volunteering for nonprofits and doing a few hip gigs here and there.


I’m grateful to be a guitar player. 




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Vice President, Musicians Institute  
Feb 2010 – Present 
Faculty, Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) at Musicians Institute  
1987 – Present 
Professional Musician 
1981 – Present
Numerous tours, sessions, videos, film doubles, clinics, live TV, theatrical, political & corporate events. Live performances include Ledisi, Helen Reddy, Brownie Mcgee, Louis Bellson, Harold Land Jr., Nelson Riddle, Jackie DeShannon, Judith Hill, Barbara Morrison, Great American Swing Band, Benedetto Artist Players, Robin Flower, Sweet Baby J'ai, Sheryl Bailey, Steve Herberman, Sunnie Paxson, Mimi Fox, et al.  Opened for Burt Bacharach, Cyndy Lauper, Laura Nyro, Doc Watson, Barry Manilow, Bruce Cockburn, Bela Fleck, more.

Co-author of bestselling (over 100,000 copies sold) instructional guitar method book "Guitar Soloing" and "Advanced Guitar Soloing" for Hal Leonard/MI Press.
Freelance music writer for Los Angeles Magazine, and Jazz Guitar Today.
Event Producer, Panelist, Panel Moderator, Judge, Interviewer, Public Speaker, Clinician 


1991: Clinics for MI Tokyo and MI Osaka, Japan
1996: Clinic at Guitar Center NoHo for Hal Leonard/MI Press "Guitar Soloing"
1999: Product Demonstrator for Yamaha MIDI guitar system at NAMM
2002: Clinic: The Great Midwest Guitar Show, "Howard Roberts Learning Methods", St. Louis, MO
2004: Clinic: "The "GIT Experience", Musicians Institute, Hollywood
2023: Five Masterclasses for "The Summer Guitar Intensive" The California Jazz Conservatory, Berkeley, CA.
2023: Seminar: "Intro to Counterpoint and Jimmy Wyble", Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival (co-leader with Howard Alden and Bruce Forman).

2024: Guest Artist, "The Martin Taylor Guitar Club Hangout" online

2024: Clinic: "Intro. to Independence, Counterpoint, & Jimmy Wyble", Seattle Jazz Guitar Society


2003- Steering Committee Member for First World Guitar Congress, Towson MD
2004- Panel Moderator: “Symposium: Women in Jazz and Rock”. First World Guitar Congress

2004- Panel Moderator: “Symposium: The Future: Where Is the Guitar Going?” First World Guitar Congress, Towson MD
2007- Judge: North American Rock Guitar Competition, Buffalo NY
2013- Panel Moderator: Hollywood School Safety Summit for Hollywood Chamber of Commerce/Hollywood ED Committee
2013- Panel Moderator: “Female Guitar Heroes”, MEOW Con Austin, Texas
2013- Interviewer: “Jennifer Batten”, MEOW Con Austin, Texas
2014- Interviewer: “Sharon Isbin”, The Recording Academy Beverly Hills, CA
2015- Panelist: Hollywood Mobility Summit, Hollywood CA

2023-Panelist: "Women in Music", Women's International Music Network
2023- Moderator & Panelist: "Women in Jazz Guitar" Rocky Mtn. Archtop Festival

2024- Judge: The International Collegiate Guitar Ensemble Festival



Produced 350+ live music concerts, master classes, seminars, clinics, screenings and fundraising events with world class artists ranging from legends Steve Vai to Pat Martino to Japanese Anime singers, co-productions with Quincy Jones/The Jazz Bakery, Marky Ramone, and beyond. I've also produced a highly successful alumni reunion for MI in 2012, and a series of introductory college-level music education classes at The Grammy Museum inspiring over 4,000 LAUSD high school students since 2009.

Executive Director, The Musicians Foundation Nov 2009 – Present 

Steering Committee Member, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles
Oct 2015 – Present 

Advisory Board Member, Women's International Music Network 
Apr 2017 – Present 
Advisory Board Member, Hollywood Heritage 
2015 – Present  

Vice President of Education (Academic Affairs), Musicians Institute  
Nov 2008–Feb 2010 
Director of Performance Programs, Musicians Institute 
2004 – 2006 

Guitar Department Chair/Director of GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology), Musicians Institute 
Jan 2000–Nov 2009
Assistant Dean, Bachelor's Degree Program, Musicians Institute 
1995 – 1999 
Aikido Instructor, Nidan 
1981 – 1994 currently retired. 

Letter Carrier, United States Postal Service
Aug 1978–Jun 1984 

Chairman of the Board, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
June 2014 - Apr 2016
Board of Directors and Executive CommitteeHollywood Chamber of Commerce  
Feb 2011–Apr 2018
Advisory Board MemberProfessional Development and Education Coalition Committee (GMEC) Grammy Music Education Coalition
Oct  2013–Mar 2017 

Advisory Board Member (LA Area Council), Little Kids Rock 
Mar 2014–Mar 2017 
Chairman, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation 
Apr 2016–Apr 2017 
Trustee, Hollywood Historic Trust 
Jan 2018-Dec 2020

Board of Directors, The Glendale Historical Society 
July 2019-July 2021


Advisory Board Member, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance/Business Improvement District TDOZ 2018 - 2023

Steering Committee, First World Guitar Congress 

D'Angelico Guitars
Yamaha Guitars
Vigier Guitars
Johnson Amplifiers

The Recording Academy
Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society 

University of Southern California Master's Degree, Music, Studio/Jazz Guitar Mabel Wilson Richards Scholarship
1990 – 1995 
University of California, Santa Cruz Bachelor of Arts, Music, Liberal Arts, Japanese. Additional Studies: John Cage (1979)
1977 – 1981  
Musicians Institute Vocational Honors Degree, Guitar/GIT
1985 – 1986 
Private Studies: Guitar with Joe Diorio, Larry Koonse, Pat Kelley, Norman Brown, Kevin Eubanks, Joe Pass, Ted Greene, et al. Additional Studies: Rodney Jones.

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