Living the Dream

It has been a year now since I was hired at the Disney company to be a member of the Disneyland Band.  The day I found out that I was given that position, I made the decision to quit my day job and commit to being a musician.  At the time, I only knew that it required a month of rehearsals, spending at least 5 days a week learning the repertoire and choreography, and wouldn't be able to keep my day job at the same time.  Up until that day, I had been splitting my time between Noches con Platanito, gigging and my day job.  And that's what I want to talk about.

Often, I hear musicians talk about "regular" day jobs like they would about a serious illness.  If I admitted I had one, I would often get a response like, "oh man, I'm so sorry" or "wow, how are you able to deal with that?".  It would make me feel like they viewed me as less of an artist, because I wasn't willing to suffer hunger & homelessness for my art.  Don't get me wrong, the day job was in no way glamorous or artistically fulfilling, but I knew that I didn't have the luxury of disregarding my financial obligations simply because I wanted to be an "artist".  I had student loans to pay!  Rent!

In reality, having financial stability was the thing that allowed me to become a full time musician.  I was able to take risks on lower paying gigs that had potential to lead to higher paying ones or take seemingly dead-end auditions because I knew that I had a second source of cash flow coming in.  And not only cash flow, I had insurance and a retirement plan.

Things like insurance and retirement plans are often overlooked by musicians as "things I will never be able to afford", but they are so important to a person's future.  Life has taught me it doesn't wait until you have the money to send you challenges.  Since I was willing to endure monotonous tasks and swallow my pride by catering to my "superiors" at my old day job, I was given health coverage (which included an unexpected surgery) and a 5% matching 401K.  

While I wasn't able to keep my insurance after I quit, I was able to take my 401K.  That's a huge bonus!  Today, I am splitting my time between Disney, Noches con Platanito and gigs.  A real, bonafide, self-sustaining full time musician!  

I'm not saying that if you are a musician you shouldn't be pursuing your passion, but I am saying that a little bit of humility can benefit you greatly and may even help you achieve your dream.  

Album Release!

The Urban Renewal Project's album release is TOMORROW! Oh my gosh, I'm excited!! It would be really awesome if we can fill the place, so please come on out!

We'll be starting at 8pm. There will be pop-up art, food trucks, the amazing band Soul Scratch and more!

Seriously, come out! It's gonna be great!


Go to our Facebook Event page to see all the details


Jimmy Kimmel Live!

This past Monday night I performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show with Artist, Mø.  What a great experience!  It was so fun to drive down to the center of Hollywood and work in the El Capitan theater.  It felt very "LA".

The rest of the horn section was comprised of a trumpet, tenor sax and a bari sax.  And did I mention?  ALL GIRLS!!  What an awesome age we live in where females are desired members of the musical community, especially in the instrumental arena as well.  

Check out the videos in my VIDEOS section of my website to see us in action!

Thanks Mø and the Jimmy Kimmel Show!  

First Feature Article!

After having a featured post in my alumni's band page on Facebook (MTHS Bands) in a "Where are they now?" post, I was contacted by the chair of the Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary to see if I would be interested in helping promote their event.  Having participated in the festival while I was in high school, I was honored to be asked.  

I have been interviewed by and the Edmonds Beacon.  You can see the pivotedmonds article by using the link below.  When this blog posts, the Beacon article will not have come out yet, but keep an eye out for it!

The Edmonds Jazz Connection Music Festival is an important festival that highlights the young talent in the area and seeks to raise funding to keep these amazing up and coming musicians in the programs that give them drive and purpose.  It's an amazing festival and I would encourage anyone who is in the area to check out the roster of acts (and maybe donate a little too).  

As I have seen in Los Angeles, music programs are not a safe line item on the annual budget.  It is through amazing community support that these programs continue.

I wish the Edmonds Jazz Connection a successful turnout this weekend!

PivotEdmonds Article

ASTEP concert at Vitellos

Last night I performed with several cast members of the touring company of Porgy and Bess (currently at the Ahmanson Theater in LA [as of May 2014]).  We performed art songs and selections from musicals by composer Brett Macias, the composer for GUMBO, Beautiful Dreamer and more.  

What a wonderful night it was!  Beautiful and talented vocalists let their songs soar over the crowd and got them out of their seats dancing!

The night was to benefit ASTEP, a charity organization dedicated to providing music education to under-served youth.  

I hope that you get the chance to check out Brett Macias' works, Porgy and Bess, ASTEP, GUMBO and more!

Estrellas de las Risas

This Saturday, April 19th, 2014, I'll be performing for the first time at the Nokia Theater.  Platanito, the clown comedian that hosts the show I work on, will be the closer for the night.  The event is a collection of Estrella TV's comedians from shows that air on that channel.

I'm really looking forward to performing in this venue, although a little intimidated.  It's going to be a lot of off-the-cuff riffs and songs as we accompany Platanito in his comedy act.  There's no script, so we'll just have to react to wherever Platanito goes.  It's all in Spanish,'s a little tough for me, but fun!

Tickets are available through the Nokia site if you'd like to come.  Hope to see you there.