I began traveling at 17, drawn into the train-hopping sub-culture. This led to 3 years living in New Orleans, participating in its rich street music culture. From there I traveled to Europe. By bike and train, I crossed the Balkans, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Mongolia, China, all the way to Indonesia.
Traveling by land afforded me the opportunity to meet local people in remote locations, sometimes fellow musicians and performers. I spent 2 months living with a mobile Laotian variety show. I lived for 1 year in Turkey, seeking out relationships with local musicians and teaching myself the language. This interest and dedication continued in Berlin, where I was able to befriend and work with many turkish musicians from various sub-genres of turkish music. In Berlin I have been fortunate to become involved with the turkish and greek diaspora, playing with and learning from local musicians. I have lead and been a member of many groups, choirs, and jam sessions.
Though I am a largely self-taught musician, I have always sought out lessons and advice and learning opportunities, and I continue to pursue my musical education seriously. I have studied with the great Nuri Karademirli, who founded the Berlin Turk Musigi Konservatuar. Through the BTMK I have also studied under Ross Daily, Kudsi Erguner, and other guest teachers. I have sought out Romani teachers in Turkey, studying with Ismail Papis of the Trakya Allstars, and other local musicians.
My interest in diverse musical traditions often leads me to bring musicians of different backgrounds together. I am always organising new projects and seeking new musicians to play and learn with.
As a US citizen I cannot escape the music of my country. I am also involved with jazz, ragtime, and swing dance music in Berlin. I have to codeswitch my musical language every day.