I was raised in Southern New Jersey about 20 minutes from Philadelphia. I attended Temple University in Philadelphia getting two BA’s in Music. Years later, I returned and earned my Master’s Degree. Finally, in 2007, I received my Doctoral degree. Presently, I live in sunny southern Florida.
When I was fourteen, I had my first paying engagement at a shopping mall in South Jersey. For decades afterwards, I played in many bands, eventually leading my own band in Philadelphia. I always played solo piano, it continually opened doors for me that bands could not. Actually, I got my first big break playing piano and conducting for a former Miss America in Atlantic City. To make a long story short, this engagement led to me becoming a musical contractor and pianist in Atlantic City casinos for more than 20 years. I worked with well-known entertainers playing in this country and abroad.
I come from a musical family. My father was a violinist in the Philadelphia area leading his own bands for decades in Philly and New York. Eventually, he became a musical-contractor and lead violinist for many hits that came out of Philadelphia and New York in the 70s. If you Google Don Renaldo, you will see the enormous musical influence he had on 20 century music.
With all of the years playing music professionally, it brought me into many people’s lives. Seeing the music business as a musical-contractor exposed me to many extremely talented, intelligent people, not just the artists themselves but all the people involved in the show. Every week was a new legendary artist and show. I am convinced, intelligence comes in many forms, not just the cognitive ability to study and pass tests.
The people that I have met and worked with have made it clear to me there are other forms of true intelligence. I feel very privileged and quite frankly, extremely lucky to have had success in this business of music.
Music is healing, therapeutic, hypnotizing, I cannot imagine this world without music. Music is everywhere, not just with notes and instruments; it is a language every living thing understands.
Thank you so very much.