Well I own the restaurant that I play in does that count? I have played out in many situations over the last 20 years with many different musicians. I started late about 19 and always had the feeling that I had to catch up or prove myself. Boogie and blues came naturally then I met a piano player named Prince Shell and a horn player John Schoolboy Porter in Phoenix in the 70s at a friends club call the SKYROOM. There was also a place called EL BANDTIOS run by Chinese people who loved jazz. It was at these two clubs the local jazz scene was a happening plus the national touring people would end up there or the other after their shows. Well Prince was a Chicago transplant and it was the real deal and the same for John these guys knew jazz and blues and lived it. Prince and I would hang and listen to jazz for hours and he would tell me all these stories and show me things I needed to do. But he kept bugging to get a classical teacher for years finally I said ok about 24 years old I went to the Phoenix Symphony and asked them who is the best piano teacher they said at that time Monica Agnew but she only takes auditions only and the best so of course i figured no way. I went anyway she'll just show me the door I thought, well we hit it off and i spent five years as she opened my mind with the classics. Her teacher and friends were Henry JOSEF Levine and his wife. I have a couple years worth music credits from Phoenix College and studied with Albert Davis theory there and at 36 years I studied with Chuck Mahronic at ASU for some private lessons. I am now 52 have been married 28 years and have raised three children have always worked at the family's restaurant and now own one. I use the classics to warm up and enjoy and perform jazz at the restaurant, sound crazy right now as i prepare for my next concert in September I started in July to practice. Hanon and variations daily plus I think it is Issador Phillips Independence of the fingers. I play daily or work on Moonlight,Chopin preludes #4 #1 plus the Waltz in e minor, Brahms Rhapsody G minor. I break up the times classics first then rest go out water, eat, something for a while then I come back and hit the charts I separate pieces I know and ones I need to work on and spread it out. There are thousands of tunes learn what you can, what is asked of you try and play, force yourself to try other styles. I feel lucky because I am also like the people who post here and ask questions on how to. I was sitting in the audience 30 years ago saying I want to do that and now i am on stage doing it. Some simple things i noticed help on stage Relax, Listen ,Focus, be Sensitive to others,Share most important enjoy and have fun.
Well this post was at least 15 years ago and I wanted to share an update. I am now retired and as I looked back on my journey the one thing that stands out is all the mentors I was privileged to have expose me to their thought processes. To this day I still study and currently looking for a teacher to hang with. Since this last post I suffered a stroke and retired but still play. Not the same but different and I am here to tell you get a mentor a teacher or someone that inspires you to play. At 67 years I am just getting started. Swing on.