I started at 4 years of age. My mom (MeeMee) started me playing, and at age six I started formal lessons in Ottawa with Miss Gladys Wale, working my way through the Royal Conservatory examination system.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
My first classical concert was at a very early age seeing the young André Laplante in a church basement in Ottawa. I also remember seeing the ballet Coppelia in the early 1970s and being particularly impressed by Delibes' beautiful music. My first rock concert was Dave Johannsen, the Clash and the Who in Buffalo in 1981. Baba O'Reilly was PARTICULARLY memorable for 82,000 fans singing along!
What gear do you use?
I have a Model "A" Steinway from 1894, in DELICIOUS condition. I do enjoy playing Chopin so the Nocturne in Eb (Opus 9, No. 2) is close to my heart.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
Johann Strauss Jr (when I was four I watched a movie on the Strauss family which hooked me completely!), is one of my favourites because his melodies are irresistible! I also grew up loving Delibes and Tchaikovsky for the same reason.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
Oh about a hundred! My favourite is my own; "Edwin & the Bedouins," but I am proud to have been an alumni of "Longbottom," Inside Out," "Straight No Chaser," "Black and Blue," "Angel and the Bad Boys," Crawdaddy," "Souled Out," "The Bobby Lee Silcott Band," and the many other groups I have worked with over the years. We met at jam sessions or through word of mouth, but mostly through jam sessions, playing. I have performed way over 2,500 nights over a twenty year club / concert career with Rock, Blues, Pop and R&B groups (not counting many thousands of performances as a solo artist.)
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Well first off . . . Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Tausig, Anton Rubenstein . . . because no-one alive has ever heard these masters! After that, well Hendrix, Duane Allman . . . Victor Borge . . . Why not!
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
Over 3,000 people backing up Bruce Cockburn at the Ottawa Congress centre . . . Over 3,000 in St. Agapit headlining at a biker rally . . . the most memorable . . . That's hard . . . probably the last Earthball (playing with Longbottom), the Pteredactyl Peace Fest (with Straight No Chaser) La Bar (with Black and Blue), my 2nd Place des Arts solo concert, my CD launch at the Ein gedi Concert Hall in Israel, and, I gotta say, the show in Rockland this November with Edwin & the Bedouins.
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
WOW! Talk about a tough question . . . Electric Ladyland, Swan Lake (London Symphony), Hoy Hoy, Physical Grafitti, Pure Cotton, Don Giovanni (Met, 1952 I think) . . . just too much good music to make that kind of a choice! I'll tell you what . . . gimme a piano and I'll skip taking one album! Why did I pick (or not) it . . . Because it's REALLY GOOD you silly goose! . . . Did you think I'ld bring a Rick Astley record? Duh!!!
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