My introduction to jazz was through the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (records!) that my parents bought me when I was in college. That's when I first heard the sounds of Sarah Vaughan, Art Tatum, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis. I was a classical pianist in college and grad school, but I fit jazz history classes into my schedule, and spent many a weekend hanging out at jazz clubs in Boston.

I started exploring jazz as performer a few years ago when one of the students in my Intro to Jazz class suggested I learn to play it since I enjoy the music so much. Hmmm... While I admire the likes of Hampton Hawes, Renee Rosnes and Wynton Kelly, it's the pianist/vocalists like Andy Bey and the late Shirley Horn and Nat Cole that I idolize.

And so the journey has begun. Let's see where it goes!

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