I grew up in the northeast part of the country. Inspired by my well-known cantor dad, a composer of Jewish liturgical music, and my mom, a music educator and singer, my siblings and I each found our own musical niche. Descended from eastern European immigrants, I joined synagogue choir rehearsals with mom and dad at age five and began sight singing and playing piano.
My family moved from Long Island, NY to Philadelphia, PA when I was ten and I began to study piano with Dorothea Persichetti, sing in various choirs and taught myself how to play guitar and banjo. I began writing songs in high school, influenced by all genres and styles of music. Wanting to keep the music fun, I went to art school and majored in photography at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. While in college I played in a Jewish wedding band, accompanying Israeli folk songs, top forty and standards with guitar, keyboards, singing lead and serving as MC.
It wasn't until I moved to Lexington, KY that I taught myself to play the accordion. Primarily a keyboard player, I found an accordion in my dad's closet and realized it was the perfect, portable keyboard instrument. This led me to the Reel World String Band with whom I often sat in. With two of the Reel World members I formed a trio called Tall, Dark and Handsome.
I served as an Associate Director and head of the songwriting department for the National Guitar Summer Workshop in New Milford, CT for thirteen years. I was also a project editor and designer for the Workshop's series of instructional books, now published by Alfred Press. It was during one of the Workshop's summer weeks in Toronto, Canada that Kiya Heartwood and I met. In the summer of 1995 we formed our duo, Wishing Chair, and have toured consistently since then. We've recorded eight CD’s together, with many of them receiving national awards and recognition. We are both authors for Alfred Publishing, having written, Songwriting for Beginners, early on. My book, Teach Yourself to Play Accordion, came out in 2005.
Wishing Chair’s reputation as a folk/roots duo has continued to grow over the years. We have toured all over the country, playing concert halls and concert series, arts festivals, folk and women’s music festivals, house concerts, churches, pubs, schools and colleges. As the instrumental driving force of Wishing Chair, I select the right accompaniment for each song and can play most any instrument needed. As a collaborator, my songwriting is of the highest quality. As a singer, I take pride in blending impeccably, creating one voice and making each song uniquely Wishing Chair's.
I have made quite a few places home over the past several years. A move from Kentucky to South Carolina to keep the band working brought me to Spartanburg where I attended the Petrie School of Music, doing coursework to enhance my skills. While there I completed an apprenticeship with their Steinway certified piano technician. I currently serve the Greenville, SC., Unitarian Universalist Fellowship as Music Director where I arrange for and direct their choirs.
My most recent transplant brings me full circle, back to my home town of Philadelphia. My musical life takes many roads, with each twist and turn finding new ways to use my skills.