a little about myself



I've been a singer all my life, starting in my late teens singing folk and pop music in local cafes, accompanied by myself on guitar and other guitarists.   My roll models were Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Lani Hall, David Clayton Thomas and many others.


When I was in my early twenties, some jazz musicians had occasion to hear me and suggested I move into the jazz genre because I was already improvising a lot.  A whole new world of music opened up for me.  I was inspired by the voices and singing of Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McCrea, Eddie Jefferson, Annie Ross (LHR), Betty Carter and Chet Baker.


I studied jazz improvisation at York University and privately with Chet Baker, Zoot Sims, Pepper Adams and began working in a guitar/voice duo with Paul Livant, and then formed my own quintet.


I taught singing as a sideline using the methods and exercises I learned from Rosemary Burns, Hazel Walker, Honey Novik And Maureen Miller.  


Life as a full time professional singer and voice teacher began when I moved to Berlin.  I went on to teach at the Hans Eisler University and University of Rostock but career choices steered me mostly to private practice and music schools.  I teach privately and through the Musikschule Paul Hindemith Neukölln in Berlin and in a studies preparation programs for singers seeking further studies at universities around Europe.


I sang in duo engagements with Manfred Dierkes (deceased) and Georgio Crubo, and performed in many other ensembles and big bands.


I've put words to the solos of many jazz musicians.  Recordings of some of these you can find here.


In the pop genre since I moved to Berlin, I performed and collaborated with Wolfgang Schmidt (Rostock), and Bastian Lee Jones on many song writing projects, writing music, lyrics, vocal arrangements and rehearsing the back-up singers.


I began working with pop, rock and folk singers through the Musikschule Paul Hindemith Neukölln because so many were being sent to me and I find working with those students every bit as rewarding as those with more ambitious goals.  Many of these students have gone to be professionals who enjoy successful careers in the music business.  Many are now teachers themselves. 


These days I mostly teach, working with pop singers who want to learn the skills of their favourite famous singers, and with jazz singers who seek help with improvising skills, and technical skills required to sing the difficult pieces.