I was born and raised in New York City. My parents were from the Dominican Republic and came to this country in the late 1920s. They settled in the Morrisania section of the Bronx in 1950. We were surrounded by the sights and sounds of music and art from almost every culture imaginable. I attended St. Augustine Presbyterian Church on Prospect Avenue and 165th Street where I learned to play piano. Under the caring leadership of Rev. Dr. Edler G. Hawkins "St. Aug" was one of the most influential spiritual, cultural and community building centers in the area. This was the melting pot in which I developed my firm belief that spirituality and the arts are inseparable.
I attended DeWitt Clinton High School and received a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from The City College of New York in 1970. I worked as the Assistant Director of Project Double Discovery, the Upward Bound Program at Columbia University for a few years before launching my career in music full time.
In February of 1982 I became a member of Marble Collegiate Church, the home of “The Power of Positive Thinking” author and Senior minister Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. In March of 1981 a number of singers, dancers, actors and musicians assembled to form a spiritual support group for NYC artists called the Actors Fellowship. I joined in the fall of 1982 and have been with the group ever since.
At the suggestion of Peale's successor, Dr. Arthur Caliandro I became the Staff Advisor in the spring of 1991. Since that time I have amassed hundreds of lessons combining the arts and spirituality . “Precious & Honored” was originally titled “Whealth Management for Artists” during our 2012/2013 season. I sought to combine the concepts of "wealth" and "health." It became clear to me in 2015 that this series could become a handbook of sorts, reminding artists who we are, what we are all about and where our gifts come from. It is intended as a spiritual shot-in-the-arm to boost our creativity. It is also a way to spread the message of God’s abundant love beyond the confines of a room into the hands of people who need to hear that message the most: artists.