Guitarist & Singer (Pop, Rock, Country)
I’m a musician, actor and songwriter. I’ve written hundreds of songs, toured and recorded worldwide and acted on both stage and screen. Musically I’m known for my interesting lyrical imagery, combined with the blues roots I got from my harmonica-playing father.
My time in the entertainment business has seen me as frontman for projects of varying genres, from folk/pop to electronic to soul to hard rock. I’ve worked with industry luminaries like Nick Tauber (Thin Lizzy, UFO), Doc McKinney (The Weeknd, Esthero) and Dean McTaggart (Wynonna Judd, Amanda Marshall) and recorded in premier studios, including Abbey Road in London, England and CBC Studios in Toronto, Canada. I also appeared as a finalist, alongside my brother Sebastian, on the closing season of Canadian Idol.
Now, having made my acting debut with starring roles in two films, and with a steady touring and recording schedule for my myriad musical projects, I’m reinventing myself again to an ever-expanding audience.
I have been a voice and guitar teacher or five years. I work well with kids and adults alike, who enjoy my intuitive approach. There’s a strong emphasis on the goals of my students; whether they’re looking to perform live, learn a favourite lick, or develop a style all their own. One such success story is that of Misha Allard, an adult student who had always wanted to sing live but had missed the opportunity growing up. We spent two weeks rehearsing two-part vocal lines for two songs, which culminated in a live performance for friends and family at The Supermarket in Toronto.
Vocally I specialise in pop, rock and country, as these genres comprise my artistic background. Guitar-wise I teach beginner to intermediate, with a preference for acoustic – also in the pop/rock/country vein. I’m not appropriate for jazz, classical or heavy metal, as I don’t teach theory or guitar solos. My focus is primarily on live performance, as I have twenty-five years’ experience doing so on stages across three continents. I like to get behind the psychology of the live experience, from the practical ins-and-outs of preparation (creating a gear checklist, developing a pre-show routine, etc.), dealing with backstage jitters to moment-by-moment problem-solving techniques, should anything arise during the performance itself. Interpersonal communication with fans is another aspect I like to explore, whether it’s through social media interaction or in-person the night of a gig.
In short, I teach via a practical application, rather than with the aid of workbooks. I like the malleability of the practical experience, as it allows for every student to learn differently according to their individual needs. I believe that a relaxed mindset is a foundation upon which one builds a spellbinding live performance, so for those students who are so inclined, I make it my priority.