Freetown was almost a year in the making, and includes a wide range of musical styles with help from my friends, including French guitarist Patrick Desaunay, Quebecois musicians Yann Falquet and Andre Marchand, New England Conservatory alumni Andy Blickenderfer, Roi Raz, Eric Platz, Taki Masuko and James Falzone. It also includes contributions from fiddler Ruthie Dornfeld and guitarist Adam Larrabee. Freetown is the capitol of Sierra Leone, in West Africa; my family lived there in 1964-65. The tunes on the CD are original compositions influenced by the music of West Africa, France, Quebec, and Scandinavia. My parents listened to a lot of different kinds of music. My father sang, my mother played piano, my grandmother played accordion. I started on Clarinet when I was nine, then switched to piano at eleven. I had classical lessons but also learned to play boogie-woogie and blues from my older siblings. I was influenced by the music of Memphis Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, etc. At age sixteen I was introduced to the music of Miles Davis and other jazz musicians. I went to Oberlin College where I studied classical and jazz piano. During this time I was influenced by people like Les McCann, Bill Evans, Bud Powell, and John Coltrane. Later I studied at the Cornish Institute in Seattle with bassist Gary Peacock, who taught me jazz harmony and improvisation. I also studied gamelan and the music of minimalist composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass. I began working as a professional musician, playing Motown, Rock, etc. In 1980 I started listening to Celtic music and took up the accordion. My major influences were the Bothy Band and Dedanann. I started a Celtic band, and a contra dance band. I studied with Irish piano accordionist Jimmy Keane, Cape Breton pianist Doug McPhee, and African drummer Dumi Maraire. In the early 1990s I helped form the Clayfoot Strutters and Nightingale, who are both active today. I am musical director of Le Bon Vent and Floating Bridge Music.