A Little Bit About 'Moi'
I grew up in a very loving family in Cleveland, Ohio and didn't have any formal music training except for a disastrous encounter with the trumpet in 7th grade, about the same time I got my new best friend - Bilbo - a white face Capuchin monkey.
After I got my drivers license in 10th grade, I got a job as a delivery boy for Chicken Delight and the manager would occasionally bring in his guitar and taught me a few chords to get started. A year later, my sister Sheila went to Mexico as part of a foreign exchange program, and upon her return, excitedly told me of musicians that would board a city bus, play a few songs, 'pass the hat', and move on to the next bus.
It was, quite simply, the most romantic thing I had ever heard of!
I started teaching myself the banjo and mandolin as well, and after graduation in 1971, took a train to New Orleans, where I heard street music was something that happened there. Life in the French Quarter was grand in the 70's with lots of different musicians coming from all over the world, and it was there I began absorbing all these many styles to incorporate into all the street acts I was a part of, as well as Bourbon St. nightclubs. In was in one of these street bands, that the fiddle player had to move back home, so it was up to me to acquire one (which I did for $35) and learn it!
The next few years were filled with more travelling opportunities playing college concerts tours across America, (and living in 'Redwing', the 'ultra cool' converted pickup on the right :) hundreds of bars, nightclubs and street corners across Europe, living in Nashville playing the Grand Ole Opry, and of course throughout New Orleans...as that was always the home base I returned to.
I always had a fascination with Hungarian Gypsy music, and in 1982, took all the money I had, and traveled to Budapest, (which was back then still 'behind the 'Iron Curtain') in the hopes of finding someone wanting American dollars in exchange for teaching me their music and the style of strolling. (Back then there were gypsy musicians in all the restaurants!) I did indeed find such a gentleman, and later friend, Gyula Bartvai ... may he rest in peace.
Upon my arrival back to the states, I settled in Cincinnati playing the many French and German restaurants, and later moved to Detroit for an opportunity that came up there. In 1985, one of my music partners booked us for a two week engagement at a resort in the Florida Keys, and I never went back to Detroit, enjoying 'island life' for a year or so!
After moving to the mainland in 1987, I met my lovely wife Dawn, and together we have three wonderful kids, a dog, and a comfortable home in Tamarac. I am indeed blessed to have met so many wonderful people - bringing them both smiles and tears - and hopefully bring more fond memories to both them and myself in the future.
Thank You for learning a little bit about me, and I look forward to learning a little bit about you!
Warmest regards, ED