A native Floridian born in Lake Worth, Florida. Raised by my grandmother (Granny) in Ft. Lauderdale until age 4. Then moved to West Palm Beach.
At age 6 my father decided to take me away from Granny and have me join the rest of my brothers and sisters with my mom at their home. It was not an easy transition. I was just beginning the 3rd grade at that time.
I started singing when I was 2 years old. I have a memory of when there wasn’t a Church building, but a parking lot with chairs in a circle. That’s when I remember singing in front of people for the first time. I remember receiving money after I had sang. Quarters was a big deal back then. A dollar was ridiculous!!! All through grade and high school, I sang in the choir. I remember in elementary school one of my teachers asked me to sing in front of the class. I sang “How Great Thou Art”, I was so nervous my knees where shaking. Upon graduating from Twin Lakes High School, I went to college at the University of South Florida in Tampa where I majored in the Theater and minored in voice. I wanted to be well rounded in the Arts. I attended college about 3 years or so, but ended up leaving because I took a job as a Disc Jockey at a place in Tampa called “The Stable Lounge” which required very late hours into the night. There where various bands that performed there. My job was to play music while the bands where on break. I intensely watched all the bands to learn the craft. Not just the singing, but the performance and the interaction they had with the audience. How they would go on break and not isolate themselves, but spent time with the people in the audience. They made an effort to make everyone feel welcomed.
Eventually a band found out that I was a singer and invited me to sing a song with them the following week. The song was “More Than a Woman” by Tavares. I was a nervous wreck, but I pulled it off. I was asked to teach some choreography to a couple of bands as well. As time went on I began to sit-in with bands and was eventually hired as a lead vocalist. We worked in various places 6 nights a week in different cities that could be 100 miles from home. Sometimes we traveled to different states. Staying in band house along the way and sometimes commuting locally 40, 50, 60 miles. Singing 6 nights a week helped me expand my range vocally. It was not easy. My voice cracked a lot in the process, but I kept at it. I challenged myself to be better.
After starting my band career in Tampa, I was offered a job singing in South Florida, which I took. I have been in various house bands (which no longer exist) to now doing solo work as well as having my own live band. Also singing at corporate events, weddings, festivals etc. My repertoire consists of everything from Frank Sinatra to Bruno Mars, Prince, Michael Jackson, Barry White, Earth Wind and Fire, Motown, Louie Prima, Al Jarreau, Nirvana, Nat King Cole, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie etc. My Jobs : “Vinnie’s By The Sea – Monday and Thursday 7pm to 10pm “Whole Foods Market” in Pompano – Tuesday and Fridays 6pm to 9pm For Live Band performances check my Facebook page.
I am currently in the studio working with Producer, Jessi Dee. An EP will be released in the near future.
In 2002 I became a father to a baby girl named Sierra and I ended up finding out the hard way that an unmarried father has no rights to his child no matter how much time he has spent with her, when she was taken away from me without notice for 8 weeks and 1 day in 2008. Needless to say I was heartbroken. The only contact I had was my daughter calling me kind of whispering as if she was hiding, then the phone would all of a sudden hang up. One time I heard her screaming “No, No, No! Then the phone would hang up. Thinking about it to this day is painful. One would think a Father that wants to be in his daughter’s life wouldn’t have to fight for her after having unlimited visits, hundreds of overnights, school drop off/ pickups, 2 years of taking her to ballet/dance lessons the first 5 years of her life.
It has ended up being an exhausting 8 ½ year court battle to fight for shared custody. I have been through 4 lawyers. And with every new lawyer I sank further and further in to debt, since thru the years my income drastically changed because a lot of places no longer had live music in their establishments. If someone has never had to hire a lawyer they probably don’t know the thousands of dollars it takes for them to take a case, and even then you don’t know if they will really fight for and believe in you. It took me over 7 years to finally find a lawyer that was willing to listen to me and my situation and understand the complex circumstances of my case. Thank you Matt Benzion, P.A. Being a musician is not looked upon as a “real” job in our court system. There have been hundreds of sleepless nights and health related issues because of stress. During this process I have had to file bankruptcy, had my car repossessed, lost our home to fore closure, been threatened with license suspension and jail. How ironic that it cost a lot of money to actually file for bankruptcy.
Before all this court horror, I became a father for the second time to another baby girl we named Timina in 2003, with the woman that is now my wife. Even though we did not get married until February 15, 2009, Madeleine always made it possible for me to be a father to our daughter without going to court. When Timina was born, Madeleine lived in Virginia. I would fly up to Virginia to spend time with our daughter every month or Madeleine would fly down here to Florida so Timina could spend time with me and her sister. My wife has been by my side and believed in me as a father and a man through all of this court mess, it has been our reality since the beginning of our marriage. Together we have stayed strong as a family. Those who know me, know the love I have for my wife and my two daughters.
There are many musicians that are struggling. I am honored to be featured in this article. I truly believe that my time is here……BOOM here I AM.
There have been several miracles in our lives. When we were facing foreclosure, we were broke and been unable to save any money. We had 3 months before we had to move out and had no place to go. The date for us to be out of the house was December 9th, my birthday. How’s that for a present? The year was 2015. Here’s the miracle. While singing at Whole Foods sometime in October, I ended up speaking to a customer who always came to see me sing. We began sharing our life stories. I shared about my upcoming foreclosure. This person wrote me a check for $5000! First, last and security deposit! I pretty much cried and gave thanks to God the whole way home. I was in shock. My wife was crying too.
We have done our best to remain positive in our marriage and miracles like these are still happening. There is no such thing as a small miracle! I probably need to write a book because there’s more.
I’ve entered and won a few singing contests. In 2011, I won the Grand Prize singing competition at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. Also Grand Prize at the Blue Martini in Brickell. On our honeymoon in Vegas, some friends of ours took us to what we thought was Jam Night at another Blue Martini. I sat in with the Band and about an hour later some guy came over to tell me I had won. I said won what? He said the singing contest! We didn’t know it was a contest. Good thing because drinks were costing $12 a glass.
Right now I have a film producer interested in a song I wrote for an upcoming movie. There is a positive vibe in the air this year. I’m not famous or wealthy. I’m a working musician. To be able to do this is an absolute Blessing. I’m grateful.