Make Someone Happy

I spent 6 1/2 years on the piano bench at Vitello’s, a well-known restaurant and music club in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles. I have a million stories. Most of them are weird.

Even though my job was…



One morning, I woke up a songwriter.

I was 26 years old, and I had just completed my master’s degree in jazz performance. In my new, tiny apartment in my new home city of Los Angeles, I sat at the…


Tea and Empathy

Joni Mitchell wears Christmas tree light necklaces. Big, colorful, novelty ones. For the woman who wrote “River,” this could be considered a departure. Though she may have wanted to skate away from Christmas at the time she wrote the song…