TCS: Tell us a little something fun about yourself that isn't in your bio?
TK: I was recently awarded the City Artist Corps Grant by the New York Foundation of the Arts to perform a concert with my quartet (Endangered Quartet) in my community of Brooklyn.
TCS: How did you come to choose your instrument?
TK: My brother played the electric bass, and I thought it was cool, so I picked it up. In college I realized the power of the acoustic bass, and made the switch.
TCS: Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
TK: I just always loved it from the beginning singing soprano as a choir boy.
TCS: What has been your proudest moment or moments in music so far?
TK: I started a group called Nurse Kaya, a string quartet with bass and drums. I was moonlighting as a registered nurse when I first came to New York in 2000. We played in prisons, nursing homes, and other cool venues like ASCAP’s Through the Walls series.
TCS: What have been the biggest challenges of your career so far?
TK: Practicing consistently!
TCS: What has been the funniest onstage moment you've seen or have experienced?
TK: When I was doing a kids birthday party gig, and inflatable sumo wrestlers were banging into my bass…
TCS: When was your first TCS concert? What brought you to the group?
TK: 2008 – I met Yaniv Siegel, one of the two founders of the group. TCS played a composition of mine called Rise from the Ashes. It was conducted by Mark Seto.
TCS: Do you have any favorite TCS memories?
TK: I just love getting all those plants that they gifted composers. I had an African violet that lived for like six years, then died during the pandemic.
TCS: What keeps you coming back to play with TCS?
TK: The vibe is nice –great people and very hard working, talented, and sweet.
TCS: What sets TCS apart from other orchestras?
TK: The collective; soloists sit in the orchestra, composers play, and so do the conductors.
TCS: Who are your favorite musicians, past and/or present?
TK: Ron Carter, my teacher at city College; David Del Tredici, my composition professor; Ralph Alessi, my mentor at Eastman;
Ted Marier, the founder of the St. Paul’s choir school where I first started my musical career; Roy Nathanson my dear friend, bandleader and mentor; Rubin Kodheli, our cellist in Nurse Kaya.