Some of John's earliest memories are of listening to jazz and bebop greats like Miles, Coltrane, Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Duke, Armstrong, and others, at the influence of his father, a jazz musician, composer, and horn player. By eight years old, John was playing sax (alto/baritone) in bands around the tri-state and NY metropolitan area. By age thirteen, he was playing guitar and drums on the NYC circuit, in famous rock clubs like CBGB's and The Continental. He has played with a variety of bands, in a variety of musical genres. After being voted "most musically inclined" in high school, he went on to study music at a conservatory in Westchester, New York, further expanding his knowledge of music theory, technique, and history, all the time growing a network of the best musicians and performers around.