I was running my first open mic in Norcross, Georgia in 1998 when a guy walks in with soft leopard-print guitar case over his shoulder. He asked if he could just 'sit in' with some folks and 'noodle.' I said, 'sure,' and the rest is history. Derek is a 'monster' guitar player and a great guy. ~ craver
Guitar, Bass, and Drums: Derek's first instrument was a coronet which he played in grade school while living in Puerto Rico. At age 9, while living in the Netherlands he held 1st chair in the Amsterdam Congresgabau Orchestra for kids. Upon moving to New Jersey and high school in 1972, Derek picked up the drums, trombone and guitar. Guitar was only a hobby until a martial arts injury turned his musical hobbies into a career.
Derek played with a cover band, G.W.Allstars which won a New Jersey talent show which landed an album cut on a compilation record. Various session works with Barbara Streisand's writers; Lisa Ratner (Kiss Me In The Rain 1979) and the famed studio, "The House of Music" led to touring opportunities with "Oldies reunion tours" from 50's through early 70's acts. The hard work began to pay-off and Derek found himself involved in both session work and tour support for modern bands, as well as the reunion work. " In 1985 I was on stage with Chuck Berry (notorious for a bad temper) at the "Ritz Theater" in New York City. During his 4th song, "Roll Over Beethoven," he physically threw the bass player off the stage forcing me to put down my guitar and pick up the bass DURING the song….. I started to play the Bass as well."
Derek's numerous credits include tour support and or studio work with the following artists: The Drifters, The Marvalettes, Ronnie Specter, Little Anthony, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, The Coasters, The Righteous Brothers, The Grass Roots, Martha Reeves, Mary Wells, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Smoky Robinson, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Lee Greenwood, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Rascals, Blood, Sweat & Tears, K.C. and the Sunshine band, Kool and the Gang, Scandal, Billy Squire, Alana Myles, Thompson Twins, Depeche Mode, Rick Springfield, Hall & Oates, Robert Palmer, Cher, Joe Cocker, Cyndi Lauper and The Spin Doctors.
Record Cuts: "Take me Home Tonight"-- Eddie Money and Ronnie Specter. Other career highlights include Saturday Night Live, David Letterman Show, Lollapalooza, Grammy's, Cleo Awards (Jingles), Miss America Pageant (Atlantic City), Miss USA pageant (Las Vegas), Cat's on Broadway, and consulting for the movie "Fame."
Derek is on staff at Perimeter Church in the Worship & Arts Department. Yet, he maintains that "Teaching guitar is still my greatest joy."