Harmonicas were my first musical indulgence, had a collection of instruments, soprano, marine band, chromatic, double row, double and triple hinged, baritone and bass, all bought at pawn shops.
At 12 I picked up the guitar, at 15 mandolin, at 16 the banjo. Hitchhiked across the country in 1953, age 17, met Woody Guthrie in Topanga Canyon and for a while was his accompanist while he was incapacitated by an injury. In 1955 was part of a 9-piece chorus organized by Pete Seeger for a series of LP records for Folkways, the Pennywhistlers included also Eric Darling and Mary Travers.
At 19 I discovered Bach, put aside my folk instruments and, inspired by Pablo Casals recordings of the cello suites, took up the cello, determined to learn to play them myself. The cello became a major part of my life for the next 35 years till my fingers started going numb. In that time I played a great deal of chamber music, composing music for our string quartet.
After the cello I started playing the steel drum as my wrists were still good. Played in the Vermont steel band Panache for a few years till my first trip to Trinidad where I played in my first Carnival Panorama competition, the first of 10 years playing there.