I grew up in a musical environment. I play guitar, piano and bass. My father (Rudy Pontano) was a jazz musician working in and around the Montreal area for over 40 years and my grandmother was an opera singer. I have had music in my life since I was born! Many evenings my Dad and his buddies would practice in our basement. In addition to wonderful memories I had great exposure to classic jazz tunes.
I started out playing (like everybody else in the late 70's early 80's) rock, mostly Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Rush, etc... At that time I was more into progressive music than the heavier stuff. With the influence of my Dad I began listening to the music of Gino Vanelli, Al Jarreau, Antonio Carlos Jobim and many similar artists.
This eventually brought me to more guitar oriented musicians like George Benson, Joe Pass, Al Martino and Pat Metheny since jazz guitar is my main instrument. Pat Metheny was one of those artists that I immediately identified with and wanted to emulate. What I loved about the Pat Metheny Group was its diversity and intricacy in their song compositions - very complex and at times very simple.
My latest influence is gospel music. Artists like Kirk Franklin and Israel Houghton inspire me on an individual level. Funk, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop compositions with arrangements and musicianship that is on a higher plain.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!