Technically I was born in a horse trough. Filled with water, in my grandparent’s Broad Beach home in Malibu. Technically my mother was by herself, because who really needs doctors for these trivial types of things.
My paternal grandfather, composer/conductor/arranger Gordon Jenkins had bought this home in the late 40s to get away from the crowds in LA. A few years later, a family moved in down the street. My mother’s father, Bill Ulyate, was a saxophonist/studio musician/band leader at Disneyland (Carnation Plaza), and the two musicians held a mutual respect for each other. Years later, Bill’s youngest daughter and Gor’s youngest son became my parents, the boy and girl next door.
When I was 8, after moving to the mountains and many run ins with horses and tepees and goats I began taking harp lessons. My sister played as well, and every week on Friday for 8 years, my mom drove us nearly 100 miles each way to my teacher’s house and back.
My love for traditional music took me all the way to Glasgow Scotland (where I knew a grand totally of absolutely no one) on an unconditional acceptance to the RSAMD (now RCS) in Scottish harp and Gaelic song. 3 years there and a final year studying Gaelic at the quaintest college in the world (Sabhal Mor Ostaig on the Isle of Skye) I returned home a pasty shade of grey and dying for sunshine and vitamin D.
I built a very small house on a trailer during 2011-12 and moved myself up to the Bay Area for what I find to be the happy medium between Scotland’s soggy unpredictably and LA’s burning fire of death.
Now I write music, swim in the ocean, and make all my clothes, jewelry, and pretty much everything on me except for my boots. Which I will one day try, but I’ve a feeling it’s going to be pretty complicated. I blog at http://www.littleyellowdoor.wordpress.com.
Interesting fact: my grandfather, Gordon Jenkins, wrote the song ‘Crescent City Blues’ which Johnny Cash shamelessly ripped off for his well known song ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.