EMPOWERING YOUTH THROUGH MUSIC & DANCE
He was so brave. He would befriend all kinds of people at all times. Derek was in love with people.
He was so committed to music. He was so committed to education. He loved to be a teacher.
Thomas M. Lauderdale, Pink Martini bandleader/pianist
Derek was instrumental in building the Samba community here in Portland, Oregon. He inspired and taught many students that have gone on to have successful careers. He was infectiously passionate about including anyone and everyone regardless of their ability to pay and found ways to get instruments into their hands often out of his own pocket.
He is mostly know to the world for his 18 years with Pink Martini but to Portland he was a local hero in the music community, giving endlessly and tirelessly to helping others with their dreams. Ethos and Portland public schools also benefited from Derek's generous nature. He will not be forgotten and the Foundation will carry on his legacy and his spirit.