Raised in the San Francisco Bay area, Derek launched his musical career as a 16-year-old guitarist for the Generation Gap Big Band—but he would soon become enchanted with the bass.
While studying with Kai Eckhardt (John McLaughlin and Billy Cobham) in the San Francisco Bay Area, Derek worked with such Bay Area legends as David Garibaldi, Pete Escovedo, Sheila E., Paul McCandless, Joel Harrison, Paul Hanson, Mike Marshall, and Darol Anger.
Many of those bands came through OTR Studios—owned by Cookie Marenco. The two became lifelong friends and cohorts in music recording. This respect led them to work on two albums under Derek’s name for Blue Coast Records many years later. Derek handpicked the music and musicians for the album that displays his diversity of musical knowledge.
In 1999 Derek moved to Nashville where he played on sessions with Jeff Coffin, Matt Rollings, Jerry Douglas, Larry Carlton, and Chester Thompson. He soon started touring with Jeff Coffin, Peter Mayer, Nickel Creek, Jerry Douglas, Grease Factor, and Crystal Gayle. Derek also played bass on the Pixar movie short “Boundin’” for The Incredibles.
In 2004, Derek auditioned for and was accepted to be the bass chair for Cirque du Soleil’s new resident production KA in Las Vegas.Since moving to Las Vegas, Derek has enjoyed performing with a diverse group of artists and gigs, ranging from jazz trios to large corporate events—in addition to playing more than 470 shows a year with KA. Derek has also served as adjunct faculty for jazz bass at the University of Nevada.