Founder of the American band Beirut, the group that came into the spotlight after the release of their album Gulag Orkestar.
He played the trumpet when he was a teenager.
Because he worked for a theatre that showed international films, he became well-acquainted with a wide variety of music, including mariachi, Sicilian funeral brass, and Balkan music.
He grew up in Newport News, Virginia and also Santa Fe. He married Kristianna Smith in 2010.
His second album, The Flying Cup Club, was heavily influenced by Serge Gainsbourg.