Today is Friday - April 20th, 2018

Here are three of my favorite drummers, musicians, artists, movie stars, or other inspiring heroes who celebrate a birthday today:

Lionel Hampton
Born in 1908

Mike Portnoy
Born in 1967

Carmen Electra
Born in 1972

Finding a Great Drum Teacher

Recently, Andrew in Florida, sent me a nice note asking:

"What is the best way to find a great drum teacher?"


Andrew poses a great question which, I am sorry to say, I had not addressed earlier on the website and really should have.

Finding a great drum teacher can be a bit of a process. I recommend:

  1. Talk to as many of the best drummers you can find in your area and ask them . . . (full article here)


Michael Barsimanto at the SFJAZZ Discover Jazz Lecture Series

Last night I attended the SFJAZZ lecture series called “Discover Jazz It's About Time: Influential Drummers of the Modern Jazz Era". The driving force behind every jazz ensemble, the drummer represents the quintessential role as conductor, literally driving the band and creating explosive solos while providing the nuances of dynamics and accompaniment. This spring Discover Jazz takes a close look at the contributions of six extraordinary artists — Tony Williams, Peter Erskine, Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Brian Blade and Eric Harland — tracing their signature sounds, distinctive presence and influential mark on jazz drumming. Series taught by SFJAZZ lecturer, composer and bassist Cory Combs with a variety of guest performers. Last night’s lecture was on Jack DeJohnette. It was a great evening of discussion of how Jack DeJohnette inspired a change in jazz drumming. The evening included some recorded samples of DeJohnette’s work, and a few live performances of a jazz trio, featuring drummer Michael Barsimanto, demonstrating ways in which DeJohnette’s playing has influenced the approach to drumming in contemporary jazz.

Favorite Drummers: Steve Gadd

I have been a fan of Steve Gadd since I first was intorduced to his drumming in the early 1980's. Several years ago I started putting together pages on some of my heroes. Naturally, Steve Gadd was high on the list. As part of my efforts to spend a bit more time updating this site, I updated my Steve Gadd page with more commentary and an updated list of records that he has played on.

Joe Morello - Drum Solo

I am always happy to find another gem of a performance that someone has loaded up on YouTube. Here is a great clip of a Joe Morello drum solo from the 1960's.

Joe Morello is probably most famous for the incredible drumming in the song “Take Five” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. His effortless touch, impeccable sense of time, and melodic phrasing produced drum tracks that were truly a statement of art.

Joe Morello’s drumming can be heard on over 120 albums and CDs, some 60 of which were with The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Thanks to such a prolific recording career, we can still enjoy his brilliance today.

Jason Lewis with the Terry Disley Trio

jason lewis drums I recently caught the Terry Disley Trio in a small, intimate concert. What a great show! Disley, former pianst with Acoustic Alchemy, has a music résumé that includes sessions with some of my favorite artists, including Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Van Morrison, and Bryan Ferry.

The show, a holiday tribute to the music of Dave Brubeck & Vince Guaraldi, featured bassist John Shifflett, a jazz instructor at SJSU who has played with Mel Torme, Jerry Lewis, Dionne Warwick, and Bobby Hutcherson; and drummer Jason Lewis, who teaches jazz drumming in the muisc program at SJSU.

Jason Lewis has played with a variety of talented musicians including Boz Scaggs, Gary Burton, Paul McCandles, Regina Carter, Kurt Elling and Taylor Eigsti, and was an absolute joy to watch. He is the kind of musical drummer, with actual technique! that I love to see play and haven't had an opportunity to see live in a long time.

He inspired me to get back to some serious jazz practice. I highly recommend that you keep an eye out for one of his upcoming shows in your area and see him play live.