I grew up in MN and have been playing drums for over 25 years now, and teaching for over 15. I started out as many drummers do, banging around in my crib. I banged around so much they nicknamed me Thumper after the character in Disney's "Bambi." My family put a little cardboard wall hanging of him over my crib, and I think they sealed my fate as a drummer by doing so. I had two older cousins that played and they both helped to influence me to become a drummer one day. I just love the drums.
I played in elementary school band and continued in the school music programs into middle, and high school. During that time I was in the All City Band, the South Eastern Minnesota Youth Orchestra or S.E.M.Y.O., Symphonic band, Concert band, Marching band, Pep band, Percussion Ensemble for state competitions as well as various rock groups starting in about eighth grade.
After high school I studied some music in college but continued to play in rock bands in the area until I graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1996 with my teaching degree. During college I also began to play guitar, sing, and write my own music. The summer following graduation I moved to CA to take my first full-time teaching position in the 4th grade in Fontana, CA, and to start the next chapter in my development as a player.
Upon moving to CA I realized a dream that I had since I was young of moving to CA and playing music. I was only working at first but it did not take long until I got the bug to play in a band again, and joined a cover band a few months after arriving.
Since then I have had the privilege to play over 125 venues and with many, many talented people. I play live as often as possible with my band ROLLING REUNION and many of the friends you can see listed on my My Space page @ www.MySPace.com/ BoyWithADrum . The list includes: Anderson Hall, Oso Rey, Spiro Nicolopoulos, Allison Sattinger, Matt Coleman, Kelly McGuire, All Marbles, John Deleon, Brittany Carvahal, Patrick McKeone, HandleHead and many more. I have a history of hosting open mics and encouraging others to share their musical gifts with the world.
I also started a music lesson and band management business 6 years ago called 'The Old Jersey Music Lab' that has provided me a great opportunity for me to share my talents. I also do rhythm-based events, including drum circles for schools and corporate applications, and special whole school programs focusing on beginning music information and drums and percussion instruction.
I have had a few accomplishments in the 12 years I have been in CA; most notably I was a store champion for the San Bernardino, CA Guitar Center in 2001 and again in 2007 in their Nation Wide amateur drumming contest. I was also the second place winner in the WFD (World's Fastest Drummer) "Fastest Hands" competition at the Winter NAMM show in 2005. If you are interested in those and any other accomplishments, you can drop me a line I won't list them here, that gets old and feels a little too self indulgent.
I am also currently developing some drum and percussion related products including a line of apparel for drummers and musicians, to bring to market as soon as I can. That process takes a while. My products are of a wide variety, but the ones I am working on bringing to market first are my drumming and music related products. That is what I know best. I am open to discussions for product licensing deals as well as product endorsements; so if you know any genius patent attorneys who are affordable, or any companies that may be interested in talking with a guy like me, let me know.
I am currently endorsed by the wonderful people at "SKB Cases," the best in the industry and have no other major manufacturer endorsements as of yet. I am available for hire for live and recording gigs as a percussionist or drummer specializing in accompaniment to serve the song. I am currently accepting more students as an instructor for beginning and intermediate drum lessons. I am always open to opportunities with those who recognize the value of creativity.
I am currently booking schools in Southern CA for the Percussion in the Schools programs through The Percussion Marketing Council. I am blessed to be the first person in Southern CA to be cleared to work with representing this group. I had to prepare an extensive application packet with information about myself, my music, my teaching, and why I should be accepted into such a great program. The PMC is a not-for-profit organization that is striving to aide the ailing school music programs Nation-Wide, by providing professional musical performances to the schools while utilizing a wonderful fund matching grant program provided by NAMM.
This group and others is doing exactly what I want to do for people, especially children, and that is to educate them about the power of music. My programs are designed to enlighten students and faculty alike as to how to become a musician and to hopefully inspire some of them to follow their dreams of playing music and maybe making it a career one day. I meet dozens of CA State Standards in my programs and teachers are encouraged to use it as a motivator for the entire school year to teach everything from fractions, to creating an essay outline, to career planning for aspiring entrepreneurs. I am blessed.
My influences are wide and varied as a player. Everyone from Buddy Rich to Animal from The Muppets influenced me at some point. It is true; I am a product of my environment! I was inspired early on by my cousins Danny and Daryll Patrick who both played drums. I could type all day about my influences, but what I have learned through it all is that you must serve the song if you want to be a professional player. You can't be successful if you are an egotistical ass and not fun to be around. To be skilled, humble and confident are some of my goals as a player.
This could take days to write. Basically I love most types of music. If it's good, I like it. I am inspired by it, I need it, I am intrigued by it, I breath it, I live it. I am a conglomeration of all I have heard or been exposed to consciously or sub-consciously my whole life. I try to be a creative pocket player who is musical and dynamic and listens well while making solid decisions about groove and feel. I also strive to be able to improvise at the drop of a hat and play with solid feel while serving the song and being a good person at the same time. After all, we were blessed with music, so what better way to show gratitude than to play?
Just play. . . .