Showing posts from February, 2023

Musical Theater

It started with a text message from an old bandmate.... Rose Briones, who was the fiddle player in the Tony Corrales Band dropped me a line to see if I would be interested in playing drums for a musical theater production that she was going to take part in. I gave it a quick thought and agreed to do it as I thought it would be a nice change from the club scene. That's when I also realized how long it had been since I had been in a musical. That would be my sophomore year of high school when I played drums for Godspell. It was actually a lot of fun because my parents loved the music so I heard it quite a bit growing up. I did like the songs so I looked forward to the opportunity.   That took me back to some pleasant memories. Once the actors were ready they brought the musicians in and we began rehearsing the play. It was a lot of work and was a big success because we worked as a team. Aside from that I also got to know a number of students that I didn't know that well and gre

Music is a Gift

When I was younger I remember those moments when a hit song became old. I mean, God help you if you were caught listening to this old song. In my mind, good music is always good music.  That would include the music that my parents listened to, which I also loved. I grew up with Latin Jazz (Tito Puente & Rene Touzet), Chicano Rock (Santana, Malo, El Chicano, War), R & B (Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang), Motown, popular music from The Doobie Brothers, Chicago and so much more. And I still love that music!  This is important to share because you can see what kind of music I did not grow up listening to, with Classical and Jazz being the top two on that list (more on that later). If you look at the big picture, this also means that there would be a lot of great music to discover in my lifetime . However, that was not going to happen for some time because I spent my youth listening to my favorite Rock music  College Studies  It didn't take long for me to realize th

Jazz Drummers Are Not Any Better: My Take On Musical Snobbery

Well it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing   is the famous title of the song released by Duke Ellington in 1931 as well as the point of view of various Jazz musicians when it comes to the thing that makes something musical. I respectfully disagree with their subjective point of view because there are so many different types of feel in different types of music with no particular feel being superior to another. We all simply gravitate towards a genre of music or even a song that simply moves us. Personally I love Rock, Pop, Country, World Music, Progressive Music, Movie Soundtracks, Classical, Fusion, some Jazz and will even admit as a drummer of all people that I like some Electronic music.All of these genres come in handy because I am one to experience a vast array of moods and feelings throughout my week. Honestly, traditional or straight ahead Jazz is a genre that I never really cared for. The first reason is because my father loved Latin Jazz so while some peopl

Traditional Grip: My Thoughts on this Discussion

Every now and then I am asked why I don't use traditional grip when I am drumming. For me it's one of two simple answers:  I don't like it  or  it doesn't feel natural to me.  They are usually taken aback because they have seen several drummers (and I'm guessing some well known drummers) use traditional grip so they are curious to know why I am not part of that crowd. That's when I say that it serves no purpose to me because I am not playing a drum that is tilted to my right. Again, more confusion so the conversation continues.  Before I continue I need to say one simple thing: there are many who will disagree with me and that's okay. It's all about personal preference, which means that I am entitled to my opinion as well. In The Beginning... I started taking drum lessons during the spring semester of my 3rd grade year. My first teacher was Swede Meredith who was a great teacher and a professional Jazz drummer who had performed all over the world. He had