This one goes out to all of my fellow NYC drummers!
The album I recorded for Music Together’s Sing Shalom program is out and being used in Fall classes as we speak. I tracked the drums live with piano, guitar, and upright bass so it’s fun hearing other elements of the songs for the first time, especially the lyrics. My favorite jam is “Sweet,” a jazzy tune about Rosh Hashanah. The album begins with a doumbek solo, too! To learn more about Sing Shalom, click here.
Felt like jamming out to Lotus on this fine day. Happy Friday ya’ll!
Oh man. Lindsay Mercer has me feeling nostalgic and missing my Hundred Days fam!!! Here's the one photo I took from the first day of rehearsal, one year ago today. I remember clearly the feeling of learning a show from scratch: deciding on my setup, toggling between music and script, working out programming, knowing choreography is coming, making sounds with strangers who are destined to become family. We spent the better part of a year together. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I was talking with some friends the other day about the masterful New Orleans drummer Stanton Moore. The dude’s got it all! Groove AND chops for days! I am really digging this solo from his clinic at Atlanta Pro Percussion a few years back. There is a lot of variety in his playing here, but he weaves a few themes throughout the entire solo. I do hope you enjoy and find as much inspiration as I did!
Here’s a picture of us in 2016. I was in New Orleans with the Grinch and was lucky enough to catch him on Frenchman street with his trio.
I am so thankfully that I got to fill on twice for The Lightning Thief’s first national tour, first in Dallas and then in Boston this past weekend. Here are a few of my favorite drum moments. Enjoy!
It was a delight to speak with Karli Viña, Casey Cangelosi, and Ben Charles on the @ Percussion Podcast a few weeks back. We discussed a variety of topics including playing both orchestral percussion and drum set, touring, subbing on musicals, life as a drummer in New York City, and why equality matters. Give a listen here or wherever you get your podcasts!
This Sunday, I’m sitting down with the folks from the At Percussion podcast to chat all things percussion. Have a question for me? Hop over to their Facebook page and leave a comment! The episode should air in a few weeks and I’ll be sure to post it on this very website.
I had a nice time tracking at MONOlisa Studios, recording music for Music Together’s Sing Shalom classes with my dear friend Solomon Hoffman (artistic director of the Songwriter’s Orchestra.) We recorded about 8 tunes Saturday and are doing a few more tonight. In addition to drum set, I played some dumbek, which I don’t believe I’ve ever played on a recording! Pictured above is the house kit, which is a 70s Ludwig kit with Slingerland snare. The studio had great vibes! Thanks for having us, Denise.
Happy to be back at the Winspear Opera House with everyone's favorite retractable chandelier! I'm here subbing for the esteemed Jeff Fernandes on The Lightning Thief tour. Bring on the monsters!
Timothy Huang’s American Morning opened last night at ART/New York Theatres. The show runs for the next two weeks and is presented by Prospect Theater Company. It has been fun, challenging, and rewarding to develop this drum book. Special thanks to our fearless MD, Julianne Merrill, for her patience and guidance!
Last week I played at Pine Box Rock Shop with Hathaways in celebration of the release of their new EP, Hologram. Give it a listen! Here’s a little clip from the gig. This song is about the spectral classification of stars. They also have one about Clara Schumann. That’s the kind of nerdiness I can get behind!
I finally got to take the new wheels out for a spin! I am very happy with my new Yamaha tour custom. Isn't she a beauty, especially with the Catskills in the background? Thanks for having me, Shirori and Hanah Mountain Resort.
What a journey the last seven months have been. I’ve played Hundred Days 120+ times and I would be happy to double that number! This show and the people in it have changed my life in ways that I'm just beginning to process. Thank you especially to The Bengsons for embracing me and bringing me into their family. And thanks to the AMAZING all-female/POC crew at the Arsht Center for this spectacular chalk drawing!
Here’s a little clip of the drum part from the song “Hundred Days.” It cooks! It’s one of my favorite moments of the show to play.
Give a big welcome to the family to my new set of Yamaha Tour Custom drums. Aren’t they pretty? I can’t wait to get these tubs on a gig!
Last night I played my 100th show of Hundred Days! It’s been a pleasure to work with such an awesome group of people on and off the stage. Special shoutouts to acupuncture, Zicam, Kick Ass, CBD, Biofreeze, and Advil for keeping me going. That said, I’m looking forward to not hitting drums for two weeks before we take our talents to South Beach.
I recently reunited with one of my cabin-mates at Interlochen from NINETEEN YEARS AGO! We haven’t seen each other since that amazing summer, but I still feel like we are and will continue to be lifelong friends. Here’s what Andrea — an outstanding horn player and music teacher — had to say:
This is a little late, but on Valentine’s, Ryan Vella and I went to see “Hamilton” at the Straz in Tampa. And if you know me, you know how much I love it, but that’s not why I’m writing this post. The best part of the night was when I first opened the playbill, and to my complete surprise, it flipped open to a photo of one of my cabin-mates from Interlochen Arts Camp ‘00, Ashley Baier who is performing in “Hundred Days,” which is running next door to “Hamilton.” So, after 19 years (seriously, how has it been that long!?) and yet again, thank you to Victoria Guyre, we got to see Ashley’s performance last Friday. Even though we could only chat for a little afterwards, it was wonderful and surreal to see you, and like you said, I hope we don’t wait another 2 decades until we see each other again! Congratulations on a beautiful performance - you all certainly give the Hamilton casts in Tampa (and NYC) a run for their money. If you’re reading this and in the Tampa Bay area, go see “Hundred Days!” They’ll be there until the end of March. ❤️
Here are some pics Andera shared as well:
The latest version of Hundred Days is up and running at the Straz in Tampa. We had two days of tech and open Tuesday. My friend from college, Scott Crawford, provided the rental — a beautiful, brand new Pearl Session Studio Classic kit. It sounds great! Scott is a fantastic percussionist and all-around great guy. It was a dream come true to have him tech for me on Sunday. I can’t wait to hang with him some more on this 2.5 month stint in Tampa.
I just finished my third tour with The Grinch! We played 57 shows this year. I put together a little highlight reel from one of our recent shows in Philadelphia. Enjoy!