John Ramsay’s interest in playing drums began at the age of ten. He went on to study with jazz greats Joe Morrello, Max Roach, and Alan Dawson, leading to a two-year stint as the second drummer for Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. He was one of the first teachers at the renowned Berklee College of Music, where he developed a holistic teaching philosophy which presents music as an avenue for students to discover their own humanity and form a happy life. After 38 years of teaching, John recently retired from Berklee. He’s authored several method books and continues to be active on the jazz scene.
Vocalist Cathy Rich, daughter of the great jazz drummer Buddy Rich, began her career as a child, singing with her father’s band. Honoring his wish for the band to continue after his death, she and husband, drummer Gregg Potter, record and tour the world fronting the Buddy Rich Band. Gregg began his career after winning a national drum contest in his home town of Chicago. Tasked with the challenge of filing the chair of arguably the world’s greatest drummer, Gregg responded with a keen understanding of big band jazz, and a great sense of humor. It’s a far-ranging and fun-filled interview with them both, offered on the 103rd anniversary of the birth of the legend himself
John Mahon has been Elton John’s percussionist for more than two decades. In this far reaching interview, Mahon talks about his initial move to L.A., drum lessons with David Garibaldi, auditioning for Sir Elton, adapting to life on the road, and much more. Assisting me in the discussion is Phil Hood, co-founder of DRUM! Magazine.
During the US quarantine of 2020, Sean Kennedy revisited the popular 1700’s rudimental snare drum solo, “The Downfall of Paris.” After discovering a little known fife part, Sean penned an arrangement for a percussion section with brass quintet. Friends Clayton Cameron and Bernie Dresel were enlisted as additional snare drummers. Over a two week period, the musicians began submitting their audio and video performances to Kennedy, who had them edited into a unique performance. Sean was joined by Clayton and Bernie for this interview, offered as our salute to this week’s Independence Day holiday.
Matt Brennan is an author, musician, and academic. He is currently an Associate Professor in Popular Music at the University of Glasgow. His newest book is Kick It, A Social History of the Drum Kit. In it, he addresses the seeming contradiction between the centrality of the drum kit on one hand and the general disparagement of drummers on the other. He examines the roles of artists and manufacturers against a dynamic backdrop race relations, global migration, and the tensions between high and low culture
Todd Sucherman, best known as the drummer for the band Styk and as an award winning educator, has a new album out under his own name, called Last Flight Home. Coproduced and cowritten by longtime friend, J. K. Harrison, Todd’s, sensitive groove based drumming serves to reveal his talents as a solid song writer, producer and arranger, and surprisingly, as a first rate singer.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Duduka Da Fonseca started playing drums when he was thirteen. He moved to New York City in 1975 and was the founder and leader of Brazilian All Stars, Brazilian Express, and the New York Samba Band. He was a teacher at the Drummers Collective and wrote an instructional book, Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset. He is a founding member and co-leader of Trio Da Paz and leads the Duduka DaFonseca Trio. (Part two of two.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Duduka Da Fonseca started playing drums when he was thirteen. He moved to New York City in 1975 and was the founder and leader of Brazilian All Stars, Brazilian Express, and the New York Samba Band. (pt 2 of 2)
Coping with Covid: a discussion with Sabian CEO, Andy Zildjian
Coping with Corona: Sabian CEO Andy Zildjian is my guest.