This is where it all began. My first drumset.

A New Beat Every Week

So I have this idea: post a video of me playing a beat every week for a year. I would find an interesting location and video myself playing something that sounds interesting, using some type of percussion instrument. I just hope that I can figure how to upload a video to this blog.

This is going to be a fun experiment. 1. It will get to start posting stuff on this blog/site. 2. It’ll make make me think of cool places where I can shoot these little vignettes. 3. It will be a great summer project. 4. And it will push to be a little more creative.

So until beat number 1 goes out – which should be in the next 3-5 days – make a beat, make it sweet and don’t repeat.


Moving my teaching studio from the South Side to Etna

I’ve plan to move my teaching studio from the South Side to Etna, PA, which is just outside Pittsburgh. It’s much closer to where many of my students live. And it’s near the high school and middle school where I’m teaching the percussion.
The move should take place by either the end of the year or the start of 2015.
I’ll post photo of my new space.
Meanwhile, here’s a picture of my current location.TeachingStudio

Fall and Change

Friday night high school football games and crisp, chilly mornings are reminders that fall is almost here. I really like the transitional seasons – spring and fall – because change is so obvious. It’s also a great reminder that everything is moving through some kind of transition. Some are gradual and others occur in an instant.
One example of change in my life:
I would have never thought that I would be directing the percussion section of a high school marching band again. I’ve been with Hampton High School Marching Band since this past JuneI’m really enjoying the opportunity. It’s filled with challenges and successes.
Here’s a link to this a vide past Friday’s performance. Although there’s lot’s of crowd noise in the video and our drumlins is missing the lowest bass drummer, things moving along. As long we keep improving, we should have a great show by October.

Sunday in The Strip

A great way to spend Sunday: Spending a lovely spring afternoon in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District with the one I love.
It’s sunny and 55 degrees outside.
And after a great lunch and a little shopping, we’re hanging out at one if our favorite coffee shops.

Last Night Was a Success

Last night was a busy night of drumming. I performed with two bands show at Howlers Coyote Cafe in Pittsburgh. The first band was Batamba — a band that I’ve played with for almost a year now. We were originally scheduled to be the opening act for the Zambian musician Mathew Tembo. However, four of the members of Batamba plus a bass player and a trombone player ended up backing the xylophonist/mbira player from southern Africa.
He’d contacted us about a week ago and asked if we’d like to be his band for the Howlers show. So with one rehearsal under our belt, we managed to pull off a good performance. Good enough that he’s asked us to join him for more shows.
Michael’s music is very enjoyable to listen to and it definitely makes you want to dance
For Batamba it was our first performance since last November when we opened for the Tuareg guitarist Bombino. It was so good to play with those guys again. We’ll be headlining our own show at the AVA Lounge next Friday, May 2.

Speaking of great Africa influenced music (and dance), a good friend of mine will be performing with the AfroCuban dance ensemble Oyu Oro at the Dance Africa being held at the August Wilson Center tomorrow, April 24.