“Rat-ta-tat-tat, ra-duh-tat-tat,” I could feel the rhythm in my chest, the pulsing energy, the vibration soaring through my veins and I saw the ability to create the sounds and patterns all right in front of me from that simple rhythm, rat-tat-tat….that is when I knew, right away that this wasn’t just a passion, this was a part of me….creating music was a lifestyle and all of this revealed itself to me in a classroom, at the age of nine. For the past 15 years my life has been an accumulation of experiences all stemming from one another and those experiences have been rooted in passion, drive and a very clear vision to live a life where music is my fuel, my life force.
If you were to ask anyone in the Denver music scene, I have found a way to make myself a staple on the stages and in the bands around town, so much so that my weeks consist of rehearsals, gigs and navigating through a web of musicians, forming relationships and gaining their respect, while also securing more creative challenges down the line.
Before creating a name for myself in Colorado, I had the determination to take my skill from actively playing in orchestra, jazz band, marching band and percussion ensemble, to college with me and continue my education, which led me to Berklee College of Music. It was in the Fall of 2006 that I immersed myself in a completely new environment, seeped in rich talent, brilliant and masterful artists, I submerged myself into all of it headfirst and walked out with not only more knowledge, but the inspiration to become one of those artists who I had looked up to, people like Jamey Haddad and Bob Moses that LIVED a life of drums. I knew it was time for me to take everything back to where my roots were and “bloom” where I’d been planted.
In the summer of ’07, back where it all started I began actively seeking work and when the ball started rolling, I had to learn how to take it all in stride and not let the momentum roll right over me; I began juggling various different bands and forming friendships with the creatives in Denver including Berklee Alum, Gabrielle Louise, Megan Burtt, Holden Young, Melissa Axel, & Ayo Awosika who not only saw my talent, but encouraged me to delve even deeper, to stretch the limits and to think outside of the box, to create from a place of inspiration.
One of the people whom I formed a deep, artistic relationship was with singer-songwriter Andrea Ball, when made arrangements, played gigs and ended up recording a full-length album titled, “Beat Beat Pound” with Jeremy Larson in Springfield Missouri, who was working on drums for a Mute Math album. I saw the richness of the Denver scene with bands like The Fray and The Flobots finding mainstream success and I knew I was a part of something truly special and vibrant. I continued to play as a “drummer for hire” while also taking on a project with Ryan Brasher in a band called Eleanor. Working with Andrea Ball and Ryan Brasher helped for me to not always see the music from the drummer’s perspective, but from the songwriter’s perspective. It was out of that perspective that I started embracing and mastering my own style.
It was through Eleanor that we shared a gig in Boulder with singer-songwriter John Common. A couple days later I received a MySpace message asking if I wanted to play some shows in New Mexico. We had never played together, but I was excited to sit in and jam some songs with bassist Jimmy Stofer who had played with the Fray and wrote an album that I played percussion on in 2010 (with Weather Maps). The groove locked, and we recorded a set of songs at John Macy Studios. It was through this connection that more and more people kept hearing about this tasty drummer in town, and eventually how I ended up playing for Charles Murray, 200 Million Years, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, and Gregory Alan Isakov.
My life has been a series of experiences carrying me from opportunity to opportunity, person to person and gig to gig. I’ve created a brilliant web, a patchwork life of creative endeavors, tying it all together with sheer dedication to my art form, with passion to grow, to strive for more and to build onto what I’ve lived thus far and to magnify it.
I am not merely a drummer, who is only playing when I sit behind my drum set, my music is my life- I see rhythm in the motion of day-to-day; I hear beats under the soles of my shoes when I walk down the street, on the hood of my car in a hailstorm, in the clinking of crystal glasses, in the silence that hangs in the air between conversations- music isn’t outside of me, it’s around and in me, manifesting itself at the end of the day, when it’s just me, my cracked hands, worn feet, my drumsticks and my drum set, I surrender to the creative process, this is me and this is my life.
Experience & Education
Drummer for The High TopsJanuary 2011 to Present (over 6 years)
Hip-hop trio w/ Baba Fly & Panama Soweto
Teacher for Swallow Hill MusicFebruary 2010 to Present (over 7 years)
Teach private drum lessons, drums for beginners, and kids drumming classes.
Drummer/Programmer for 200 Million YearsApril 2009 to Present (over 8 years)
Help write music, and book shows for the band 200 Million Years.
Teacher for New Vista High SchoolOctober 2008 to Present (about 9 years)
Designed and teach Found Sound Percussion elective where High School kids learn the values of playing music using non-musical instruments.
Drummer/Educator for Muse's MarketApril 2011 to May 2011 (about a month)
A tour bus that runs on veggie oil that sets up in different cities week-to-week, houses 5 different musical acts and tours colleges educating people how to be eco-friendly.
Drummer for Strategic Metaphor LLCNovember 2008 to November 2010 (over 2 years)
Performed numerous shows with John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light including performing in front of a sold-out audience @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre 7/13/10. (See pictures)
Drummer for Denver's Best Jazz JamNovember 2009 to March 2010 (4 months)
Drummer for weekly Denver's Best Jazz Jam @ The Meadowlark
Drummer for ALTONovember 2008 to February 2009 (3 months)
Drummer for bi-weekly gig that performed the play BARE & Christmas tunes.
Percussion Teacher for Project YESSSeptember 2005 to December 2005 (3 months)
Taught high school extra-curricular program that developed and performed a piece demonstrating how music is an active form of developing social change.
in Professional Music, Drum Performance at Berklee College of Music2006 to 2008 (2 years)