Tyler Zarzeka is a fantastic young drummer currently on the road with Kiiara. When we caught up with him on Episode 043, he had just wrapped up a tour with Noah Cyrus and was about to head out for his next run with Kiiara. Tyler started playing at age 16 taking lessons from the great Mike Johnston. He attended Musician's Institute in Los Angeles and started working for a backline company after graduating. He made some great connections in the industry and ended up touring the world as the drum tech for the incredible Aaron Spears. After 4 years on the road as a tech, Tyler decided to give playing his full attention and he has been a very busy touring pro since that time. Tyler's story is very inspirational and is sure to resonate with all who listen to this great interview.
Bernie Dresel is one cool cat and a red-hot drummer. Bernie assembled and leads The BBB Featuring Bernie Dresel, and let me tell you, this is one serious big band. Bernie's ability to swing, groove and smoke behind his large ensemble can't be overstated. The group's recent album, Bern Bern Bern, is sure to receive industry accolades and should be a part of any serious music-lover's collection. On episode 042, Bernie and Jamie catch up on the recording of Bern Bern Bern, Bernie's tenure with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, his amazing list of movie and television soundtrack credits and how he became one this generation's greatest big band drummers. Bernie is an incredible musician and a world-class nice guy that has a ton of great knowledge to share.
The Pat Travers Band, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, The Monkees, Michael Bolton, Johnny Winter and Bo Diddley. Any drummer would be thrilled with a shot playing with any single artist on this list. Sandy Gennaro has played with them all. Growing up in Little Italy on Manhattan's lower east side, Sandy started drumming at age 4. His career in music hasn't slowed since that time. On episode 041, Sandy talks with Jamie about his incredible journey and the chances he took along the way. Today, Sandy is still drumming with the likes of Mark Farner, Kip Winger and Derek St. Holmes; however, he has found a new calling as a motivational speaker as a way to give back. A man of integrity, kindness, positivity and virtually limitless energy, this episode is sure to inspire everyone that hears Sandy's wise words.
Bill Stewart's drumming is almost instantly recognizable the moment you hear it. He is a masterful and very melodic player that is in high demand by many jazz greats. On episode 040, Bill took a moment before a show with John Scofield in Seattle to talk with Jamie about his legendary career. Bill speaks freely about his upbringing in Des Moines, moving east to attend William Patterson University and beginning his professional career in New York. Bill has recorded countless great records in his career and has played with dozens upon dozens of icons in the music industry. This is a wonderful interview that offers great information on this superb musician.
Uli Salazar might have the coolest job in the drum industry. As Marketing and Artist Relations Manager for Ludwig, he has the daily opportunity to shape the message for this 110 year-old drum brand and interact with the 300 plus artists on Ludwig's roster of endorsers. Uli is a life-long resident of Chicago, the city where Ludwig resided for many years of their illustrious history. On episode 039, Uli and Jamie chat about Uli's early years, his start at Ludwig, what it takes to be a Ludwig artist and what Ludwig plans for their 110th anniversay year in 2019. Ludwig has a name that speaks volumes to drummers from every generation and style and Uli is the person responsible for that message. This is an episode that every drummer can appreciate.
April Samuels is the Founder and CEO of Breast Cancer Can Stick It Foundation and a fantastic drummer. She spent her entire life playing and recording with numerous bands in the Dallas area. In 2010, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, so she did what any drummer would do...She decided to fight the disease not only for herself, but for everyone else as well using the tools of her trade; drums. On episode 038, April shares her incredibly inspirational story, her hopes for the foundation and her passion for helping others. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we at The Drum Shuffle certainly want to do our best to shine a light on this great organization! Please donate to this great cause.
John Aldridge is truly an artisan in the drumming world. John resurrected the artform of hand-engraving drums for many major drum manufacturers. He learned engraving techniques during his search for a vintage engraved snare drum. Since essentially teaching himself how to engrave metal drums, he has performed work for Ludwig, Slingerland, Gretsch, Drum Workshop, Joyful Noise, A&F and others. He is also the founder of Not So Modern Drummer magazine, wrote the must-have book, Guide to Vintage Drums, runs a successful drum technical services business and manages to also tour the world as the drum technician for Bryan Hitt of REO Speedwagon. On episode 037, John took some time to talk shop with Jamie about the art of engraving, getting his start as a drummer, the quest for an engraved snare that led him to become a master engraver and a day in the life of a world-class drum tech. John's work is simply stunning. This is an episode that is highly educational and motivational as well.
Brad Morgan has been manning the drum throne for Drive-By Truckers for the past 20 years. His first album with the band was the critically-acclaimed double-record, Southern Rock Opera. That release set the Truckers' career into overdrive in 2001 and they haven't slowed their recording or touring habits since. On episode 036, Brad joins Jamie while on a short break between wrapping up tracking the new DBT record and their fall trek. Brad shares some great stories and insights into his beginnings as a musician, playing in various bands in the Carolinas and Georgia and being asked to cover a short tour with DBT that he never came home from. He also talks about the new DBT record, life on the road and how he is still his own drum tech. This interview was so much fun for us and is sure to brighten your day.