I love playing drums, and I love teaching others how to play drums. As a recent graduate from the University of Washington's acclaimed jazz program as well as an alumnus of the prestigious Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, I am a professional drummer and teacher with an extensive and unique set of experiences. Since middle school, I have been lucky enough to perform and tour all over the US and Europe, playing everything from house shows to esteemed competitions and festivals. In addition to being a member of several active local projects, I have performed with the Seattle Symphony; UW faculty members Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu, Luke Bergman, Ted Poor, and Marc Seales; several Cornish faculty members including Jim Knapp, Jovino Santos Neto, and Wayne Horvitz; and celebrated NYC-based players Wynton Marsalis, Tim Berne, Ralph Alessi, and Andrew D'Angelo. Aside from that, I am a co-founder of Table & Chairs, a new Seattle-based record label, as well as a co-founder of the Racer Sessions, a weekly forum and performance outlet for new and improvised music.
I began teaching in 2008, shortly after beginning my studies at the University of Washington. My private students have ranged from total beginners to advanced, each one presenting a unique set of interests and abilities to work with. In addition to teaching my own students, I have much experience as a substitute percussion teacher at Northshore Junior High School (Kingsgate, WA) and Spotlight Studios (Woodinville, WA). I have also presented many clinics and workshops at local schools including Garfield High School, Edmonds-Woodway High School, Ballard High School, Eckstein Middle School, and Holy Names Academy, as well as for Seattle JazzED. For these, the topics covered have ranged from free improvisation to straight-ahead and big band jazz.
*** Lesson Details ***
For beginning players, I like to start with the books "A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum" and "A Fresh Approach to the Drum Set," both by Mark Wessels. These books do a great job of laying down the fundamentals that all drummers should learn at the outset of their education. Beyond that, what I teach depends largely on any specific path(s) the student may wish to pursue, though of course it is totally fine if the student doesn't immediately know what they would like to study beyond the basics. In that case, I would do my best to construct a rough curriculum that I think would work well for the student. The following books are all ones I have worked with and have found to be excellent at improving unique things: "Syncopation" (Ted Reed), "Stick Control" (G.L. Stone), "The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary As Taught By Alan Dawson" (John Ramsay), "Patterns" (Gary Chaffee), and "Portraits in Rhythm" (Anthony Cirone).
I prefer lessons to be focused on a curriculum, however customized it may be, as I have found that approach to be the most efficient, especially with younger players. While I believe that it is very important to learn the fundamentals of drumming, I also believe that some of the most rewarding experiences a student can have may be achieved through realizing their own unique creative potential. Thus, I find it great to set the curriculum aside for part of the lesson, either to allow the student some time to show me what else they've been working on, listening to, watching, thinking about, or perhaps to just jam and have fun. I also expect students to make progress on their own between lessons, though I understand fully from my teaching experience that the amount of progress I can expect is different for each student.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Two full drum kits
*** Travel Equipment ***
Sticks, practice pad, books
*** Specialties ***
Jazz, rock, pop, many Latin and African styles, free improvisation
A Seattle-based record label devoted to the chronicling and advancement of creative new music.
A forum and performance outlet for new and improvised music that meets every Sunday night at Café Racer.
Extensive experience giving private lessons as well as clinics and workshops at various schools and organizations.
Currently involved in over 10 active projects that play entirely original and creative music as well as record and tour, working collaboratively with UW faculty members Cuong Vu and Luke Bergman and Cornish Professor Jim Knapp, among others
First-call drummer for musicals at various organizations including ArtsWest and Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Frequent calls from peers and local professionals to play various engagements in the Seattle area
A UW Registered Student Organization I co-founded in 2008 that works to present great improvised music and promote its appreciation. Also served as an IMP officer from 2008-2011.