Hi, I’m Jeff and I have been playing the drums for over 40 years and an instructor for the past 10 years. I began my teaching career at The School of Rock where I spent one (1) year helping the drum students learn to play along to songs from various rock groups such as The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Rush, Kiss and Led Zeppelin. We also covered funk artist Sly & The Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Parliament Funkadelic and James Brown, to name a few. From there, I started teaching at Dale Music, Co., where I served as the Director of Drum Set Studies for the past nine (9) years with a concentration on performing jazz. My personal drumming style has been influenced by Steve Gadd, William Kennedy, Jimmy Cobb, Art Blakey, Steve Smith and Ndugu Chancler to name a few. Utilizing my combined experiences has lead me in creating a course curriculum to help my students develop a full command of the essential skills every master drummer needs, what I call... “The 3 T’s” – Timing, Touch & Taste.
My following course outline was designed to work for students as young as 7 years old up to adults and will cover from the beginner to intermediate and also advanced students. It will provide a solid foundation in drumming, allowing the student to confidently play whatever musical style they choose.
• The Basics (grip, posture)
• Rhythmic Notation and Timing (reading music, working with a metronome)
• Stick Control (rudiments, etc.)
• Coordination (synchronizing hands & feet)
• Musical Styles & Rhythms
• Advanced Rhythms & Odd Meters
• Improving Your Sound (touch)
• Drum Tuning
• Handle Your Business (musically prepared, proper dress, arrive early)
You will be expected to be on time for your lessons and with the proper materials. While my teaching method is relaxed and without pressure, you the student must be willing to do consistent daily practice to achieve results. “Practice Is the Key to Progress”! The question is, how good do you want to be? Take ownership of the results you want to achieve but keep in mind; “you can’t get a full result with half an effort” and “the best shortcut is hard work”. My desire as an instructor is to help you achieve your musical goals and become the best drummer you can be.
My musical training as a beginning drummer started with The DC Youth Orchestra Program and lasted for three (3) years.
Later in life, I continued my educational experiences by attending yearly conferences (2 yrs.) of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), and (3 yrs.) of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) as well as (5 yrs.) of the KoSA Percussion Workshop where I attended master classes and private lessons with some of the industry’s top professionals; Elvin Jones, Ndugu Chancler, Jim Chapin, Joe Morello, Ed Shaughnesy, Steve Smith, Ed Thigpen and Ralph Peterson, Jr., to name a few.
By following their lead, I’m determined to practice, explore and seek different training materials as well as teaching methods to continually sharpen my skills as a drummer and educator.
I have been blessed to perform with some of the Washington, DC area’s premier jazz, funk and blues artists such as; Janine Gilbert-Carter, Cloudburst, The Adrian Duke Project, Mary Ann Redmond and Sandra Y. Johnson. I've also recorded multiple CD projects at Blue House, Bias and Omega Studios.
I have shared the stage with such notable’-s as; Gladys Knight, Stanley Turrentine, Keter Betts, Scott Ambush and Delfeayo Marsalis. My drumming has graced me to performed at many notable locations and venues; Blues Alley, The U.S. Capitol, Twins Jazz, Carter Barron Amphitheatre, Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, DAR Constitution Hall, The NBA’s “2002 All Star Weekend”, Bohemian Caverns, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, The DC Convention Center, The Hamilton, The Capital Jazz Fest and The Metropolitan Room in New York City, to name a few. I have performed on tours in Italy, England, Spain, Portugal, Cozumel, Guatemala and Costa Maya as well as Belize.
My theatrical credits include; ‘Five Guys Named Moe’_(productions at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC and The Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA). And, for local productions of ‘Anything Goes’, ‘Just So’ and ‘Footlose’. I have performed under extended contracts on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian’s Sun and The Queen Elizabeth II cruise ships as a member of their elite “Show Bands”.
Live radio performances include; WTMD 89.7 FM – “Unsigned Artist Series” and WPFW 89.3 FM – “Live @ 5” program. I was also interviewed on WPFW’s “Robyn’s Place” tribute broadcast, “Salute to the Drummer”.
Recurring performances have been with various on stage artist and as the rhythm section house drummer for three (3) years at The East Coast Jazz Festival and the past four (4) years at the renamed Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival.
I am a member of Advance Church where I serve as drummer for the Praise & Worship Team.