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Artist News & Happenings - 2001
Up Close & Personal
Leon Mobley

I'm here in Houston working on a production by the Kuumba House entitled Amasiko. It is a South African Dance story for the whole family. The shows take place on Dec. 21 + 22 at 8:00pm at the Cullen Theatre in the Wortham Center, 550 Prairie (713)-227-2787 in the downtown section of Houston. From here I go to NY to record a live album with Babatunde Olatunji at SOB'S (sound of Brazil) on the 26 + 27 of Dec. 8:00pm 204 Varick St. at W. Houston one block from the village. (212)-243-4940. After that I start the new album with Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals. We just recorded a song on the sound track for Sean Penn's new movie entitled "Sam I Am" and we also just recorded an album with Blackalicious, a rap group from SF. I can be heard on Macy Gray new album. I was nominated for best musical director for a stage play in LA entitled "The Love of Freedom". The play actually won for best costumes, best director and best play, 3 awards. I will be playing at the Agape Church, both services, in the house band on the 30th of Dec. The church is located on 5700 Buckingham Pkwy Culver City (310)-348-1250. Also the class for sat. are now on Mon. 7:00/9:00pm. We will also be playing at the Drum Jam America. org The date of the performance is April 27, 2002. I will also be at the NAMM show signing autographs one of those days I think it is Thurs. Also Da Lion, my personal group, is working on a new album to be released in the spring of 2002 along with the re-release of "Mandingo Drumming " feat. Abdoulaye Diakite and "Djimbe and Vocal" earlier recordings of Leon Mobley.



Jim Greiner

It's been a year full of performing, clinics, drum circles and recording. Too much to go into all at once but here are some of the most recent projects:

-percussion clinics and drum circles for LP throughout North America including New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona, Nevada and Canada. I was just in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada for a series of LP clinics and drum circles for Coast Music Distributors, the MusicStop chain of stores and the Nova Scotia Music Educators Association Conference. I also did one of my corporate team building drumming programs for the sales and office staff at the main MusicStop store in Halifax. I had a great time there; the people were hungry to drum and the folks at Coast and MusicStop were incredibly gracious and hospitable.

-I filmed a seried of percussion clinics for LP at their facility in New Jersey that has been turned into QuickTime video and is on their web site at lpmusic.com. I covered claves, shekere, tambourine and afuce/cabasa.

-a lot of performing with The Bill Hopkins Rockin' Orchestra at corporate parties and resorts throughout North America, Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean. We're an 11 piece show and dance band plus anywhere from 4 to 12 dancers, depending on the gig. Our last road trip was three days at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, then the next day in Palm Springs. We do a wide range of styles from Big Band and different types of jazz to rock, funk, R&B, Latin and pop, so I get to play a lot of different kinds of percussion.

-community and therapeutic drumming with my company, Hands-On! Drumming

Events have been booming: Corporations and their employees seem to need more team building, stress releasing and morale boosting than ever! (don't we all!) One of the companies in the midwest that I worked for last year to help create community spirit when they tripled their work force, rehired me recently to boost the morale and community spirit of the survivors of their latest downsizing. I hope the economy turns around soon, there are a lot of good people wanting to work who are struggling.

- It's been another busy year for my therapeutic drumming.

I get out to a lot of convalescent centers, retirement communities, at-risk youth and substance abuse programs, and even an ocassional prison. It works just about anywhere!

I recently developed a therapeutic drumming program for a stroke center that will be featured in an upcoming PBS special on "healing modalities" I'll let you know, as soon as I do, when it will be broadcast. I love this work; we all know how beneficial drumming is physically, mentally and emotionally, so it's enormously fulfilling to share it with others who have not yet discovered it.

-I've also been doing a lot of recording sessions in the San Francisco area. Mostly CDs, but a little film, TV and jingle work, as well. It's good to get back to recording; I wish I had the time to do more.

That's it for now. May 2002 bring an abundance of peace, health and good fortune to you all!

Jim Greiner

Hands-On! Drumming® Events



Bermuda Schwartz

2001 has been a much-needed year off for Weird Al & the band. Despite the lack of touring & recording, I've been busy with my web design business, traveling with wife Leslie and on my own, taking care of household projects, and generally relaxing in-between.

I've also finally undertaken a rather massive project: archiving all of my recorded work to CD. These tapes include most of my recording sessions, live performances, living room rehearsals of my first band from 1971, and of course nearly everything I've ever done with Al including rehearsals, demos, studio outtakes, and more than 300 live performances! I'm also saving Al's original 4-track masters to digital, some dating back more than 20 years, just in case those are ever needed for reissue. Most of the recordings are one-of-a-kind, saved on cassettes which are gradually deteriorating. Unless I preserve them now, they'll soon be gone forever.

There are hundreds of hours of tape, and as of mid-December I've transferred over 1,300 tracks to more than 70 CDs, logging each title, date, audio source, and other pertinent info into a database.

I still practice every day, and have been gigging around L.A. with Rip Masters. We should be back in the studio with Al early in 2002, and are hoping for a new album and tour for the summer.

Take care and best wishes for the Holidays,

Bermuda Schwartz


Cougar Estrada

Hi Everyone, I've been really busy this year 2001 recording on the Los Super Seven CD "Canto" which will have a follow up DVD/Video, aired on PBS sometime in January 2002.

2001 also had me busy recording with Country Artist Rick Trevino's Latin Debut CD "Mi Son," Raul Malo's (The Mavericks) solo debut CD entitled "Today." In fact I just got back from a 3 week Tour with Raul Malo promoting the CD around the states. I hear maybe European Tour in March 2002.

Look out for the latest Los Lobos record in 2002. I shared the drum/percussion throne thanks to my good friend Louie Perez (drummer for Los Lobos) who gave me the opportunity to work on the record.

The thing I'm most excited about is my debut CD Conga Punks I produced in 2000 and my latest production at Cougar Records I just released in mid-Nov. 2001. Which I dedicate to people that have passed away from cancer, especially my Mom who passed away from breast cancer on Sept. 16 2000. So far its totally dominating the charts of mp3.com for the passed 3 weeks # 1-17 on Regional Mexicado Chart. No other artist has ever done that. The cool thing is there is only 17 songs on the CD. I hope it lasts. I know my Mom would be proud.

Thank you friends and Have A Merry Christmas and A Safe New Year for the year 2002.

Cougar Estrada


Marco Minnemann


It´s Marco Minnemann. Just wanted to send a quick hello. I just finished a one month clinic US tour which was reaally great. Hope to see you again soon, and hope this mail gets through to you.... keep up your amazing work.



Walfredo Reyes Jr

Hi Everyone!!

Since my last newsletter in Feb. 2001, a lot has happen this year. The biggest challenge has been to find the balance between my musical career & my personal life. I had to deal with many new personal, health, & family changes.

On the musical side, aside from staying closer to LA this year more than previous ones, I worked on many sessions for TV, commercials, artists & my own personal songs & demos. I want to share some great highlights:

In February my Father Walfredo Reyes, Sr., my brother Danny Reyes & I, performed a national Carl's Jr. TV commercial for US Hispanic TV & Radio stations. We played percussion & sang on it. It was a great experience except for having to bite & spit about 20 cheeseburgers to get the right camera shot!

In March, I performed with the Freddie Ravel Group for Bossendorfer Pianos at the Frankfurt Music Messe Show, Germany. I now know what a Stradivarius piano is! Then I went to Holland to do some concerts & an instructional video for a great percussionist & friend Martin Verdonk. Check out his web. www.martinverdonk.com

In April I found myself in Rotterdam, Holland, again, playing for the Heineken Night Life Show, a three night concert filmed for Dutch TV. This year I had the pleasure to work with Donna Summer, En Vogue, Steve Winwood, Son By 4, & Los Del Rio (Macarena), & a wonderful all star band from UK & Holland. A lot of Dance Grooves, R&B & Divas!

In May I had the pleasure to work with my good friend percussionist Alex Acuna & some incredible musicians on a Verve Records Xmas Album produced by Lee Ritenour & Dave Grusin. I did not want the session to end! I also did a recording session & a great concert in Ohai, CA with Oscar Castro Neves, performing the music of Carlos Jobim.

In August my son Joseph & I spent a week at KOSA Percussion Camp where I taught in the beautiful mountains of Vermont. What a memorable experience for teachers & students!! A rare opportunity to share quality time with my son & with world percussion & drumset greats like Dom Famularo, Richie Garcia, Marco Minneman, Johnny Rabb, Ed Shaughnessy, Zoro, Glen Velez, Arnie Lang, Aldo Mazza, Gordon Gotlieb & many many other great musicians.... Check out this website, www.kosamusic.com. I hope to see you there next year!! I also found myself collaborating & writing with piano greats, Don Grusin, Ron Feuer & Larry Cohn. New compositions for the near future...

On September 10th I did a Latin Grammy star-studded tribute to Julio Iglesias, with musical director Arturo Sandoval & an LA All Star Band. Some of the performers I got to work with were Celia Cruz, Alejandro Sanz, Laura Paussini, Jon Secada, Phil Ramone (producer). It was a great night.... & then I woke up September 11!!! Unfortunately, you know the rest...

On September 14th, against all odds, with high tension in the air, I made my way through airports, security, armed soldiers, baggage checks, etc. to perform a 7 week Mapex Deep Forest Drum Workshop Tour in Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Spain, UK, France & Canada. I have to say music & rhythms were an incredibly powerful source of communication through out & the tour was a success with high attendance everywhere. Thanks all of you who participated & attended.

November was a session month, working on albums for Lou Del Gatto "You, the Night & the Music", Clare Fischer's clarinet ensemble CD, Japanese artist T-Square, Larry Cohn's upcoming CD, & my own upcoming drum & percussion CD as well "Crudo". I also got to play with Sheila E.& her Dad Pete Escovedo w/ Freddie Ravel on the Namaste Award Humanitarian Ceremony given to the LA Police & Fire Departments traveling to help at the Trade Center tragedy. An uplifting & spiritual event! Also, I had a great pleasure playing with Brazilian guitarist great Jose Neto & his band! Intense & Dynamic!

In Dec. I had the pleasure of joining a great world music ensemble to accompany master oud & violin player Simon Shaheen & Tunisian singer Amina in a memorable concert that broke the political barriers into a night of Peace through Music! Check my web for pictures.

I ended the year with the annual benefit The Y Spirit Concert that my friend & great drummer Eddie Tuduri organizes every year for the specially gifted children with disabilities. A night of great performances, sharing & reunion with friends - Kevyn Latteu & Mike Shapiro, Airto & Flora, Joe Porcaro, Ndugu, Tommy Aldridge, my Dad Walfredo Sr., Vinnie Colaiutta, Ralph Humphrey & many many others.

That's about it for now! May the New Year bring you & your families lots of Health, Peace & Happiness,

God Bless you, Please stay in Touch,



Steve Smith

Greetings Vital Fans,

So much has happened since my last newsletter, I don't know where to start!!

OK, I'll start in the summer. In July after some drum clinics in sunny Puerto Rico, Vital Information played on the US West Coast (LA and San Diego) and then went directly to London for a great week at the legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott's. We then traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland for their Jazz Festival -- what a beautiful city. In November we flew to Beijing, China and spent an incredible week there. We played a sold-out concert for 1,200 Chinese jazz fans at the Beijing Jazz Festival. I did an afternoon clinic in a jazz club (only the third drum clinic ever in Beijing) and then we spent a few days seeing the sights which included the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Looks like we'll return sometime in 2002 to play for a week in a Beijing jazz club. If this happens it will be a first for jazz in China -- they have not yet had jazz players in residence for a week in one club.

In August and September I toured the US with Indian tabla player Sandip Burman and East Meets Jazz, which included Howard Levy, Jerry Goodman, Victor Bailey and Randy Brecker. We were in the middle of a great tour when the Sept. 11 tragedy occurred. The final two weeks of the tour were canceled and it's unlikely that we'll ever put the band back together to complete the tour.

In October and early November I did an extensive clinic tour of Europe and the UK, which helped me to fine tune some of my teaching concepts. I will be documenting my new ideas and techniques on an upcoming DVD for Hudson Music that I'll be filming in February 2002!

Also in November, Frank Gambale, Ric Fierabracci and I played a week of high energy fusion trio gigs in the UK and Italy. (This trio may be playing at the Key Club in Hollywood on Jan. 18th, during NAMM, we're unconfirmed at this point -- check the website for confirmation) During the last few months I also found time to squeeze in a few one-off gigs with the Yo Miles! Band, the Mickey Hart Band, the Steve Smith / Mike Zilber Quartet and Son Of Bitches Brew, all were great fun. The new Vinnie Moore CD, Defying Gravity, and the new Tony Macalpine recording, Chromaticity, were recently released and I had the pleasure of playing drums on both albums.

I experienced a thrilling musical high when I recently recorded with the incredible tabla master Zakir Hussain! Zakir played on and produced the new album for tenor sax player George Brooks. George wrote some very interesting and challenging music using a combination of Western and Indian composition techniques. We also had Kai Eckhardt on bass and Fareed Haque on guitar, so the chemistry was strong. The band played so well that we nailed most of the tunes on the first or second take, finishing the whole record in two days. This record will come out sometime in 2002 on Zakir's label, Moment Records. Once this recording is released we'll be playing a few live dates with this lineup!

Last week I played at Sculler's in Boston with my old friends Steve Marcus and Larry Coryell -- Count's Jam Band (with Greg Jones on bass). We had a ball playing the music from our Tone Center recording, Count's Jam Band -- Reunion. I got to visit with some of my hometown family members, my buddies from Zildjian and Vic Firth and one of my mentors and teachers, Gary Chaffee. (Count's Jam Band will be appearing at the NAMM show on evening of Jan 19th, and will possibly be at The Key Club in Hollywood on Jan 18th -- check the website later for confirmation and details.)

Vital Information has a busy 2002 coming up which will include a US tour in March and April, (starting on the West Coast and then playing the East Coast and Midwest) a week at the Blue Note Jazz Club in Las Vegas, a week of teaching and playing at the Berklee College of Music in June and traveling to Costa Rica in August...

Also coming in 2002 are San Francisco Bay Area gigs with the Steve Smith / Mike Zilber Quartet in January/Feb, a week at Ronnie Scott's in London with Buddy's Buddies, more clinics in the UK, and a week of teaching in July at the Martoberdorf Percussion Camp in Germany. Intuition is currently negotiating with US labels for the US release of the Vital Info CD "Show 'Em Where You Live." I'll keep you all posted on the results.

Be sure to check out our website, www.vitalinformation.com for the latest postings and updates, my man Wayne Saroyan has been hard at work. I've added a few things to the "Drumtalk" page: a detailed description of my setup, an article on "Drums Du Jour," a list of some of my favorite books, and an interview I did for the UK drum magazine, Rhythm. Another new addition to the website is my complete discography, or at least I thought it was. After the discography was posted I got some emails about a few recordings I had completely forgotten about, so it's about 99% correct! We'll also be posting some recent pictures from life on the road in the next few weeks.

One last thing, the new VH1 Journey Behind The Music -- Directors Cut -- is a 100% improvement over the original debacle. Producer Doug Rittenhouse has included an extra half hour of interview footage and now I'm in it for more than the original 3 seconds. He did a much better job of telling the Journey story this time around. Journey has a new Columbia release just in time for Christmas, The Essential Journey, a double CD with all the greatest hits plus many other good songs, a great gift for the true Journey fan!

Have a great holiday season, Steve


Click here for some of my confirmed upcoming gigs in 2002


Sean O'Rourke

Hi Pam,

Just a quick note. I have been out with Derek Trucks for the last month as Yon Rico Scott recooperates from a hospital stay. It's been great. Mike Stern opened up for us in Buffalo. He had Richie Morales and Lincoln Goines with him. Stern and the guys stayed for our show. Half way through the show Stern got up and played with us.

I will be with them in Sanfrancisco on New Years eve. We will be playing with Phil Lesch and friends.

Hope all is well.

Sean O'Rourke


Jim Greiner

Hi Pam,

Great site as usual! I hope you are well. I know life in NYC is no longer "normal" in the same way as it was, but my prayers go to all of you that you may have peace of mind and body and joy in your lives as well.

I've been well. A lot of playing, recording, clinics and corporate and community drumming. My family is thriving and I get to spend a lot of time with them when I'm not on the road. I often think of the LP NAMM JAMM that you set up for me to do while you were at LP. What a great idea and a great time! I still hear from people who participated and hold it as a great memory...

I look forward to hearing from you. See you at NAMM!

All the best,

Jim Greiner's Hands-On! Drumming® Events



Wally Gator Watson

Hey, this is Wally Gator Watson of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. I wanted to say thanks for the emails and calls of concern for my safety that I have recieved from around the world. I am doing fine and want you all to know that you have touched my heart. I have just returned from my clinic tour in British Columbia, and P.A.S.I.C., where I had wonderful times. Thanks for the birthday wishes and cards. You guys are the best.

I would like you all to go to my website, www.wallygator.net, for my latest goings on. God Bless and I hope to see you soon.



Ramon Yslas

Hello all...

I'm finally home! Just finished the world tour with the Backstreet Boys... it was a fun year and I'm going to miss all who were involved..especially our dear friend and brother Danny Lee... he worked with the crew on the tour. He was on flight 11 that hit the WTC... Danny you will always be in my heart and your family will always be in my prayers... ...we started rehearsals the day after thanksgiving last year... A full year, and I thank God. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the NAMM show ...I missed it last year, so it will be extra special for me!! ...I landed from Japan this past Monday, waited at LAX for three hours, then got on another flight to Texas to do a show with Strunz and Farah. With S and F, I only play cajon, and Joey DeLeon played congas and bongos... no drumset, the cajon was pretty much the kit, and my hands were not used to it!! Felt great playing cajon again!!! and a pleasure to play with these "boys" ....got a couple of sessions coming up and then Christmas... oh oh!! got to do some shopping.... be safe and stay in touch... please check out the website when you have a minute... God Bless....


hugs to all, ramon yslas


Eddie Tuduri

Hope all is well with you, Love, Eddie

On Sunday, December 9 Th. from 5 PM. until 9 PM., L.A.M.A will host the second annual benefit for ''The Rhythmic Arts Project''. TRAP is a non profit organization that brings together drummers, percussionists and main stream therapists to facilitate a unique and proven approach in dealing with various disabilities. Teens and young adults from the Y Spirit and High Spirits programs of Pasadena will participate in dance and drumming.

The show will be hosted by Adam Arkin and Mike Shapiro, Director of Education at The Los Angeles Music Academy. Many special guests are scheduled to appear including Airto Moreira, Walfredo Reyes Sr., Walfredo Reyes Jr., Luis Conte, Richie ''Gajate'' Garcia, Raul Rico, Suzanne Morissette, Ronnie Gutierrez, Gary Novak, Carmine Appice, Joe Porcaro, Ralph Humphrey, Steve Fister with Marco Mendoza and Tommy Aldridge and the incomparable Kevyn Lettau with Mike Shapiro, Mike Miller and Jerry Watts.

This will be a very intimate evening with only 150 tickets available. Please join us at the performance hall at The Los Angeles Music Academy 370 South Fair Oaks Ave., in Old Town Pasadena.

Tickets are a $40.00 tax deductible donation and may be purchased in advance at the school 626 568 8850, or at the door. For further information contact Eddie Tuduri at 805 745-8280 or ETuduri@Aol.com.


Roger Squitero

Hi Pam, I'm on tour with Luther Vandross untill mid Feb.I hope everything is cool with you... Have a great holiday this year. Be safe... peace, Roger Squitero


Mel Gaynor

Hey guys, just got done on clinic tour of germany for Clavia. Also in germany with Tony Liotta workshop November 29th. Also Dvd from SPL with myself Kenny, Simon and Dennis avalible now hope you guys are well.


Jim Payne

...I started my own band "House of Payne." Can't believe I'm doing this again.

Hope to see you at PASIC.




Hip Pickles

The three of us in Hip Pickles are quite thrilled to have the opportunity to "do something", to help out, maybe in a small way, but still and all, an opportunity to do what we do- - - - - and help raise funds for the Red Cross, who are so active in the WTC relief effort.

This Thursday Night we are performing in a reasonably sized fund raiser Concert at Webster Hall, in NYC, for 2000 folks who are the Music/Advertising Community. The house band for the evening is the Saturday Night Live band with Lenny Picket (the amazing Tenor player from the Early Tower of Power days...and the first call Studio drummer Shawn Pelton. There is supposed to be a huge Chorus performing, that consists of all of NYC's top Jingle singers, and quite a few guest vocalists (which I have no idea who they are)

Like most Americans, we've been wanting to do something... and here is a VERY much appreciated opportunity for us to give a little of our time to help out and raise some much needed funds. We are honored.

Chet Doboe
Hip Pickles


Adolfo "Fofi" Lancha

Hi Pam,

Hope all is well considering what happened. Just wanted to inform you that I will be on a new show, besides "Sabado Gigante"called "Don Francisco" presents that UNIVISION is launching this month, is a show
a la David Letterman. We will be taping the show the 9,10,11 in Univision Miami. The show is aired every Wednesday at 10pm on Univision network.

"Sabado Gigante International "


Terry Silverlight

Hello Pam,

I hope you are well. Aside from checking in to say hi and to be sure you're OK after the disaster, I just wanted to mention that I'm performing again with my own band. Also, I've just signed on as an endorser with Evans drumheads. Plus, a song I wrote for UK pop artist Louise which was in the top ten there and has sold over 2 million copies worldwide, was just released on her Greatest Hits album which is again on the charts in the UK.

Thanks and best wishes.


Mel Gaynor

Hi you guys,

Busy laying tracks and vocals for my first solo album in Vienna! Also busy with clinics for Ddrum in Stockholm, Rotterdam, all over Germany and Switzerland. Also coming the end of October the SPL DVD featuring myself, Dennis, Simon, and Kenny.

(P.S. My Sympathy to all American people on the tragic events of the past 3 weeks)


Sandy Gennaro

Dear Pam,

... I returned 9/7 from a Monkee Tour that's been out for most of the year. It's good to be home.

I hope all is well with you and yours.

Love, Sandy Gennaro


Bernard Purdie

Dear Friends and Fans

So many of you have sent e-mails and telephoned to see if I am alive and well, for that I thank you.

In the past few days my thoughts have gone to the many people I know in the New York area and to those who I know have family here.

So this message comes with a simple hope and prayer that you and yours are well, that you will survive this ordeal and face a new tomorrow with hope and a renewed joy of living.

Let us join together and show we are a strong, decent, peaceful people, knowing we will overcome and go forward.

The government will take care of revenge, we, the people, will remain strong in our resolve to not judge people by their country of origin, their religious affiliation, the color of their skin, or their status on the economic scale.

Now more than ever, peace always..........

Bernard Purdie


Steve Smith

Hi Everyone,

The East Meets Jazz tour that I was in the middle of was canceled after the tragic events on September 11th. Our last gig was in Blacksburg, VA. Howard Levy, Jerry Goodman and I rented a U-Haul truck and drove to Chicago. Randy Brecker, Victor Bailey, Sandip Burman and Paul Bollenback drove back to Baltimore and each found their way home from there. In Chicago I hooked up with Tom Coster Jr., an old friend who also happened to be stranded in Chicago. We picked up an Avis rent-a-car and we drove three more days to get back to the San Francisco, CA area.

I have a benefit concert coming up on Saturday in Santa Rosa, CA, some local San Francisco Area gigs in a week and then I’ll travel to Europe for a Sonor/Zildjian clinic tour. If all goes well, I hope to see many of you in the next few months. I’ll be posting the clinic dates on my website once they become finalized. Here is what Sonor has for now, but there are a few stores/venues that need to be confirmed. (see Upcoming Clinics, Concerts & Shows for itinerary)

The Best To You All, Steve


Gregg Gerson

To Everyone,

This current news is in regard to my personal experience of the attack on my country and fellow New Yorkers, so I will share with you what I've been up to.

First off, I woke up at 8:50AM, September 11, 2001, to the yells of, "Oh my God, Oh my God" from my bedroom window. I turned on the radio and heard. The first attack on the North tower was at 8:42AM... Then I threw on clothes and went outside. I stood on Bleecker & Thompson Street, which is around the corner from where I live. I saw the second tower go down right in front of my eyes. It was surreal. Like nothing I've ever seen. Watching as the tower fell. It looked as though it was falling in slow motion. I cried tears like a baby as it went down and fell to my knees in disbelief...

For the next four days in lower Manhattan. The streets were baron. The lights from the emergency vehicles flashing. It had now become a war zone here where I live. I could once see the towers from my bedroom window. That vision from my window, is only but a memory today. Only military helicopters and fighter jets are in our air space over the city.

The day of the attack, I couldn't stop my tears... I had gone to the hospital to give blood, but was told, "we have enough right now, come back tomorrow."

I, like so many, felt the need to help our cause. I went down to the Salvation Army the night after the attack and signed up for duty. I unloaded trucks all night and reloaded them with water, and all sorts of supplies... The next day I was scheduled to work at Saint Vincent's Hospital on the morning shift doing what ever was asked of me. And so there I was. I got into a supply fire van headed down to the area near ground zero to off load all the supplies. I had done that twice, but after the second drop off, paratus, boots, gloves and a shovel and began walking to the base of the devastation and found a team of men with shovels. I just joined them and never left.

Who would have thought that a guy like me, a professional drummer, a musician, would not only get down to ground zero with shovel in hand, but to find myself with a demolition company working 12 hour shifts from 7PM to 7AM... We are the men right on the front lines cutting away at the great steel girders 4 and 6 inches thick with burning torches.

What choice does one have but to do what one feels he or she must do. I myself needed to be right there, in it. It's my nature. I'm honored to be there, and at the same time, my heart is broken. We are slowly picking away at what's left of the World Trade Centers. I myself was assigned to the WTC 7 building at the end of Greenwich Street. I saw President Bush at ground zero personally, which brought tears to my eyes as he spoke. I felt a sense of pride indescribable.

We're all doing our part... We're proud. Proud Americans! Proud New Yorkers! I'll do what's ever necessary to save lives and help in what ever way I can...

God Bless America!!!

Regards to all,
Gregg Gerson


Tommy Igoe

Hey Pam!

The video series was just released... All the info is on my site, Tommyigoe.com.

Hope all is well with you or as well as it can be with all this madness.

Tommy Igoe


Frank Colón

dear friend,

this message is just to let you know that we're ok and doing well.

margo is in rio de janeiro and, therefore, far away from this mess here. she joins in sending her prayers to all who were affected by this disaster!

while, on account of having to serve on grand jury duty, i was actually in the wall street area at 10:00 am and witnessed the tragedy first-hand!

right now, we must all intensify our personal efforts for achieving peace in our society, in our world, in our time. please engage in heart-to-heart dialogue for the sake of peace with everyone you know and everyone you meet!




Ernie Durawa

Hi Folks,

The tour ended last night in Eindhoven, Holland and it was a great success. I am now sitting in Internet cafe in Amsterdam and playing tourist until I return to Austin on Sunday.

Weather here is beautiful...some rain too. I love Amsterdam. See you all soon.



MB Gordy

as always thanks for the info and cool site

This summer and for sometime to come I have had the Honor to be playing with the Doobie Brothers...... Michael Hossack had a terrible motorcycle accident back at the end of June and I got the call from Kieth Knudsen to fill in for him and and even stay on when he returns..... So that has been exciting.... As well as doing film, record and jingle dates in LA when I am home. I have also been a regular sub on two of the percussion chairs for LIONKING in LA...


MB Gordy


Babatunde Olatunji - From John @ DW

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present". - Babatunde Olatunji

I've heard and read this quote before (usually quoted incorrectly) but never knew until today that it was originally a "Baba" quote. I just learned he is very sick in Boston with advanced diabetes at what someone described as "New England Deaconess Hospital" which as far as I can tell is now "Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital" after the two hospitals merged. I'm going to research it further. I'll be in Boston at some point this week and if I can locate him, I am going to see if he's well enough to take vistors. From what I have heard, he is alone, and not having a good time of it. I spent two days with Baba many years ago at a percussion workshop in CT, and his passion for drumming and his belief that life itself and everything in it is connected to rhythm had a profound effect on me. He is a warm soul, and anyone that has spent time with him knows what a special person he is. When his eyesight began failing, he recognized the playing of one of his students and close friend of mine without seeing him. This was across a crowded noisy room at a Percussive Arts Society trade show. Imagine having thousands of students worldwide (maybe millions?) and hearing the difference! I also was fortunate to be with Marco Soccoli a few years ago at the trade show in L.A. when Baba came wandering through...seemingly lost. Marco sang one of Baba's songs to him, and Baba said "who sings my song?" and Marco replied "Marco" and he said "Marco...Marco from New York?" It floored me again! Anyway, I will try and find him, and if I do, I will give everyone the address so we can send cards, letters, thoughts, flowers and whatever. He's 74 (I think) now and I'd guess his spirits are down. He is at his best when he's drumming, and I'm sure he's not capable of that while he's hospitalized. I'll be in touch on this later in the week. Let's not forget what an important contribution Baba has made to music and our lives! Be well...John Van Ness

PS - If any of you have more info than I do please share it with the group!

PSS - Baba was discharged from Beth Israel Deaconess hospital in Boston on 8/23. I'm not sure at this point how to find him, or if he is well. I'll keep you posted if I hear anything. JVN

Salon People | Babatunde Olatunji: Delivering the cure


Sean O'Rourke

Hey Pam,

Been awhile.......... It's a different world not being out on tour. Since the last we spoke, I've been out with Leo Nocentelli of The Meters. He's the guitar player that wrote most of the tunes. I also did some more work with Oteil and the Peacemakers. And a nine month tour, including Europe, with Mothers Finest.

Lately I'm home. At last count played with thirty two players in a month's time. Lot's of different things including gigs, records, production, commercials, and writing. I also picked up Protools and have been doing well with it. When Francine Reed isn't out with Lyle Lovett or Willy Nelson, I do all of her intown stuff. I will be drumming for her in a play with Mia Angelo sometime in September. I'll let you know more when I get it.

I almost forgot......"The Sean O'Rourke Trio" featuring Dan Coy on guitar and Russ Rodgers on bass, has been doing every Tuesday at Smith's Olde bar. It's been a blast. I bring a kick, snare, hi-hat, cymbal and use a djembe and conga in place of toms. I play mainly with no sticks. It's kooky.

My trio will be the pit band for Francine's play.

Still Working................................

Sean O'Rourke

Sean O'Rourke Trio - Bohemian Bop & Instrumental Improvisations



Chet Doboe - Hip Pickles

Well, as some of you know, I suffered a 2" tear in my left calf muscle about 7 weeks ago at Hip Pickles rehearsal attempting to do a "inverted forward lunging" crab walk with the 6" lift - - at 180 beats per minute. I was not able to perform, rehearse or do much of anything else for what seemed eternity and very fortunately my buddy and former Hip Pickles member Chris Lopez, "PEZ" is now a top shelf Physical Therapist who owns Peak Performance Fitness Center in Mineola (Plug). . . . . and Pez's treatment has expedited my recovery. By the way a Muscle tear is VERY painful, as I learned first hand.......and slow to heal...... But I learned that Proper Physical Therapy really does make a HUGE difference.

I started rehearsing with the group last week and I'm happy to say that "I'm back in the Saddle Again". thanks Pez.... you are the best!

So....... my first gigs with the group ..............

Right after Labor day the Hip Pickles fly out to Las Vegas where we will be performing at Treasure Island on September 5th, sharing the stage with some Cirque Light Performers (Cirque Soleil). Then we're back to NY and we will be performing Saturday and Sunday for the US Open Tennis Tournament in Flushing Queens, which should be a great gig.

I feel fortunate that we have a couple of cool gigs to get me back into the swing of things.

I can tell you that it is a blessing to be healthy and I am thrilled to be able to once again perform with my buds Chris and Jeremy. I can't begin to tell you how much I missed drumming!

Drumming IS LIFE!

I am so excited to be me again!

Happy Labor Day- - God Bless



Steve Smith


I've had a crazy few months with gigs all over the planet! I've traveled from Costa Rica to Europe, Puerto Rico to the West Coast of the USA to the UK all in the span of a couple of months!! I need a vacation, but. . . no such luck. Here is a list of upcoming gigs. I'll send out another list of dates when more of the European clinic dates and additional tour dates shape up. Hope to see you on the road. . . Steve


Ernie Durawa

Hey Pam,

Hope all is well with you.

I am departing for Amsterdam next Wed. August 29th for a 19 day tour of Holland and Belgium. My first gig will be at The Hague...playing for a Dutch Country and Western line dance club. Someone asked me if they would be dancing in their wooden shoes. I don't think so. Playing in Assen, Eindhoven, and Pannigan and one gig in Brussels. Will return to US in mid Sept. I have hired Earl Poole Ball on piano... formally of the Johnny Cash band and The Byrds. Will spend one entire week in Amsterdam checking out museums etc.

Best To You,
Ernie Durawa


John JR Robinson

Hi guys,

Just a note to let you know that Debbie and I had a son, Jack Matthew Robinson, born 7/23 @ 11:34pm. He weighed 7 lbs 10 oz. and was 21" long. He's perfect!

Also, my band, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan will be starting our US tour Sept 1st in Ft. Lauderdale and working our way west. A CD will follow.

See ya soon, JR


Steve Smith

Pam and Negro -- here are some of my upcoming gigs for your website:

The East Meets Jazz tour is a meeting of US jazz musicians and an extraordinary tabla player from India, Sandip Burman. We will be performing all of Sandip's music in a mostly acoustic format. His music is particularly hard for US players, since none of it is in 4/4. For example, he has time signatures like 5 1/4 and 8 1/2, which I finally figured out are 21/16 and 17/8 (in Western terms). This should be a very interesting musical experience for all of us! Steve

East Meets Jazz featuring
Sandip Burman - tabla
Randy Brecker - trumpet (selected dates)
Jerry Gooman - violin
Howard Levy - harmonica/keyboards
Victor Bailey - bass
Steve Smith - drums


Mel Gaynor

Hi this is 'MEL GAYNOR' from sunny UK reporting... I have just finished a recording with Kenny, Dennis, Simon for a new DVD 5.1 sample CD amongst other things. I am very exited about this. Love your newsletters, keep up the good work.


Alex Acuna

Hi there,

I'm glad somebody is going around the world distributing the great latin beats.

Congratulations and... keep traveling around the whole world my friends. While I'm just home producing great music with my family.

Thanks for your news and may God always bless you all with the bottom of my heart.




Janelle Burdell

... I am currently out with the National Tour of Beauty and the Beast. Been working on a solo CD too that features the Udu drum. Very different use of the drum as I am a kit player primarily and approach it as such but also exploring the melodic possibilities as well...

Much happiness,
Janelle Burdell


Arthur Hull

Hi, I'm Baaaack

... My Europe tour actually started at the Breitenbush Rhythm Festival, near Portland and is ending here in Seattle. Our drum circles here, will be the opening act for two concerts for the 'Summer Nights at the Pier" concert series this weekend. Thanks to Remo, Seattle World Percussion Society, and Village Musical Circles we will have plenty of drums to share. Today Saturday at 5pm on pier 62/63, (Under the tent if there's a shower), we open for the World Beat concert with Ex-centric Sound System (Israel/India), and Les Yeux Noir (French Gypsy rock) And tomorrow Sunday, at the same pier at 3:45pm , we open for the Funk Concert with Tower of Power, Super Rail Band (Mali funk), and War. See you there if you're in the area.

Breitenbush Rhythm Festival was, as usual, a fantastic drum retreat weekend. It was a great way to hang out and drum with some of of the most respected teachers and community elders from the North West US of A, in one of the most serene and relaxing environments, (except Hawaii of course). I suggest you check it out the next time it comes around in late June of next year. I will send you a story from that program.

Share your spirit. ............... Arthur Hull



Arthur Hull

In case you forgot what is at the essence of the reason why you have a case of rhythm-itice.

I am at the Breitenbush Rhythm Festival, busing my dirty dish from the dining room to the kitchen through a transfer window. I look through the window into the kitchen. I see a square hard plastic food container fly across the room to bounce and tumble across the one inch thick industrial rubber floorpad and come to rest at the back of the feet of someone scrubbing away over the sink. If the plastic container had hit the cement floor under the rubber matting, it would crash noisily and probably break. But instead the pad acts like a rubber mallet causing the container to "sing" each time it bounces. Immediately after the food container stopped bouncing, I hear a delighted squeal and giggle. I look across the kitchen from the dish washer to see a happy two year blond haired boy sitting on a table with his legs hanging over the edge. The boy's whole body is wiggling with delight. The dishwasher dad picks up the food container, brings it back to the boy, hands it to him and goes back to his dishes. I decide to get out of the way of the people behind me waiting to clear their dishes, so I go over to the open kitchen door to watch the dance between the boy, the dad and the food container. The open ended clear plastic box is about as big as the boy's chest. The boy moves the container in his lap around in his hands, seriously contemplating his grip. He finally looks up and pushes the plastic box away from himself and into flight. It bounces on the mat with a "BOING", flips over itself a few times in the air and lands on the ground with a "KERPLUNK" to stop. The boy gives a short quiet laugh. The dad delivers the "song box" to the boy and returns to the sink. I watch this "throw and return" scenario repeat itself many times. In each throw, the difference in the boy's physical and vocal response is determined by the quality of the "rhythm song" created by the bouncing plastic box. The more bounces per throw creates a longer "song" from the box which creates a longer laugh from the boy. The higher the box bounces, the fuller the note per box bounce, creates a fuller note in each of the boy's laugh. The boy represents the quality of each box song in the quality and quantity of his giggly/wiggly response. If the song is a really good one then the boy adds a squeal onto the beginning of his laugh. The dad is happy to play fetch with the boy while working. The boy is happy to play the tossed box song. And I am happy to watch a fresh spirit play with the rhythmical world in a way that us adults would be embarrassed to do.

Life is such a dance......................... Arthurian



Dave Abbruzzese

I'm at home, workin' with some great musicians... it's the best thing I've ever worked on!

Bernard Fowler, Jeff Fielder and Tilo are up here with me in "Dave's Studio and RV Park"... and it's really coming together!

I am healthy, happy, playin' my ass off... and good to go! Back down to my fightin' weight!

See ya soon!



Kenny Aronoff

It's been crazy here! I was recording in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Minneapolis in late April, early May... caught a flight from Minneapolis to rehearse with Italy's biggest rock star Vasco Rossi for 2 1/2 weeks... and flew back to LA to record with Meat Loaf for a week (and Mick Jagger... something like that!) And then I flew back to Italy to do a 5 1/2 week tour with Vasco Rossi... doing a stadium tour all through Italy. This guy is amazing! He was selling 80 to 100,000 tickets a show!! 22 trucks to move the stuff! 2 stages!

Then I flew from Italy to Nashville to records with Andy Griggs (he's got a big country album coming out). Then flew to New York to work with new artist Katherine Davis. And then flew from New York to LA to finish Meat Loaf's record.

Then flew home... where I spent a week getting ready for the Joe Cocker tour (3 months in Canada and the US) and also a 7-day drum clinic tour through Canada on my days off with Joe! This starts August 2nd.

Got lots of records coming out... Willie Nelson, new artist Michelle Branch (most added record to Top-40 radio last week). Another group Black Lab... Mick Jagger, Meat Loaf, Alice Cooper, M2M, Andy Griggs, Pete, Lennon (female from Nashville), and a whole bunch of others. The list just gets too long!



Gregg Gerson

It's been another busy summer with recording sessions and gigs. Summer 2001, ya got ta love it!!!

I just recorded tracks on the new Michael Moog record soon to be released on Strictly Rhythm Records, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers...

I've been working with this artist and producer for years... He's one of the most talented people I've worked with yet, and good friend as well... Keep an ear and eye open for him... Buy this record!!!

I just got back from Woodstock where I did a gig with the Dharma Bums, featuring Garth Hudson of The Band... I had a blast!!! Garth is one of a kind!!!

It's all good!!!



Larry Aberman

Hi Pam,

Nice to hear from you, it's been a long time!

I've been somehow managing to do both Joe Sample and Jonatha Brooke through this summer.

I've been on tour pretty solid between the both of them since mid March.

We started recording Joe's new disc in March for a week. Joe's written some pretty happening stuff! Dean Parks and Lenny Castro played with us as well. We're going to record some tracks with a vocalist pretty soon. We just demo'd four tracks last week. The singers they're talking about for the CD are pretty cool. I'll let you know who, once it's done.

I'm jammin till September then I get a break! Joe's playing the Hollywood Bowl on the 19th of August. Other than that nothing too exciting. Brain Blade is subbing for me with Joe so I can do Jonatha in late August. (having Brian as a sub is pretty silly huh?! My sub for Jonatha is Sterling Campbell, absurd!)

I enjoy your newsletter/updates. It definitely has a NYC flavor. It's always nice to hear about 'the cats.'

Have a great summer Pam,

Warmest regards,



Daniel de los Reyes

Hi! I just performed some really cool summer concerts with Earth, Wind, & Fire in June and the beginning of July. There is also a Q&A session with me in progress at an unofficial Yanni site for the month of July. Fans are asking interesting questions and keeping me very busy answering them! For those interested, the URL is:


I will let you know any additional news soon. Take care and I hope you enjoy the summer.

Daniel de los Reyes


Steve Reid

Hi Pam,

Hope this finds you well. I have just released my 5th solo CD Dream Scapes and launched a new record label called Art 2 Ear under DNA's distribution. We were #1 most added in the country first week out on the Gavin Smooth jazz radio charts... so far so good we are touring all summer and Maxine Nightingale has joined the band on vocals. I just launched a new web site that was done in Macromedia Flash please come say hello at www.bambooforest.com. You can hear sound bites from the new cd which by the way is an enhanced CD for the PC and Mac.

Well that's all the news for now

Take care and may the spirit of music always fill your life

Steve Reid


Brian Tichy

... Just wanted to drop a note telling you I've been out touring with Billy Idol. Steve Stevens back on guitar. The band sounds great, Billy sounds great, and the shows went great. We have some more stuff coming up, check out my site :
www.briantichy.com for more info...

Brian Tichy


Frank Bellucci

Hello friends,

Thanks for keeping me updated with the latest news, I look forward to the newsletter each month.

I will be performing this year at the Montreal Drum Fest on Nov. 3rd. Hope to see you there...


Frank Bellucci


Cougar Estrada

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick ThankYou for listening to Conga Punks. One of our songs entitled " "Your Way" is currently running # 1 today on Mp3 Charts out of 100 songs. This song was supposed to be a cumbia but I put it in 5/4 time using the same bass line for a cumbia. Dan Zimmerman played awesome guitar followed by screetching Trumpeter Alan Lomax (Ska Daddyz). There's some bata drums, cajons, radio hissing, flamenco castanets, shakers, and rhodes piano to make this song whole. Plus there was this truck that drove by while I was recording vocals and its on the intro of the song. Nick Green and I didn't realize that until mix down. It ended up working on the track since the first vocal line is "Hitch a ride to Mexico".

Thanks for listening, hope you're doing good,


Mike Botts

Hi Pam:

Just wanted to pass along a great bit of humor to my fellow percussionists. I just received this from Dan Fogelberg and thought you might like to share it with them by, perhaps, posting it on your site... I'll be in touch soon. Enjoy!

The best from Botts

23rd Psalm For Bassists

The Lord is my drummer; I shall not rush.
He maketh me to lay out in tasteful places;
He leadeth me beside cool meter changes;
He restoreth my "one".
He leadeth me in the right repeats
For His name's sake.

Yea, though I read through the trickiest road maps,
I will fear no train wrecks;
For You are with it;
Your ride and Your snare, they comfort me.

You setteth up a solo for me
In the presence of mine guitarists;
You annointeth my lines with drive;
My groove overflows.

Surely good feel and swing will follow me
All the tunes of each set;
And I will dwell in the pocket
The whole gig long.


Emil Richards

I have a Latin Jazz album you might be interested in hearing and your patrons obtaining. It's called

Luntana Afro Cuban Jazz by Emil Richards

Featuring Emil Richards on Vibes and Marimba
Francisco Aquabella on Conga and Bata/
Luis Conte on Conga and Timbales
Efrain Toro on Conga
Al McKibbon on Bass
Chuck Domanico on Bass
Joe Porcaro on Drums
Mike Lang on Piano
Dave Mackay on Piano

To hear sound bytes - www.emilrichards.com


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