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Artist News & Happenings - 2002
Up Close & Personal
Jaqui MacMillan

Hello all,

Most of us in the drumming community in the US know or know of Jaqui MacMillan. She has contributed tirelessly as a talented workshop leader, teacher, drum circle facilitator (she was picked to be one of the Remo DCFs)and performer. An article on her appeared in the “Drum!” magazine issue on Women Drummers. She has been more than generous with her time and money and talent.Now she needs us. If you will read the posts below, you will get all the information to date.


Hello to Everyone,This is Chris, Jaqui MacMillan's husband. I am sending this out to you from Jaqui's e-mail in order to keep everyone informed, as I have promised some of you already. Several people have asked about fundraising efforts to help Jaqui. Below are some things that I have received by e-mail that I wanted to pass on to you. As far as Jaqui's present condition, she is stable, in pain, but dealing with it very well.... a trooper as always. Surgery is tentatively scheduled for April 30th at Columbia Hospital for Women. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at my personal mailbox: chrisstewart@mail.com I will reply to all e-mails and pass on any messages that you have to Jaqui. Thank you for all of your love and support. It is an extreme comfort to know that people like you are in the world.

Peace, Chris

P.S. A message from Jaqui...she says that she LOVES you! ...

Hey Beauties ! Rachel Cross here - the guitar half of the Rachel & Jaqui duet. I'm writing because Jaqui is in the midst of a very serious health crisis and could use your prayers as well as your financial help. She sent a letter out explaining her health crisis to her drum list. She did not come out and ask for money, so I will. Jaqui REALLY needs lots of financial help at this time. No amount is too small ! If you feel uncomfortable sending a check, you could always send a gift certificate for food from Whole Foods/Fresh fields, Giant, or Safeway. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of this request, you may send an e-mail cross@tidalwave.net Checks can be mailed to :Jaqui MacMillan 2817 11th Street N.W.Washington DC 20001 Thank you! Love to you and through you, Rachel

Jaqui Get Well Fund: (from Ariana of Kiva) Hey folks. Normally, I would never use this list for anything other than performance announcements but Jaqui MacMillan, our beloved drummer of bands like "Big Village" and "Rachel & Jaqui" and many a drum workshop and performance has need of the community's help. Like many musicians, she has no insurance and Jaqui is going in for major surgery on Tuesday. After sudden major growth (like a 5 month pregnancy) of a fibroid tumor in her abdomen, Jaqui went to her doctor to find out what was wrong and found out that the concern is NOT about the fibroid. It's about a different large mass that is coming off of the ovaries and extending across the abdomen (almost as large as the fibroid). This is not a fibroid, and the concern about this mass is that it could be cancerous. They couldn't find any normal ovarian tissue at all.... etc....." Jaqui was told that this is "like sitting on a time bomb" and she needed to be in the hospital ASAP. She is going to Columbia Hospital for Women in DC, and will be there for approximately 4 days, (it's going to be major surgery). After talking to Jaqui and her friends about her situation I have come up with a plan. I'm sure that you know how much hospital time costs and how much major operations cost. You could easily buy a very nice car for the amount of money Jaqui is about to have to spend on this operation and she also won't be able to work for about 2 months. Kiva and I are asking that you help a beloved friend and teacher in our community to not have to worry about paying her bills and just worry about getting well. There are enough of us that if everyone donates (even just $20), it will help. Please donate what you can. Click on the link below to donate: http://www.kivasong.com/jaqui_donations.html


Terry Silverlight

Hi Pam,

I hope everything is going great for you. Just wanted to say hello and mention a few little updates...

1) I just signed on with Gretsch drums. So now it's Gretsch, Paiste, Pro-Mark and Evans.

2) I'll be performing with my own band "The Terry Silverlight Band" at Mark Morganelli's Jazz Forum summer concert series in Sleepy Hollow, NY July 11.

3) A "Manhattan Jazz Orchestra" CD I played on has just been released under the direction of arranger David Matthews including top horn players Lew Soloff, Jim Pugh and Andy Snitzer. I will be on tour with this band in Japan June 11-July 1.

4) I played on saxaphonist Steve Sacks's new CD with John Patitucci on bass.

5) I'm still playing on all the score music for the Timothy Hutton A&E detective series "Nero Wolfe"

6) I played on the soundtrack for the upcoming Julie Taymor/Elliot Goldenthal film "Frida"

7) I played on a Domino's Pizza jingle released nationally for TV.

Thanks and please let's keep in touch.

Best wishes.


Carmine Appice

Hey Pam ... got lots of things going on - Vanilla Fudge Tour US, Europe, Asia.... and a Mapex / Sam Ash Clinic tour, Cactus CD... New Realistic Rock kicking butt #4 modern drumnmer polls... Appearing at a Kiss Expo in NY.... Releasing Guitar Zeus Korea featuring big name Korean guitarist etc...




Claudio Slon

Dear Friends,

I am sending you this email to let you know that the great Brazilian drummer and friend Claudio Slon passed away last night from liver cancer. I am sorry to present this news to you in this way but I also wanted to let you know that the family didn't have any money to cover cremation expenses. I wanted to ask that you send what you can in order to help out the family.

Here is the information on the Donation Fund:

Claudio Slon Donation Fund
Wells Fargo Bank
12601 W. 32nd Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Account# 1007273459
Routing # 102000076
note: Deposits can be accepted at any Wells Fargo location.

Thank you for your kindness,
Kevin Winard


Randy Castillo

Hey everybody. Sorry to be the bearer of such sad news... He was a great player and should be respected in his own right. Here is an article I came across on the passing of Randy Castillo...

Metal drummer dead: Former Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue drummer, Randy Castillo has died of cancer in LA. He was 41.

Castillo was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma two years ago. Ten days ago he reentered the hospital with neck pains. He died in his sleep on Tuesday.

Since the break-up of Motley Crue, Castillo was working with Alice in Chains bassist Like Inez on a new project.

The well-known heavy metal drummer underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured duodenal stomach ulcer in 2000. While in recovery, doctors discovered a small lump on his jaw that was malignant. Following extensive chemotherapy and radiation, Castillo's cancer went into remission.

Castillo, a sought-after hard rock session drummer started his career with Lita Ford's band. He joined Motley Crue in 1999 following Tommy Lee's departure. Castillo played on the Crue's New Tattoo album, but was unable to tour due to his illness.

My heartfelt respect and condolences to his family and fans at this time.
Mark Pusey


Bill Bruford


Your site is looking very nice, and lot's of info! Good work!

... Tama as always are right behind me with support, and will shortly be offering the new DVD (Footloose In N.Y.C.) free with the purchase of selected lines of their equipment, while DVD stocks last. See their advertising for details...

New CD and DVD available April 23rd!

Best regards




Wally Gator Watson

I would like to invite you to sample some Gator Gear or Wally Wear, which ever you prefer. Just go to my website www.wallygator.net for the latest in tour schedule, updates, Tee shirts, Baseball caps, autographed sticks, heads, and photos, as well as my latest CD projects.

Here, you can also get information about my latest clinic tours. If you would like to see about having me present a clinic in your city or school, email us at clinics@wallygator.net

...just completed a four-day trip to Sofia Bulgaria with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. They departed New York's John F. Kennedy airport at about 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, and arrived in Bulgaria on Friday, March 15 after having traveled across the international date line. There, they were met at the airport by the promoter, production staff, and a phalanx of television and newspaper reporters. They stayed at the very luxurious Sheraton Sofia, Balkan hotel. It had a very large, well furnished lobby. The service was very good, and the rooms were comfortable. The weather was unusually warm. The temperature was about 78 degrees and the sun was beaming.

On Saturday, they played one concert at the Palace of Culture, which is located in downtown Sofia not far from the hotel. The venue was very large and seated approximately 4000 guests. The audience was very receptive and very responsive. This all made for a great evening of Ellington music.

About the only downside to the trip was the trip itself. The flight from JFK was about nine hours and that was followed by a four-hour lay over in Budapest Hungary, where we were kept in the airport. Then from Budapest, it was a 1 1/2 hour flight to Sofia. Gator was heard to say, "I'm looking forward to my next trip to Bulgaria."

...just become endorser for Gator Cases. Recently, Wally used the Gator Cases rolling cymbal case on the trip to Bulgaria with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The case held up excellently protecting its precious cargo of Sabian Cymbals.

Well, I am heading into my 13th year in the drum chair of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. Lionel, who, on April 20th will celebrate his 95 year of life, is still doing a limited amount of touring. We just performed at the Lionel Hampton Jazz festival, which is hosted by the University of Idaho, where Lionel played the entire show and brought the house to their feet. The band will be doing a birthday bash for Lionel at the Birdland Supper club in NYC on April 24th, 2002. The event will be attended by showbiz, and Political luminaries alike. Hope to see you there too!

As of January 1, 2002, drummer Wally Gator Watson has begun touring with R&B legend, Wilson Pickett, replacing his longtime friend Tyrone Crusher Green. Crusher had been a member of the Wilson Pickett band, the Midnight Movers, for about 35 years until recently succumbing to cancer.

It has been about 20 years since Gator has last played with the band, and his first return engagement was on New Year's Eve in Portugal. Be sure to check the performance schedule on his website for future Wilson Pickett engagements.


Sean O'Rourke

Hey now....

Just dropping a line. I've been doing some work for Cartoon Network lately. I just did the drum tracks for a new show called "Cartoon Cartoon Friday's". Along with the audio they want a Letterman type band to be on the show surrounded by cartoon characters. It's supposed to air June 7th. I'll let you know when I get more info. I have four more tunes to do then we start filming in April.

Oh yeah....... I'm gonna be a Daddy. My wife Patti is four and a half months pregnant. We got a level two ultrasound yesterday and it looks like it's a girl (98%), so they say.

We are naming her Saige Kaitlyn O'Rourke.

Hope all is well with you

Sean O'Rourke


MB Gordy

I've been doing Doobie Brother gigs as well as a bunch of movie dates and some record dates. Life is good. I also got out to the Zildjian factory back in January.. that was very cool to see the factory...


Marco Minnemann

Hey Folks

I´ve got 2 new Marco Minnemann CDs comin out in April:"Motor" and "It rains in California".

Marco's website


Moyes Lucas

I have dates in April with Larry Carlton. They look to be all west coast dates starting the 4th of the month.

Larry is the main man for me these days, although I am also in Brenda Russell's band. She has been doing a lot of other things lately so we have not seen her much. I just worked on Ray Fuller's new record, (do you know Ray? he's a great guitar player that used to play with Whitney Houston), and I do sessions in town..... Basically have gun, will travel, sort of thing. I have a possible big tour coming up but i can't give you details just yet.

Thanks so much for your time

All The Best!!

Moyes Lucas


Roger Squitero

Hey Pam,

I finally finished my tour with Luther Vandross. I'm now working on the workshop of "Carnivale", Radio City's new spring show opening May 03'.

I have a CD of a "live" gig my wife, (Saundra Santiago) did that I produced. The band is myself, Marc Egan , Oscar Hernandez and Manny Moriera...

peace, Roger Squitero


Rick Latham

Greetings All,

Just a short note to let everyone know that the Edgar Winter Band 2002 Tour has begun.

Please watch for up coming shows in your area.

Also please watch for upcoming Rick Latham and The Groove Doctors dates and new album coming soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Groove On,




Sheila E

HELLO to all of you who have been so patient in waiting for the Sheila E. / Lil' Angel Bunny Foundation shopping cart to be restored to www.sheilae.com.

We are extremely happy to announce the opening of the new and improved store.

The store is presently open for the sale of the Sheila E. & The E'Kids - "One Rhythm In Time" CD, with proceeds going to the Lil' Angel Bunny Foundation.

You will shortly be able to make donations to the Lil' Angel Bunny Foundation through the store as well.

We are also working to reinstate other products to the store, so please be sure to keep E. Shopping!

Go to E. Shopping! http://shop.sheilae.com

Have A Blessed Day

Sheila E./HiP Design


Steve Smith

Finally, we have a USA release date for our new Vital Information CD, Show ‘Em Where You Live -- April 9, 2002! I’m pleased to announce that the CD will be released on the Tone Center label. Mike Varney, my good friend and the owner of Shrapnel/Tone Center, worked out a deal with longtime Vital Information label, Intuition Music, to own the recording for the USA and Canada. Baron Browne, Tom Coster, Frank Gambale and myself are all happy to be on Tone Center since the label is dedicated to jazz/rock/fusion and most of us have a number of recordings on the label. (check out www.vitalinformation.com, www.shrapnelrecord.com and www.frankgambale.com for more Tone Center details)

Our agent been working on booking a US tour for the past few months and it’s now complete. We start on March 1st in the San Francisco Bay Area and spend the next couple of weeks on the West Coast. We then travel to the East Coast and tour from Atlanta, up to the New England area and then travel to the mid-West including Chicago and the surrounding areas. We have the dates posted on our website, www.vitalinformation.com.

Vital Information will have the great saxophonist Bill Evans sitting in with us as a Special Guest during our four nights at the LA jazz club, Catalina Bar and Grill, Thursday, March 7 through Sunday, March 10. Bill played with Miles Davis in the 80s and has been recording his own albums ever since. His latest CD, Soul Insider, was recently nominated for a Grammy -- contemporary jazz album of the year. Last year when I played at the Blue Note in NYC with Larry Coryell and Count’s Jam Band, we played opposite the Bill Evans Band. Bill was on fire every night and I was reminded what an incredible player he is. I wanted to find an opportunity where he could play with Vital Information and the dates at Catalina’s club seemed like the perfect time.

During the short break between the West Coast and East Coast tours, I’ll travel to NY to film the solo drums and most of the technical educational segments of my new DVD for Hudson Music. Two weeks later, during the East Coast tour, the Vital Information band will go into the studio to film musical examples and some performance footage to be included in the DVD. I’ve been working on the material for this new project for the past few years and I’m looking forward to documenting my new ideas, techniques, rhythmic concepts and Vital Information in action!

Please come out and see us on tour. We will be playing a lot of new music and it will be developing as we play night after night. Playing jazz is an ongoing process of discovery and surrender to the music, allowing the tunes to constantly change and evolve. You, the listener, play an important part in that process. Your presence and energy influence us greatly, so come out and be a part of the music! See you soon, Steve


Carmine Appice

... book "Ultimate Realistic Rock Drum Method" has been re-released by Warner Books. It is an update of the best-selling drum set book in the history of rock drumming. ...has added over 20 new pages and a second CD of fresh material.

...appeared on Rockline live on January 23rd, 2002 with Bill Pascalli and Vince Martell. Vanilla Fudge played the Stone Poney on 1/25 and B.B. King's on 1/28 in New York. The Band will be touring beginning in April with the Iron Butterfly and Mountain. That's all for now.


Mel Gaynor

Hey you guys, lots going on it was so good to see you Pam at Namm had a great time there. Just getting ready to go into rehearsals with Simple Minds for world tour should be hitting your shores in June. Will also be at Frankfurt Fair with Ddrum & Behringer, still working on my solo record will be out hopefully in June. Thats all for now stay cool!!


Danny & Beth Gottlieb

Hi Pam - How the heck are you????... From the look of the newsletter, things are going well!!!!! I just clicked on your events page, man-you have so much listed!!!!!! ...

Our update- still based in Orlando, but keeping the apartment on 23rd St. I was in Turkey, with the Blues Brothers during 9/11. So insane. Beth ran the NY Marathon Nov. 4...

...Good music in the last few months- 4 trips to Europe, playing alot with bassist Jeff Berlin, teaching a bit in Fla., 2002 is off to a good start.

... Sorry I couldn't make NAMM, I was in Denmark!...

Talk soon - Love,


Pat Petrillo


Great to see you at NAMM! Just a quick note about my new video and book w/CD that is in stores now, especially in Sam Ash and Guitar Center stores around the country or at www.patpetrillo.com...

"Complete Drum Workout" video, featuring Hand Exercises, Groove and Fill Ideas, with a great band featuring Scott Ambush on Bass (Spyro Gyra), Scott Healy on Piano (Late Night with Conan OBrien), and Carl Filipiak on guitar. 90 minutes of jam packed instruction...!

The "Complete Drum Workbook" is also available which has all the exercises, grooves, and fills written out, with a play along CD with music sequences to practice along to!...

Pat Petrillo

PS....Will be playing the jazz festival circuit this spring/ summer with jazz guitarist Ed Hamilton, also recording a new record with Ed....


Dave Stetler

We are very sad to announce the loss of our good friend and teacher Dave Stetler. Dave was a local music legend and a pioneer of the Seattle jazz scene. He is referenced several times in Paul Debarros book,"Jackson Street After Hours" about the history of jazz in Seattle. He was truly in love with music and had devoted much of his life to playing and sharing his experiences with others. All of us will remember him fondly and miss him deeply. He was 78.

Donn Bennett


audio news & updates from NAMM 2002...

(click the link to hear the full update!)

Bernard Purdie - Masters of Groove & Hudson River Rats, The Bernard Purdie All-Stars, and a little surprise on his new cd...

Billy Cobham - new multi-media DVD, new recordings, Spectrum 5.1 Surround Sound recording, Kremlin performance, Spectrum tour...

Bob Fernandez - new Afro-Latin Music degree at Cal State & new video w/ Changito...

Carlos Hatem - film & tv recordings...

Christine Stevens - music rhythms outreach program...

Chris Trujillo - enjoying some (rare) free time...

Daniel De Los Reyes - hear his new One-Shot Shaker...

Dann Gillen - writing & playing new songs w/ Scott Reeves...

David Garibaldi - new recording & tours w/ Tower of Power...

David Sanford - Allie MacBeal, Janet Jackson & more...

Doane Perry - world tour, live cd & dvd with Jethro Tull...

Glen Sobel - Beautiful Creatures tour, Fastest Hands contest...

Gregg Bissonette - Jeff Lynn (ELO) reunion tour, Spinal Tap & Robbie Williams...

Joey Heredia - new record label, Joey's Studio...

Joey Waronker - film score & REM dates...

Jonathan Moffet - Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Cameo, solo record...

Jota Morelli - Al Jarreau tours & his own projects...

Kevin Ricard - new movies, Super Bowl, Cirque du Soleil & a carnival champion!

Larry Aberman - new record & tour w/ Joe Sample, Jonatha Brooke...

Mark Shulman - Billy Idol tour & special, Stevie Nicks, producing own project, Cher...

Ramon Yslas - Backstreet Boys...

Richie Gajate Garcia - recordings, tours, movies, & new book Play Bongos & Hand Percussion Now...

Richie Hayward - Little Feat tours & new Endangered Species instrumental record

Smitty Smith - The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno, new cd with Kevin Eubanks Group...

Steve Klong - Cafe R & B tours, producing Pointer Sisters record...

Stephen Perkins - Janes Addiction tour & recording, Tommy Lee Methods of Mayhem recording, his own project - Banyan recording, clinics, Go-Jo bags...

Tony James - Disney's Out Of The Box, west-coast move & projects...

Will Kennedy - Will's Practice Room education website, upcoming project - Will Kennedy Crew, Lee Ritenour tour and recording...

Note: These tracks use Real Audio and were recorded live at NAMM 2002. There's lots of background noise... but that's NAMM!

Tom Teasley

"Word Beat", Tom's dynamic performance project with singer/actor Charles Williams, returns this year to Penn State Univ. Campuses for several shows. Tom returns to the Black Sacred Music Festival in Charleston, WV where he will be presenting three workshops and one performance. In the recording studio, Tom will be in the co-producer's chair with soprano Linda Teasley as she and pianist Carlos Cesar Rodriguez record two CD projects of Argentine songs.

The Certificate Program of the newly formed Percussion Department at the Levine School of Music which Tom chairs, has been quite successful in its' first semester. Students receive training in percussion as well as piano, music theory, composition and music technology. Many new students have applied for admission this year, including several foreign students awaiting study VISAs. This Certificate Program is designed for post high school students wishing to further their studies of percussion and other aspects of music.

Tom and special guests, presented a benefit concert for Beacon House Community Ministries in December. Students who studied with him at Camp Leap in Washington, DC continue to study with him and were included as special guest artists in the benefit concert which raised over $500.00 for the programs at Beacon House.

Tom and partner/producer Steve Wright of the Wright Hand Drum Co. are in the production stages of Tom’s two new videos, Global Fusion "Tom Teasley Presents Global Fusion Percussion Clinic", and "Percussion Performance". "Percussion Clinic" is an educational video presenting Tom's techniques for combining ethnic percussion instruments and styles from around the world with present day technology and playing styles. This video will be accompanied by a book. "Percussion Performance" features Tom demonstrating a variety of the concepts explored in the Clinic video.

Tom Teasley



Sue Hadjopoulos

Hi All,

I just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year and thank you for all your support during the year.

You can also check out my live percussion on the new CD from Joe Jackson called "Two Rainy Nights" which was recorded at the Seattle and Portland Concerts during last year's Night and Day II Tour. Log on to www.JoeJackson.com to hear the tracks. The CD will be available soon.


Sue Hadjopoulos

Visit the home page of Sue Hadjopoulos


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 DrumJamAmerica. 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.


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