Brief history: My musical career began with the trombone at age 10; I gave it up as soon as I could to play percussion. I studied classical percussion, ethnic percussion, drum set, under Vicki Jenks through high school. I played in all my high school's musical groups, Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO), the WYSO percussion ensemble, some blues and rock bands, ethnic percussion street groups, and all sorts of theatre groups. My freshman year in college I played in the UW Orchestra, then I quit altogether to "grow-up" and be responsible. The "quitting" lasted ~8 months at which point I auditioned for Richard Davis's Black Music Ensemble (a college group he teaches), this ensemble made a pretty big difference in my life. I played in BME until I got my undergraduate degrees; I also played in a shit load of jazz groups (trios, quintets, quartets, etc), a couple funk bands, some fusion bands, blah blah blah. After I got my undergrad degrees I went to grad school and quit playing publically again, it was just too difficult to not be able to put the necessary effort into playing music. Then I got "conned" into playing with Ass Blown Off, a garage punk group in Madison from 2001-2003. Currently, in Germany, I am only able to practice on my Roland electronic drum kit. Hopefully this will change soon. Even though I am (currently) a professional scientist/applied mathematician, I never really got over playing music and it remains a huge part of my life and identity.
Any and all skill I can display come from my various teachers, I give them the credit for all the good that has managed to find it's way out of my hands, any of my ineptness comes from my own short comings. I've had too many AMAZING teachers to think otherwise.
Formal teachers I've studied under for at least a year: Vicki Jenks (my first teacher; I studied all types of percussion under her for six years, what an amazing lady); Richard Davis (who would have thought, a jazz miracle in Madison, he is of course a bassist, he taught me how to play jazz and had a pretty big impact on my life); Joel Spencer (my jazz drum set teacher out in Chicago; great teacher, amazing player, wow... well worth the drive every couple weeks); James Smith (Conductor under many circumstances); David Becker (U.W. orchersta conductor); Mr. Schnieder (High school band director).
Teachers who have given me a lot in the limited time I've had with them: Alan Dawson (wow he helped so much; I first understood how to play "in form" in a lesson with him), Akila Tana, Ndugu Chancler, Craig Williams, Ruben Alveraz, Julie Spencer, Jimmy Cobb, Rob Hudson.
People who I've never formally (= paid for a lesson) studied under, but who have had a HUGE impact on my life a as a musician: Max Roach, Johnny Lee Lane, Tony Williams.
Major influences: (not necessary in order (except Tony and Jack) Tony, Jack DeJohnette, Alex Van Halen, Jimmy Cobb, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Philly Joe, Lars Ulrich, David Garabaldi, Clyde Stubblefield, Kenwood Denard, Idris Muhmadad, Vinny Coluita, ok, more on this later...
General music links
Hip Hop links
Garage Rock links