Inspirational Percussionists

This page is a tribute to all the fantastic percussionists in Sydney. 

In my journey as a percussionist I have been fortunate to meet and sometimes work with the most inspirational percussionists that Sydney has to offer.

Each percussionist featured was asked the same questions but the information you read will be varied. No-one has the same journey! 

The artists will be listed in alphabetical order and the date of interview will appear beside their name. Jamie Castrisos is the first percussionist and was featured on the HOME page on October 4, 2010.

My hope is that you will also find inspiration from reading about each percussionist and their unique journey.

Enjoy :)
JAMIE CASTRISOS October 4, 2010 
Jamie performing at The Basement
What age did you start playing drums? 
Age 9 - I was in Year 4 at Belrose Public School

Did you learn any other instruments? 
I learned piano for a few years and actually took up the trumpet first for two weeks, but had to get an orthodontic plate so changed to drums!!! A wise move!!

Who are your influences?
Wow, so many. All my teachers (who are listed below). 
Jamie playing on a DW drum kit
Here are just a few playing influences: 
Philly Joe Jones, Buddy Rich, Bernard Purdie, Tony Williams, John Blackwell, Aaron Spears, Gerald Heyward, Carl Allen, Joe Farnsworth, Matt Cameron, 
Jimmy Cobb, Bill Stewart, Roy Spanky McCurdy, Art Blakey, Jeff Ballard, Brian Blade, Ben Perowsky, Jeff Porcaro, Roy Haynes, Danny Carey, Al Foster, Eric Harland, Kendrick Scott, Clarence Penn, Steve Jordan - too many to mention, and they're just the drummers!!!

Australian Drummers: Hamish Stuart, Andrew Dickeson, Gordon Rytmeister, Tim Firth, Felix Bloxsom, Evan Mannell, Michael Iveson.

My teachers were: 
Andrew Dickeson, Milan Troha, Graham Hilgendorf, Don Osborne, Daryl Pratt, Rick Miller.

Do you have a favourite brand of drums/cymbals/sticks/accessories? 
DW Drums (above and beyond anything else in my humble opinion!)
Zildjian cymbals or Istanbul cymbals
Vic Firth Sticks
LP percussion
DW Hardware and pedals
SKB Cases
Protection racket Bags
TreeWorks Chimes
Grover or Black swamp orchestral percussion
Malletech or Inaki Sebastian mallets
Jamie with his set-up for the Sydney season of Wicked
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to make drumming their career?
Be prepared to listen alot! Practice, especially with others. Make music, not technique! Technique is essential but when it comes to making music it should come from what you're hearing not from what technical exercises you've been doing! Most importantly, enjoy what you're doing otherwise there's not much point! Also make sure you have good reading skills!

What are your career highs? 
James Morrison sextet, Dan Barnett Big Band (SWINGS!!!,) RAAF Big Band (played with Doug Parkinson, Grace Knight, Glenn Shorrock, The McClymonts), Sydney season of Wicked. Musical Director and drummer for the Australian tour of Candy Man. Lion King in Singapore 2011!!!

What was your worst experience as a drummer?
Forgetting my cymbals on a gig!!! John Morrison came to the rescue!

Is there anything else you would like to add? 
My other influences and inspirations are the musicians I work with on a day to day basis. I feel very lucky to work with such talented and generous people.

Do you have a website?
I'm in the process of building my website. 
However, my profile and original songs can be found on MySpace:

Thank you Jamie and all the best for the 2011 Lion King production in Singapore!!!

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