In 2002 I had the honor of joining my wife Therese, and the late-great Nick Attanasio on stage at PASIC to perform on Robin Engelman’s “Drummer’s Heritage Concert.” The experience? Incredible…life changing! I will always be grateful to Robin for giving Nick this opportunity, and in turn, I’ll always be grateful to Nick for giving Therese & I the opportunity to join him on stage. Seventeen years later, I still call that the highlight of my drumming career!!!!!
As a result of this performance I have made many wonderful friends, one of whom is Dr. Kay Stonefelt. A year after this concert, Kay joined Nick, Therese & I, for a performance of Downfall of Paris with a group that I affectionately refer to as “The PAS Allstars.” Through the years I have admired her desire and commitment to performance, education and learning. When she made her trip to Japan to study Taiko Drumming I looked forward to seeing the pictures and videos she shared on social media. She is truly a student of the art!!!!!
Fast forward to 2018, I once again asked my friend, Kay, to join me on stage at PASIC to be a part of “The PAS Allstars” as we performed the solo I wrote for the late Robin Engelman titled, “Drummer’s Heritage.” With over twenty drummers in the group it was an incredible success!
And that leads me back to the title of this blog, The 2019 Western New York Day of Percussion. After many years of Kay and I trying to work out our schedules to have me join her at Fredonia for a clinic, this is the year and tomorrow is the day. I am grateful to be here at SUNY Fredonia and am looking forward to presenting a clinic tomorrow, Saturday March 30that 9:00am. In addition, I will be joining her students in concert as we perform, “Drummer’s Heritage.” Since Robin’s passing in 2016, I have made it my mission to perform this piece with as many musicians as possible, as many times as possible. You might say, seventeen years later, Robin made this whole performance tomorrow possible.
I have been blessed throughout my life and drumming career to have known many incredible people. Joining Dr. Kay Stonefelt and her students tomorrow is an honor for me. Thank you to the Student Association and the Fredonia Percussion Guild, The Fredonia School of Music, the New York State Percussive Arts Society, Bob Accurso and of course, my friend Dr. Kay Stonefelt for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great event!!!!!