New Orleans Drumming

On the heels of posting the Geoff Clapp interview, I wanted to share something I just found on YouTube. It’s part of an old DCI Video series about New Orleans drumming that features Johnny Vidacovich and Herlin Riley.

There are a couple of other volumes featuring Earl Palmer and Herman Ernest, which are available from Alfred Music. I was lucky to find all of them on DVD several years ago while visiting New Orleans.

If you haven’t seen this before, do yourself a favor and watch all of it. Great information and great music!

Here’s another great video of Herlin Riley breaking down tambourine playing.

I’ll also take this time to share a wonderful quote by Brian Blade:

New Orleans is its own country. It’s just where so many cultural crosses meet. That mixing and mingling and that beat on the street is what makes life have that joy. A different influx of spirit comes in and you step into it and you feel it immediately. It changes the way you look at things and feel things in a great way. The time that I spent there was a very special time in my life. I was just supposed to have been there. Now it’s in everything that I play and write.”
Brian Blade

Podcast – Geoff Clapp

This episode is available in most places that you listen to podcasts.

episode 7 Geoff Clapp Practicing Drummer podcast

Recorded March 2024

Podcast interview with drummer Geoff Clapp

Geoff Clapp spent the majority of his career in New Orleans where he was mentored by Ellis Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Shannon Powell, and many others. He has a couple of great albums out as a leader and has played with Dianne Reeves, Benny Green, Charlie Hunter, Sam Fribush, Wynton Marsalis, Nicolas Payton, and many others.


The music featured in the episode comes from the Geoff Clapp Trio live at Monk’s:

The drum intro is from Charles Ruggiero’s Loop Loft sample pack.

Alexey Marti

When I was in New Orleans last winter, I was fortunate to see the wonderful Cuban percussionist Alexey Marti a couple of times: once at Snug Harbor with his own band and another time with Herlin Riley as part of a fundraiser for CubaNOLA at the New Orleans Jazz Market.

His music, playing and personality are wonderful to experience and he deserves all of the success and respect he’s getting.

Check out his band in the WWOZ studios last week. You may recognize Oscar Rossignoli from Extended Trio (see my post on Brad Webb) on piano. He’s a busy guy in New Orleans and plays with many groups.

If you don’t have Alexey’s new album Mundo, do yourself a favor and get it. We have it on quite often in the house while cooking or having friends over.