Alright, so here we are, on the heels of our next adventure — some of our crew is mid air as we speak. It was an early, EARLY flight for them. But who doesn’t like a little time travel now and then!? More on that later… For now, we’re here to spill a few details about last weeks interviews! These percussionists were RAD!
Javo joined us at PA Rehearsal Studio where our crew was setting up for the day. Gillian got into it with Javo as soon as we arrived. The two of them discussed Javo’s upbringing in Mexico City, how he got started with percussion, and his esteemed career as a live, and sessions drummer. Javo has a background in symphonic percussion and is a technically impressive player. Beyond this he has a real understanding of how to arrange a piece that just grooves right on though you. Those groovy feels are what has planted him firmly in the world of Latin pop music.
Mona started her career as a percussionist on the drum set and proceeded to master, and modify, the cajon! She has designed her own cajon, the MT box, and added other instruments, like the tambourine, to her set up. This has given Mona the ability to elevate the sounds of her cajon! She also has the incredible ability to adapt the cajon to some unlikely genres, like rock ‘n’ roll! When Mona is doing her thing she is really, really feeling it. You can see the enjoyment on her face, and even in the way she moves her body. The wiggle is contagious.
Mona is very active in her local, and the global community. She travels to Africa where she is involved in female entrepreneurship and empowerment clinics. Mona is also a founder of Rock n’ Roll Camp For Girls Los Angeles. Another key accolade is her involvement with Hit Like a Girl Competetitons. Needless to say Gillian and Mona got along very well!
We met with Ami Molinelli on beautiful Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles, where we dipped our toes in the sand and let things flow. Ami is a multi-instrumental percussionist, and a seasoned performer. As co-leader of the Jazz ensemble, Grupo Falso Baiano Ami has three albums to her credit.
Ami proudly holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts, and her dedication to music and education has been the true north of her career. Ami is a
currently specialist in music integration and curriculum with many organizations in California! Her work in the field of education, and making sure there is a pace for rhythm and percussion in schools has been instrumental to curriculum development in the San Fransisco United School District where she works!
Eric was a real treat to spend time with! Gillian and he dove into things at Amp Rehearsal Studio in North Hollywood for our final interview in LA. We talked about his work with Suicidal Tendencies, and his abilities balancing groove and chops. Eric seems to balance these elements with great ease, but I’m sure you know it’s much harder than it seems!
We touched on influence, where it comes from for Eric, and how it brought him to where he is today. Eric began drumming at the ripe old age of four. Seriously, he came up playing the drums in his church along side his family. Growing into a driven artist and entrepreneur Eric has found a way to build a following, and help pioneer the Gospel Chops movement! Eric pumps the juice into his work and boy does it show.
All around this was an awesome trip to LA! Gillian and the crew are mid-air, and in the future! They are on their way to Indonesia for a little over a week! Follow along for updates at @gimmethebeatdoc and @ktrainmusicstudios and we’ll see you back here next Thursday!