Viola Smith
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Viola Smith

by Lauren Vogel Weiss If you were asked to name a famous female drummer, who would she be? Perhaps Cindy Blackman, Terri Lyne Carrington, or Shelia E.? Depending on when you were born, you might mention Karen Carpenter or Hannah Welton. But the real pioneer of female drummers may be Viola Smith. In his letter…

Ney Rosauro
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Ney Rosauro

by Lauren Vogel Weiss When asked to describe himself — as a composer, an educator, or a performer — Ney Rosauro immediately responds, “I am a musician. There is music wherever I go. I play all genres of music, from classical to popular. Everything that is music brings me joy.” Even his words are melodic,…

Arthur Press
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Arthur Press

By Rick Mattingly “Arthur Press was in many ways the heartbeat of the Boston Symphony Orchestra percussion section,” recalls Frank Epstein, a longtime percussionist with the BSO. “Always positive, helpful, and supportive of his colleagues, Arthur was the backbone of the section. He was a consummate professional and a gifted percussionist, and his snare drum…

Mike Mainieri
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Mike Mainieri

by Rick Mattingly When Peter Erskine was in junior high school, he was taking lessons from Billy Dorn and checking out all of the vibes players of the time, including Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson, Victor Feldman, Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, and Gary Burton. “Then I read something in a DownBeat magazine interview with flautist Jeremy…

Johnny Lee Lane
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Johnny Lee Lane

by Teddy Hall Jr Professor Johnny Lee Lane has distinguished himself as a leader in percussion education and as an astute businessman in the percussion industry. Known by many of his students as “Prof Lane” or by many of his colleagues as “JL,” Lane has impacted many lives. He has served in many roles that…

Hurtado Brothers Royal Marimba Band
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Hurtado Brothers Royal Marimba Band

by Lauren Vogel Weiss In today’s musical world, one can hear marimbas in television commercials, on concert stages, or via streaming services. Marimba players are on football fields during halftime shows and in large arenas playing with rock bands. How did this rosewood keyboard instrument become such a standard part of our percussion family? Look…