It’s an honor to have shared the stage over the years with artists as diverse as Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Devon Evans (of Bob Marley and the Wailers), Clyde Stubblefield, Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Ries, Bad Company’s Lynn Sorensen, [America’s Polka King] the late Frankie Yankovic, disco sensations The Afrodisiacs, 80’s nerd-rockers The Spazmatics, Mbrascatu, King Black Acid, Floater and more.
I feel equally as fortunate to have contributed drumset and/or percussion tracks to a number of incredible recording projects, including releases by M.Ward, She & Him, Mbrascatu, Haley Johnsen, Falls, Amanda Richards, Rob Wynia & The Sound, Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons, and others.
I’ve long been a fan of TED and TEDx talks, so being invited to step on stage at several of them has led to some of my all-time favorite [and, at times, most terrifying] experiences! I had the pleasure of both performing and speaking at the first ever TEDxYouthOmaha (2014), for a group of several hundred high school students.
Watch the video, titled “ROCK Unlocked: The 4 Keys To Your Future Success,” right here:
I also spoke alongside a stellar cast of characters at the 2nd annual TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now called TEDxMtHood). I returned as their on-stage host for three additional years (2013, 2014 and 2015) and also served in the same capacity at TEDxSalem 2017.
Watch my TEDxConcordiaUPortland 2012 talk, “I Am The Instrument,” right here:
Studies, performances and teaching have allowed me to travel throughout North America, as well as in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the South Pacific.
As a teaching artist, I facilitate a variety of percussion programs (including my “TrashBamBOOM!” (formerly “Junk Jam”), “Sights & Sounds of Ghana” and “Hand Drumming Crash Course” classes) in schools around the world. I also present at youth/adult correctional facilities and lead businesses and organizations through leadership and team building training in my highly interactive “Rhythms at Work” workshops.
I authored Slammin’ Simon’s Guide to Mastering Your First Rock & Roll Drum Beats! (in English and Spanish), Slammin’ Simon’s 20 Essential Drum Rudiments, and Solo in Style, a collection of original drumset solos for beginning/intermediate performers (published by Alfred Music). I’m also honored to be co-author (along with Dave Black) of Alfred’s Drumset Method, Book 2; co-author (with Walfredo Reyes, Sr., Elliot Fine and David Stanoch) of the book The 2-in-1 Drummer; and to have done the music engraving on David Stanoch’s 2009 Modern Drummer Magazine Reader’s Poll winner, Mastering the Tables of Time––all three also available from Alfred Music.
My two children’s board books, I Want to Be a Drummer! and I Want to Be A Reader! (silver medalist in the board book category of the 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards), are published by blue manatee press and illustrated by Maria Montag. Other resources I’ve authored include Grooves On-The-Go and the 10,000-hour Practice Log & Journal.
I’ve written for Modern Drummer Magazine, DRUM! Magazine, Percussive Notes and a variety of other percussion publications, have composed and published nine percussion solo/ensemble pieces, and release free 60-second video drum lessons over at DrumItInAMinute.com
I am super excited to share this podcast interview I did with Nick Ruffini of Drummer’s Resource. Click the image below to listen!
Mac’s List invited me to be a guest on their Find Your Dream Job podcast, focusing on how to make a living as a musician. Click the image below to listen!
I also had the pleasure of chatting it up with Matt Dudley on his Behind The Kit podcast about drumming, writing and publishing books, fears, TEDx talks, developing ideas and more. Click the image below to listen!
Aside from performing, teaching and writing, I’m a member of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Drumset Committee (2015-present) and my personal projects include: TheDonatingDrummer, where I contribute money from one gig each month to jumpstart other people’s goals; and recording a series of audio CDs during my travels, to benefit the regions of the world I visit and learn from. The first release of this series was Amaloboozi, featuring youth choirs and local musicians of Uganda.
Fun fact: a few buddies and I were co-holders of a Guinness World Record for a while (Longest Drum Roll by a Group: 2003-2005) for playing a continuous 12-hour drumroll!
Another recent interest has been the world of film/TV acting. While I am certainly a complete newbie in this arena, I have had the honor of getting roles in a couple of short films.
Based on true events caused by social media addiction, USERS (from Storybox Creative, directed by Jon Lang) shares an emotional gathering of several individuals who are working through devastation caused by their vices.
Soon to be released, The CONsequence (by SMKPO Productions, directed by John Smith) is a fast-paced short that catches things getting heated between two rival gangs. Stay tuned!