Barry and World Percussion in 1999

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Barry introduces World Percussion at Drummers World circa 1999

Barry introduces World Percussion Instruments at Drummers World circa 1999

When we started in 1979, the only world percussion drums in the stores were congas, bongos and other latin american gear. Any thing else was a rare oddity. A few Brazilian percussionsts started coming into the shop and after a while convinced me to buy pandieros and tamborims from them when they would return from Brazil. In the early 80’s a very nice gentleman came into Drummers World with a nice djembe drum from Burkina Faso and invited me up… Read more »

The “Elvin” Look

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Elvin Jones with Keiko at Drummers World clinic in 2001

Elvin Jones with Keiko
at Drummers World clinic in 2001

Steve Singer, drummer/photographer, was in attendance at Elvin’s 2001 clinic at Drummers World with camera ready. He took this pic of Elvin and his wife Keiko after the clinic as they were mingling with attendees. The “Elvin look” is obvious. His eyes rolling in combination with that grin could charm a snake!

Lewis Nash early 1980s Photo

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Lewis Nash at Drummers World 1980s

Lewis Nash at Drummers World in the 1980s

I’m proud to say I have known Lewis Nash since he arrived in NYC in the early 80s working with Betty Carter. His discography is endless, being on over 400 albums, and he continues to travel and perform internationally with major artists. He has had much success and remains the same humble being as always.

Greg Hutchinson and Clayton Cameron mid 1990s Photo

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Greg Hutchinson & Clayton Cameron at Drummers World mid 1990s

Greg Hutchinson & Clayton Cameron at Drummers World mid 1990s

Greg Hutchinson and Clayton Cameron at Drummers World in the mid 1990s. Both of these guys are masters at what they do. This was an impromptu demonstration Clayton was giving and you can see Greg is all eyes. Whenever Clayton would come into the shop he always attracted frustrated brush players looking to pick up tips.

Marvin “Smitty” Smith 1980s Photo

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Marvin "Smitty" Smith at Drummers World 1980s

Marvin “Smitty” Smith at Drummers World 1980s

Back to the ’80s and a smiling Smitty when he was in NYC freelancing, before he got the Tonight show gig. I would see him playing in the New York clubs and marvel at how he could put it all together and always come out swinging and musical. He now resides in California and enjoys the warm climate.

Vinnie Colaiuta 1988 Photo

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Vinnie Colaiuta at Drummers World in 1988

Vinnie Colaiuta Drummers World in 1988

This photo was taken of Vinnie in 1988 on a cold day in NYC. He was recording in town and stopped by Drummers World to say hello. Always a lot of fun, his work with Zappa, Sting and others is always inspiring and creative. He remains a constant favorite of ours.

Chico Hamilton 1980s Photo

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Chico Hamilton at Drummers World in the mid 1980s

Chico Hamilton at Drummers World – mid 1980s

Mr. Suave! Always dressed immaculately and a real delight to hang with, Chico Hamilton was a major pioneer. He always experimented with new ideas and was one of the first drummers to use single headed toms. This photo was taken in the mid ’80s at Drummers World.

Elvin Jones 2001 Photo

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Elvin Jones Clinic at Drummers World after 9/11 in 2001

Elvin Jones Clinic at Drummers World after 9/11 in 2001

Right after 9/11 New York fell apart for a while. No one knew where things were going or if there was more to come. We had a clinic scheduled with Elvin Jones and were unsure whether or not to put it on. We reached out to him and he decided to go for it. Never looking back, it was a remarkable day that everyone there will never forget. Elvin was very positive and full of inspiration. In this photo, behind… Read more »

Glen Velez 1980s Photo

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Glen Velez at Drummers World in the mid 1980s

Glen Velez at Drummers World in the mid 1980s

Prior to the 1980’s hand drumming was thought of as bongo and conga drum playing. Glen Velez changed that! He pioneered the art of frame drumming with incredible tambourine, riq, and bodhran technique. He is now considered one of the foremost frame drummers in the world and is influence is legendary. He always performs with music primary and technique as a necessity. We sponsored a clinic in the mid 80s featuring Ed Harrison playing Joropo Maracas and Glen, Frame… Read more »

Louie Bellson 1980s Photo

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Louie Bellson at Drummers World in the mid 1980s

Louie Bellson at Drummers World – mid 1980s

One of the nicest guys in the business, Louie Bellson gracing Drummers World with his presence was an honor. The pioneer of double bass drumming, he had remarkable hands as well as feet. His recording of “Skin Deep” with Duke Ellington will always remain a classic lesson in drumming. In addition, his books on reading and odd times are studied by all intrumentalists and remain very relevant.

Dave Mattacks 1980s Photo

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Dave Mattacks at Drummers World in the mid 1980s

Dave Mattacks at Drummers World – mid 1980s

Dave Mattacks, shown in this photo from the mid-80’s, was residing at the time in his native England and was first call on many studio sessions. His solid time keeping and exquisite taste kept him in demand with Fairpoint Convention, Jethro Tull, Paul McCartney, Elton John and many others.Now residing in the US he is a favorite with many singer-songwriters. Always very polite and serious, Dave has a great sense of humor (see T-shirt).

Mel Lewis 1980s Photo

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Mel Lewis at Drummers World in the mid-1980s

Mel Lewis at Drummers World in the mid 1980s

Often referred to as “The Tailor“, Mel Lewis was the epitome of the understated perfect big band drummer. His steady time and swing made him an in-demand musician. He was very opinionated yet personable and easy to talk to. His recordings are lessons in how to play with a band. Never obtrusive, but very much a presence!

Arthur Taylor 1980s Photo

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Arthur Taylor and Barry Greenspon at Drummers World in the 1980s

Arthur Taylor (L) and Barry Greenspon (R)
at Drummers World in the 1980s

Arthur Taylor performed on over 300 albums between the 1950s and 1960s, one being the classic “Giant Steps” album. He was basically the “house drummer” at Blue Note Records. In the early 1960s he left New York and moved to Europe, where he lived for twenty years. On his return we became good friends and this photo shows him with his famous interview book, “Notes and Tones.”

Pick Withers 1980s Photo

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Pick Withers at Drummers World in the late 1980s

Pick Withers at Drummers World in the late 1980s

Whenever Dire Straits was in town, Pick Withers would always come by and hang out. The band got bigger and bigger and Pick, being very disciplined, would practice hours in our studio. He has always been very reserved and humble. He would talk about, before they became popular, The Police being the opening act for Dire Straits. We developed a lasting friendship. This photo taken in the late 1980s is of his attempt at playing the berimbau in our shop.

Buster Bailey 1980s Photo

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Buster Bailey at Drummers World in the late 1980s

Buster Bailey at Drummers World – late 1980s

What a pleasure and honor when Buster Bailey would come into Drummers World. Having been with the NY Philharmonic for over 40 years, he witnessed many changes. He played snare drum with impeccable taste and control. I think one of his favorite pastimes was going to the circus and watching the drummer. I complained to him about the difficulty of his Xylophone book and he advised: “practice very slowly”… which I did, and it was still difficult! This is… Read more »

Bill Bruford 1990s Photo

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Bill Bruford at Drummers World in the mid 1990s

Bill Bruford at Drummers World in the mid 1990s

One of the original Progressive Rock innovators, Bill Bruford stopped by Drummers World in the mid 90’s a number of times when he was touring with King Crimson. He blew my mind when I first heard him with Yes! A very mild-mannered gentleman.

Will Calhoun 1990s Photo

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Will Calhoun at Drummers World in the 1990s

Will Calhoun at Drummers World in the 1990s

Still kicking ass with Living Colour and doing his own projects as well, Will Calhoun has been a friend and inspiration for many years. He first came into the store when he was still in high school and continued to do so whenever he was in town. He is always expanding his scope and constantly exploring world music. This photo was taken at Drummers World in the 1990s.

Harvey Mason 1980s Photo

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Harvey Mason at Drummers World in the 1980s

Harvey Mason at Drummers World in the 1980s

I got completely turned around after hearing the drum track on “Chameleon”. Harvey nailed it! Then the George Benson album,”Breezin’”… he has done so many other projects and still out there with FourplayJazz. A true gentleman and artist. This photo is from one of his visits to our drum shop in the ’80s.

Chris Lamb 1985 Photo

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Chris Lamb at Drummers World in 1985

Chris Lamb at Drummers World in 1985

This photo of Chris Lamb was taken in our drum shop after he won the NY Philharmonic audition in 1985. He was exteremly exhausted after many practice hours. He came in for a visit and played every tambourine in the store. Chris is the Principal Percussionist with the orchestra and is always creative, inventive and inspiring. Once when a young rock drummer came into the store and started bragging to everyone about the band he was working with and how… Read more »