Well I'm just like you - a drummer. Trying to be real, trying to be good, trying to be musical while having a good time. About three years ago, my wife and I decided to leave Los Angeles, where I had essentially grown up as a musician and as a person, and move to another area of the country. The main reason was to spend time with my mom, who will be 78 years old this year. My brother lives in New York and wasn't about to move. We had the opportunity and we took it. I had promises made to me by people in the area. A school offered me the directorship, the university in town offered me a partial scholarship towards my masters. My wife was in total agreement. My dog, Natascha, just wanted to eat, sleep, and walk. She doesn't care where! So we moved. What an interesting decision and what a profound change that decision made in my life. I want to share this experience with you. Because it has been a very, very hard last three years. But I have survived, and I have succeeded, perhaps far beyond what I would have done in LA. This area of the country, this small area (which shall remain very nameless), well there's no growth here. There's no great drive or need for improvement. No one really studies drums. A very few people are serious about drums and drumming. I am used to teaching a serious lot of drummes. Maybe 15-20 serious students who come to my house every two weeks for some intense learning and growth. I have no students here. Hey, I have plenty of students in Seattle, London, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Munich, Los Angeles. This all happens when I travel. But here, not a one. That fact alone could have really put me into a tailspin. The music scene here, well it's pretty much non-existent. There are maybe five drummers who work a lot. The rest, well there's not enough work. And the quality of the music being played here is not really high caliber at all. I did a few "jazz" gigs and then decided that my heart and soul hurt too much and I decided not to do any more. But, what was I going to do, when I was home and not traveling? I decided that I would produce quality material for those hungry for drumming knowledge. I would learn new software programs that would help me produce this work. I would seek out allies in this cause and together we would bring forth new and useful tools for drummers world wide. So, that's one of the things I have done. Very soon now you will see and hear about two new products that I have created, resurrecting my production company along the way. Palito Productions is born again! And how? Because my soul, my heart, my being cried out for creative venues where there were none to be had. I fought through the frustration and depression of not being able to play in the town where I lived. I created and gave life to works that will live in homes of many, many musicians. And what of playing the drums? I certainly wasn't going to do this here. So, I carved a deeper niche for myself on the road. I visited many major cities in the States. And many smaller cities. I called drum stores. The companies with which I am affiliated assisted me. I toured. I gave Workshops, Clinics, Master Classes. I took planes, trains, ferries, rented cars, whatever it took to get out there and PLAY!! I traveled in Europe. I MADE it happen. I opened doors, and where these doors were closed, I gently KICKED them open. I went to South America. I traveled to Cuba. Five times. I studied. I practiced. I got better. And now, after three long, hard years, the absolutely most difficult period of my whole life, I have been offered a chance at a life long dream. I will interview for the position of Assistant Chair of the percussion department of the Berklee College of Music. I, along with three other musicians, was chosen from many qualified applicants. Success. Is. Mine.
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