Just finished up a wonderful season at Radio City here in NYC! I was very fortunate to get to play the percussion book for this year's Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes. It was such a great experience, and the musicianship was truly incredible! I was able to meet and play with so many great players. Here are some pictures from the journey:
Above: Rehearsal room at Radio City. There are two percussion chairs, and most of the show is played on electronic percussion. They are called Mallet Kats, and they can do almost anything!
Above: Rehearsal. And a great shot of the other percussionist Mario DeCiutiis :)
Above: The Orchestra (I'm on the far right).
Above: The pit set-up. Notice there is a live timpani on the right for a few live glissandos. There are also some live toys on the music stand on the upper left of the picture.
Below is a cool pic taken at a gig at 54 below:
Check out these pics and a video below of the new compact kit TreeHouse sent me! The entire kit fits into one 18" case by fitting the drums into one another, making them easy to transport and set up. This ultimately saves time, space, and your wallet (if you live in NYC you can take the entire kit on the subway and spare yourself a cab fare)!
These drums are ergonomic, sound amazing, and look beautiful! Every drummer should have a set like this!
-----(Left) These are all the drums set in one another and put into an 18" carrying case. The case does not hold the hardware, but you only need a few extra pieces of gear with this kit. The snare and rack tom both attach to the BD, and there are attachments for two cymbals off the BD. The floor tom has legs (I requested this for this model), so the only extra hardware to carry are the 3 floor tom legs, 2 small attachments for the snare and rack tom, 2 small cymbal stand attachments, a hi hat stand, a kick pedal, and a stool. Oh, and your cymbals of course. Amazing!
(The "minimal" kit is show above left on the red carpet. The other pictures with this kit have additional cymbals and stands).
Here I am on the "Anything Goes" show drums (Yamaha kit):
My swingin' set-up for Anything Goes First National Tour!
--Me and Trey Anastasio at a "Hands on Hard Body" event! It was such a wonderful evening for me to meet a musician I so admire and adore. I was fortunate to cover some rehearsals for Shannon Ford (drummer for Broadway's "Hand's on A Hard Body") and actually get to play Trey's music for him!
Check out this video of us recording at Sun Studios. This is the touring band for Jersey Boys, and I was lucky enough not only to tour with them, but to record in this famous studio:
Take a look at THIS rig!
This is Shannon Ford's rig for "Chaplin" which I get to play as his sub. It took some time getting the choreography down...
***I am a big supporter of Billy Miller's "The Miller Machine" - check it out on his website! I use this device all the time and on the site you can find pictures of me and my rigs with the miller machine!
Here are some new videos of me playing djembe and kit with this amazing singer, Andres Quintero!
Here is a picture from the drum booth at Godspell:
Listen to this Phil Collins tune from an album I recently recorded with Jaron Vesely:
Check out the rest of Jaron's album, "Coming to My Senses" on Itunes!
Also check out Matt Doyle's debut album, "Daylight" where I laid down some tracks, also on Itunes!
Check out these videos from a concert of "Jawbreaker! The Musical"
Music by Jeff Thomson and Jordan Mann!
James Sampliner MD
Micah Burgess Guitar
Joe Wallace Bass
Joshua Mark Samuels Drums
Some tunes from projects I've played on:
Composed by Will Aronson and Daniel Mate. This song is off the original cast recording.
A tune from Aaron Rosenberg's album.
This is the end section of the song, the jam section. One of my favorites my LA band, Ah-Cha, used to play. We loved covering Phish. This was recorded at our CD release show.
If you know me, you are aware that I am obsessed with drum/percussion set-ups. If you don't know me, well, now you know.
Here are some pictures of some of my favorite rigs I've played:
Two River Theater Company, Red Bank, NJ
"Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris"
Two River Theater Company, Red Bank, NJ.
"You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown"
Two River Theater Company, Red Bank, NJ.
This set-up was really exciting; always running back and forth from the drum kit to the vibes or glockenspiel. What was especially fun was playing the glockenspiel and drum kit at the same time.
What was also cool about this particular production was that the band "appeared" above and upstage, in a box, as pictured here. Sometimes we would not be seen, and then all of a sudden we would appear out of nowhere above the stage.
Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party"
Circle In the Square, NYC
This theater is so open and vibrant I really had to muffle my toms. See how the wind chimes are behind where I sit? I would love to one day have a set-up that is completely circular - someone take out those chairs and let Josh bring in some timpani!
"The Marvelous Wonderettes"
Westside Theatre, NYC
Ah, the V-drums. This was an interesting set-up because the drums were plugged into the sound system, and they miked the cymbals and extra percussion. Normally, as when I was subbing at Altar Boyz, an electronic drum-kit has cymbal pads as well. One whole electronic kit. So, needless to say, playing on a V-drum kit with live cymbals was a very different experience than one would be used to.
"Once on This Island"
York Theatre, NYC
This show is absolutely incredible. The percussion set-up, just as awesome. Congas and Bongos galore in this Caribbean musical.
I tried to use many different shakers and rattles for the texture of the piece. And yes, there is a cowbell foot pedal!
Pictures from various recording sessions:
Sun Studios, Memphis, TN
Vacation Island Studios, Brooklyn, NY
NOLA Studios, NYC
Lofish Studios, NYC
THI Studios, Brooklyn, NY
MSR Studios, NYC
Kilgore Sound and Recording, NYC
Sheffield Studios, Phoenix, Maryland
MORE TO COME