Windermere High rolls with first Day of Percussion
Grab your drumsticks and join other drummers at the first Day of Percussion Saturday, March 24, at Windermere High School.
The event which will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will feature several guests, including Glen Sobel, drummer for Alice Cooper; Randy Van Patten, of Vanz Drumming; Anthony Parrulli, who will be host a session on theme-park drumming; and performances by Blue Man Group drummers Colin Robinson and Kevin Connolly.
Connolly has been drumming for the Blue Man Group band for 17 years. His passion for drumming means that performing with the group hardly ever feels like work.
“I can honestly say that I still laugh at something new every night,” Connolly said. “I have the most fulfilling job: to play music and create memories with my friends.”
Robinson lives in Windermere but grew up in rural Canada. Although he’s a drummer for the Blue Man Group band, he clarified that he is not an actual “Blue Man.”
Robinson got his first drum set in high school, however, he started playing drums in a non-traditional way before he got his first set.
“I would find all these different pillows and I would find the ones that made different sounds,” Robinson said. “I would set them up like I thought a drum set should be set up. … And then I would play on them and take plastic buckets or whatever I could find (and play those).”
Like many musicians, Robinson has a long history of playing in a number of bands. In addition to playing the drums, he also plays the guitar and bass guitar.
“I was always, always a member of some band or another; a lot of high school bands just playing cover music,” Robinson said. “When I moved to Toronto to go to college and started getting into bands that actually paid money. … I started traveling more and more.”
From there, Robinson’s career afforded him the opportunity to tour all over the world. He went on to play gigs with artists such as The Black Eyed Peas, Lenny Kravitz and Janet Jackson, among others.
“Eventually, I started playing with bands that were signed to (record) labels,” Robinson said. “(I) was on tour busses, and airplanes, and (performing for) Jay Leno and Ellen Degeneres and starting to do these really big gigs.
“(I) opened for Justin Timberlake over in Europe,” Robinson said. “He was such a nice guy. At the beginning of the tour, he came into our green room (and) introduced himself to each of us. … At the end of that two-week-long tour, he rented out an entire bowling alley and brought all the bands and crew from our band and his band and we just bowled all night. Bowling next to Justin Timberlake was just a cool experience.”
Robinson also went on a three-year tour with Canadian singer-songwriter Fefe Dobson. Toward the end of that tour, Robinson auditioned in Toronto for the Blue Man Group. The group was playing a show in Toronto at the time, and Robinson seized the opportunity to audition. April will mark his 13th year as a drummer for Blue Man Group band.
“Now I’m still playing drums, but I can come home every night instead of living out of a suitcase,” Robinson said. “I just like the energy of live performance.”