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David Calarco


In upper New York State there's a term...Upstate Burn...used to describe the intensity of the jazz music and musicians emanating from that area.
David Calarco epitomizes that very term. He is not only a mature and accomplished musician, but a strong advocate of the philosophy that musicians should seek to express a voice of individuality within their music of choice.
Hailing from the Albany, N.Y. area, David became involved with drums at the age of six, first in the public school system and then, in addition, began private studies when he was eight. His intense desire to emulate the great players of the day resulted in a musical growth that encompassed the world of percussion as well as drums.

A widely-heralded drummer in high school, David affirmed his passion for jazz by deciding to attend the world renown Berklee College of Music in Boston. There he studied with numerous teachers including Fred Buda, Joe Hunt, Dean Anderson and most importantly, the great Alan Dawson.


After leaving Berklee, David spent the next couple of years accompanying such entertainers as Della Reese, Perry Como, Bob Hope, The Mills Brothers and Dick Haymes to name a few. During this period, David gained invaluable experience in the art of big band drumming as well as learning the ins and outs of show drumming. These skills would later become useful when David became the drummer with the Doug Sertl Jazz Menagerie big band. The recognition of his big band drumming ability, years later, led to being offered the job drumming with Woody Herman's Thundering Herd and also being asked to audtion for the Count Basie Orchestra.
Upon moving back to upstate N.Y., David decided to pursue a musical situation that would be more spontaneous and creative. His next experience turned out to be an association that would last for over two decades and lead to numerous playing opportunities. Teaming up with Grammy Award and poll winning saxophonist Nick Brignola, he soon found himself as an integral part of the Nick Brignola Quartet, recording several albums and touring all across the country...his fiery yet sensitive drumming garnering rave responses from fans and critics alike. Over the past twenty years David has had the great fortune to meet and play with some of the greatest names in jazz.

While continuing to freelance with other artists, David also performs with his own groups under the name, "The Jazz Caucus". His first CD as a leader on the BMC music label is titled "Countdown"
and features trumpeter Tom Harrell, saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, pianist Fred Hersch, bassist John Lockwood and guitarist Chuck D'Aloia.

David is an artist clinician for the Mapex Drum Co.
and the Sabian Cymbal Co. and currently is an endorser for Vic Firth sticks, Aquarian drumheads, Protechtor cases and Puresound snares as well.

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