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Jamie Oldaker


Jason Bittner started taking formal drum lessons at the age of ten years old; however, he had been banging on pots, pans, and garbage cans since he was about five. A native of Albany, New York, he continued to take lessons and perform in his middle school and high school jazz and orchestra ensembles before heading off to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in 1988. After studying theory, arranging, and latin and jazz drumming styles, he left Berklee to pursue his musical career outside the educational environment. This led to playing in various metal and hard rock bands throughout the late eighties and early nineties. During this period, he was also attending a local community college (for an unrelated degree) and performing with their jazz and percussion ensembles. In 1994 he joined Stigmata, who were, at the time, one of the biggest bands on the New York scene. Over the course of the next 7 years, he recorded 3 albums, released a home video, and toured the U.S. and Europe with this outfit. He also signed endorsement deals with Meinl Cymbals and Pro-Mark Drumsticks at this time. After being together for over a decade, the band decided to "call it a day" in 2001.

As luck would have it, it would be the fall of 2001 when Bittner joined Century Media recording artists Shadows Fall. Initially, he signed on just to do one tour of Europe with the band, but considering the fact that the band had so much going for them, and the chemistry between the 5 members was so great, he decided to quit his job and stay a permanent member.
In the next 6 months, Bittner and Shadows Fall would complete "The Art of Balance," a record that sent the band to new heights they had never imagined. The band then set out on tour for 18 months, doing tours ranging from small clubs to the second stage of Ozzfest 2003. It was also during this period where Bittner would become an endorser of TAMA Drums and Evans Drumheads.

In April of 2004, Shadows Fall entered the studio to record "The War Within," an album which they feel will be a significant step ahead to further their career. It was also in early 2004 that Bittner was voted the "#1 Up and Coming Drummer" in the Modern Drummer Reader's Poll. This is an honor the drummer never thought he would achieve.

As the band enters 2005, sales of "The War Within" (which debuted at #38 on the Billboard charts) have reached over 200,000 in the United States. This record was also powerful enough to help Bittner win again in the MD polls this year, this time for "#1 Best Recorded Performance", and "#1 Metal Drummer".

In the last 3 months, Shadows Fall has completed a U.S. arena tour, as well as a European tour, opening for one of the genre's biggest acts, Slipknot. On May 28th, 2005, Bittner fulfilled another lifelong dream when he performed at the prestigious Modern Drummer Drum Festival and received a standing ovation.

As the summer of 2005 draws near, Shadows Fall will take a short break and then return to the road, this time as one of the acts on the main stage as part of the OzzFest 2005 tour. When OzzFest is completed, the band will take a short break, and Bittner will go on to play at DRUMMERlive in the UK on September 25th, followed by a clinic tour of Germany.

Upon returning home, Shadows Fall will once again hit the road this fall one last time before taking time off to start writing a new album.

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