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Ron Van Stratum

Born in Asten , the Netherlands, October 22nd ,1961. Started playing drums at the age of four. He started out (like so many drummers ) on his mother's pots and pans and used to build his own "real"set out of plastic paint buckets. When he was seven years old , he became a member of the local drum corps and got his first formal (snare)drum lessons.
By the time he was 12, he won a rudimental snaredrum contest held in his region and a year later he was entitled to call himself Dutch Champion ( Rudimental snaredrum-solo category).

In 1976 he formed his first band with some school friends. They started playing Ska-music and ended-up as a Punk-band. Around that time he bought a TAMA drumset and with that came a catalog showing Billy Cobham behind a huge set of drums and became curious about that drummer. He then got a copy of Cobham's "Funky Thide Of Sings" and immediatly became the man's biggest fan, and began copying what he heard.

Trying to play like Cobham was one thing ,but playing those fusion drum licks in a punk band was another. That didn't work so the drummer was off to form a new band. Jazz-rock was the new thing.

In 1980 he moved to Tilburg (Netherlands) to study classical percussion with Willy Goudswaard and drums & percussion with Frans van Grinsven at the Tilburg Conservatorium. Ron was asked to play congas for (jazz) dance-classes at the conservatorium and during an international jazz dance summer-camp in Switserland.
During that study he met keyboarder Wilbert Kivits but it wasn't untill 1987 before the two of them teamed up and eventually founded "Time Design", a critically acclaimed fusion band which recorded one CD in its original setting and three others after that. They toured extensively.
After five years of studying in Tilburg he moved to Maastricht to studie jazz with drummer Arnoud Gerritse at the Maastricht Conservatorium, Netherlands and also took some privat lessons with Dave Weckl and Joel Taylor.
After graduating , Ron was offered a job as teacher at the Maastricht Conservatorium . He still teaches there today next to his teaching chair at the Drummers-Institute in Düsseldorf, Germany.

In 1991 Ron was asked to come and play with Belgium female popsinger of fame Jo Lemaire. He toured the world with her and recorded "Aujourd'Hui". This recording also contains a song written by Ron.

Somewhere around 1990 the drummer was introduced to guitar player Emiel van Egdom. It was in his band that Ron got the opportunity to play and tour with great U.S. artist such as guitarist Eric Gale, saxmen Bob Sheppard and Bob Militello, pianists John Beasley and Bob Jones, bassists Brian Bromberg and Chico Huff, trumpetplayer Tony Guerrero, singer Tony Galla, Vibes player Mike Mainieri a.o. In 1993 Ron played in a German band led by guitarist Dirk K. and featured trumpet player Randy Brecker. Also on that tour were saxophonist Andy Middleton (USA) and vibraphonist Christoph Eidens (Germany) who recorded Ron's first solo CD "Going Out". With Andy he toured on and off with a quartet called "Different Shapes" playing all original music. This band also featured Belgium pianist Michel Bisceglia and bassist Roman Korolik.
Christoph Eidens invited Ron to join his band "Mallet Madness", a band consisting of two vibes/marimbas, double bass and drums. They play arrangements of classic rock tunes like "Moby Dick" (Led Zeppelin). In 1993 recorded "Bound West"with fusion-trio Whapzz, featuring pianist Glenn Corneille and bassist Roman Korolik and played some jazz-festivals.
Ron recorded his second solo CD , called "Plain View" in 1998.

Ron was a member of the Margriet Eshuijs Band. He's toured with Margriet for the third time until 2000.

In 2001 he toured with John Beasley (of Steely Dan and Miles Davis fame) with Emiel van Egdom and Jan Knooren and his own RvS band.

Inspired by:
" All kinds of Good Music! "
Joe Zawinul, Weather Report, Billy Cobham, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Yellowjackets, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Rait, Jim Beard, Miles, all kinds of folk-music like Latin-, Balcan-, African-,Asian-,Scandinavian music, Classical music, Beatles, Stones, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Steve Smith, Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, Sting, and many, many more.

Clinics & Workshops.
I started doing my first clinics in 1993 for JIC Music,'s Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, importers of musical instruments. In 1996 I became an official endorser/clinician for the MEINL Cymbal & Percussion Company (Germany) for the Benelux. I perform clinics on my own and/or together with MEINL Percussion Artist Femke Krone (Netherlands). She's a freelance percussionist touring and recording with all kinds of groups and artists such as Rene Froger, Hans Dulfer a.o.

In my clinics for MEINL I play their Custom Shop Cymbals and their wide range of percussion instruments like Djembe, Congas, Bongos, Timbales, Shakers, Cowbells, Chimes, etc. Besides playing to tapes of my own music, I'll show some different playing techniques and/ or specific rhythms for each instrument and try to integrate drums and percussion instruments into strong grooves. I also show drummers that you don't have to be a percussionist or even have knowledge of genuine Latin or Afro rhythms to pick up some shakers and cowbells or even congas. If you are creative you can use these beautiful instruments in every style of music you like!

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