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Drori Mondlak

DRORI MONDLAK (drums) was born in Mexico City where he began his involvement in music, studying classical piano at six years of age. He continued his studies four more years, at which time, he and his family moved to London and then on to New York City. That is where, at sixteen years of age, his love of the drums started and has continued to flourish.

Self-taught at the start, he played in local groups which were mostly power trios: guitar, bass and drums. Soon after that, Drori began listening to jazz and became captivated by the sounds he heard.
He left New York City to attended Bard College in upstate New York as a music major and traveled to the city to study drums with Sonny Igoe and Charlie Persip. He also studied music at Mannes College.

Some years later, Drori heard an old Dave Brubeck recording, Gone with the Wind and was fascinated with Joe Morello's graceful and subtle brush playing. He sought him out as a teacher and studied with him for a number of years as well as with John Riley.

Now living in New York City, he has toured, performed and/or recorded with many great musicians internationally and in the US, including: Joe Williams, Ernestine Anderson, Frank Foster, Danny Mixon, Don Friedman, John Hicks, Norman Simmons, Roy Meriwether, Ronnie Mathews, Stan Hope, Bill Charlap John Bunch, Fritz Pauer, James Weidman, John Dimartino, Phil Markowitz, Kenny Davern, Lew Tabackin, Warren Vache, Randy Sandke, Eric Person, Mark Vinci, Bill Easely, Chris Potter, Karolina Strassmayer, Ken Peplowski, John Gordon, Ralph Lalama, Wycliffe Gordon, Ray Vega, Art Baron, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jimmy Ponder, Cary DeNigris, Lynn Seaton, Ron McClure, Lyn Christie, Stanley Banks, Jarek Smietana, Vic Juris, Henry Johnson, Bob Devos, Joe Cohn, Rodney Jones, Giacomo Gates, Dave Stryker and many others.

He has appeared at international jazz festivals, including: Montreux and Bern festivals in Switzerland, the Copenhagen jazz festival in Denmark, Graz and Salzburg festivals in Austria, Newport, and JVC in the United States and Mexico City international Jazz Festival. He has also performed for Jazzmobile, Shea Center for the Performing Arts, Princeton Jazz Festival, SS Norway Floating Jazz Festival, The Jazz Cruise, MOMA Jazz series, Southwestern Oklahoma Jazz Festival, University of North Texas Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. , Grove Street Music Festival in Michigan, Jazz Arts Music Society, Gainsville Friends of Jazz and Blues, Midland/Odessa Jazz Society, Baylor University, Hunter College, Jazz Forum Arts and recently toured throughout Japan, Europe and the United States.

He currently freelances with many artists in NY, performing and recording with small and large ensembles. He leads his own group - DRORI MONDLAK & Straight Circle, which released their debut CD "Wake-Up Call" and works as a member of The Cary DeNigris Trio, The Lynn Seaton Trio, The Don Friedman Trio and KLARO!.

Drori has been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine and also contributes articles to their jazz drummer's workshop column as well as to Jazz Improv Magazine and to Drums & Percussion Magazine in Europe.

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