027 – Willie Cantu: Drumming for Buck Owens, Hanging w/ Tony Williams in NY, Scottish Pipe Drumming
Originally from Corpus Christi Texas, one of the most defining moments in Willie Cantu’s music career was at the young age of 17 when he became an original member of the Buckaroos led by Buck Owens in the 1960’s. During the three and a half years Willie performed and recorded with Buck Owens, the band earned numerous awards that included Grammys and CMA’s. In 1966, Buck Owens and the Buckaroos were only the second country act to have appeared at Carnegie Hall.
Willie has always been an avid fan of jazz and jazz drumming. During a visit on tour with Buck, Willie had the rare privilege to meet and hang with the great Tony Williams as well as many other jazz greats.
After leaving Buck in late 1967, Willie married a canadian moved to Toronto were he got more involved in performing in jazz groups like the Pharoah Sanders Quartet. Shortly thereafter, Willie moved to San Francisco were he continued his education in all things percussion.
In 1983 Willie moved to Nashville were he began playing country again as well as Scottish Pipe Band Drumming. He started two Scottish Pipe Bands in Tennessee including the Tennessee Scot’s Pipe Band.
He became the house drummer at the Nashville Palace from 1989 to it’s closing in 2005. Willie continues to teach privately and perform locally in Nashville.
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