092 – Jamison Ross: Combining His Drumming and Singing Roots, Leading a Band from the Drums, The Importance of New Orleans’ Drumming Lineage
Jamison Ross is doing what no drummer has ever done – drumming, singing, composing (music and lyrics), and bandleading, all from the front and center of the stage. He is the 2012 winner of the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. He won only as a drummer but at his showcase concert, he shocked the jazz world by singing as well. This set him on his current path bringing his unique concept to jazz which combines the influences of his church roots, his jazz drumming heroes, and the great voices of Soul and R&B.
Jamison grew up in Jacksonville, FL, graduated from Florida State with a degree in Jazz Studies, and went on to earn a master’s degree at the University of New Orleans. He has made his home in New Orleans since. Before entering the Monk Competition, he was already busy as a sideman with Ellis Marsalis, Carmen Lundy, Marcus Roberts and many others.
In this podcast, Jamison talks about:
Growing up in Jacksonville and being exposed to many different art forms from an early age
How the lineage of the drumset is tied to the lineage of jazz, and how funk, R&B, rock, and other styles can be traced back to jazz drumming
The experience of competing in and winning The Thelonious Monk Competition
His concept as a jazz artist and bandleader – bringing the blues and songwriting back to jazz
The intricacies of playing drums behind vocal jazz
The personal and musical factors that went into choosing his band
The importance of pre-BeBop jazz and jazz drumming, and of the New Orleans drumming lineage (Baby Dodds, Idris Muhammad, Zigaboo Modeliste, Smokey Johnson, Herlin Riley, etc.)
How he can lead his band from the drums in ways that other singers or instrumentalists can’t
This episode is sponsored by Mapex Drums