Behind the Scenes with NYC Star Drummer Joe Goretti
NYC freelance drum star Joe Goretti climbed the music industry ranks as one of the world’s premier performers – a huge hit at such major events as joining Moby at the Sydney Opera House, MTV Online Music Awards, Saturday Night Live with Robyn, performing with Ne-Yo on the David Letterman show, a Jay Leno appearance, playing with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame R&B legend Sam Moore, and making Red Carpet after parties. Yet all the touring has not kept Joe from teaching, jamming on the Lower East Side, and producing new electronica sounds and tracks.
Using a case of beer as a seat, Goretti began playing drums at four years old with his father and uncle. His mother was a singer in a local rock band. He played with whomever he could to learn every style of music and to play every genre authentically. In his home town Buffalo, he ranged from original progressive speed metal to traditional West African beats with a Senegal band.
At the age of fourteen, Goretti attended a drum clinic led by Vinnie Colaiuta, drummer for Frank Zappa and Sting. Goretti went on to study with Buffalo Music Hall of Famer Louis Marino, who taught him how to read big band charts and trained him in a wide variety of genres.
Goretti attended the world’s largest independent college of contemporary music, Berklee College of Music in Boston, on a partial scholarship where his exposure to the international music community catapulted to studying with the likes of star-studded drummer and composer Kenwood Dennard and award-winning jazz drummer Ian Froman.
The professional drummer life hasn’t been all rock-star fame and fortune for Goretti. Being a professional musician cost him quality of life. The cost of even a modest NYC apartment meant juggling many plates and he missed close relationships with his family.
“My mom was stuck in the driveway one day, and I wanted to be there to shovel out her driveway for her, and get her groceries for her. That’s been the struggle. I have sacrificed a certain amount of quality of life so I could pursue this one goal, and that is the one hardest thing…the one biggest struggle of my life.”
Goretti lives in an apartment overlooking the East River where he is creating a solo project, delving into cutting-edge electronica, and using Ableton to incorporate electronic tracks and sounds into a live setting with his acoustic drums and new Yamaha electronic drum set while also manipulating visual media.
Goretti’s 2-part Drumming Career Course curriculum is designed to teach musicians certain skills, identify and refine their strengths, and then market those talents. The intensive 15-week course covers, among other topics, timing, versatility, repertoire, reading and writing music, professionalism, and marketing oneself as a freelancer. Distance learning will be available soon in a high-tech environment.
Goretti’s advise to musicians: “Study your craft, practice diligently and always perform each note as if it were your last.”
Despite his inspiring success, Goretti remains approachable and down-to-earth. When Goretti is not creating new sounds, he is often downtown Manhattan at the Bitter End, R&B, Club Groove, The Red Lion, or Café Wha.Connect with Joe Goretti on Facebook
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