Steve Wilkes

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Career Highlights
  • Leader and primary composer for the massive drum group Six Drum Sets
  • Author of The Art of Digital Drumming and articles for Electronic Musician and Rhythm Music magazines
  • Drummer for Blue Man Group
  • Drummer and percussionist for the Empire Brass Quintet, with performances at Carnegie Hall; Lincoln Center; Washington National Cathedral; Petronas Towers Concert Hall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan; and Sunturi Hall in Tokyo, Japan
  • Three-time recipient of the Japan Foundation Uchida Scholarship Grant, for the study of taiko drumming in Japan with Kodo and Seido Kobayashi
  • School Name
    Berklee College of Music
    State or Province
    Bachelor of Music (B.M.)
    Date Degree Received
In Their Own Words

"Student demand for technology in percussion is peaking. I teach four different courses that are either directly about technology or peripherally involve it. Students really need to be adept at the technology, so that they can get the jobs that will define the musical landscape in the future. In ten to fifteen years, the landscape of drumming is going to change drastically. Today, when you think of a band you think drum set, guitar, bass, singer. In the future, I think many bands are just as likely to be comprised of electronic drummer, keyboard, guitar, and singer."

"The priority with me is ensuring that all my students feel like they have an endless horizon, like there is no end to their own potential in the music business. A lot of good things come from believing this. I like to create a relaxed environment in the classroom and to give every student the highest ceiling possible. I try to treat every student as a unique individual, realizing that all students come from different backgrounds and geographical locales."

"In terms of technique, I try to impart natural movement and mechanics that work with each student's body. Learning to play simple grooves beautifully is absolutely a priority. Playing hard and fast is more fun for some students, so when someone asks for something simple, they have a hard time executing it. I think drummers that are truly worth their weight in gold must be able to play simple."