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For 25 years John Armato has played jazz and commercial music in Kansas City, New York City, and now, Northern California. From concerts and shows to night clubs and private parties, from recording sessions and Russian tours to polka festivals and police circuses, from river boats and churches to -- of course -- weddings and bar mitzvahs, he's been there and played that. Known for his taste and sensitivity on ballads as well as his strong sense of swing, Armato is in his  element on standards, straight-ahead jazz, Basie-style big band charts, and light Latin styles. Armato is based in Sacramento and is available for gigs ithroughout Northern California. Follow Armato on Facebook and Twitter. Read his full bio ...


Playing with Cecil Ramirez June 28, 2011, MIX Downtown, Sacramento


No cover. Taco Tuesdays. Great room. Great people. Great music. I'm on drums with Cecil Ramirez (keyboards), Lance Taber (guitar), and Dave Kirkendall (bass). Band starts at 7. Hope to see you there!


Rest in Peace, Joe Morello


I'm sad to learn that Joe Morello passed away today, March 12, 2011, at the age of 82. I was fortunate to be able to take a couple lessons with Joe when I lived in New York. He was an extraordinary master of the instrument and he immediately helped me loosen up my touch.  He loved to tell stories and each lesson was easily half talking and half playing. I'm grateful for my time with him, and even more grateful for the legacy of musicality and technique he has left all drummers.


"Drum Heads"

Brock Kaericher, president of REMO, just sent me this shot from NAMM 2011. He's showing me the new REMO Powerstroke Pro bass drum head (which is terrific, by the way).  I get a kick out of the way we're practically bumping heads to take a look. Think I'll call this shot "Drum Heads" :-)