Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jake at PASIC

I'll be at PASIC next month in Indianapolis to staff the Berklee College of Music booth and to do a book signing along with some of the contributors.

Jeff Hamilton, Jake, Joe Calato at PASIC (1995)
Jake attended the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) many times, and his clinics, presentations, and frankly, just his presence, were always memorable. Several of the stories in the book related some of those trips to PASIC. Here are a few excerpts: 

We used to bring Jake to the trade shows whenever he wanted to or was able to be there. Jake would hang until the early morning hours and show up at the booth generally around noon or 1 p.m. In the meantime, people would know that Jake would be at the show, and they'd keep coming to the booth to ask for him. This would go on all morning until he showed up. Jake was so personable and funny that people enjoyed hanging out with him. Carol Calato

(At PASIC 2005) Jake was holding court at a Master Brush class, but we didn’t know which room it was in so we wandered around until we got to one of the last ballrooms. There was still no sign of him, but we knew this was the room because it was already packed, standing room only. We leaned against the back wall until Jake showed up with Joe Calato and his wife. I waved them to two seats, but Joe pointed out that they already were occupied. I replied “You’re Joe Calato, you sit where you want to sit!” The two occupants of the seats responded promptly and gladly offered their seats to Joe and his wife, both of whom were laughing. Anyone standing in Joe’s line of sight was tersely reminded that “Nobody stands in Joe Calato’s way.” Everyone was a good sport, and the crowd found this whole thing very entertaining. Meanwhile the drum clinic turned into a combination of master brush work and Jake stories. He wrapped up by roasting Jeff Hamilton, who laughed so hard he had to leave the room. Jerome Judge

[At PASIC 2004] somehow I found myself sitting at a small table alone with Jake for hours drinking beer and sharing stories. I ... soaked up everything he told me: how he was close to Buddy Rich, and some of the experiences they had together; how he first met Joe Calato of Regal Tip; his time with Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson. In typical drummer fashion we also talked shop-- drums, drumsticks, cymbal selection. I distinctly remember he told me to fill the sound ring on my Black Beauty snare with lead. To this day, I'm still not sure how to go about doing that. The next day Jake performed a clinic for a wall-to-wall crowd at the show. He had everyone's undivided attention the entire time he was on stage. He was a true master of the art. Nick Mason

It was a thrill to finally play with Jake at the PASIC 2002 concert. I’d always heard stories about him, especially from the West Coast guys who’d spent time with him before, but meeting him was really specialTo me, Jake was what the Japanese call a “Living National Treasure,” somebody who taught us a great deal about how a drummer really leads a big band and a small band, and at the same time made you laugh and laugh. He was a real gem of a guy. Terry Douds