Bob Tamagni

Professor

"I've always had pretty good ears. That came mostly from my dad, who was a very good tenor saxophone player. I remember at a young age hearing him say things like, 'Hear this song playing? Tell me when we get to the bridge. Do you know what the "bridge" is? Listen: there's a little different key there.' Almost without my knowing it, he was teaching me."

"My own teaching includes a lot of listening—not only to what the drummer's doing, but asking students to let me know what they think the bass or piano or the melody player is playing. And I ask, 'What does that have to do with what you're doing?' I do this because drums are primarily an accompaniment instrument, not a solo instrument. It's unlikely that you'll ever go out and do a solo drum gig at a piano bar; you'll always be playing with other people. A big part of doing that well is to understand how the other instruments play and what to listen for in the quality of their playing."

"Drums are just as musical as any other instrument. I want my students to approach the drums as musically as a piano, or flute, or saxophone—to learn how to articulate and to phrase with the same expression as any other musician. I sometimes have them play the melody on the snare drum or around the drum set, just so they can feel the experience of phrasing."

"You can have all the 'watch what I can do' chops in the world, but if you can't play good time, play good groove, and keep it simple, your phone's not going to ring. To me having 'good chops' isn't about speed; it's about having the technique to execute just the right musical thing the right way when the music calls for it."

 

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Former instrumental and band director in Massachusetts public schools
  • National and international performances and recordings with Kris Adams, the Berklee All-Stars, the Big Wolf Project, Gary Burton, Emil Haddad, Kaoruko, Mike Metheny, Pat Metheny, Joe Mulholland, Bob Nieske, Dick Odgren, Jim Odgren, Out at Home, and the Sled Dogs, among others
  • Performance settings range from the Newport Jazz Festival to 10,000-seat auditoriums
  • Now seen nightly in the house trio at one of Boston’s premier jazz venues, the Top of the Hub
  • As a drum set clinician, has traveled to Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Poland, South America, and elsewhere around the world