Berklee Drummer to Perform on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers
Berklee may be known for its world-class faculty, but some of the school’s most in-demand musicians do other work besides teaching. Look no further than Jonathan Ulman. An office manager in Berklee’s Percussion Department by day, he moonlights as Boston’s premier session drummer—a title he can rightfully claim, having won the Boston Music Award for Session Musician of the Year in each of the past five years.
Later this month, the local music veteran will have a chance to showcase his skills on a national stage as guest drummer on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. From Monday, June 27, to Thursday, June 30, Ulman will anchor the show’s 8G Band, adding his name to an elite list of drummers who have had the same honor, including Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam), Patrick Carney (the Black Keys), Danny Carey (Tool), Berklee alumni Vinnie Colaiuta ’75 (Frank Zappa) and Abe Laboriel Jr. ’93 (Paul McCartney), and others.
“It’s definitely surreal for me to be considered among the giants in the industry,” said Ulman. “I got a message on my Instagram from the show's producer that just said, ‘You available the week of June 26?’ It was at around 11:00 p.m. on a Sunday night and I jumped off the couch and yelled. I always wondered what it would be like to get ‘The Call,’ and I am happy to say I wouldn't have changed a thing about how it happened.”
With just two weeks until showtime, Ulman won’t have much time to prepare, but the drummer, who’s played with hundreds of artists both live and in the studio, from Ani DiFranco and Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis to acclaimed Boston hip-hop outfit STL GLD, says he isn’t concerned.
“All the rehearsals take place once I’m in New York City, so in the meantime I am just going to play as much as possible and keep my chops up,” Ulman says. “I’ll be ready to jump right in once they say go.”