The Heck Room Music Series is a monthly concert series featuring Berklee's top acoustic performers. Jazz drummer Aaron Gottlieb spent his formative years growing up in Michigan City, Indiana. Frequently, he would go into the city with his father to the blues clubs and was allowed to sit in, developing his ears under the guidance of older musicians. Gottlieb credits his band director for steering him towards the jazz idiom.
"My band director put up these flyers in the back of the band room about an Ed Shaughnessy clinic that was going to take place. There was a picture of this guy with huge sideburns, a huge turquoise medallion, a monster Ludwig kit, and he looked like he was having a blast. Having never seen The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, I had no clue as to who this guy was. A few days later, my grandmother, who always played Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington records whenever I visited, found Rich Versus Roach in an old record store and gave it to me. After those two events, I was hooked. I started listening to all of the great jazz drummers: Elvin Jones, Joe Morello, Ed Thigpen, the list goes on. I suppose the rest is history."
In high school, Gottlieb took lessons from local legend Eddie Knight of South Bend, Indiana. Later, he attended Indiana University, where he studied percussion with Steve Houghton and Andy Smith. Feeling that Indiana was no longer the best place to truly grow as a musician, Gottlieb transferred to Berklee. Majoring in music business, he still manages to maintain a regular performance schedule as a bandleader and sideman. Currently, Gottlieb studies with Casey Scheuerell and Yoron Israel, and is making plans to record his first album.