Berklee Sabian Cymbal Clinic and Workshop featuring Jojo Mayer

Wednesday / February 1, 2012 / 12:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
United States

Jojo Mayer, the son of bass player Vali Mayer, spent his early childhood on the road in Europe and the Far East. He received his first drum set at the age of 2, and made his first public performance in Hong Kong at 3. By 18 he had joined Monty Alexander's group touring major festivals in Europe, which led to gigs with Dizzy Gillespie and Nina Simone and introduced him to larger international jazz audiences.

Mayer moved to New York City in 1991. He built up a number of writing and production credits for his significant live and studio work. He also ran the popular Prohibited Beatz live electronica party in NYC from 1996 to 2001. Mayer is known for bringing together jazz, drum 'n' bass, jungle, and other influences. He is also famous for his ability to play the rhythms of programmed jungle drum 'n' bass music on acoustic drums, terming this technique "reverse engineering," a phrase borrowed from computing. He executes this approach using various methods such as the heel-toe bass drum technique, the Moeller stroke, and the pull-out or push-pull accent, which takes the beat on the rebound. These techniques allow him to play beats at astonishing speeds. His influences include Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette, and Buddy Rich.

He played with the guitarist David Fiuczynski in the avant-garde pop rock band Screaming Headless Torsos and in the fusion jazz band Intergalactic Maiden Ballet. He also performed with such luminaries as Meshell Ndegeocello, Vernon Reid's Science Project, DJ Spooky, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Wayne Krantz, Gerald Veasley, John Zorn, James Blood Ulmer, Chico Freeman, Dhafer Youssef, John Medeski, Hiram Bullock, Depart, Friedrich Gulda, Harry Sokal, Mike Stern, and Wah Wah Watson. Mayer is a skilled clinician who continues to appear in numerous music festivals and sells out clinics all around the world.