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Visiting artist Ronnie Burrage will present a drum set clinic that will capitulate and highlight some of his vast and diverse professional and personal experiences as a drummer, percussionist, keyboardist, composer, arranger, band leader, and music educator.
Ronnie Burrage was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1959. His style draws most notably from the musical genres of jazz, funk, soul, and world styles. Burrage sang in The St. Louis Cathedral Boys Choir from ages seven to eleven and had the opportunity to perform with Duke Ellington, one of the greatest musical figures to ever live, at the incredibly young age of only nine years. He was introduced to jazz by listening to music every day, which was typically presented to him by his mother, his uncles, and his grandparents. He played drums, percussion, piano, and vibraphone and sang in funk, R&B, and jazz groups, including The Soul Flamingos, Fontella Bass, The Oliver Sain Band, Third Circuit & Spirit, Rainbow Glass, and Expression Jazz Quintet. From the ages 15 to 17, Ronnie was a member of No Commercial Potential with keyboardist Mark Friedrick, bassist Darryl Mixon and guitarist Richie Daniels. They were the opening act for pianist/keyboardist George Duke and Canadian pop singer-songwriter Gino Vannelli. Burrage played in clubs, concert halls, festivals, and other assorted venues, including the annual Afro Day in the Park in St. Louis, Missouri, as a member of the St. Louis Metropolitan Jazz Quintet in the early 1980s.
From 1994 – 2002, Ronnie Burrage taught drums and percussion in New York City’s famed Jazzmobile, Inc. program. He taught as an adjunct professor at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1994 to 1996 and was a substitute instructor at The School of Jazz at The New School in New York City from 1992 to 2000. He is both producer and artistic director at Blue Noise Studio in Frederick, Maryland. At Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania, he taught Hip-Hop Music and Culture for African and African-American Studies, Integrative Arts, and English departments. Professor Burrage currently teaches History of Jazz and Music of Global Cultures at SUNY Old Westbury College..
Ronnie Burrage’s current bandm Holographic Principle, is featured on his upcoming Truth Revolution Recording Collective/Truth Revolution Records in collaboration with his own label, MiMikAlana Records' debut release, entitled “Dance of the Great Spirit.” The band includes Polish pianist Michal Wierba, bassist Nimrod Speaks, and Ronnie himself on various instruments, including the drum kit. According to Burrage, “The purposes of ‘Dance of the Great Spirit’ is to bring Holographic Principle to the world, to provide work for each member of the trio, so that they might provide for their families and most importantly fund the nonprofit organization World Rhythm Academy.