Nassau Community College
Derek has been teaching drums for over fifteen years and has been playing since the age of eight. He currently plays with several cover bands: Graffiti Rose, The Mango Brothers, Alter Ego, and a roots reggae band by the name of Hailey Unlikely. In addition to his busy performing schedule, Derek is also well versed in Afro-Caribbean music, having studied extensively at The Drummerʼs Collective in Manhattan, which has yielded countless DJ based percussion gigs including weddings, barmitzvahs, corporate events, parties, Zumba classes, and Yoga classes. He is currently playing percussion with Rob Nolfe, and performing at the Riverfish in Port Washington. In addition to performing he has also recorded a full length EP with Great Caesarʼs Ghost, Josh Joffen, and The Pineapples.
Derek has also written over fifty original songs, and has recorded an original CD entitled I Would. Derekʼs formal training began at the age of eight when he studied privately for eight years with Robert Blumenthal, a highly acclaimed jazz drummer and musical director for The Harlem Youth Center. He went on to study at the prestigious Drummerʼs Collective in Manhattan for three years, focusing on Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian drum set, conga, bongo, timbale, bells, shekere, guiro, and maraca, with two highly acclaimed drummers from Puerto Rico and Brazil by the names of Bobby Sanabria and Daduka Fonsaka. Derek is proficient in all genres of drumming. He is very creative and has incorporated many unique techniques and tricks into his playing. He is also very proficient with double bass, ostinatos, polyrhythms, hemiolas, and odd time signatures.
Derek is a qualified NYSSMA instructor and has achieved great success with all levels of snare drum and drum set. Derek tries to cater to his studentʼs tastes, and focuses mainly on the styles, drummers, and genres that inspire them, while simultaneously exposing them to a strong foundation of rudiments and reading. He is extremely patient, friendly, and relates well to children and adults alike. Derek believes that music should be fun at all costs, and tries to fashion his classes with that in mind, at the same time exposing his students to many different styles, to not only expand their horizons and make them better drummers, but to also show them how music is all somehow magically connected, creating a beautiful universal language; a language in which no words are necessary.