Drummers, On the Beat

Gene Markiewicz

Hello, MD! It is a great honor to tell you that I will be inducted into the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation Hall of Fame. I am truly humbled. There are so many people to thank, especially my mother. That’s right, mom! When I saw Ringo on TV as a kid, I knew I wanted to be a drummer. My mom always supported me. Don’t get me wrong, she would remind me about being able to support myself, but she always had my back. What a great lady!

Jazz is America’s true art form, invented right here in the U.S.A. My passion is sharing jazz with students that are just beginning their journey into the style. I was introduced to this great music in high school. The quick story is, I auditioned and got into the jazz band as a sophomore. I knew nothing about jazz. My band director, Daryl Horton, had me listen to and play music from the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Count Basie, and many others. That was it for me.

I was also lucky enough to study with John Von Ohlen. And I would later become a fan of Mel Lewis. When I was eighteen, I saw Mel perform live at the Village Vanguard. That was a drum lesson in itself! Mel taught me how to get the best sound out of the instrument. I was lucky to meet and chat with him. He was a true drummer’s drummer.

I am currently working on a few things. I hope to have more on my website soon. My good friend, drummer Tim Gee, is helping me with this adventure. I also hope to be visiting high schools toward the end of the year to work with a few jazz band programs and drummers. I also perform with my jazz group, the Farrelly/Markiewicz Jazz Quartet.

I would also like to take time to mention how much growing up with Modern Drummer has helped me. What a wonderful magazine to learn and totally geek out on!

For more on Gene Markiewicz, go to www.genemarkiewicz.com.

Posted in Drummers, On the Beat Tagged Gene Markiewicz, Indianapolis Jazz Hall Of Fame, John Von Ohlen, Mel Lewis, Ringo Starr, band director Daryl Horton, the Farrelly/Markiewicz Jazz Quartet

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