Greetings, Modern Drummer readers! My name is Jared Schonig and I am a drummer living in New York City. I’m involved in a number of different music scenes here in what I consider to be the greatest city in the world—and I’m originally from LA!
First and foremost, I’m a jazz guy. I went to the Eastman School of Music, where I studied with Rich Thompson and was surrounded by incredible students and faculty members. Nowadays I feel very fortunate to play with many of the musicians I listened to while growing up. For the past two years I’ve toured with Grammy Award–winning vocal jazz group the New York Voices. That group has been together for more than twenty years and they are incredible musicians and people. I’ve also had the recent pleasure of subbing on tours with vocal jazz great and Grammy Award winner Kurt Elling’s band. I also recently did a tour with Kurt’s musical director and pianist, Laurence Hobgood, in a group that included world-class saxophonist Ernie Watts. It’s been an incredible experience to be out on the road working with such legends.
When I’m in town I do a lot of work on Broadway. I’ve had the pleasure of subbing on six Broadway shows in the last three and a half years. Some of my most incredible musical moments have been on those stages: playing with Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, with Melissa Etheridge, and in the orchestra of the Pulitzer prize–winning show Next to Normal. I currently sub on Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark and Godspell, and I’m preparing to play Ghost, The Musical in a few weeks.
I’m also incredibly lucky to work with a number of amazing singer-songwriters whose music ranges from pop to folk to indie rock, including Amy Crawford, Clementine and the Galaxy, and Amy Lynn and the Gunshow.
Last but certainly not least, I co-lead the Wee Trio with vibraphonist James Westfall and bassist Dan Loomis. In four years together we’ve toured the U.S. and received praise from Downbeat, Jazz Times, and a number of regional publications. Our newest album, Ashes to Ashes: A David Bowie Intraspective, re-imagines the music of—you guessed it—the great David Bowie.
One thing I’d like to leave all of you with is what I have learned about the importance of versatility. Expanding one’s horizons is so important to thriving musically, especially in these times. I feel very fortunate to live in a city where I can play a stylistically different gig every night and learn something new from the incredible musicians that make up the community here.
For more on Jared Schonig and the Wee Trio, go to theweetrio.com.