Hello, MD readers! It’s been a while since I last appeared in Modern Drummer. To those who may be unfamiliar with me, my name is Lou Santiago Jr., the 2003 MD Undiscovered Drummer Contest winner in the over-eighteen age category. I was featured in the 2003 October issue of the magazine and the Festival DVD, Sunday disc (whoa, just dated myself hardcore!).
Before I go on, first let me give you a quick update on what I’ve done since the 2003 MD Fest. After touring with Maynard Ferguson, my career was mainly in the Christian music industry working with artists such as Jeff Deyo, Natalie Grant, Anthony Evans, Christine D’Clario, Marco Barrientos, Raul Sanchez, and many more. In addition, I hosted a plethora of international drum clinic tours for my then endorsee companies and in 2008 I introduced one of the first online drumming education platforms, www.99centdrumlessons.com.
That came to a halt, so to speak, as I decided to add another dimension to my life—medicine! I went back to school at the age of thirty-three, despite being a high school drop-out. I felt it was time for more rather than ride on the high horse of “success.” I chose to believe in myself despite the naysayers who thought they knew better due to my success, telling me I was crazy and foolish for walking away from it all. I stayed true to my vision and never lost sight as to why I was doing it—it was because of you and the demands of our instrument and profession!
In my six years of consistent touring, I witnessed and experienced unfortunate events due to unexpected illness, injury, poor habits, and health choices. The perils of not having adequate health insurance were made evident. This led me on a sacrificial path to do my part in finding how I can help my musician family become better informed and aware of their physical, mental, and spiritual states; not to mention where to appropriately seek medical attention so to not take on unnecessary medical debt.
I would like to say thank you for helping me get through medical school. I kept you and our drumming community in my heart and mind. After nine long years of study, I was able to graduate magna cum laude and today I practice both emergency and internal medicine in New York City.
I’m also happy to announce that www.99centdrumlessons.com will be returning. Musician-based drum lessons for only $0.99 per lesson! In addition to drumming education, I will be providing medical education on topics such as clinical anatomy, cardiology, and neurology, to help you maintain a long and healthy drumming career.
Thank you for reading!
For more, please follow Louis on Instagram @louthedrummer.