John Dentz Passes

This past May 9, Los Angeles–based drummer John Dentz passed away. “I loved the way John played,” says the iconic studio and stage drummer Jim Keltner, who was friends with Dentz since the mid-’60s, and who in 1969 passed the baton in Gábor Szabó’s band to the drummer.

“John was from the Max Roach school, with a lot of Philly Joe Jones thrown in,” Keltner says. “He played with a lot of great artists, including Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, and Chick Corea. But I dug watching him play with Supersax—a fantastic big band that played in little clubs out in the Valley—or with Mose Allison, at a club down by the beach. I loaned him my 24″ Zildjian A ride with rivets when he played with Mose and Gábor.”

Though Dentz made his mark on the West Coast, he was originally from New Jersey, an obvious fact to anyone who engaged him in conversation. “I always enjoyed listening to him talk,” Keltner says. “He was a real Easterner, with an edgy personality. And he had a beautiful family—his wife of fifty-two years, Marie; his daughter, Daphne; her husband, Chris; and their son, Oliver. As a classic-jazz drummer, John flew under the radar. I think he liked that.”

To hear nearly eight hours of Dentz’s work—including the track “Swing, Dentz, Swing,” which was originally released under the drummer’s name in 1981 but later reissued as a Chick Corea date in 1994—check out his playlist at Modern Drummer’s Spotify page.

Latin Jazz Community Lends a Hand to Conga Legend Giovanni Hidalgo

This past March 22, the Hands United for Giovanni Hidalgo charity concert was held at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx, New York, to raise money for medical expenses recently incurred by world-renowned conga player Giovanni Hidalgo, whose struggle with diabetes has limited his ability to perform.

Featured performers—all friends of Hidalgo’s—included Rubén Blades, Paquito D’Rivera, José Alberto, Luis Enrique, Tony Vega, Domingo Quiñones, Bernie Williams, the Pedrito Martinez Group, and many more. “Giovanni has contributed so much to the music community throughout his career, it was only fitting that we return the favor in his time of need,” percussionist Marc Quiñones says.

The event was produced by Marc Quiñones, percussionists Bobby Allende and Anthony Carrillo, and Latin Percussion founder Martin Cohen and his associate Javier Raez. Hidalgo has played with Eddie Palmieri, Dizzy Gillespie and the United Nation Orchestra, Airto Moreira, Michel Camilo, Zakir Hussain, Tito Puente, and many others. Donations for him can be made at

Stephan S. Nigohosian

From left: John Good, Julia Brownley, and Chris Lombardi

DW Drums Receives Certificate of Congressional Recognition

While celebrating its forty-fifth anniversary this year, the California-based drum manufacturer Drum Workshop was honored with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition acknowledging the company’s craftsmanship of musical instruments and its commitment to supporting music education.

California congressional member Julia Brownley toured the company’s facilities and presented executive vice president and drum designer John Good and president and CEO Chris Lombardi with the honor. During the tour, Brownley observed how DW handcrafts its award-winning Collector’s and Performance series drums and machined pedals made from aircraft-grade aluminum.

“Receiving this congres-sional recognition is a proud moment for all of us here at DW,” Lombardi says. “The drums we manufacture here in California end up on stages and in studios, homes, and schools all over the world, and we’re honored to be recognized for our long-standing commitment to American musical instrument manufacturing and promoting the importance of music education.”

Who’s Playing What

Carl Allen (Christian McBride & Inside Straight, educator) is using Vater drumsticks.

Carl Allen

Troy Luccketta (Tesla) and Rikki Rockett (Poison) have joined the Toca Percussion family of artists.

Troy Luccketta

Rikki Rockett