Jazz drummer Joe Morello
Dear Friends,

One of the more popular State of the Arts YouTube videos is Max Roach’s “Mr. Hi-hat” from 1994, with over half-a-million views. So, for all the jazz aficionados and percussion fans out there, this week we’ve retrieved a performance and interview with another legendary drummer–Joe Morello.

Morello is often credited with introducing the 5/4 and 7/8 time signatures featured on the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s breakout album “Time Out” in 1959. In this 2001 interview with host Amber Edwards, Morello describes how classical training influenced his approach. In fact, he was a violin prodigy, playing with the Boston Symphony at age six! Later in life, Down Beat named Morello best drummer of the year five years in a row, and he was elected to the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1988.
Appearing in the State of the Arts studio with his full drum kit, Morello begins with one of the most famous drum solos of all time, from “Take Five.” At the age of 72, it left him breathing hard–but he goes on to give a great interview about his life and career, plus one of the more unusual drumming demonstrations you’ll see anywhere. 

Joe Morello died ten years after this appearance, in 2011 at his home in Irvington, New Jersey. 

Are there State of the Arts shows or interviews from the past that you’d like to see again? Please let us know at:


And thank you for your recent suggestions.

The State of the Arts team
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