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Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Lake City, Online
I found my father’s drums at 15 months old and was immediately drawn to the power of a backbeat and how it made me feel. My then-four year-old self discovered my dream, nee’ purpose when the local “drum guru”, a man by the name of George Lawrence (who is still a friend to this day) performed a drum solo at my parents’ photography studio in Jackson, MS during a band photoshoot.
During my teen years, I was on the road with various bands throughout the South, playing Blues, Rock, Country and Top-40 music. In 1989 I departed Mississippi for California and began taking any and all gigs that came my way. In 1991 I went with a group to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Iraq to perform for the troops “In-Theater”.
In 2001, Ike Turner offered me the “chair of a lifetime” and said many times “Billy Ray is the drummer of my soul”. We went on to create the 2006 Grammy Award-winning album “Risin’ With The Blues”.
From 2004-2014 I was “house drummer” for Kitsch-n-Sync Productions with Sven-Erik Seaholm in his home studio in San Diego, CA and played on upwards of 150 albums by various artists in all styles of music from Rock to Jazz, Country, R&B, Funk, and Eclectic “experimental” styles.
In 2015 a move to Seattle began a new chapter in my life. Prior to the pandemic, I was touring/recording with guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert; I've played drums on his last three albums and the toured the world with him, 34 countries and 60+ cities.
I'm also teaching a course in Livestreaming; how to get set up, choosing the proper equipment, lighting, color choices, etc.
Currently at SDSM I've built a media suite that includes video capture, the ability to record and email the lesson directly to a student or guardian. Not only are the recorded lessons references to the material covered that day, they'll become treasured keepsakes forever.
Nonverbal Behaviors by The Odd Get Even