A conversation and clinic with drummer, composer and Grammy Award-winner Jeff “Tain” Watts, moderated by Bill Zildjian, with live music provided by Harvard student jazz musicians.
Presented by: Learning from Performers
Admission: Admission free (tickets or RSVPs not required). All are welcome.
Read more about Watts' week-long residence at Harvard.
Participating Harvard student jazz musicians: drummer Ethan Kripke ’20, trumpet player Miranda Agnew '21, vocalist Claire Dickson ’19, pianist Matthew Shaw ’20, guitarist Evan Vietorisz ’20 and saxophonist Jake Tilton '19.
Jeff “Tain” Watts began playing snare drum in 4th grade. That launched him into the school band, orchestra and choir scenes. Eventually, he did marching band, concert bands, stage band, orchestra, and drum corps. By the time he got to Berklee College of Music, his interests and studies had ranged wildly: James Brown, the Temptations, The Jackson 5, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, P-Funk, Frank Zappa, ‘70s fusion music, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Milhaud, David Stock, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and hip hop. See full bio
Ethan Kripke '20 is a sophomore at Harvard concentrating in computer science. He plays the drums and has studied jazz and drumming under professionals including Stefon Harris, Yosvany Terry and Adam Cruz. At Harvard, he is a member of the Monday Jazz Band and drummer for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.
Miranda Agnew '21 grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and after playing classical piano for several years, began playing jazz trumpet at the Tucson Jazz Institute. In high school she played with ensembles in various festivals across the U.S., such as the Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington. She is enrolled in the Harvard-NEC dual degree program.
Claire Dickson '19, a junior in Lowell House, is studying psychology with a secondary in music. She grew up in Medford, Massachusetts, and has been singing in the Boston area since high school. In addition to singing jazz, Dickson enjoys writing music, writing about music for an NPR arts blog and DJing for Harvard's WHRB.
Jazz pianist Matthew Shaw '20 is a sophomore at Harvard College and is concentrating in Social Studies. During his freshman year he was the pianist for the Dudley Jazz Band, and this year is his first as a member of the Harvard Jazz Bands. Through high school, Shaw studied classical piano with Alexander Gurin and jazz piano with Ken Fischer.
Evan Vietorisz '20 is a sophomore in the Harvard-NEC dual degree program, where he studies physics and jazz performance, respectively. He plays guitar and bass, and has studied under accomplished educators and performers including Brad Shepik and Yosvany Terry. In addition to gigging professionally, he currently participates in the Harvard Jazz Bands and smaller jazz combos at NEC and Harvard.
Jake Tilton ’19 is a classical and jazz saxophonist from Canton, Connecticut, concentrating in music and government. He has performed as a soloist at Harvard with groups such as the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, Harvard Pops Orchestra and Harvard Jazz Bands. He currently studies saxophone with Ken Radnofsky.
Bill Zildjian's family has been making cymbals for a thousand years. From his first days working summers as a teenager, he was in contact with the famous drummers who used his family's cymbals onstage. After the family split the business into two companies in 1981, Zildjian's main focus with the new company – Sabian – was "Artist Relations," where that contact was formalized into marketing, product design, education and deeper interaction with artists' points of view. Zildjian left Sabian in 2008, but has kept the drummers he worked with as friends. His experience in hosting the Drummeradio from 2012 to 2014 added to his circle of drummers: "Without equipment as the obligatory subtext of the conversation," he said, "I was able to talk with all drummers, not just those who used a specific brand of cymbal. The radio show has also freed me to talk about any and all aspects of rhythm, music and the art of percussion." Zildjian will be the moderator for the conversation with Watts, whom he has known since 1982.