Roberto Spizzichino

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Most of you drummers know the name Spizzichino. It’s a guy in Toscany (Italy), that makes handcrafted cymbals, trying to find the sound of the ‘old K’s’. And he’s damn good at that, so his cymbals are pretty exclusive!

My brother Botte, who works for the radio, heard the Spizzichino story from me, and took me there to make a documentairy about him. Last tuesday we went there, and what a guy! He’s the nicest and most honest person you can imagine, full of great stories, and with lots of ideas about cymbals. We sat down, talked for 4 hours, bought some wine in between, looked at his huge collection of old cymbals, and admired his own work. It was the best! Eventually I had the great opportunity to buy one of his 22″ K-sound-alikes, that he finished on the spot (see pictures) and signed for me. What a guy! The documentary is gonna be broadcasted in Holland Doc (radio 1) at the end of January, I’ll keep you posted about that.

Happy 2010!

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First of all: all the best to you for 2010, make it a great musical year!! It’s been busy the last months, with a lot of traveling and a lot of playing. I’ve visited Los Angeles, toured 25000 (!) km in Russia, visited the very great Peter Erskine and met Jeff Hamilton – I hope to tell you more about that all later.

For now I’d like you to know that we kicked off Mathilde Santings theater tour Sinatra’s Tonic, so I’ll be playing the theaters in Holland mainly for the next half year, and I can tell you it’s swingin’! So I hope to see you there, and I’ll post here more often.

Summer..

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It’s been a while since I posted here, and a lot of things have happend, so it’s about time! First of all I have to tell you that we played the North Sea Jazz Festival with the Koselleck Bigband in july. It was great, we did a good performance and a lot of people were there to hear it. Thank you for all the enthousiastic reactions!

The rest of july were holidays for me, off for some sailing in Poland :-). Then in august I had a tour with the Miller Bigband in the Alps, which was awesome! The views we had there, with some 30 degrees celcius every day – just great! We stayed in the beautiful town of Bolzano for a couple of days, and since we had such a fine band put together, we went playing in the streets there. People loved it, and we even made some extra money, haha.

So right now everything else is getting started again. Some gigs with the Jazzorchestra of the Concertgebouw, we just finished recording the second album of the Tim Langedijk Trio, the live cd of the Holland Bigband is ready for release – things are happening! And last but not least: a couple of months ago the great comedian Sven Ratzke recorded his live cd with Cord Heineking, Charlie Zastrau and me in the Sugarfactory in Amsterdam, and as a trailer he put the next video on YouTube. Enjoy!

Trumpetparty

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Last week we had another one of the famous Dutch Trumpetparties. A couple of international heavy cats came to the Netherlands to show their qualities on the trumpet, accompanied by the Holland Bigband lead by Loet van der Lee.

This year we had the great Eric Miyashiro (lead player in the Buddy Rich Bigband and Maynard Ferguson Bigband), Lee Thornburg (Tower of Power and lots of others) and Roger Ingram (lead player with Harry Connink Jr. and Paul Anka). Amazing what these cats can do! Luckily there were a lot of people holding their camera’s, so check the vids down below to see what happened!

Eric Miyashiro playing his own piece ‘Kick Up’:

Roger Ingram playing his arrangement of ‘Watermelon Man’:

Lee Thornburg playing his beautiful ‘Cipriana’:

Recession?

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These days, when everybody is talking about the recession and that kind of stuff, you start thinking about your own job. Will there be work enough for me, as a drummer, will people still hire me, does the world still need me? Luckily you can see here that a drummer should not worry: lots of work to do..

From Russia with love

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I just came back from a 2 week tour with the Miller Orchestra in Russia. We toured 11 cities in 13 days, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. What a country that is! People loved the music, and loved to hear us play. The last day in St. Petersburg we had a sold-out concert for 3500 people!! Every day people were asking for autographs and took pictures with us – it was a great atmosphere!

The trip itself was pretty rough. We travelled around 4000km all by nighttrain and busses, even into Siberia! Luckily they have what they call an ‘early spring’ this year, because the cold wasn’t too bad. But it was supposed to be -30/-40 degrees Celcius, and that would be really cold! The drumkits that I played went from pretty bad up till good. Most of them were too poppy, with pinstripe skins (which I HATE), but I had 2 great DW kits. And of course my own cymbals, which saved me from getting too depressed 🙂

Here are some pictures, so you can see a little bit what was going on:

Some hip shit!

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Last week we were recording again with the Tim Langedijk Trio at Udo Pannekeet’s studio, when Arthur from Studiotuur came along with his hip camera. He made a 360° picture of our working environment, and a seperate one of the drumbooth. So check it out, and find me in the drumbooth!trio-360