1. Atma, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer our interview questions while busy preparing for the first European Jason Becker Festival to be held on November 13th, only a few weeks away, a performance that is set to last for no less than 6 hours! What looks like a marathon performance for any musician will be, we believe, another record-setting “Atma Anur” feat that would prove challenging to any drummers. Tickets are still available for any of you out there who are interested in witnessing this event live. (link: http://www.jasonbeckerfest.com/news/files/category-tickets.html). For more updates visit Atma’s official website (http://www.atmaanur.com/) and join the Atma Anur Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/atma-anur/101415728441).Moving on to the first question, when did first you become interested in jazz, jazz composition and performance studies?
I began playing at age 11. Soon after that, maybe about age 13, I started taking lessons with William Kessler. He is one of the legends of jazz drumming and was about 70 or so when I studied with him. He was living in NYC and had written a very important drum book called “Sensational Drum Book” with another legend of jazz drumming named Cozy Cole.
I started learning how to read and play rudiments, and I found that I really liked to study. At that time (13 or 14 years old) I was not interested in jazz, but I loved complex music, like progressive rock and the new style (at that time, 1973) called fusion.
My love for study and my desire to play well led me to want to learn to play all styles of music. This led me to more and more study, which then led me to Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music. more
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