|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (April 2009)|
|Born||Newnan, Georgia, United States|
|Genres||Rock, Funk, Jazz|
|Associated acts||Matisyahu, Ra, Cyndi Lauper, The B-52's, Yerba Buena, Hot Tuna|
Who could have imagined that banging on pots and pans in his grandma’s kitchen would lead three-year old Skoota Warner to becoming known as the “Drummer’s Drummer” by world renown musicians. His start on a dirt road in Newnan, Georgia paved the way for him to become the much sought-after musician he is today. At four, his grandmother, Ollie Foster surprised him with a set of drums and his "banging" started to take on a rhythm--the kind you could tap your toes to. By six, there was no doubt in Grandma Ollie’s mind that he was destined for greatness. At the very least, she knew he had outgrown her kitchen and needed a real stage. She arranged his first audition that landed him his first gig playing with a local church group on the radio. By age nine he was touring the South with various gospel groups.
At 13, Skoota's grandma became his first manager by getting him his first recording session with The Mighty Evangelists for their Amazing Grace album. His pay for the session was 10 albums that his grandmother sold to her friends after church one Sunday. Skoota honed his drumming skills in high school playing at school social functions and at clubs around town.
During high school he improved his percussive skills and played at school social functions and local clubs. Graduating from high school, he decided to go where musicians who wanted to make it went: New York City. He started out as a street musician playing for tips in front of The Plaza Hotel. Here, he caught the attention of Pepeu Gomes and Baby Consuelo, Brazil's top pop artists at that time. At age 18, Skoota left for Brazil with Pepeu and Baby where he lived for two years, playing live rock shows and recording several albums with Pepeu and other Brazilian artists.
When Skoota returned to New York, he landed gigs with blues musicians Johnny Copeland and Johnnie Johnson. The following year, Skoota joined the Apollo Theater's Amateur Night House Band with whom he backed such R&B, funk, and hip-hop stars as Keith Sweat, Guy, and Big Daddy Kane. Skoota's impromptu rhythm breaks incited live on-stage jams with guest hip-hop artists like Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh, and Special Ed among others. Skoota became known for his impromptu breakbeat rhythms on stage.
1989 hallmarked Skoota's ascending career when New York's premier studio drummer, Omar Hakim, chose him to be his drummer for the Rhythm Deep Project. Omar said "Skoota nails it! He's a drummer's drummer."
Since the nineties, Skoota has played for some of the hottest artists of all time--Santana, The B-52's, Lionel Richie, Cyndi Lauper, Mary J. Blige, Patrick Stump, the Brecker Brothers, Matisyahu, Yerba Buena and Philippe Saisse. He’s shared the stage with many artists including Ron Wood, Nelly Furtado, Roberta Flack and Adam Lambert. Warner was a member of Dave Koz & The Kozmos, the house band of The Emeril Lagasse Show. In 2009, he began touring with Jefferson Airplane founding members, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady of Hot Tuna fame.
In 2012, Skoota reunited with his rock band Ra to record their new album, Critical Mass, which was released in October 2013. He also embarked on another journey--into his own studio to record and produce songs for his latest solo project. The CD entitled Vignettes will debut in mid-2014.
Skoota describes his new CD as an eclectic mix of rhythms and genres of music that have greatly influenced him. “It’s a labor of love composed of snippets of everything I love,” said Skoota.
Skoota is married and resides in New York.
Live Performances & Sessions
Skoota's Credits include: Adam Lambert, Amadou and Mariam, Amel Larrieux, Angelique Kidjo, Arto Lindsay, Ashford and Simpson, Aterciopelados, Axelle Red, Baaba Maal, Baby Consuelo, Bernie Worrell, Bill Evans, Billy Porter, Billy Preston, Bo Bice, Bobby Womack, Bootsy Collins, Busta Rhymes, Charlie Musselwhite, Cheikh Lo, Chuck Loeb, Corey Glover, Count Basic, Custom, Cyndi Lauper, Dave Koz, David Sylvian, Dead Prez, Defunkt, Delmar Brown, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Logic, D-Train, G.E. Smith, Groove Theory, Hot Tuna, Ingrid Michaelson, Jeff Golub, Jeff Lorber, Jim Beard, Jimmy Dawkins, Jocelyn Brown, Jody Watley, Joe Bataan, John Medeski, Johnny Copeland, Johnnie Johnson, Josh Groban, Keziah Jones, KIF, Kirk Whalum, Les Nubians, Lionel Richie, Little Louie Vega, Manu Dibango, Marc Antoine, Marisa Monte, Mark Whitfield, Mary J. Blige, Matisyahu, Matt Nathanson, Melanie Fiona, Michael Urbaniak, Moraes Moreira, Nelly Furtado, Noel Pointer, Omar Hakim, Orishas, Patrick Stump, Pepeu Gomes, Philippe Saisse, Ra, Roberta Flack, Ron Wood, Roy Ayers, Sammy Hagar, Santana, Sarah Dash, Screaming Headless Torsos, Shemekia Copeland, Sister Sledge, Sonny Rhodes, Sophie B. Hawkins, Special EFX, Stephanie Mills, Terri Nunn, The Apollo Theater House Band, The B-52’s, The Brecker Brothers, The Family Stand, The Hives, Tony Allen, Vinicius Cantuaria, Warren Hill, Xiomara Laugart, & Yerba Buena.
- "Dave Koz & The Kozmos". Retrieved May 10, 2010.