Vinnie Colaiuta

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Vinnie Colaiuta
Vinnie Colaiuta.jpg
Colaiuta with Jeff Beck, at the Palais Theatre, Melbourne, January 26, 2009
Background information
Born (1956-02-05) February 5, 1956 (age 60)
Brownsville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Rock, pop, jazz, country, heavy metal
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums
Years active 1970s–present
Labels Stretch, Moonjune
Associated acts Frank Zappa, Sting, Five Peace Band, Joni Mitchell
Website www.vinniecolaiuta.com
Notable instruments
Gretsch Drums, Paiste Formula 602 Modern Essentials, Remo Drumheads, Vic Firth Drumsticks[1]

Vincent "Vinnie" Colaiuta (born February 5, 1956) is an American drummer who has worked as a session musician in many genres. His career has included long associations with Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, and Sting.

He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1996.[2]

Music career[edit]

Colaiuta was given his first drum kit when he was seven, and he took it to naturally with little instruction. When he was fourteen, the school band teacher gave him a book that taught him some of the basics. Buddy Rich was his favorite drummer until he heard the album Ego by Tony Williams, an event that changed his life. After listening to all the Tony Williams albums he could find, he concluded that Williams was a genius. While a student at Berklee College of Music, when jazz fusion was on the rise, he listened to and admired Alphonse Mouzon and Billy Cobham.[3]

After leaving school, he played local gigs in Boston. He joined a brief tour organized by Al Kooper, then worked in California on an album by Christopher Morris, which Kooper was producing. Although he returned to Boston, he was drawn back to California by friends and his experience recording. He took the bus from Boston to Los Angeles during the blizzard of 1978. After performing in jazz clubs, he won the audition to play drums for Frank Zappa. He toured with Zappa and appeared on the albums Joe's Garage, Tinsel Town Rebellion, and Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar.[4]Modern Drummer magazine chose Joe's Garage as one of the top 25 drum performances of all time.[5]

Colaiuta with Kenny Garrett in the Five Peace Band

In 1981, he left touring with Zappa to become a studio musician, recording for the band Pages and pop singer Gino Vannelli. Opportunities arose with saxophonist Tom Scott and bassist Larry Klein, who invited Colaiuta to play on a record by his girlfriend, Joni Mitchell. When Klein and Mitchell got married, Colaiuta was the best man at their wedding. During the 1980s, he toured with Mitchell. By the end of the 1980s he was living the busy life of a studio musician, recording albums, doing TV and film work during the day, and playing clubs at night.[4] In addition to pop acts, he has worked with jazz musicians Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Buell Neidlinger, and the Buddy Rich Big Band.[5]

In 1990, Colaiuta got a phone call from Sting, flew to England, and won the audition to become a member of his band.[4] He remained with Sting for much of the 1990s, touring and recording the albums The Soul Cages (1991), Ten Summoner's Tales (1993), Mercury Falling (1996), Brand New Day (1999) and Sacred Love (2003).[5] On 12 November 2016, he played with Sting in the first concert to be held at the Bataclan in Paris since the terrorist attack a year earlier.[6]

In 1994, he released his debut solo album.[7]

In 2002, Colaiuta played on the soundtrack to Queen of the Damned where he reunited with fellow Zappa alumnus Terry Bozzio on the song "Slept So Long".[citation needed] In 2004, he played on the film score of Elektra, as director Rob Bowman is a great fan of his.[citation needed]

He has won over fifteen Drummer of the Year awards from Modern Drummer magazine's annual reader polls. These include ten awards in the "Best Overall" category.[8][5]

Partial discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

With Jing Chi

  • 2002 Jing Chi
  • 2003 Jing Chi Live at Yoshi's
  • 2004 3D

As sideman[edit]

With Frank Zappa

With Joni Mitchell

With Sting

With Tom Scott

  • 1982 Desire
  • 1988 Flashpoint
  • 1987 Streamlines
  • 1999 Smokin' Section

With others

References[edit]

  1. ^ Colaiuta, Vinnie (February 26, 2013). "Vinnie Colaiuta Plays Paiste Formula 602 Modern Essentials". Paiste Artist Vinnie Colaiuta discusses the Paiste Formula 602 Modern Essentials line. This video features an interview and studio performance. Paiste. pp. Documentary by Colaiuta promoting Paiste. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Modern Drummer's Readers Poll Archive, 1979–2014". Modern Drummer. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  3. ^ Rule, Greg (2002). "Chapter 4: Drums & Drumming". In Doerschuk, Robert. Playing from the Heart. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. pp. 264–265. ISBN 0-87930-704-8. 
  4. ^ a b c "Vinnie Colaiuta". www.vinniecolaiuta.com. Berklee Press. 2001. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Drummerworld: Vinnie Colaiuta". Drummerworld. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Report in La Stampa 14 November 2016
  7. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Vinnie Colaiuta | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Modern Drummer interview, vinniecolaiuta.com; accessed October 26, 2014.
  9. ^ "Vinnie Colaiuta | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "Vinnie Colaiuta | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 

External links[edit]

Official website: www.vinniecolaiuta.com