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Avenue Q - Joe Choroszewski

Joe Choroszewski's setup for the Off Broadway production of Avenue Q at New World Stages, in New York City.

Read Joe's write-up about the show below the photos.

Joe Choroszewski's setup for the Off-Broadway production of Avenue Q at New World Stages, in New York City.Joe Choroszewski's setup for the Off-Broadway production of Avenue Q at New World Stages, in New York City.Joe Choroszewski's setup for the Off-Broadway production of Avenue Q at New World Stages, in New York City.Joe Choroszewski's setup for the Off-Broadway production of Avenue Q at New World Stages, in New York City.Joe Choroszewski's setup for the Off-Broadway production of Avenue Q at New World Stages, in New York City.

Avenue Q is the trendsetting first show of its kind to immediately transfer to a smaller Off-Broadway production following a Broadway run. My friend Michael Croiter played the original Broadway run of six years, where I frequently subbed for him. I then inherited the show, as I was hired for this production at New World Stages. My setup similarly reflects what Michael had at the Golden Theatre, but is also a bit streamlined and configured to fit the available space.

A few notes about my setup.

The Tama Steel Toms are actually there to cover parts written for bongos. I was specifically told to not bring bongos, as the production did not want to incur the extra fee for the double. I didn't want to lose the written parts though, so I created a sound that was comparable.

An example of streamlining the setup is seen with the use of the LP Granite Blocks. That instrument covers parts written for both temple blocks and wood block.

The Miller Machines were something I chose to employ for this production, and were not used previously. They create tremendous ease for certain musical numbers in which there used to be some demanding beater switches."

Drums: Yamaha Oak Custom Drums (York Honey Amber Oak finish)

  • 17"x20" Bass Drum
  • 8"x10" Small Tom
  • 9"x12" Medium Tom
  • 14"x15" Floor Tom on legs

Snare:

  • Pearl 5"x14" Sensitone Brass

Heads:

  • Remo CS Coated on Snare
  • Remo Coated Emperors on Tom Batters, Remo Clear Ambassadors on Tom Resonants
  • Remo Clear Powerstroke 3 on Bass Drum

Hardware:

  • Pearl ICON Rack
  • Tama Iron Cobra Bass Drum Pedal
  • Varied mix of Pearl, Tama, DW, RhythmTech, and Yamaha Mounting Hardware

Aside from the rack, the TreeWorks Classic Chimes are on a cymbal stand for positioning reasons, and the tambourine is on its own cymbal stand due to its ‘responsiveness’.

Cymbals: (L-R)

  • Zildjian 14" New Beat Hi Hats
  • Sabian 16" Sabian HHX Manhattan Jazz Crash
  • Zildjian 9" Oriental Trash Splash
  • Sabian 12" Sabian AAX Splash
  • Sabian 21" Sabian AAX Raw Bell Dry Ride
  • Sabian 17" Hand Hammered Thin Crash
  • Zildjian 18" China Boy (High)
  • Sabian 12" AAX Mini Chinese
  • Zildjian 6" Zil-Bel

Percussion:

  • LP Granite Blocks
  • Tama Metalworks Effect Mini-Tymps (6" & 8" Steel Toms)
  • TreeWorks Classic Chimes
  • LP Vibra-Slap
  • Steve Weiss "Sleigh Ride Special" 24" Slapstick
  • LP Rock Cowbell
  • LP Cyclops Tambourine
  • LP Black Beauty Cowbell
  • RhythmTech EGGZ Egg Shakers
  • Steve Weiss Bell Tree
  • Miller Machine with Alan Abel 4" Triangle
  • Miller Machine with Zildjian Finger Cymbal
  • Acme Siren Whistle
  • Acme Slide Whistle
  • Toca Ratchet (mounted on its side via Pearl clamp)

Avenue Q - Off Broadway - Joe Choroszewski
February 2013

Joe Choroszewski's setup for the Off-Broadway production of Avenue Q at New World Stages, in New York City.

Sal Mazzotta's setup for the World Premiere of Here You Come Again, a new Dolly Parton Musical, at the Delaware Theatre Company, in Wilmington, Delaware.
Andrew Warren's setup for Head Over Heels at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, New York.
Paul Pizzuti's drum set setup for the 2014 recording session of NBC’s Peter Pan Live at Avatar Studios in New York City.
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"It hasn’t always been easy (and it’s certainly very odd right now!) but personally I’ve always enjoyed the challenge. I’ve heard a few things along the way that have informed how I’ve thought about New York City and the idea of 'making it'”.
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"When I was preparing to conductNice Work if You Can Get It, I began by watching a video of the conductor and marking my score with any cues or beat patterns that were not obvious to me. I wanted to be completely comfortable with the Musical Directors choreography before watching the video of the stage and trying to put the music to the action of the actors and dancers."
Bill Stewart's drum solo from the title track of his album Snide Remarks.
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