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The Life - Matthew Dudek

Matthew Dudek's percussion setup for Cy Coleman’s The Life at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Matthew Dudek's percussion setup for Cy Coleman’s The Life at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

“With ‘classics’ like 'The Oldest Profession' and the big dance number 'The Hookers Ball' this show was a lot of fun to play. It's almost continuous music so you rarely get a chance to catch your breath, which isn't always a bad thing either. I've found many theaters are quick to eliminate the percussion book for budget reasons and ask the drummer to ‘grab what they can’. However, this show definitely needs the percussion book to go hand in hand with the drums. Not only are there well written mallet parts, especially a Milt Jackson-esque vibraphone line, but the additional Vibraslap hits and shaker-feels truly set up the musical styling and New York environment.

This was the first I had heard of anyone doing this show and I had to do some digging around to find out more about it. Hopefully more people will get a chance to experience this show and enjoy this percussion book like I did.

While I work on catching a National Tour and expanding outside of Michigan, getting to play great shows and work with even better theaters is always an honor.

Like most percussion books, the difficulty was primarily in the choreography of instrument to instrument. It took a few days of running the show to find where things truly needed to be to work, but this was a great experience!

Because this is a black box theater with no pit, the band was in the scene shop next to the theater."

Percussion:

  • Yamaha Glockenspiel
  • LP Vibraslap
  • TreeWorks Double Row Wind Chimes
  • LP Granite Blocks
  • Miller Machine with Alan Abel 6" Triangle
  • LP Cowbell
  • Rhythm Tech Tambourine
  • LP Congas
  • Wooden Shells
  • Rainstick
  • Maracas
  • Shaker
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Ratchet
  • Bell Tree

Cymbals:

  • Zildjian 17" K Constantinople Suspended Cymbal
  • Zildjian 16" K Fast Crash
  • Zildjian 9" Zil-Bel

Electronics:

  • MalletKat Pro for Vibraphone and Xylophone
  • Apple iPad running ThumbJam for Timpani sounds

Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets

The Life - Regional - Matthew Dudek
November 2014

Matthew Dudek's percussion setup for Cy Coleman’s The Life at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

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.
  • 1 min read
"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'”.
  • 5 min read
"The musical experience of recording a Broadway cast album ranges from easy to difficult depending on the circumstances. I find that the two factors that contribute most to the quality of the experience are: 1) how good the band is; and 2) how soon after you started the show you record the album"
  • 5 min read
"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.
Robbie Ameen's drum solo from the track "Spring Fling".
Steve Jordan's drum solo from the title track of the album Casa Loco.

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