John was born and raised in the East Bay area of California, graduated from El Cerrito High School and will attend California State University in Hayward, California this fall.

His passion for the drums began at age four, when he began playing at his church. He joined his school’s band in the sixth grade and played in his high school’s symphonic band, jazz ensemble and marching band.

He has received soloist honors at the Hayward and Reno Jazz Festivals and various other events. An alternate drummer for the Monterey All-Star Big Band, he also participated in his district honor band and is one of the drummers in the San Francisco Jazz All-Star High School Ensemble.

This year he was inducted into the Contra Costa County Hall of Fame for his work on behalf of the arts in his community. Deeply involved in his church, John teaches Sunday school, as well as two younger drummers who are members of his congregation.

He names Art Blakey as one of his favorite drummers, along with Brian Blade and Gerald Heyward. His primary goal at the Workshop is to learn “to play as little as possible, but still have an impact on the overall sound of the group.”


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