Drumsville! The Evolution of the New Orleans Beat
By Robert H. Cataliotti
Foreword by Herlin Riley
(BALTIMORE – March 31, 2023) – Drumsville! The Evolution of the New Orleans Beat traces the history of drums and drumming in the Crescent City, exploring more than three centuries of the instrument and the art form that transformed New Orleans into the musical powerhouse it is today. Created as a companion to the New Orleans Jazz Museum exhibit of the same name, Drumsville! examines the drummer’s
role in the evolution of brass bands, Black masking Indians, traditional and modern jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and funk.
Robert H. Cataliotti is a music critic and historian who teaches at Coppin State University in Baltimore. A contributing writer for Living Blues magazine, he has also published two books, The Music in African American Fiction and The Songs Became the Stories: The Music in African-American Fiction, 1970–2005. He is the producer and annotator of Classic Sounds of New Orleans from Smithsonian Folkways (2010).
Herlin Riley is a preeminent drummer on the contemporary New Orleans music scene. He has released four albums: Watch What You’re Doing (2000), Cream of the Crescent (2005), New Direction (2016), and Perpetual Optimism (2019). Riley is the co-author of New Orleans Jazz and Second Line Drumming, and is an adjunct drum instructor at the University of New Orleans, Northwestern University, and The Juilliard School.
PRAISE FOR Drumsville
“Drumsville! is a fantastic dive into the joys of New Orleans drumming and the rhythms that contribute to the music and culture that keep the city alive. Deeply researched and full of many great stories by and about the most important drummers of New Orleans, Drumsville! inspires, educates, and entertains.”—Stanton Moore, master drummer, educator, and author of Take It to the Street and Groove Alchemy
“The story of New Orleans music has usually been told from afar, framed as an accident, a magical mistake. This book is a rare opportunity to hear the voices of those who provided the groove anchoring American popular music for more than three centuries.”—Connie Zeanah Atkinson, professor emeritus
at the University of New Orleans and editor of Wavelength magazine
“Robert H. Cataliotti and the New Orleans Jazz Museum have knocked it out of the park with Drumsville! If you play the drums, you’re going to love this book.”—Ricky Sebastian, master drummer, educator, and author of Independence on the Drumset: Coordination Studies for Drummers in All Styles
“New Orleans’s innovative drummers laid the foundation for much of American popular music. Finally, Drumsville! is here to tell that story, one we should all know. It is a remarkably researched and reverent history of these drummers, both past and present, as well as a robust document of the rich culture, community, and heartbeat of the city.” —Melissa A. Weber, curator of the Hogan Archive of New
Orleans Music, Tulane University
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