Drumming Versatility With Vinnie Colaiuta

Few drummers can compare to the extensive touring and recording history of Vinnie Colaiuta. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Few drummers have been able to build the versatile and successful career that Vinnie Colaiuta has in the music business.  Colaiuta has performed as a session drummer on countless records and tours, got his first big break with Frank Zappa, and also toured with Joni Mitchell and Sting.  Already those groups produce very different music, and it proves that to be a successful drummer in the music business it helps to be a versatile drummer.  By that I mean playing different styles of music and being willing to adapt to new settings.  I wanted to release a post about Vinnie Colaiuta that shows his versatility, so I put together a few videos from different performances throughout his years.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Frank Zappa is definitely in a league of his own, but what most people don’t know is how demanding his music is for musicians.  Vinnie Colaiuta received a lot of credit from the music industry when he toured with Frank Zappa.  I found a rare video clip from a Zappa show rehearsal with Colaiuta on drums.  Warning, there is some explicit content in the lyrics.  Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYzfrcgRoVg&feature=related.

The next video features a special performance for Modern Drummer in 2000.  Colaiuta plays a cool shuffle groove with a very good band.  Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhQr6wi7d6I&feature=related.

Vinnie Colaiuta worked with Sting for several years and this next video comes from a live show and features the song, “Seven Days.”  One of the coolest things about the song is that it’s an odd time, but still grooves very well.  Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJYwYKVYrwY.

Vinnie Colaiuta spent a lot of years with some heavy jazz fusion cats too.  This next video features Herbie Hancock on piano, Nathan East on bass, and Lionel Loueke on guitar.  Check out the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1xmRQAUOr8.

The latest group that Vinnie Colaiuta has been playing and touring with is Jeff Beck.  The rocking quartet features Vinnie on drums, Jeff Beck on guitar, Tal Wilkenfeld on bass, and Jason Rebello on keyboards.  Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yuZ-J5coKk.

These groups are just a few of the bands that Vinnie Colaiuta has played and toured with during his career.  Colaiuta has an extensive collection of records and tours under his belt and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon.  Keep an eye out for this great drummer.  I hope you enjoyed the post!



Leave A Reply (3 comments so far)

  1. Francisco Publio Gonzàlez Huìzar

    All my study line, my favorites performances, my inspiration, my spiritual guide, and my best influence to be each day better person and drummer is around Vinnie Colaiuta.
    Thank Chris, was a cool post.
    From Switzerland with a Mexican heart:

  2. You got it Francisco!

  3. Joe Loes

    Loved it! Thank you Chris