Hey! My name is Kevin Clifford and I am honored to be a drum set instructor at Music and Arts in Princeton since July 2016! Since the age of 10, the drums have been my life passion. Exposed to jazz and classical music at a young age, I quickly became obsessed with melodies, harmonies, and rhythm. Studying under percussionist Peter Saleh in high school, I embraced Afro-Cuban and Brazilian drum set styles as well as a rigorous classical percussion study of marimba, timpani, xylophone, and snare drum.
From playing in pit orchestras, jazz combos, rock bands, and youth orchestras, I was able to gain enough experience to study jazz at Loyola University New Orleans. There, I studied with first-call drummer Wayne Maureau and performed in the top Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band with a performance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. I have performed with americana, gypsy jazz, hip hop, and singer/songwriter acts at various clubs and festivals in New Orleans before moving back to my hometown of Princeton.
Currently, I am a member of the Dishevelled Wandering Stars, a traditional folk group playing music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and old time folk repertoire. I also play with Mikey Bar-Lavi, an up and coming songwriter from New York. I also write and record original compositions on guitar, voice, bass, and piano.
My students will be exposed to all styles of drumming from rock and roll, hip-hop/r&b, electronic, Latin, African, and jazz. But not before they learn the essentials and rudiments of technique, discipline, reading, dynamics, and time. I accept students of any age or experience and have 8 years of private teaching experience. My students never cease to amaze me and I learn more about the beauty of music and life in every single lesson...but only if they practice!!