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R.I.P. Joe Pocaro (seesion drummer and teacher)


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In 1987-88, I had the privileged to study drums with Joe Pocaro (father of Jeff, Mike, and Steve, best known for their work with Toto)

He was a great teacher, full of encouraging and positive vibes. His primary focus as a drum teacher was taking the basic snare drum rudiments and applying them to the full kit in jazz, rock, and Latin styles. I still have a thick book that he wrote, full of my notes from the lessons that I still work out of. Very classy guy, kind and modest. He died peacefully at the age of 90.

 

Here's a short bio:

 

 

 

 

Porcaro recorded with Natalie Cole, Don Ellis, Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, Gladys Knight, Madonna, The Monkees, Gerry Mulligan, Pink Floyd, Howard Roberts, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, and Sarah Vaughan. He performed film scores with James Newton Howard, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Danny Elfman, John Frizzell and his son Steve Porcaro. With educator and drummer Ralph Humphrey, he was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Music Academy (LAMA) in Pasadena, California, which is now called the Los Angeles College of Music (LACM).

 

His three sons were in the rock band Toto: drummer Jeff Porcaro (1954â1992), bassist Mike Porcaro (1955â2015), and keyboardist Steve Porcaro (b. 1957), who still is a session musician and programmer. Joe contributed additional percussion to every Toto album from Turn Back through Kingdom of Desire. He has a daughter, Joleen Porcaro Duddy (actress and designer), whose children, Chase and Paige Duddy, formed the electronic duo XYLO.

 

Porcaro led a group with Emil Richards, a native of Hartford who plays vibraphone and collects percussion instruments from around the world.[1]

 

He died, aged 90, on July 6, 2020.[2]

 

 

 

Here he is performing at age 85, still swinging, with his life long friend Emil Richards on vibes.

 

[video:youtube]

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Great teacher Joe was and really nice guy. When I was at MI I took a Joe Diorio class on playing melodies of standards, we had to play with Joe Diorio commenting and telling things to change. But Joe Porcaro, and other teachers from bass and other departments were there to comment too. Joe Porcaro always had great comments and suggestions no matter what instrument you played. He will be greatly missed in studio and music education.
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Oh no! Joe finally passed. My good buddy studied with him at LAMA. He outlived 2 of his prodigious sons and it must have been a heavy burden. My friend said he was the utmost gentleman.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Oh no! Joe finally passed. My good buddy studied with him at LAMA. He outlived 2 of his prodigious sons and it must have been a heavy burden. My friend said he was the utmost gentleman.

 

Yes, he must have been so proud that his sons did so well in the music business, but outliving them must have been so hard. He was a very kind man, and who will be missed so much. What a legacy he left.

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