Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Volume 48 - Luis Navarrette


Drums, Drumming and Drummers, It never stops around here! lol!!!
I got another hard working, professional musician here to talk about his career. I dig it because it's my favorite subject and I get to meet some kool people, like Luis!
It's pretty kool finding out these kats exist in your backyard and are doing well. It's not an easy life and career choice, as we all know but the reward is better than anyone outside of our world will know. It seems as if Luis has been collecting some of those rewards already and is primed to do some more great work and have fun doing it.
So let's find out what Luis Navarrette is Talkin' Chop about...


Name or Stage Name: 
Luis Navarrette

Where are you from?
I was born in Santiago, Chile, but I currently live in California.

How long have you been playing?
I started when I was 11 years old and I had my first band a year after that... It's been 25 years now.

What is or are your main genre of playing?
I'm a very versatile drummer. I've done everything from Rock, Funk, R&B, Jazz, Latin, Country and Broadway Musicals, but my main genre is R&B.

How did you get where you are now?
After studying privately with Francisco Koch — known for his work with the band Viena — I entered the Carlos Figueroa School of Music in Santiago. Drawn to the U.S. music scene, I then attended the Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music Professionals were I graduated in 2005. After school I stayed in L.A and played with a couple of bands. That's how everything started, it's all word of mouth in this "business", but mainly I think it's all about being resilient, studying , doing research and of course practicing a lot.. if you can play well enough you will get gigs, but you will have to be ready and pull off the gig.

What are your goals, short & long term?
Finish my first solo album and publish an instructional drum video in spanish.

Your Spanish educational video: What is the reason for you doing one is Spanish? Are there a lack of drum videos in Spanish?
Well Yes, there's not to many of them out there.. at least with a good translation... lol

Artists you would like to play for?
Too Many... but I think Steve Lukather would be a dream come true.

List some of your accomplishments:
finished music that was tough..

What projects are you currently working on?
Just my CD

What kind of solo album are you doing? Is it more drum oriented or more mainstream?

It's definite drum oriented, where I try to play different types of rhythms. There will be a little of every genre of music..

*Here's a sample of Luis' work via soundcloud link:

What are your touring experiences, if any?
None, I don't like being in the road.. Im more of a local session guy.

Doing a lot of studio work, What is your preparation process like to work a session?
Mainly physically, I do try to sleep well the night before. I also don't drink coffee or energy drinks the day before... I do stretch and warm up before going to the session just basic paradiddles exercises nothing fancy.. I do try to get over there early in case there's a chart so I can look at it before hand and take notes.. There's not much to prepare for musically.. there's always changes in the spot.. so you just have to adjust quickly for what they want..

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect?

1993 GMS Grand Master Series Maple 7x8/8x10/8x12/12x14/14x15/16x22
Paiste 2002 16" Thin Crash /2002 18" Crash /2000 14" Hit Hat/ 2000 20" Ride/ 2000 18" China Type/ 18" Giant Beat Crash/ 20" Prototype Dry Ride
Regal Tip by Calato Chop Stick model & Jeff Porcaro signature model
Remo Heads Coated ambassador & Coated power stroke on kick drums also Remo fiberskin and black dot controlled sound

Do you have multiple kits and snares?

Are you a gear junkie?
Used to... not anymore only what I need around to provide different sounds on a session, if there's something I need I just rent it..

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? 
Not really, like Jeff Porcaro said a drum is a drum..

How do you describe your drumming style?
Pocket and groove

Why the drums?
Since I was a kid every time we had music class in school we would ran into the classroom and I always grab the xylophone.. then for an unknown reason I would get my Mother's pan's out of the kitchen and play them..
One day back 1986 I saw this Argentinian Rock band on TV and I saw this drummer on this wired space like shaped Roland set.... And that did it for me.. I knew that I was suppose to play the drums

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing?
Playing sports or doing some wood craft related work

How has drumming impacted or changed your life?
Drumming has been everything for me... has impacted me on every field of my life, but not only drumming, music in general. Every single major decision I made in my life was made because of drumming.. I walked out of an economics class in college and moved to the U.S. because of drumming.. I met my wife because of drumming...

Are you doing music full time?

Are you supporting the local music scene?
always, If we don't help each other nobody will...

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?
Jeff Porcaro / groove and feel..
Steve Ferrone / Pocket
Vinnie Colaiuta / open my mind into odd meters
Max Roach / musicality 
Charly Alberti / Feel and taught me how to play..

Jeff Pocaro is a huge influence on me and a number of us. What is it about his work that you draw him to you?
He's feel of course, but also his classic drum sound, specially that huge Tom sound. It was the 80's and the electronic drums were emerging and there was a lot of over produced drum sounds on band like The Power Station and Duran Duran.. But what really did it for me was Jeffrey's 16th notes at one hand.. they are just killer..!

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding?
1993 TOTO Kingdom of Desire Tour Simon Phillips on drums

How much time do you practice?
I try 2 to 4 hours a day

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions?
Playing in front and behind a click, Jazz Improvisation , Music vocabulary ideas, Some sight-reading and playing Techniques stuff..

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you?
I do for myself to check on what I need to improve, but No I don't do youtube videos.. Too many out there..

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us?
I had this Gig in Houston,Texas where I was suppose to play for this artist from Austin who was on tour and had this last minute booking in Houston and had no drummer for some reason the drummer was sent to Dallas I think for the next show.. so I get the call the night before, I didn't know the guy or the music but I knew I would be OK. So I showed up and there's 2 other bands opening for us that day.. Guess what...? I wind up playing for all of them.. 6 hours straight..

So, having done a gig, where your playing for artists you've never played for before, 
How do you feel your background and experience prepared you for something like that?
Your Music background is everything... I've been lucky to have played with a lot of people, with good and bad musicians and that has giving me a lot of experience. You can have a lot of experience and of course that helps, but your music background is everything. You can be a very technical guy know all the rudiments and have bunch of chops, but if you have no knowledge of the music you are playing and it's concept.. you cannot pull off the gig.. That's why I always tell my students to listen to all kinds of music and do the homework on those styles... who are the best drummers on those styles? if any..? and where they come from..?

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?
Don't give up!! Keep practicing.. Practice slower tempos.. Listen to all types of music, learn how to read music!! Don't get frustrated, if is not happening leave and pick it up next day... don't do drugs..!! eat and sleep well .... and Keep it grooving..!!

I would like to thank De for this interview,
My wife, family and everyone that has helped me on this journey..
Special thanks: 
Mary Minter at Augusta Music
to my friends Aaron Serfaty, Mike Shapiro and my teachers Joe Porcaro, Ralph Humprey..

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? 
For lessons or booking go to : NAVARRETTEDRUMS.COM or NVRDRUMS.COM


Big Thanks 2 Luis for letting us into his world for a moment.
It's nice to see kats are still working the studio gigs, we need more live drums on these projects.
Once again we hear how versatility is a key in our success as drummers. Regardless of the genre(s) you play, make sure you find as many angles to approach those songs as you can. Drop a "hello" on Luis when you get a chance.

Boys & Girls, if you want to be interviewed for TALKIN' CHOP
just hit me up:
DeHaven -

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


DeHaven is sponsored by:
Soultone Cymbals, SilverFox Drumsticks, Cympad, Cymabag and Phatfoot Drum Harness

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