Were there additional musicians in your family? Tell us!

cruddola

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I have three brothers and two sisters that are musical geniuses. The real deal. Different tastes each. If we weren't sleeping or at school we were playing and practicing together as a single unit. Our common denominator was improv jazz. We'd Q & A each other to death. We called it "Cutting Heads" All became masters at their instruments, except me, of course. Back then 7/8 time was killing me. Today it's like farting a rainbow. Easy as breathing. The trumpet, sax, piano. bass, vocals and drums (me) were covered. All of us born within ten year's time. My bricklayer dad's bestfriend was a local Latin Big Band leader he grew up with. Lalo, like my dad never had a day of formal education. Their school was the street making a living as kids. Lalo was a born musical enigma. God's musical angel. As we got older each one of us would sit next to the band member (Lalo's angels) of our chosen (I was drafted to the drums) instrument during rehearsals and performances. It was Lalo and his angels or the street. He was the grandfather we never had. Superb! There we learned to ride the groove. Processing your performance, reading and leading off your bandmate's emotions on their instruments. Teaching your ears to see they would say. Don't need your eyes to do that. My sisters were the best and fastest at that game. They were the most showcased. They had more solo time than the rest of the band combined. They were still in junior high school! They taught the rest of us till we got it down at home. They pretty much took leadership of this sibling group. This went on past high school for all of us. We were part of a 27 member band. Over time we learned over 200 charts by memory by the age of 12. All my siblings were great sight readers. My sisters were deadly! They got it right the first time. It took me three times at least. Let's say the pianist couldn't make the gig. My sister would take her place. A trumpeter was too hung over, by brother would take that spot even if it was First Trumpet. That's how it went. Most of these cats were old enough to be our grandfathers! And they were. We were truly blessed. All were made guys in the Big Band era who'd made their bones for years playing with Mel Torme, The Brat Pack, Tony Bennett, Jackie Gleason, Lawrence Welk, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Merv Griffin, Glen Miller, the Dorseys, Gary Moore and a host of others. Our educators mentored our musicianship. They were seriously made guys. It was a musical education no school could ever dream of teaching. Theory and performance at the same time. The band had the best gigs. Every Saturday one of the five wealthiest business families would have a formal party. Ever see the film "Sabrina"? The party presented in the movie was ghetto compared to the ones we gigged at. Those folks had their own stages, sound systems, dance floors and could easily seat 500 invited guests in their back yards. We played those gigs every week for two decades. When any of us filled in it was an easy 300 dollars cash for a two-hour set, one hour break and closing with an hour set. If everybody showed, we kids still got a hundred just for being there in case one of those dudes fell over, LOL!. The band, 'Desert Cloud' got to play a handful of times at the Dunes, Las Vegas. We weren't 21 so we didn't get to play. My mom was arrested while we were in Vegas. As kids we were given the wisdom that took a lifetime for those cats to gain. They gifted that to a bunch of snot-brained kids. I thank those old dudes for giving us some of their life. They took us in when our parents weren't up to the job. They knew hard times too. None of our beautiful mentors are alive today. My trumpeter brother (only one to marry) no longer plays, arthritis. We say marriage gave it to him. He was a bricklayer too. My saxophonist brother passed a decade ago. My bassist brother no longer plays because my mother guaranteed him dialysis from her drug and booze addiction while pregnant with him. Both my sisters continue to play the piano and sing, they never married and still live together. I missed out on much when Uncle Sam got hold of me and my job right after. My sisters played on. Their musical venom is still mighty potent. My sisters always won "Cutting Heads". Any one on them would give Liberace a run for his money with one hand! They'd punk out Yanni in a heartbeat! I told them to audition to take his job. They still hold a crowd performing at the VA. Both are volunteers. Both lost their sight over a decade ago. I keep a drum set right next to their pianos at their house for when I visit. Their yacht-sized Custom-made Yamaha pianos share the same serial number in their huge acoustically-treated basement. They sit face to face just like "Cutting Heads". I've been known to spend the whole day watching and listening to them "Cutting Heads". I had to make Lucy my roadie when she got kicked out of the house. Just one of those pianos is about 200 grand! More than my house on an acre! I've retired after 34 years and 57 nations in a government job. The band and my siblings are my greatest musical influences. It is my siblings' musical feats that brought me back to who I was before my forced enrolment to Uncle Sam's School of Dancing with the Enemy. There I had no problem picking up 7/8 time on the trigger. There's absolutely no drug like playing with your siblings. There's no drug like "Cutting Heads" either. Not even combat! Drum till I die!
 

BennyK

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My granfather( mother's side) was a trumpet player and professor of music at the University of Latvia in Riga . Summer holidays/school break he gigged with jazz bands on trans- Atlantic ocean liners . During the Nazi occupation, he refused to lower and dispose of the Latvian flag on campus and was subsequently arrested and perished in the Mauthausen concentration camp .
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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My mom's dad played mandolin. My dad apparently used to play trumpet which I just learned about a few years ago. I play guitar bass and drums poorly and started violin in the fourth grade although I hated it by 6th grade. My wife has no musical Talent on her side. My 12 year old has been playing guitar for 4 years, piano for 3 years, and trumpet for 2 years. He's in the concert jazz band on guitar, he's in the orchestra on trumpet and he's in the symphonic band on trumpet. He also is a lead guitarist in a large acoustic guitar group for kids ( I am the house drummer) and my eight-year-old just joined that group on acoustic guitar. We have a baby grand at home and both kids like playing although only the older one is taking lessons. My parents gave away my drums around 7th grade and I always promised myself that I'll have a house full of musical instruments to encourage my kids. I have no clue how my kid picked up the trumpet, but he's pretty damn good. He'll sit down and play Free Bird on piano with his left hand on Rhythm and then play the guitar solo on the trumpet at the same time. He's one of those people that sickens me because he can pick up any instrument and play it in 2 minutes, or learn a song just like that! Looking forward to my little guy getting up to speed and maybe put on him on bass so we have a power Trio.......

I have two sisters. Both younger. The one a few years younger has no musical ability to my knowledge although she did play violin for a few years in elem. School. The one eight years younger sings opera, was in the choir at UCLA, she has sang at Carnegie Hall multiple times, has toured Europe with religious groups and or singing troupes, and sings like an angel. She sang Ava Maria at my wedding solo acapella, filled the entire church, and I would put her version up against Sarah Brightman or any other famous singer all day long.......
 
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drummer5359

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Neither of my parents or any of my aunts and uncles played instruments.

My two oldest siblings didn't play either.

My other older brother is a good guitarist and sub-par human.

I'm a pretty decent drummer and slightly better than mediocre bassist. The sub-human and I have each played steadily in bands for the past forty-five years.

I have no children, his oldest son is a good singer, decent drummer, and is getting better on guitar. His other son plays drums, but has not really put any effort into it.
 
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Squirrel Man

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My older sister is a folk guitarist. When I was maybe 12 we would do masses at the church up on the hill in Pittsburgh. Ironically my now wife who I didn't know at the time attended them. "The New Age Folk Group", her, two of her friends and me. I remember her friend Tony played a Fender guitar, she called it Freddy Fender.
 

cruddola

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My granfather( mother's side) was a trumpet player and professor of music at the University of Latvia in Riga . During the summer holidays he gigged with jazz bands on trans- Atlantic ocean liners . During the Nazi occupation, he refused to lower and dispose of the Latvian flag on campus and was subsequently arrested and perished in the Mauthausen concentration camp .
That dude is Bad-a$$!! My squad-gunner's grandfather, 'Granpo', survived Dachau as a kid. My gunner was dating my sister. No one in that family dared to ask 'Granpo' anything about his experience. My sister ratted me out as a "pseudo-journalist." I'd just left as a photojournalist with UPI-Beirut then. Out of the blue and a decade later I was asked by the family to interview 'Granpo'. 'Granpo' was on his last times. They wanted something on video. They were terrified to ask a single question of 'Granpo's experience. He'd never offered anything since he was never asked. They needed a void filled. It was the hardest thing for me to do to this day. It was just a beat-up former Corpsman and this old dude sporting a built-in smile since birth. We're sitting face to face. From beginning to end, the camera's on him. Always. I asked only one question, "How did you survive?" I ran out of tears that day. I have been out of tears since. The answer 'Granpo' gave saved my life. 'Granpo' died in his sleep that night after his interview while I slept on the living room couch. A wall separated his headboard from my back. Your 'Granpo' continues to give life infinitely longer than his lifespan could ever do. Generations have lived because of what your 'Granpo' was willing to do. Your 'Granpo' gave his life so that others can live. Your 'Granpo' sported a halo and wings that no one was able to see. Had your 'Granpo' been my next interview, I'd definitely see them! I salute him. I live because of your 'Granpo' too.
 

LRod1707

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My Great Grandfather on my Dads side was a professional cellist. My uncle, also on my Dads side is a classical guitarist (non-professionally but he's incredible). Two of my nephews are learning. One is learning drums and the other piano. Nobody else in my family plays!
 

cruddola

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Most of the family are.
One I will speak of is a grandfather of mine. He played clarinet with Benny Goodman‘s group.
That was my entrance into the world of horns ... I picked up the clarinet because of him.
That's killer! My brother picked up the sax when he saw trumpeter Maynard Ferguson play the alto! Chris Vadala , Gerry Niewood, and Woody Herman also influenced him. Even Herbbie Mann caused my brother to excel at the flute. I like Tim Weisberg's tootin' on the flute, killer. Let's not forget the great Don Ellis!! Dude did a three-hour show at my high school.
 

clinker555

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Posted this in an earlier thread asking what deceased musician would we want to revive. My Grandfather(on my mother's side) is the drummer in the photo, . Photo taken around 1917. He died in 1961 when I was 6.
 
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Neal Pert

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I was adopted at birth into a family where literally no one played a musical instrument on either side of the family. I ended up being very passionate about drums and music generally and they never understood it.

In the last few years I've found both sides of my biological family. Sure enough, there are loads of singers and musicians on both sides, along with a couple clergy (I'm also a clergy person). DNA is wild.
 


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