(winter 2017)


Happy New Year, first and foremost - I hope everyone has a lovely 2017, full of good music, health, humor, and grace. I’m looking forward to my adventures in the year ahead but it’s always a time for reflection on the year just past, which was an especially busy and productive year for me.


I spent more time on the road than I have in several years, mostly in the service of the national touring company of the record-breaking musical Wicked. Wicked and I have a long history together, and it was great to step back into the drum chair for several months as the tour rolled through the east coast and the midwest. After so many years and countless shows, it still remains one of the most challenging books I’ve ever had to play, and it was great to have the chance to do that again, as well as to connect with so many old and new friends. I’m sure we’ll cross paths again!


I also really enjoyed working at the La Jolla Playhouse last year - that was my first time working with that company and it’s a fantastic organization from top to bottom.


On the production front, I am most proud of the just-released album from Kate Higgins, “Sweet And Blue”. Kate and I have worked together for years and I have always loved her songwriting and musicianship, but this collection of songs was magical and charmed - everything about the recording came together like a dream. Kate, Anthony King, and I played all the instruments on the album, and I think it really has an organic feel to it that is truly special. I hope everyone gets a chance to check that one out - and again, I can’t say enough about the songs, great songs make everything easy!


My other favorite release last year was the new Inga Swearingen album, “Let Me Call This Home”. I played drums on the record and it was really cool to be a part of Inga’s music after having been a fan of hers for many years.


Otherwise I continue to stay busy with writing, scoring films, and hitting things. It’s always great playing around town with my great friends in the Martini Kings, my main working band - we had a great 2016, and 2017 is busy already. I’m also a regular with Ken Song’s trio at Bandera in West LA, you can find me there most weeks. There’s always something new happening in the gig calendar every month, and as ever I am grateful to get the chance to play so many styles of music with so many fantastic musicians in this city.


I’m continuing with my teaching as well, I’ve been taking on a bunch of great new students. Please see the “instruction” page for more details.


Family takes up the rest of my time - and that is the time best spent!


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            January 2017





(spring 2016)


Happy spring, everyone - hope it’s been a good 2016 so far. I’ve been busy since the year rolled over, with a lot of exciting  stuff coming up. One of my favorite gigs so far this year was the week I spent down at the La Jolla Playhouse - that was my first time working there and I can’t say enough about how great everyone is at that company. I played in the band for the LJP’s yearly gala - that was lots of fun - but mostly I worked with NY-based composer Joe Iconis and Seattle-based MD Ian Eisendrath as we put together a reading of a new, as-yet-untitled musical based on the life of the late author Hunter S. Thompson - fantastic songs,  great stories, and the life of a true American original at its heart. Hopefully I’ll continue to be involved with that project as it goes forward! 


Also in the musical theatre world, I’ll be heading back out with the national tour of Wicked for some dates in June and July. I haven’t seen the guys in the touring orchestra for a few years now and it’ll be great to play with them again, and of course it’s always exciting to play that most challenging of books, even after knocking it out hundreds of times.


I’m also excited to be writing the music for a new short film, “Break”, written and directed by my sister-in-law Jennie Fahn. The feature I scored last year, David Zelina’s full length drama “Cold Water”, is gearing up to hit the festival circuit this year - that was one of the most challenging and satisfying musical experiences of my life, I’m really happy with how that score turned out.


On the production front, I’m in the home stretch finishing up the new Kate Higgins record, “Sweet And Blue” - that is going to be an incredible album, Kate’s songs are stunning. I’ve been busy at the home studio producing voiceover demos and recording percussion for various projects as well.


And I’m always hitting things around town, whether it’s with my regular bunch of comrades in the Martini Kings (new single out this month for us), Ken Song’s trio at Bandera, the aces on the video sessions at Jazz Channel LA, my own band Wonk  (we had a great gig at Typhoon last month), or all the other friends who come calling. Always glad to stay busy and keep loose behind the kit!


I’m busy teaching as well, I really enjoy teaching from home and I’ve been taking on a bunch of great new students. Please see the “instruction” page for more details.


Time with the family remains the most fulfilling of all.


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            April 2016




(new year 2016)


Hope everyone had a great New Year. 2015 came and went so fast for me - they don’t make years like they used to! - but I was happy it was such a musically diverse and busy calendar year for me. I rang out 2015  playing one of the coolest theatrical productions I’ve ever been a part of, “Carrie: The Musical” at the Los Angeles Theatre - it was a fantastic show with incredible musicians in the orchestra. I also got to play a great holiday concert with my old friend, the sensational vocalist Laura Dickinson - it was a blast anchoring her 17-piece big band, all of the charts were incredible and the band featured the best guys in town.


In the fall I composed and recorded my first full length feature film score, for my friend David Zelina’s drama “Cold Water”. This was one of the most intense musical experiences of my life; I had about three and a half weeks to come up with 58 minutes of original music, and I played all the instruments on the soundtrack myself, another first. (Although I did sneak my wife Melissa onto the score, she sings a beautiful version of the traditional “Bring Me Little Water Sylvie” over the end credits.) I love how the score came out, and it was just a tremendous experience to be a part of the film.


I’m currently working hard to finish up the new Kate Higgins record I’m producing. The album’s going to be called “Sweet And Blue”, and should hopefully be out by the middle of the year - Kate wrote ten incredible songs and the performances are amazing, I can’t wait for everyone to hear that.


I’ll be working down at the La Jolla Playhouse this spring as well, workshopping a new musical - can’t say anything about that yet, but it’s based on the life of one of my favorite authors.


Otherwise, I stay busy playing around town and heading out of town for one-offs here and there, juggling the usual mix of jazz, rock, R&B, theatre, and cabaret. I’ve been doing a lot of great video sessions for Jazz Channel LA (check that channel out!), and next month I’ve got a long-overdue gig with my jazz-funk band Wonk, it’s been over a year since we’ve played together so we’re all looking forward to that.


I’m also teaching again -I have been starting up private lessons from my home studio and it is wonderful to be taking on students again. Please see the new “instruction” page for more details.


And of course, time with the family fills up the rest of the dates!


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            March 2016



(summer 2015)  


Happy summer everyone! This year’s been flying by and I’ve been so busy, lots to catch up on. I’ve been in and out of orchestra pits since the calendar rolled over, subbing in for “Wicked” at the Pantages through the end of its run there - always great to play that book, still challenging and exciting after all these years - and carving my way through runs of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, “Road Show”, “Sweet Smell Of Success”, and “Singin’ In The Rain”. It’s always fun to play shows!


On the production end of things, I’m incredibly excited about the new Kate Higgins record I’m producing. I’ve worked lots with Kate over the years but I think this is the best collection of songs she’s ever written, which is saying something! - and recording with her and Anthony King was one of the best sessions I’ve ever been a part of, we got some incredible performances. The album’s going to be called “Sweet And Blue”, and should hopefully be out by the end of the year - keep an eye and ear out, it’s going to be a great one!


Otherwise, it’s the usual buffet of gigs and venues. I just finished tracking the new Cisco & Dewey album, which is going to be terrific, and we just played a great show at the Grammy Museum where I got to play double drums with Gary Mallaber, a childhood hero of mine - that was a blast. I’m keeping my jazz chops up with the Martini Kings and I’m over at Bandera in West LA with the Ken Song trio a couple of Sundays every month. I’ve also been doing a lot of great sessions for Jazz Channel LA, there are some cool recent videos up on that channel.


I’m also teaching again -I have been starting up private lessons from my home studio and it is wonderful to be taking on students again. Please see the new “instruction” page for more details.


And of course, time with the family fills up the rest of the dates!


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            July 2015




(new year 2015)


Happy New Year to all - hope everyone has a healthy, happy, and soulful 2015. I’ve been busy out of the gate. Most notably I’ve been playing over at the Pantages with the first national tour of “Wicked”, filling in when my mate Chris Jago needs a break! - it’s always great to play that show, which is still one of the most challenging books I’ve ever navigated, and the musicians in that orchestra are second to none. It’s been a real lesson in the power of muscle memory as well - I’ve played the show hundreds and hundreds of times, but had taken a three-year break from the drum chair - it’s incredible how much of it comes back immediately. I’ll be there through the end of March, when the tour closes after a ten-year run.


Other than that, I’m doing lots of dates with the Martini Kings, playing jazz most Monday nights at Bandera in West LA, and filling in the calendar with the usual smorgasbord of gigs, shows, and sessions. I’m on a couple of rootsy/rock CDs that just came out, eponymous releases from Cisco & Dewey and the Stevie G Band - great musicians and songs on those records, and I really enjoyed recording albums’ worth of music in a rock and roll setting, something I don’t always get to do these days.


I’m also keeping busy in the home studio, working on tracks with the amazingly talented singer and songwriter Rehya Stevens, and finishing up my own project, which I swear will be out sometime in 2015.


I’m also happy to announce that I am teaching again! I have been starting up private lessons from my home studio and it is wonderful to be taking on students again. Please see the new “instruction” page for more details.


And of course, with the family, even the off days are busy days!


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            January 2015


(summer 2014)      


Happy summer to all - it’s hard to believe the year is half over, it’s been a blur as always. I’ve been busy with a lot of different projects, and happy to be have been able to stay at home with the family for the most part.


A real highlight of early 2014 was playing at the MusiCares tribute to Carole King, which was an incredible, star-studded event...and since the evening featuring all Carole King compositions, the set list was second to none! I got to back up the R&B singer Miguel and Nashville chanteuse Kacey Musgraves, who were a fantastic duo. Kacey won the Grammy for Best Country Album the next day, congrats Kacey! All in all it was a truly memorable evening, and I have to thank Carole’s MD and my friend Robbie Kondor for making that happen.


I’ve been busy in the studio, doing recording dates for Inga Swearingen, the Martini Kings, Cisco & Dewey, Chelsea Caroline, the Salty Suites, and others. I’m especially excited for Inga’s album to come out, that was a tremendous session and I got to play with long-time friends Jeff Miley and Zac Matthews on the date.


And I’ve filled in the calendar with the usual wide assortment of gigs. A highlight was getting to do a show with the wife, which seems to happen about once a year these days! - that was the Musical Theatre Guild’s production of “City of Angels”, great show and a tremendous score by Cy Coleman. Brad Ellis was the pianist and MD, I’ve wanted to work with Brad for a long time and he was great.


Still putting the finishing touches on my album. Might have some travel coming up in the months ahead as well...things are always percolating.


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            July 2014





(new year 2014)


Happy New Year once again - 2013 was a crazy one for me, but all’s well that ends well. I spent a large chunk of the year moving houses, which I can best describe as a protracted frenzy, but the whole family is settled once again and I’ve got the studio up and running once more. Still Los Angeles based and grateful to be here.


I did stay busy and am always grateful to get to play so much good music with so many great musicians. I played a number of shows this year, which I always love to do, and the highlight of my pit work was getting to play drums for 3-D Theatricals’ “Parade”, which won the Ovation award for best musical in L.A. in 2013. That was a spectacular production and truly a wonderful piece to be a part of.


I also did plenty of playing above ground, working with lots of great folks throughout the year - the Martini Kings, Laura Dickinson, Rehya Stevens, Inga Swearingen, Nutty, Witness Uganda, BC Jean,  my own band Wonk, and many others. I kept busy in the studio too, and was especially pleased to play on a tune on the new release by the great R&B singer Sheléa, “Love Fell On Me” - that’s the first time I’ve ever played on a record that Stevie Wonder played on!


I’m almost but not quite finished with my solo album, just a few parts left to cut, but that will be out in 2014 and I’m more excited about that than anything I’ve ever done.


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            January 2014




(winter 2013)


Happy New Year to all - may the coming tour through the calendar bring everyone much health, happiness, and beautiful music. As usual, it’s hard to believe how quickly the past year went. I’ve been blessed and fortunate to stay busy, play lots of good notes with great musicians, and add a bunch of chapters to the ever expanding tale.


2012 saw me busier than ever in the world of musical theatre; I seemed to find myself in the orchestra for a different show every month or two. Some highlights were “Wicked” (again), “A Chorus Line” (twice), “A New Brain”, “Spamalot”, “42nd Street”, and “Legs Diamond”. I really enjoy playing all the different books; it’s a great excuse to stretch and cop different styles, and I’ve had to shore up my mallet chops which has been a nice bonus too. Plus, I got to do a couple of shows with the mrs., which is how we met after all!


On the original music front, I wrote and MD’d my wife Melissa Fahn’s show “Grown Up Girl” at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal, which was a wonderful evening, and mixed in a couple of gigs with my band Wonk. We’re all hoping to do more this coming year. Two films featuring my music, “The Dancer Chronicles” and “Tick Tock Boom Clap”, both had premieres in LA & NY this last year as well.


And, I am finally into production for my long-in-the-works solo album! I have everything written and a chunk of the tracking done. I’m slotting in time for it when I can get it but I’m hopeful and confident it will be out in the world later this year.


I’ll have an eye on the Grammy Awards this year as I played on a nominated album, Carole King’s “A Holiday Carole” - that’s a first for me!


I’m still surviving on less than optimal sleep, as my boy is about to turn 3. He loves all kinds of music; current favorites are the Beatles, Average White Band, Led Zeppelin, and Jimmy Cliff.


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            January 2013




(summer 2012)


I hope everyone had a great spring and is ready for summer. I can’t believe how the year is flying by; it’s been a busy 2012 so far for me. I’ve been particularly active in various orchestra pits around town, I seem to be going from one show to another this year which is a lot of fun, good to have the theatre chops nice and fluid. I finished out filling in for the “Wicked” tour at the Pantages, did two runs of “A Chorus Line” (so much fun to play), made my Musical Theatre Guild debut (with Melissa as well) for the very challenging and fun “A New Brain”, and I’m getting set to get my Monty Python on with “Spamalot” down at Musical Theatre West, that’s a great book as well.


Other than knocking out shows, I’ve been doing the usual assortment of gigs, mostly in town but I’ve mixed in a few one-offs as well, going to the east coast, Vegas, and Mexico. I’ve been doing a lot of work with the Martini Kings lately, shot a video with them and we’re recording a bossa nova album, love playing with those guys.


I finished up the music for the film “The Dancer Chronicles” which had its festival premiere in NYC earlier this spring - that is an amazing project and I am really proud of the work I did on it - and the indie film “Tick Tock Boom Clap” that I contributed three songs to should be screening this summer too . I also did a theatre score for the children’s show “The Neverending Story”, that was tremendous fun, it was an all-percussion score and I really enjoyed coming up with some different textures and playing with the sound design.


Still trying to finish up the writing and pre-production for my solo record - it’s almost there! - and I’m also glad to be getting back on stage with my band Wonk after a long hiatus, we’ve all been so busy with our crazy schedules but we’re back at our favorite stomping grounds, the Baked Potato, in July.


Plus, there’s never a dull day when you’re the father of a 2-year-old!


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            June 2012



(new year 2012)


2012 has started out with the usual busy mix of work and projects for me. January just disappeared! As I do every year, I rang in the New Year in Las Vegas, anchoring the MVP’s big band for the MGM Grand’s lavish floor show. This year we got to back up the Temptations which was great fun.


I also had the great and nostalgic pleasure of playing a number of shows of the smash musical Wicked during the national tour’s two-month run at the Pantages in Hollywood. It had been exactly two years since my last time in the pit for Wicked but it all came right back - after many hundreds of performances, I guess it’s hardwired into my brain and body. Almost the entire Pantages orchestra from the last run was on board and it was a great reunion with all of those men and women, who are simply the most amazing musicians you will find anywhere.


I’ve been busy this past month recording and performing with Mark Ballas as well, he’s working on a new album and we’ve been playing in LA as well as on the east coast, we just came back from a week in New York including the ritzy Manhattan spot Feinstein’s, which was a a great room to play. Always love playing with Mark and those gigs were really fun.


I’m back home for a bit, knuckling down with my writing - finishing the last of the cues for “The Dancer Chronicles”, collaborating with talented songwriters, trying to finish the material for my album. It’s always a challenge slotting in proper writing and recording time at home with so much sideman work happening, but it’s good to be busy.


My gig routine now includes taking videos of my setup and sending them home for repeated viewing by my almost-2-year-old son, who plays drums every day and can name every instrument. Scary!


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            February 2012



(winter 2011)


It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of 2011...the summer and fall flew by for me this year. I spent much of the summer traveling with Mark Ballas, doing duo gigs to promote his album “HurtLoveBox”...we crisscrossed the country several times and had a lot of fun, always great to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones on the road. Mark and I are doing gigs in LA at the moment but will probably be going out again early next year.


Several albums I played on this past year have been released in time for the holidays. I’m most proud to be appearing on the new Carole King album, “A Holiday Carole” - this is her first studio recording in ten years, and it was a tremendous honor to play on this recording, as I grew up with her music. I shared drumming duties with the legendary Russ Kunkel, who was one of my very biggest drum heroes growing up (and still is today!)


I also played percussion on several great new releases from Breath of Life Records, including recordings by Justin Wilson, the Lloyd Mallory Singers, and Shelea, and played on a couple of albums for the always excellent Rob Chiarelli as well.


“Tick Tock Boom Clap”, an indie film starring my wife Melissa, had its premiere in the fall as well - I wrote three songs for the soundtrack, so it was definitely a family affair!


I’m currently doing lots of writing and playing, staying busy with the usual holiday crush, and will be doing some sub work for the Broadway musical Wicked during its run at the Pantages here in Hollywood this winter. I’ll be in Vegas for New Year’s Eve yet again - this year I get to back up the Four Tops, the Temptations, and the Pointer Sisters, so that will be a lot of fun.


All this while helping my toddler grow and learn about music, of course. He can pick out middle C on the piano and can name all the parts of the drum kit!


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            December 2011



(summer 2011)


Happy summer, first of all - as usual, the year is roaring by. I’ve been especially busy the last few months in my usual chameleonic way. Most recently I’ve been in the studio writing and producing three songs for the upcoming feature film “Tick Tock Boom Clap”, I had great singers and musicians on the sessions with me and I’m really happy with how the tracks came out. I’m also finishing up some cues for the forthcoming documentary “The Dancer Chronicles”, which I’ve been scoring as it’s developed over the past year, so I’ve been staying busy in the film music world.


Spring also meant my two month residency at the Mint in LA with Mark Ballas, a great singer and songwriter - we did all of these shows as an acoustic duo and they’ve really developed into something special. Mark’s a really talented and rhythmically dynamic guitarist  and the setup gives me a lot of room to mix up the colors and textures on cajon, hybrid kit, percussion, etc. We should be doing some dates this summer to promote his new album “HurtLoveBox”, not sure if those will be duo or full band yet, but the shows are always fun.


I also got some great playing in with my band Wonk, always a blast to play with Justin, Derek, Anthony, and Dan. We had a couple of tremendous nights once again at the Baked Potato and Typhoon. Definitely enough new material for a second album now, so we’re trying to figure out when our crazy schedules might allow us to do that.


Add in some jingle sessions, drum and percussion work on a couple of albums, various one-offs, etc., plus my substantial daily dad duties, and the spring was kind of a blur!


Meanwhile I continue to knuckle down with the writing for my solo album, which I have been trying to get to for some time now. Most of the writing is actually done and I’m starting to think about preproduction, etc. - I really hope to have something out in the world by the end of the year.


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            June 2011



(spring 2011)


Happy spring, everybody...I don’t know what happened to the first few months of this year. I’ve kept busy doing the usual assortment of gigs, been fortunate enough to stay in town with the family mostly, but mixing in some one-offs all around the western states. It’s been the usual rock/R&B/jazz stew but I did get the chance to play a healthy dose of country/Americana when I filled in with the Merchants of Moonshine (from Nashville TN) on their west coast tour dates - that was a fun way to reconnect with the southern half of my heritage!


I’m back playing my weekly Monday night residency with Mark Ballas at the Mint in Los Angeles - this is a great scene and a great night of music, come by and say hi if you’re in LA one of these spring Monday nights. Mark’s album “HurtLoveBox” just came out on Sony Red and it really turned out nicely. Love the drum sounds, thanks Rob Chiarelli! We’ve been playing these gigs duo, just acoustic guitar and percussion, and we have a lot of fun with them, Mark is one talented cat.


I also got back on stage for some gigs with my band Wonk, great to be playing again with Justin, Derek, Anthony, and Dan. We had a couple of tremendous nights at the Baked Potato and Typhoon. We’re all so busy, it’s tough to get all five of our schedules to sync up, but we sure hope to do a lot more playing together as the summer approaches.


I’m doing some writing for a couple of films at the moment and I am also knuckling down with the writing for my solo album, which I have been trying to get to for some time now. Most of the writing is actually done and I’m starting to think about preproduction, etc. - I really hope to have something out in the world by the end of the year.


All this in addition to my daily dad duties, which are substantial!


As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            April 2011




(new year 2011)


It seems the years pass ever more quickly, but never more so for me than this last year. 2010 was the year I became a dad, which dominated, altered, and enriched everything in my life - but despite the fact that my undying love of music often had to take a back seat to parenting, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play a lot of good notes as the calendar flew by.


Performing as a featured soloist with the Pacific Symphony, drumming on Dancing With The Stars, recording with Carole King and Mark Ballas, workshopping the new musical Witness Uganda, playing with Taylor Hicks, grooving with my band Wonk, writing film music, gigging with dozens of eclectic and talented artists...I’m grateful for it all.


As I roll into 2011 I’m keeping busy playing and writing. I’m looking forward to the releases of “The Dancer Chronicles”, which I scored, and Mark Ballas’ “Hurtlovebox”, which was one of the most fun sessions I’ve done in a long time.


And I try to sit with my son at the drums or piano as often as I can. He loves it!


Many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            January 2011




(fall 2010)


This past summer was very busy - a studio date with Carole King, a live gig with “American Idol” champ Taylor Hicks, multiple shows with my band Wonk, quick hits in Vegas and Sun Valley, and the usual eclectic assortment of live and studio work - and it’s kept rolling into the fall.


I’ve been playing a lot lately with singer/songwriter Mark Ballas - I cut basic tracks for his upcoming album with the fantastic Rob Chiarelli producing, and I’m really excited about that record, it sounds amazing already. I cut 11 tracks in one marathon 13-hour session which was quite a day of work! I’ve also been performing acoustic duo shows every Monday night with Mark at the Mint in LA, that’s a great scene and it’s a lot of fun playing a stripped-down hybrid percussion and drum setup.


Through Mark I also got to perform on the #1 TV show in the nation, “Dancing With The Stars”, which was a blast. It’s fun playing drums for 20 million people!


Another original group that I play in made its debut this month as well - this is the group Ácousa, which is a vocal quartet plus upright bass and myself on percussion. We had a great show at the Savoy in Santa Barbara - a really hip new club - there were burlesque dancers, aerialists, acrobats, spoken word artists - great spot, and it looks like we’ll be appearing up there regularly.


I’m excited about the music I wrote and produced for Lorna Ventura’s forthcoming documentary “The Dancer Chronicles”, that score ranges from salsa to R&B to classic rock to ambient instrumentals, it’s a pretty wide range of music!


Otherwise I’m just busy at home, recording tracks for folks and playing as much good music as I can for little Jude. Lately, James Brown and the Beatles are his favorites!


Many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            October 2010




(summer 2010)


I spent the spring staying in town as much as possible and helping little Jude grow. He loves music, already a big fan of Stevie Wonder, Pat Metheny, and the Beatles, and he digs listening to me play kalimba and hand drums...he’s pretty into my beatboxing too! Plus, he gets to hear Melissa Fahn sing every day, lucky kid.

 

I’ve been able to stay busy in the studio - I did a really fun session for Carole King, whose music I have been listening to since before I can remember. It was a challenge trying to play like Russ Kunkel with his son Nathaniel engineering the date! I also cut tracks for new projects from Mark Ballas and Shelea, and did a bunch of work over at Ready Mix for Sarah Taylor and Paul Horabin.

 

I’ve also kept things rolling with my band Wonk, we’ve been playing around town regularly and have a bunch of dates coming up this summer, hope to see everyone at one of those shows, the band is sounding great!

 

And as always, lots of eclectic live dates with folks like Mark Ballas, Kathy Deitch, the Jazz Poets, the Acoustic Jazz Quartet, Nathan McEuen, Larry Steen & Bruce Forman, the workshop musical Witness Uganda, etc. etc.

 

I’m continuing to write and produce tracks for Lorna Ventura’s upcoming documentary “The Dancer Chronicles”, that score ranges from salsa to R&B to classic rock to ambient instrumentals, so it’s keeping me on my toes!

 

Many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!

 

                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            July 2010

 


(spring 2010)


I’m happy to announce the official release date of my greatest production ever! - Melissa and I have a baby boy, Jude Fahn Alpers, who arrived on February 23, weighing in at 8 pounds 3 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. He is just the most amazing little guy and brings such joy to us every day.  Now I’m just waiting ‘till he’s big enough to carry my gear around for me!

 

I managed to do some playing before and after Jude’s arrival - a real highlight was a 3-night run with the Pacific Symphony at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, as part of Chris Botti’s weekend of Valentine’s Day concerts. I had a big drum solo feature which is always fun - throw in a 60-piece orchestra moving air all around me and it doesn’t get much more thrilling.

 

I also played African percussion on the ASCAP showcase reading of Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews’ new musical “Witness Uganda”, an exciting new piece, and mixed in some nice dates in town with folks like the Jazz Poets, Pi, and Yarone Levy. I also started working with a very cool new ensemble called Ácousa - it’s a vocal quartet plus bass and cajon.

 

And we had a great CD release party in January for the Wonk album - we had a terrific turnout and it was just a great night for all of us in the band. We have more dates coming up in the spring including a featured slot on the KJAZ 88.1 stage at the Eclectic Music Festival in Pasadena on May 1, so we’re all looking forward to that.

 

Right now I’m getting ready for a showcase gig with singer/songwriter Mark Ballas (the 2-time “Dancing With the Stars” champion) - I played on his EP “Waiting For Patience” - and I’m currently busy writing and producing the music for my friend Lorna Ventura’s forthcoming documentary on New York City dancers - it’s going to be really great when it’s all finished.

 

And I couldn’t let Oscar season pass without noting my contribution to James Cameron’s “Avatar”, which carries yours truly’s trace fingerprints on the soundtrack - I assisted composer James Horner in the pre-production of the score. It’s now the highest-grossing film of all time - I’m just sayin’!

 

Many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!

 

                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            April 2010

 



(new year 2010)

 

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone - may your 2010 be full of health, hope, and happiness!

 

2009 was a great year for me, and it rang out in fine style. I spent another few months on the road with the second national tour of Wicked, a great company to work and travel with, and I miss those friends already. After I got back from Wicked I played the 50th Annual LA Holiday Celebration concert at the Music Center with Vox Lumiere and the Definiens Project, and after a breath to enjoy Christmas I got to ring in the New Year in Vegas onstage yet again with the MVPs - this year we opened for Earth, Wind, and Fire, which was an honor and a real treat.

 

While I was on the road the debut album from my band Wonk was released - I’m very proud of my playing and production on this and it’s just the most fun band and greatest group of guys to play with. Our official CD release party is January 27 at the Baked Potato in North Hollywood, would love to see my LA friends out there if you can make it. I’m also happy to be on the brand new release from bassist (and fellow Wonk rhythm section mate) Derek Frank, I play percussion throughout his excellent “Let The Games Begin”. With those two coming on the heels of Kate Higgins’ “Little Parts” (which I produced as well), Pi’s “Fire Horse Girl”, Funk This’ “Diggin’”, and Sarah Taylor’s “The Cure To Everything”. it was a really nice year for me on the recording front.

 

Moving from the indie to the corporate world: James Cameron’s 3-D blockbuster “Avatar” is out in the universe now as well - although I was a tiny cog in the machine, I did assist composer James Horner on the pre-production of the score, so I’ll take my small satisfaction in a job well done over box office points I guess.

 

I’ll be busy writing and playing in the weeks to come, and I have a fun gig coming up in February with the acclaimed trumpeter Chris Botti and the Pacific Symphony.

 

And Melissa and I have a special “production” coming soon...very soon!

 

Many thanks to all of you for your continued support and inspiration - thanks for stopping by and I hope to see & hear you soon!

 

                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            January 2010

 

(fall 2009)


This autumn I’ll be heading out on the road once again to join up with the national tour of Wicked - I’ll be with them for two months as Oz rolls on through the midwest and east coast. It’s always a pleasure to be a part of this company and to travel with so many incredibly talented actors and musicians. It’s always tough to conceptualize packing cold weather clothes in the L.A. heat though!

 

This past month has been very busy and full of great music. I just finished mastering the Wonk album, which is at the manufacturer’s as I write this and will be out in the world in November. We’re all thrilled with how the record came out and can’t wait to get back to playing shows in the new year.

 

I just finished doing a very special show at Room 5 in L.A. with my wife Melissa Fahn, it was great to get back on stage and perform our music again - thanks so much to Justin Reinhardt, Zac Matthews, and Christian Nesmith for playing so beautifully with us. I also did a bunch of dates this past month with the lovely singer/songwriter Pi Jacobs to promote her new album “Fire Horse Girl”, which I played on as well, we played CD release shows throughout California and New York.

 

The film I scored in late 2008, “Old Dogs”, is still out and thriving on the festival circuit, sounding good in 5.1 surround and garnering lots of awards. And I’m on a couple of new releases as well that I enjoy a lot, “Diggin'” by Chris Clermont’s great group Funk This!, and my old friend Sarah Taylor’s just-released album “The Cure To Everything”, give both of those a spin if you can.

 

And Melissa and I have a special “production” coming soon...a few months out!

 

Thanks for stopping by - hope to see & hear you soon!

 

                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            October 2009

 



(summer 2009)         

 

It’s been a busy summer so far. I just came back from filling in once again on the national tour of Wicked, it’s always a pleasure to travel and perform with so many talented musicians and actors. I spent three weeks in Austin, Texas, a great city for music, and I had the great fortune to reconnect with my old friend (and incredible bassist) John Fremgen - I got to sit in with some amazing musicians on some of my nights off from the show and that’s always fun.

 

I am home now putting the finishing touches on the debut album from Wonk, my new group that also features Justin Reinhardt, Derek Frank, Anthony King, and Dan Boissy. It’s an instrumental funk/jazz/fusion collective and just a great outlet to do some playing. Our first gig (July 21 at the Baked Potato in North Hollywood) was a great success and we’ll be starting a once-a-month residency there on September 16. Look for a CD release gig later this fall.

 

I’m also going to be doing some gigs with the singer/songwriter Pi to promote her new album, “Fire Horse Girl”, which I played on, we have a number of dates in California and New York coming up the next couple months. I’m especially looking forward to our LA release party on October 17 as she will be sharing the bill with my wife Melissa Fahn, so I get to pull double duty that night!

 

On the production front, I’m happy to announce the release of Kate Higgins’ album, “Little Parts”, which I produced and played on. I absolutely love this recording - Kate’s a fabulous singer/songwriter and it was a real pleasure working on this project with her.

 

Somehow in the middle of all this I took time out for a vacation in the south of France with Melissa. Didn’t touch a drumstick!

 

Thanks for stopping by - hope to see & hear you soon!

 

                                                                                                                            JDA

                                                                                                                            August 2009


(spring 2009)


Hope everyone’s having a great spring. I’ve been busy in and out of town, keeping busy with the usual dizzying variety of music. In March I did a short tour with Vox Lumiere’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, which took us up into Canada and ended with a 2 week run at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston, what a great venue and city.


Back in town, I just wrapped up playing a workshop production of “The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown” at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. It’s a new musical by the acclaimed young composers Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan - great songs, and the cast was amazing, a real pleasure to work with so many talented folks.


Next month, I’m heading out to join the second national tour of “Wicked” for a couple of cities. It’ll be a lot of fun to play that show again, I’ve missed it since we wrapped at the Pantages in January, and I’m excited to meet up with the folks in that company.


And I’ll follow that up with a quick trip to Summerfest in Milwaukee, the largest outdoor music festival in the country. I’ll be playing with the singer-songwriter Malea McGuinness. It’ll be nice to play outdoors after so much time in orchestra pits!


My original funk instrumental project, Wonk, is making progress, we finished our basic tracking in February and we’re working on overdubs and mixing when we can all find time in our busy schedules. Hope to have that album out before the year is over, and to be doing some gigs by summertime.


Thanks as always for your interest and support and hope to see & hear you soon!


                                                                                                                            JDA   

                                                                                                                            May 2009