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Artist Profile: Rodney Holmes

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Whether you are a fan of Clyde Criner, The Steve Kimrock Band or Santana, chances are that you have heard Rodney Holmes take drumming to an entirely different level that crosses the boundaries between jazz, rock and even techno and ambient drumming. This artist is as creative and diverse as the audiences who come to see him play with SKB, bringing a powerful sound and structure to a wide assortment of musical genres.

Holmes was raised in a musical family, giving him the ability to appreciate many different genres of music and find the common thread between the various styles: drumming. He became interested in drumming in the fourth grade and had decided to pursue music as a career by the time he reached high school. Holmes was offered a scholarship to Long Island University, but decided, instead, to pursue his musical career outside of college. As a Jazz drummer in New York, Holmes was offered many opportunities to perform and record, eventually recording two albums with legendary musician Clyde Criner.

Over the next few years, Holmes played with the Zawinul Syndicate and the Herminators, evolving his drumming style in a way that best reflected his early exposure to various types of music. While touring with Joe Zawinul, Holmes met and made a big impression on Carlos Santana, a meeting that led to an invitation to join the Santana Band for the Santana-Bob Dylan Tour later that summer. Four years later, Holmes was asked to record “Smooth,” with Santana and Rob Thomas, an accomplishment that not only ignited his second tour with Santana, but also led to nine Grammy awards for his work on the Supernatural album.

In the meantime, Holmes toured and recorded with the Brecker Brothers, worked with Eagle Eye Cherry and found a musical home with The Steve Kimock Band. It was with SKB that Holmes was able to express his new interest and mastery in ambient music, and even put his own spin on the sound. Holmes is an artist dedicated to Meinl Cymbals, citing the Byzance Dark Spectrum Ride as his favorite in the Byzance series.

Today, Holmes is busy following creative leads in the world of music through touring and performing, producing with the Jim Weider Band and his own band, Lithium Tree. He also finds time to occasionally provide workshops and exhibitions to his fans and students. One thing is for sure, this multi-faceted drummer is an unstoppable force in the world of music and drumming, and his ability to adapt to and adopt new music into his current repertoire will keep him in demand within all genres of music.

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