The Stoic Drummer

“This book takes the best wisdom of the ancient world and applies it to the art of drumming.”

THE STOIC DRUMMER is a collection of axioms relating the philosophy of Stoicism to the practice of drumming composed of crisp, universal quotes, mantras and meditations.
Foreword by Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood), hardcover, 128 pages.


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“Happiness is the goal.” –Agnes Martin

Musicians and artists need to perform at a very high level. We must not let outside conditions poison us and get in the way of the music. Music is healing. We have to perform unshaken by the current events that can intrude on our personal happiness. Our audience needs us to provide that strength and steadfast encouragement to live and defy their own contrary forces. This does not mean we have to ignore the problems and tragedies of the world, of our families, friends, and loved ones. We should set an example by transforming the negative energy into something useful.

My relationship with José Medeles began many years ago when I conducted a master class at his store, Revival Drum Shop, in Portland, Oregon. Revival is a treasure trove of custom-made drums, percussion and found instruments. I fell in love with the place, and I’m not the kind to hang out in drum shops.

José is an angel. He has played and recorded with many prominent bands, yet he never boasts, he always praises others. You are the star in his world.

Stoicism has had a big influence on José. It has informed his outlook on life. Let this wonderful book be the guide for us all to get on with ourselves as drummers and live happily, no matter the circumstances. The timing of this release couldn’t be better.

And… all great drummers have great timing!

Onward and upward with love,

-Billy Martin, aka Illy B


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