Robin DiMaggio: Drumming to soothe and save the planet.
Born in France, Robin DiMaggio received his first drum set at the age of two; a gift from his father, the former conductor of the National Orchestra of Paris. Traveling the world at an early age, Robin was exposed to a variety of cultures before his family settled in Los Angles when he was nine. Once in LA, Robin adopted a heavy practice schedule, eventually ending up auditioning for Tracy Chapman and playing at the Amnesty International festival.
A student of renowned percussionist Joe Porcaro, Robin has had a diverse career drumming for artists such as Steve Vai, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Chris Isaak and Johnny Cash to mention a few. Robin's mastery of electronic percussion in the mid 80's helped to team him up with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and others. An accomplished musician, Robin DiMaggio's talent extends to keyboard, clarinet, and the studio itself. As a producer, Robin is currently working on David Bowie’s new record with mega producer Brian Eno. In between producing and sessions, Robin’s “day gig” is being the drummer on the successful late night talk show Lopez Tonight hosted by comedian George Lopez.
Robin's vast array of influences has made him a charismatic ambassador of the arts. He has been assigned the returning position of Music Director for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Awards. With backing from the United Nations and Humanitad.org, Robin is the Senior Producer for the Earthsong project, a CD compiled of tracks from top artists in every country around the world, part of a larger effort to save the environment and promote world peace. Also, Robin has just been tapped as Musical Director for Concert for the Amazon, empowering a global awareness amongst the people of the world to support the Amazon.
KORG: When did you know that your music would be your vocation?
RD: Simple answer: age 5. I never knew it, I just felt it!
KORG: As a percussionist, who would you cite as your percussionist heroes?
RD: Steve Gadd, Jeff Porcaro, Gene Krupa and Tony Williams. If those four could be fused together, Goddrumit would be born! [Smiles.]
KORG: Over the years you’ve toured the world, played on numerous recording sessions and produced records; which one of these roles is your favorite?
RD: Going online and checking my bank account [laughs]. No, really, the truth is that all of them have given me freedom to do what I want to do, when I want to do it.
KORG: In addition to your "day gig" as the drummer on Lopez Tonight, what else are you up to musically these days?
RD: I am the Musical Director for the United Nations, so I get to really globe trot and go to devastated places around our beautiful planet; I help come up with ideas to create Artistic and Cultural events to help raise the right money needed for our neighbors around the world.
KORG: Robin, you were one of the first artists to get their hands on the new KORG Wavedrum – or in your case, a pair of Wavedrums. What are your first impressions?
RD: First of all, there is absolutely no competition in the electronic [percussion] world. When I first played it, I was in shock to see something so sensitive to my hands and fingertips!
KORG: Any favorite sounds?
RD: To narrow it down to a few sounds would be injustice to the Wavedrum! The Wavedrum has a wide demographic of mind blowing soundscapes, as well as powerful new Percussion combos that fit perfectly with my drumming.
KORG: So; you like it?
RD: Look, the product is my best friend; whether I'm on TV or in the studio, I’m getting mad reaction to the tricks this thing can do. You can hear and see the Wavedrum every night on Lopez Tonight on TBS!
KORG: Great, Robin. Thanks so much for your time and enthusiasm. Anything else you would like to say about the Wavedrum?
RD: The Invincible Wavedrum is making any copycats stop in their tracks; you can't re-create what's already the best tool out there. I’m feeling pretty unstoppable with the New 2010 Wave Drum! The Question is: Are YOU?