I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. As I stated in my holiday greetings a couple weeks ago I have a lot planned for 2017. This includes more interviews, more videos and more guest postings. I am also adding book reviews from some of your favorite titles. I have several interviews submitted to my editor at Drumhead magazine and I also look forward to writing new ones for Modern Drummer. I also have several well-known drummers on the line for interviews and I will continue to approach new ones.
Today I want to preview one of the drummers I hope to speak to this year, Hannah Ford Welton. Best known for her work in Prince’s Third Eye Girl project Welton was voted “Outstanding Jazz Musician” at Chicago’s New Trier Jazz Festival (2007) and “Outstanding Musician” at Chicago’s Jazz in the Meadows Festival (2007). Welton was also named “Best Drummer/Musician” in Suburban Nightlife Magazine’s “Best of the Burbs” readers’ poll in 2007 and 2008. She was cast as “L.A. Coulter,” the onstage drummer in the 2011 Chicago Royal George Theatre run of the musical “White Noise.”
After moving to Chicago when she was 12, Hannah took advantage of new opportunities to study and perform with mentors such as Peter Erskine, Stanton Moore, Danny Seraphine and Johnny Rabb. Following high school, Welton accepted a scholarship to attend the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where she continued her studies. According to her Zildjian Bio “Hannah had the privilege of studying with some of the world’s greatest drummers and teachers including Paul Wertico, Diane Downs, Louie Bellson, Ruben Alvarez, Jerry Steinholtz, and Ndugu Chancler. More than just a pretty face Welton is known for her soloing skills and infectious grooves. Quoted in her Vater bio, Welton explained her performing philosophy:
“It used to be that telling someone they hit like a girl was a put-down,” says Hannah, “but after watching the way women like Karen Carpenter, Gina Schock, Sheila E and Cindy Blackman play the drums, I’ll take it as a compliment. After all, what’s better than playing kick-ass drums in a rock ‘n’ roll band, doing what you love… and getting paid for it?”
Here’s an example of Welton’s creativity taken from a Drummers Café appearance: