Drori Mondlak

Primary Instrument: Drums

Born: April 12, 1958    

Drori Mondlak

Drori Mondlak is one of the outstanding jazz drummers and bandleaders on today's international jazz scene. His touch, subtlety, and interactive approach to music have brought him critical acclaim and performing opportunities with many creative musicians in diverse musical situations.

Drori co-leads the critically acclaimed quartet KLARO! with alto saxophonist Karolina Strassmayer.

In his eclectic work in New York City for over twenty years Drori has played with jazz luminaries such as Frank Foster, Joe Williams, Don Friedman, Chris Potter, Lew Tabackin, Bill Charlap, Danny Mixon, Ernestine Anderson and many more. He has also established himself as a much sought-after drummer in Europe performing and recording with artists such as Lee Konitz, Karolina Strassmayer, Barbara Dennerlein, Lynne Ariale, Cary DeNigris, Stefan Bauer, John Goldsby, Paul Heller, Tony Lakatos, Nicolas Simion and many more....
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“Mondlak exhibits an eloquent speech-like personality while he executes his multiple functions; he internalizes his drum kit completely. Much remindful of the deeply melodic orientations of drummers Shelly Manne, Joe Morello or Max Roach, Mondlak is natural and imaginative in his high regard and ability to represent melodic lines and contours, and illuminates this flow freely with the listener.”

DR. Herb Wong, Jazz Perspectives

“Mondlak’s quartet on Point In Time is integrated, balanced and musical. Mondlak, saxophonist and flutist Karolina Strassmayer, guitarist Cary DeNigris and bassist Steve LaSpina solo with conviction.”

Doug Ramsey, Arts Journal

“Drori is a terrific drummer whom I have known for years. Point In Time is a great recording which showcases his dynamic playing, musicality and sensitivity, as well as his great interaction with an all-star group.”

Danny Gottlieb, musician, drummer

“Drori Mondlak is an extremely emotional drummer who enjoys the spaces as much as the notes. Arrangements make the tune and he is always arranging from the drum kit.”

Robin Tolleson, Modern Drummer

“Drummer Drori Mondlak leads a swinging hard-boppish quartet on his Point In Time. Along with his long time partner Cary DeNigris on guitar, veteran bassist Steve LaSpina and alto sax burner Karolina Strassmayer, Mondlak swings interactively in a loose, understated manner……… Mondlak underscores the two beautiful ballads with sensitive brushwork.”

Bill Milkowski, Traps, The Art of Drumming.

“The material, concept, sound and group interplay on Point In Time are beautiful. Nice deep, open drum sound and a killer ride cymbal!!”

John Riley, musician, drummer

“Point In Time is very well recorded and the mood of relaxed concentration comes through. Drori Mondlak’s drumming is timely and sensitive, not overwhelming the ensemble but keeping it on track and pushing it forward, lifting the soloists.”

Howard Mandel, jazz journalist review

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Primary Instrument:

New York, NY

Willing to teach:

Drori is committed to sharing the knowledge he has accumulated over the course of twenty five years of his involvement with the instrument and performing professionally in many diverse situations.

He believes that the instrument is also a means to self- discovery and a vehicle for creative expression that gives a person the opportunity to develop and express their own unique voice.

He is passionate about teaching and helping drummers further their creative art form.

Drori, is currently involved in education on a few different levels:

He teaches drums privately and travels to present clinics on jazz drumming in the United States as well as in Europe.

He writes educational articles for MODERN DRUMMER PUBLICATION as well as DRUMS & PERCUSSION PUBLICATION in Germany.

Drori has presented three different workshops on Improvisation and Jazz Drumming this past year (2005-2006) in Koln, Germany.

He has also given workshop/clinics in the past, at different universities while performing as guest artist, including at: University of North Carolina, SWOU (South Western Oklahoma University), Broome County College in Binghamton, New York, University of North Texas in Denton, Midland Michigan Grove Street Music Program, has coached jazz ensembles at New York University and participated in a clinic for Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Clinic/Workshop Information:
Workshop with Drori Mondlak – Technique: Developing a relaxed technique and movement for all styles of playing using natural body movement, working with the natural rebound and balance of the sticks. Developing the ability to have good articulation with accents and control at all dynamics of playing using arm, wrist and finger movements including Moeller strokes and level strokes. Understanding the principles of legendary master - Joe Morello’s method of hand development and technique as handed down from George Lawrence Stone and Billy Gladstone and developed by Joe. Jazz Drumming: Practice routines to aid in discovering and developing your own voice on the instrument. Strengthening your connection to your center and “hearing” what you play. Developing improvisational and soloing ability on song forms, structures and free form. Developing a jazz vocabulary in soloing. Developing brush technique for ballad, medium and up-tempo playing. Four-limb independence mastery. Creative interactive accompaniment. Interpretive reading for small and large ensembles, setting up figures for big band playing, orchestrating figures on the drums. Working to develop 3/4, 4/4, 5/4 and 7/4 grooves.

Ludwig Jazzette '71 kit Leedy/ Slingerland '63 kit Radio King Snare drum Old K & A Zildjian Cymbals Endorser of Regal tip brushes and mallets. Vater Teardrop sticks. Zildjian cymbals.

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