Born: March 23, 1983 Primary Instrument: Drums
Abraham (or Abe) was born in March 1983 in the U.S. territory of Guam. His father, a U.S. Navy sailor and semi-pro musician, moved the family all over the Pacific Rim eventually settling in Hawaii. It was here that Abraham began playing drums at the age 4. Along with his two older brothers Eric and Glenn (also musicians), they formed a band playing mostly hard rock and heavy metal music. Within a few months, the power trio began showcasing their music at community events and private parties all over Hawaii.
At the age of 10, he started private studies on drums and continued for a year and a half. Now with a deeper understanding of the various styles of contemporary drumming, Abe began expanding his musical palate. In middle school, he excelled in the concert band and was an integral part of the school's first jazz ensemble. In 1996, at the age of 13, Abe was the Grand Prize winner in an international drumming competition sponsored by Modern Drummer Magazine and New York City's premier drum school, The Drummer's Collective. He was awarded a scholarship to their 4-week summer program. There, he gained valuable insight and instruction from top New York City drummers Ian Froman, Michael Lauren, Memo Acevido and Sandy Genarro. In 1999, another scholarship led him to Berklee College Of Music's summer performance program. In addition to studying and performing with Berklee's acclaimed faculty, the highlight of the program was studying advanced jazz theory with trumpeter Tiger Okoshi. The following year, in 2000, Abe was one of the youngest musicians chosen to participate in Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead Residency Program located at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts. Not only did this program showcase the world's finest up-and-coming jazz artists, but also each participant's talent as jazz composers as well. Under the tutelage of Terrance Blanchard, John Patitucci, Wynard Harper, Nathan Davis, and George Cables, Abraham's original composition, Headache, was chosen for its national debut at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage.
While still in high school, Abe received endorsement deals from major drum manufacturers (Paiste Cymbals and Vic Firth Drumsticks) and earned a reputation as one of Hawaii's elite musicians. Over the years, he's participated in tours of the U.S. Midwest, Japan and South Korea. As the house drummer for the Hawaii International Jazz Festival, Abe's performed with saxophonist Eric Marienthal, Hollywood film composer Lalo Schifrin, Santana's bassist Benny Reitveld, Brian Setzer Orchestra's Matt Zebley, among many others. Aside from his drumming and composition skills, Abe is equally proficient in other instruments such as the vibraphone, piano, guitar and ukulele. His ukulele playing was recently showcased at New York City's Carnegie Hall with the Hawaii Calls performance group.
In 2005, his jazz group PRELUDE signed with SonyBMG in Korea. Abe, the group's drummer, is the only non-Korean. Their debut release Croissant became an instant hit considering the fact that jazz groups in Korea are pretty rare. He has also released several independent recordings on his own label Pass Out Records.
Abe is a 2005 graduate of Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor's of Music Degree in Music Education. He was a recipient of the school's prestigious North American World Tour Scholarship which is awarded to students who excel in performance in their respective instruments.