Born: April 27, 1967 Primary Instrument: Drums
Todd Bishop (b. 1967) has been performing and teaching professionally in Portland, OR, the west, and internationally since 1985. He has led jazz, avant-garde and indie rock groups and produced five CDs of original music for Seattle's Origin Records and for independent release. With his multi-layered, organic style, he is a compelling musician, and has thrilled audiences with visceral performances owing as much to the influence of Keith Moon or Olatunji as to the jazz masters.
He released two CDs with the jazz power trio Flatland. The Satellite is a largely groove-based album with early Bishop arrangements of two Don Cherry tunes, and produced by Tony Lash (Elliot Smith, Dandy Warhols). The second CD, Origin of Species, bore Bishop's stamp as producer and arranger, highlights including several dark, cinematic soundscape pieces, and Malheur, a propulsive drum solo. The group was a significant regional presence, and shared bills with such acts as Galactic, Charlie Hunter, Wayne Horvitz, and Herbie Hancock's Headhunters.
Next came the ambient, delicately-textured free improvisations of Lower Monumental, which released Mayday Session, a live broadcast performance on Seattle's venerable Sonarchy Radio. Features a spontaneously rendered Bishop composition, Headlights.
The movie-music/international pop-oriented Pop Art 4 is Bishop's most ambitious project to date, with an European tour in the works and at least four additional CDs worth of material currently in development, including free interpretations of the music of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Lalo Schifrin's Dirty Harry soundtrack, and Candy, an album of original music.
Bishop studied classical percussion with Charles Dowd at the University of Oregon, and, under scholarship, jazz studies with Gregg Field (Count Basie) and John Thomas (Woody Herman, Chick Corea) at the University of Southern California. He also completed six national tours with DCI-affilliated drum and bugle corps, including the famous1986 Santa Clara Vanguard, which finished second nationally that year. He was instructed by drum corps greats Ralph Hardimon, George Tuthill, and Fred Sanford, as well as marching specialist Alan Keown.
Also accomplished in visual media, he is a prolific photographer of Pacific NW musicians, has returned several times to Italy to photograph the city of Rome, and is one of the major providers of photographic imagery for Origin Arts. As a painter, Bishop creates richly textured abstract landscapes echoing Oregon farm country and wilderness in oils. He is represented by the Provenance gallery (Eugene, OR), and his work has been collected by buyers on four continents. He is also the creator of the Skulli and My Sweet Fiend character designs, which are currently selling well in several large chains in North America and Japan.
Origin Records strikes again with another outstanding disc...
“Oh man, this really is hip!”
I loved Bishop’s disc from the second I put it in the CD player...
... fat bass lines and funky drum grooves...
C. Michael Bailey, Allaboutjazz.com:
...beautiful decadence, brilliant and bright.
...psychedelia wisping into the edges of post-war Western society right before the Summer of Love and the sexual revolution.
Todd Bishop has done something special here, respectfully presenting Gainsbourg's music with [Bishop's] own... American flair. [He] readily captures the international sexiness of Gainsbourg's tunes while buffing them to a 21st Century shine.
Adam Greenberg, Allmusic.com:
...what modern free jazz could sound like while still [being] entirely listenable...
...slinks and squirms all the way, keeping a sultry vibe...
An excellent bit of reworking...
Dan McClenaghan, Allaboutjazz.com:
...a strange and excellent musical experience.
...a peculiar yet distinctively compelling sound...
...post-listening cold shower required.
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Willing to teach:
Visit pdxdrummer.com for more information. Drummers of all levels can benefit from lessons with me. My unique approach is mentally-engaging, develops creativity as well as chops, and teaches drummers to also be musicians.
A fun introduction - beginners
To make learning the drums fun, I don't subject beginners to the usual 4-6 months of dry preparation before moving them to the drum set. Instead, I've developed an accelerated program that teaches you real performance vocabulary as it introduces you to the basics of music. Hardworking beginners can be ready to play in a band within 6-9 months.
All ages are welcome and encouraged - I've had success with beginners from age 6 60-something!
Open up your drumming - already play
Many drummers come to me feeling very aware of their limitations, and at something of a loss as to how to break through them. I can help you learn to speak freely on the drums, using fun improvising exercises, by working on any neglected fundamentals, and introducing new musical influences.
A master's polish - aspiring pro
Advanced players already have a large amount of practice material available to them, so their problem is often one of deciding what not to work on. The guidance of a teacher who knows what will be expected of you in professional situations can help you focus your energies in ways that will get you the best real-world results.
At some point every advanced student comes to realize that there's more to playing professionally than just technical prowess. I can help you gain the following skills you need to survive in the field:
Mastery of a wide variety of styles.
Advanced reading skills.
Rock solid time and rhythm.
Control over your dynamics.
Knowledge of standards of professionalism.
The drumming artist
What makes one drummer's performance seem competent but obvious and flat, and another's inspired and almost magically creative? Creativity and artistry in drumming is usually left up to chance and each player's "natural" gifts- most teachers do not address the subject. Through my work as an improvising musician, visual artist and photographer, I have taken a keen interest in the creative process from a variety of angles. I will help you learn how to think like an artist, and to recognize and develop your individual voice on the drums.
Courses of study
WEEKLY 1 HOUR - $45/lesson
This is our standard format; recommended for most intermediate to advanced students, 7th grade and older. For fastest improvement, best retention of lesson materials. Includes one free practice pad class per week.
WEEKLY HALF HOUR - $30/lesson
Another common format; best for younger students (4th-8th grade) and beginners. Includes one free pad group per week.
BIWEEKLY 1 HOUR - $45/lesson
Good for busy people or as a partial self-study program for advanced students.
BIWEEKLY HALF HOUR - $30/lesson
Recommended for pad class students who want to pick up a few new things on drum set along the way. Not recommended as a stand-alone format.
PAD GROUP - $20/90 minute class
Best for intermediate to advanced students who want to really improve their hand chops. Beginners should take at least 4-8 weeks of private lessons before joining the pad groups.
DRUMMERS' BOOT CAMP - $450/4 weeks
Intensive 4-8 week program for drummers seeking to make a lot of improvement in a short amount of time. Great for learning a new style, getting ready to make a big first impression, or just breaking out of a rut. It's recommended that during this course you set aside 2-5 hours per day for practicing in addition to class and lesson time!
2 weekly 90-minute lessons
2 weekly 90 pad group sessions
MASTER SERIES - cost and program varies
Premium packages. Personalized 4-12 week program. Excellent for advanced students, college students, gigging drummers. Call (503)380-9259 or email for free consultation.
Visit pdxdrummer.com for more information.