John Scalici

John Scalici


John Scalici is an award winning teaching artist, internationally recognized drum circle facilitator, musician, author, and speaker. John is a respected percussionist/composer for modern dance choreographers including Teri Weksler, Wes Chapman, Augusto Soledade, Germaul Barnes, Jessica Lang, Daniel Lewis and Gaspard Louis.

He has also been a percussionist for Red Mountain Theater Companys œOnce on this Is- land, œMandela, and he was commissioned by the company to assemble a group of drummers to welcome the Dalai Lama to Birmingham, AL in 2014. John is the recipient of the 2010 œMaking a Difference award by the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education, the 2009 Pauline Ireland Award granted to individual artists, and the 2007 Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship award. He is also the creator and co- author of a new book (published in 2015) with gifted education teacher, Hilary Mckinney, entitled, Learn In Rhythm.

As a drummer, he co-founded the blues rock trio GRAVY, and toured extensively with Govt Mule, Buddy Guy, the Allman Brothers Band, and many others. Mr. Scalici lived and performed in the blues capital of the world, Memphis, TN, where he played with many 1st generation bluesmen such as Pine Top Perkins, James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, and Mose Vinson.

His band, junkyardmen, released the highly acclaimed œScrapheap Full of Blues, which was nominated for a Grammy in 1999. The bands second effort, œKeep on Workin', was produced by Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vahaugn, Santana). Mr. Scalicis love of blues prompted him to dig deeper into the origins of Blues, seeking out African music and rhythms in their traditional forms and even combining them with electronic and loop based music. He has studied with grand master djembe player, Mamady Keita and Fomadou Konate, and continues to compose and perform his original music.

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  • Most memorable Next-Level Performance

    I'd have to say that defining moment was a combination of several small moments when I realized I could do something that I couldn't do before. Like playing tight shuffles all night without getting tired or when I could feel that my time was really solid. Not being a technical drummer I always felt most satisfied when the pocket just "felt" good.
  • What Drives Your Creativity?

    What drives me now is much different than when I was younger. I was the primary lyricist for my bands so I was constantly journaling about things that intrigued me or were funny. As I got older, I didn't write as much because I became an independent. What drives me now as a drummer, percussionist, and interactive drumming facilitator is CONNECTING with people. Whether it's me playing solo or facilitating a group of hundreds of people. That's what drives me.
  • Why do you choose Vic Firth?

    I choose Vic Firth because Vic Firth chose ME. Someone saw value in me and made me feel like I had something special many years ago. I signed with VF in 1982 and I've been a faithful endorser ever since!