Stephen Bidwell was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the Virginia suburbs. Since being first handed drumsticks in the late 80s he has studied and lived in West Virginia, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and New York but has called Austin, Texas home since 2005. Somewhere in those travels he earned a Bachelor's degree in classical percussion (two of them actually) and a Masters degree in Jazz Studies. Since early 2018 he has been the drummer for the Grammy nominated Black Pumas, a psychedelic soul group known for incendiary live shows. When not on tour with Black Pumas, Stephen co-leads a 10-piece afrofunk collective called Hard Proof, works in countless genres as a sideman, and records and teaches from his home studio.
Black Pumas, Hard Proof
Most memorable Next-Level PerformanceI can't think of one specific performance, but when the band is focused and really attuned to each other, and the crowd is truly with you, those nights generally feel "next level".
What Drives Your Creativity?Great songs, receptive collaborators with big ears, great instruments in pleasant sounding rooms.
Why do you choose Vic Firth?Quality, consistency, and commitment to the needs of drummers and percussionists everywhere.