Willie B Barthel III, born in Columbus, Ohio, has been playing drums since the age of 2. Willie credits a lot of his early musical influence to his father, who is an organist, and, growing up watching a lot of musicians play at church. He made the transition to playing and learning other styles of music, outside of gospel, when he began playing in the Jazz band at Gahanna Lincoln high school. He went on to participate in the All-State high school Jazz band under the direction of Alan Baylock during his junior year. After high school, Willie decided he wanted to further his understanding of music and went on to study jazz at The Ohio State University. Since graduating from Ohio State, Willie has been fortunate to work, record, and share the stage with numerous of artists and musicians such as Robert Randolph, Dave Matthews, Zac Brown, Mickey Guyton, Charlie Hunter, Tony Monaco, Michael Manson and many more.
Most memorable Next-Level PerformancePlaying in front of 40k people at Citi Field in NYC with Robert Randolph and Zac Brown band is an experience that I will never forget!
What Drives Your Creativity?Listening and learning to as many different styles of music as possible and striving to be great at playing it.
Why do you choose Vic Firth?Vic Firth has always been my stick of choice. They are versatile, consistent and very reliable for any musical situation.