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Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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Alan J.P. ThompsonBorn in Hempsted, NY and growing up in St. Albans, Queens , NY, 73-year-old Alan J.P. Thompson first became inspired and interested in music and drumming while viewing town holiday parades down Linden Blvd. "My father said that I had stated that I liked the drums because 'they never stopped playing'" says Thompson, who received his first "cardboard drum kit" for his 4th birthday. Recalls Thompson, "we lived near St. Catherine of Senna grade school where they had a school band that played every morning and at lunch time before class in the school yard. I could hear them from where we lived and so, pressed my parents to enroll me there so I could learn play a drum and it worked." All the persistance showed its fruit when at the age of 14, Alan won the NYS, CYO, Field Drumming Championship.

Alan went on to become the principle percussionist in the Andrew Jackson H.S. Band and Orchestra, while at the same time performing with a number of local drum and bugle corps. "It was while attending Jackson High School that I started a 14-piece dance band. It lasted 4 years — later morphing into a 4-piece combo" says Thompson. "That combo stayed together, in one form or another, for about 25 years — all through college and my move to Huntington, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York." Alan has spent the last two decades playing with an ancient fife & drum corps as well as a town symphony orchestra. Just this last year, however, Alan made a transition. Leaving the drum corps and orchestra to work with a local big band jazz orchestra, playing drumset and vibes, Alan now has more time to further pursue his other passions ... painting and sculpting.

Painter / Sculptor

Colonial DrummerLike his music, Alan Thompson's interest in art goes back to his days in high school. Although he's been painting and making music almost all of his life, it was only after entering retirement that Alan began sculpting, and that only four years ago.

Recently Alan has been casting colonial figures, such as the Colonial Drummer, measuring 18-inches tall  (see photo). Say's Thompson, "This is a very detailed musician and instrument though not all details can be seen in the photo. Only 24 castings will be made. Each purchaser will receive a Certificate  showing the casting number and verifying it as an original work. Each piece is also signed and dated by me. The casting material is resin finished in bronze under a system known as 'cold casting'".

Although much of Alan's time is spent sculpting, he still plays timpani a few times a year and fills in for a drummer with a brass group now and then. When asked about his future plans, Thompson replied "I will attempt to sculpt some of the better know jazz musicians like Dizzy, Miles, Bird and Coltrain. Drummers are not on the list as kits are too complicated to cast!"

Anyone wishing to contact Alan may do so through his email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you do, tell him that you learned about his art here at the Drummer Cafe!



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