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Donny Gruendler

Busy Session and Performing Drummer and Education Advocate Plays Yamaha Acoustic and Electronic Kits

Yamaha Drums announces that accomplished Los Angeles-based drummer Donny Gruendler is now a Yamaha Drums Artist and will play a Maple Custom Absolute acoustic drum set along with Oak Custom, Mushashi and LOUD-series snare drums. A Yamaha Electronic Drum Artist since 2008, he also plays a DTX950K electronic drum set and a DTX Multi-12 multi-pad.

"In addition to the sound of the drums, it’s the people who won me over," said Gruendler of his new affiliation. "Even though it’s a large company, there’s such a strong sense of community. This is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made; it’s only been a short time, but I couldn’t be happier."

Gruendler has performed and recorded with artists in a wide range of genres, including Kenny Burrell, John Medeski, D. J. Logic, the Funk Brothers and his current project, Rhett Frazier, Inc., which has a new CD out entitled "Every Day is Saturday." He is also an accomplished session musician who has composed or played on numerous commercial spots, as well as television and film soundtracks.

The Director of Performance Programs at the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, one of the premier music education facilities in the country, Gruendler is a staunch supporter of music education. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Music from Berklee School of Music and a Master of Music from Wayne State University, he is the author of Playing With Drum Loops: How to Work With Loops, Samples and Backing Tracks (Carl Fischer), which also includes two CD’s, along with DVD’s "Creating and Performing Drum Loops" (Hudson Music) and "Seeing Sounds" (Hudson Music).

"Yamaha is committed to artistry and we’re committed to education, so to ally with Donny, who excels at both, is a natural fit," said John Wittmann, Director of Artist Relations at Yamaha Artist Services, Indianapolis.

Gruendler incorporates Yamaha electronic drums into his set up. "The ability to add your own sounds onto the module made the DTX the coolest ever," he said. He enthusiastically adopted the new DTX pad when it first came out. "I was doing a video shoot for the pads and they asked me to play for ten minutes and I didn’t think I could make it interesting, but they felt and sounded so great, I didn’t want to stop playing," he said.

He also owns a 1980 Recording Custom kit, so he is familiar with the Yamaha sound, but new innovations in hardware and mounts on his Maple Custom Absolute kit impressed him and his drum tech. "When we unboxed the kit, we kept saying 'wow,'" he said. "The kit has such great warmth and separation of voices between the toms and bass."

About Yamaha

Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and Nexo commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, Blu-ray/CD players, iPod docking systems, home-theater-in-a-box systems and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, professional music, installation and consumer markets.