The Union’s in His Blood

New Member Spotlight

Volume CXI, No. 1January, 2011

Bob Pawlo

Jerad Lippi is one of Local 802’s newest members. He is a recent winner of the Guitar Center’s “Drum Off” contest in Philadelphia. Jerad attended the New School, and earned a B.A. and an M.A. from SUNY Purchase, where his teachers included John Riley, Ari Hoenig, and Michael Carvin.

Jerad began playing drums at age 7. Growing up, he was surrounded by a variety of musical styles. His mother runs a dance studio, and his dad is an avid jazz fan.

His first drum “set” was two drums he found in his grandfather’s basement. He began practicing.

One day his father told him he would buy him a drum set, if he could play to one of his favorite records. It was Dave Brubeck’s “Time Out” record, and the drum solo was master drummer/teacher Joe Morello playing on “Unsquare Dance.” Jerad soon had his drum set.

Through high school he played with a variety of groups in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, area. He also began private study with Joe Morello, the very same legendary drummer he had heard on Dave Brubeck’s recording. Jerad was lucky that Morello valued teaching and was accepting private students at the time. Jerad drove from Scranton to West Orange, New Jersey, every two weeks to take lessons from Morello.

Jerad comes from a labor family. His father Gary was a rep for IATSE Local 329 (Scranton) and a longtime labor and social justice advocate. His great-grandfather was president of the coal miners’ union in northeast Pennsylvania into the 1960’s.

Jerad brings a miner’s dedication and work ethic to his chosen profession.

Recently arrived on the New York music scene, he has been noted as playing with a resonant tone, taste, and a virtuosic style in a variety of musical styles. His hope is to play with great musicians here in New York City, and to get better at his craft.

Jerad can be seen and heard at a variety of venues around the New York area, and on a number of clips on YouTube.