‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 118, No. 5May, 2018

Rene X Valentine

I joined Local 802 after many years of wanting to join. Some of my friends are members and have only wonderful things to say about the union. My musical goal is to continue to perform and record as much as possible. I was born to play and cannot live without performing. Besides drums and percussion, I also dabble on guitar, piano and various world drums and percussion instruments. I want to share two stories about my musical life. One is simply one of my favorite gigs:  playing for the queen of England at Windsor Castle with one of my former bands. The second story is the time I was stuck, musically. To get unstuck, I got the opportunity to take lessons with the amazing Max Roach. I was in residence with him in upstate New York in the late 90s. If you learn even one thing from a musical god, you’re lucky. If I had not studied with Mr. Roach and learned side by side with him, I believe that I would still be stuck. I’m thankful for the wisdom and drumming I learned from this incredible man and teacher. I am forever grateful to him. He was a wonderful human being and a drum guru in my book!