‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 119, No. 1January, 2019

Roger Cohen

Although I’ve had incredible experiences performing all over the world, I’m at a point in my life and career where I want to concentrate on working more in town. I just finished a run as percussionist in the Broadway show “Rocktopia.” It was a real blast playing timpani, vibes, xylophone, drums and hundreds of other instruments! Getting to work with Pat Monahan (from Train) and Dee Snyder and Robin Zander (from Cheap Trick) was a thrill. I just did a presentation of Sheryl Crow’s new show, the musical “Diner.” Working alongside such a brilliant artist is extremely inspiring. Also inspiring is performing with my incredibly talented wife, the singer Carter Calvert. Although my roots are in rock, I studied orchestral percussion at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and SUNY Purchase, and did postgraduate work at the Manhattan School of Music. Aside from freelance work, I currently lead my own jazz trio, and I’m a founding member of the hard rock band Cruel Season. Our latest release is titled “Breathe” (Dark Star/SONY Music). Although I’m mostly known as a drummer, I’m equally at home playing ‘legit’ percussion. Hopefully, after my work in “Rocktopia”, more of those opportunities will present themselves. I’m incredibly thankful to make a living as a musician. Being part of something that has real power to touch others is not something I take lightly…not for a moment.