Many drummers come to mind who've had a hand in raising
the bar - leading by example with faster chops, innovative use of the
instrument, more complex rhythms, more creative phrasing, and in
general, better musicmanship. But few have turned as many heads as
Virgil Donati established himself as
a premier session and touring drummer in his native Australia as a
member of fusion groups Loose Change and On The Virg, a fouding member
of pop-rock band Southern Sons and Taste, and plenty of touring with
other local and international acts such as Branford Marsalis, George
Cables, Mark Murphy and many others.
Since moving to
the United States, Virgil has worked with the likes of Planet X, Steve Vai Band,
Freakhouse, Tribal Tech, CAB, Ring of
Fire and solo artists such as Derek
Sherinian, Steve Walsh, Mark
Boals and many more. He's been causing heads to turn and jaws
to drop across the country, on the clinic trail, and setting new
performance standards for the L.A. studio scene.
This sensation from "down under" had the advantage of starting
a very young age. Through practice and sheer determination, he learned
to tame his chosen instument, to coax his sound from it, and to fully
express without impediment his musical personality.
Since securing his first drum set just one month before his
third birthday, he has devoted his whole life and soul to his art. The
catalyst has been his endless and restless pursuit to express himself
through his playing.
Virgil is known amongst
drummers as a technical virtuoso, having developed incredible power and
flexibility (whilst playing traditional grip), mastered polyrhythyms,
odd-time playing and intricate phrasing, attained blinding quickness
and powerful, metronomic precision - all with a rare attention to
showmanship and visual playing.
But it is no secret
that it's Virgil's feet that have gained him the most attention, both
in Australia and internationally. Having developed incredible speed
both with single and double-stroke rolls on the bass drums, he is able
to hold complex, often odd-time and syncopated ostinatos at ridiculous
tempos with his feet whilst soloing freely and musically with his