Master jazz-rock drummer JP Bouvet visits Chennai
The American drummer talks about his upcoming album, musical preferences and his connection with India, ahead of performing with Steve Vai, Nuno Bettencourt and other music legends
JP BOUVET is a busy young man. The 26-year-old drummer from Minnesota, the son of a Mauritian father and an American bassist mother, is preparing for his upcoming album, produced by his own band called Childish Japes. He is also pumped up for the next edition of the Generation Axe tour. “The album will be out later this year. I will follow it up with a solo tour in Australia and New Zealand, after which I will play for Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi, as a part of the Generation Axe tour,” he says.
In between all this, Bouvet somehow manages to find time to visit India, especially Chennai, where he coaches at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (SAM). “Students at SAM go the extra mile to get everything set up as professionally as I could have asked for, so that we can get to start the workshops as soon as possible,” he says. Besides preparing the students to develop a career in music, he also shares stories from his days at Berklee College of Music, as a part of his classes.
Setting the tone
Bouvet has his own online educational hub too, JPBouvetMusic.com, where you can find over 300 explanatory videos on different aspects of drumming. “In this age, where online platforms like YouTube provide a lot of scope for self-learning, it is challenging for students to discern what they actually find valuable and set a long-term goal for mastering concepts,” he observes. That said, there is scope to experiment in drumming. He explains, “They can try different styles of drumming for a start. My style sits somewhere between hip-hop, rock and jazz. Mix a little ‘experimental’ in there and you’ve got it just about right.” Does he see any drummer from India making it big in the international stage? “The potential is here,” he believes, “As more resources start to pour in like schools, venues, teachers, and funding, I think the country’s music scene could really explode over the next couple of decades.”
Go-to set: DW Collectors Drum or DW Jazz Series Kit
Essentials: Two toms, a kick, a snare and a handful of cymbals.
Influences: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Chick Corea, The Dear Hunter, The Bad Plus, Anderson .Paak, among others.
Hobbies: Pool, basketball, soccer, volleyball, frisbee, snowboarding and swimming.
You can sign up for his online classes on jpbouvetmusic.com