Bio

rogueBrian Hamada – closet cowbell enthusiast, drummer and jazz educator – has performed with numerous jazz & pop music legends both traditional and contemporary, including Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Larry Koonse, John Beasley, Gilad Hekselman, Bobby Shew, Ernie Watts, Bud Shank, Bob Mintzer, Tim Ries, Michael Davis, Carmen Bradford, Brian Lynch and Ingrid Jensen. As a member of the legendary CSU Fresno Jazz Band ‘A’ he toured Japan, Korea and Europe, performed at the Northsea and Montreux International Jazz Festivals, and in 1983 he was the recipient of a DownBeat jazz soloist award. (Other winners that year were Larry Grenadier, Vince Mendoza & Jeff Beal.) He has been an active jazz and drum clinician / adjudicator throughout the west coast for over 25 years and maintains a vibrant drum studio in central California.  He has presented numerous clinics, workshops and master classes on jazz drumming and is passionately committed to music education at all levels.

Brian is teaching jazz drum set at CSU, Fresno in the Department of Music’s Jazz Studies degree option. From 2012 to 2016 he directed the Milestones Advanced Small Group for the Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop, founded to provide more opportunities for local Fresno-area students to learn & play jazz.  He is also on the faculty of the Milestones Youth Jazz Summer Camp.

Since 2005 he has drummed with the modern jazz group “bug“, featuring saxophonist Peter Epstein, pianist/composer James Miley, guitarist/composer Jeff Miley, and bassist Roger Shew. The group’s third CD “The Optimist” was released in October 2015 (buy it!) and has received international airplay and critical acclaim.

Locally (in the Fresno area) he performs regularly with The Craig VonBerg Trio, The Richard Giddens Trio, The Benjamin Boone ‘Evolution’ Quintet, The After Dinner Mints, and currently holds down the drum chair for the Fresno Jazz Composers Orchestra.

For over 30 years he has performed with virtually all of Fresno’s best jazz and pop musicians at one time or another, and was honored by the local music community as “best drummer” at the “Contemporaries”, hosted by the “Wild Blue” nightclub in 1990. During that era he played regularly with Aqua Bob, No Prisoners, Bill Bixler & Leslie Letven, Jim Bixler, George Roessler, Folly’s Pool, The Dodger Haters, CSUF Alumni Jazz Band “A”, and many more.

His extensive show drumming skills have had him backing legendary artists as varied as Andrea Bocelli, Regis Philbin, Don Ho, Eartha Kitt, Bob Hope, Jerry Vale, Dick Contino, Sons of the San Joaquin, The Tokens, Red Skelton, Bob Newhart and Joan Rivers, just to name a few.

Brian’s recent studio drumming credits is represented by jingles for local businesses – Good Company Players, Table Mountain Casino, KMPH, The Big Fresno Fair, Fresno Distributing, and other regional and national accounts.

He resides in Fresno with his lovely wife Lori and his two super cool children Madeline and Evan.

Recent Jazz Education Highlights:

Adjudicator/Clinician/Guest Artist
Stan State Jazz Festival [CSU Stanislaus] (2017)
CSU Long Beach [guest artist w/John Adler Trio] (2016)
CSU Fullerton [guest artist w/John Adler Trio] (2016)
Los Tules (Tulare) JH Jazz Clinic Day (2016)
CAJ Tune-Up Clinic [Hanford, CA] (2016)
Reno International Jazz Festival (1992-2016)
Folsom Jazz Festival (2005-2010, 2012-2016)
John F. Kennedy Jr. High Jazz Festival/Clinic Day (2009-11, 2013-2017)
Mid-Valley Jazz Festival [Tulare, CA] (1998, 2002, 2004-05, 2007-08, 2010-16)
Willamette University [Salem, OR]: Jazz Festival (2010); guest artist (2015)
San Joaquin Valley Jazz Festival (1986-2009, 2015)
PAS: Central California Day of Percussion (2015)
Delta Jazz Festival [San Joaquin Delta College] (2008-2009, 2014)
CMEA Central Section Jazz Festival (2008, 2014)
Fresno City College “City Jazz” (1986, 1993-1996, 2000-2001, 2012-2013)
Fort Lewis College [Durango, CO] Jazz Festival (2011)
Kathmandu [Nepal] Jazz Festival “Jazzmandu” (2010)
Central Coast Jazz Festival [Cuesta College] (2004-2005)
Redwood Empire Jazz Festival [Santa Rosa JC] (2005)

Guest Conductor
Tulare/Kings Music Educators Association (TKMEA) Jr. High Honor Jazz Band (2014)

Jazz Drumming Clinics/Workshops
JazzFresno “Rhythm Section Mysteries Revealed”: CMEA Central Section Fall Conference (2014)
JazzFresno “Jazz at the Library” presentation: Jazz-Fusion & Jazz-Rock (2014)
JazzFresno “Jazz at the Library” presentation: A Brief History of the Jazz Drum Set (2010)
JazzFresno Central Valley Jazz Educators Conference (2007)
Reno International Jazz Festival (1992, 1994-96, 2006, 2008)
Folsom Jazz Festival (2006-2008)
Tulare City Schools (2007)
Tulare/Kings Music Educators Association (TKMEA) (2006-07)

Golden Valley High School (Merced, CA)
Clovis High School (Clovis, CA)
Clark Intermediate (Clovis, CA)
Bullard High School (Fresno, CA)
Buchanan High School (Clovis, CA)
John F. Kennedy Junior High (Hanford, CA)
Cherry Avenue Junior High (Tulare, CA)
Cooper Academy (Fresno, CA)
Bullard Talent (Fresno, CA)
Exeter Union High School, (Exeter, CA)
Washington Union High School (Easton, CA)
Hanford West High School (Hanford, CA)
Sanger High School, (Sanger, CA)
Clovis West High School (Clovis, CA)
California State University, Fresno
Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Hope College (Holland, MI)
Manchester GATE Elementary (Fresno, CA)
Pioneer Middle School (Hanford, CA)
Woodrow Wilson Junior High (Hanford, CA)
Madera High School, (Madera, CA)
Kingsburg High School, (Kingsburg, CA)
Selma High School, (Selma, CA)
Kastner Intermediate (Clovis, CA)
Alta Sierra Intermediate (Clovis, CA)
Roosevelt High School (Fresno, CA)
McLane High School (Fresno, CA)
College of the Sequoias (Visalia, CA)
Central East High School (Fresno, CA)
Sierra High School (Tollhouse, CA)

Faculty
Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop: Summer Jazz Camp (2013-16)
Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop: Advanced Small Group (2015-16)
Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop: “I” Jazz Ensemble (small group) (2014-15)
Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop: “Green Mill” Jazz Ensemble (small group) (2013-14)
Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop: Milestones Jazz Ambassadors (small group) (2012-13)
CSU Fresno: adjunct lecturer in applied jazz drumset (2009-16)
CSU Fresno: adjunct lecturer in jazz history (2011, 2016)
Drury Jazz Camp: [Drury University] Springfield, MO (2008-2011)
CSU Summer Arts: Jazz and Beyond: A Music Workshop in Improvisation (2011)
CSU Summer Arts: The Complete Jazz Musician (2006)
We Got The Beat (youth percussion group): Summer Camps (2004, 2007-08)

Jazz Residency
with bug @ CSU Summer Arts: Jazz and Beyond: A Music Workshop in Improvisation (July 10-23, 2011)
with bug @ Hope College, Holland, MI (November 14-15, 2007)