Stephen Morabito, M.A.
Independent Drum Brush Artist Stephen Morabito has been creating music all his life, devoting much of the last 25 years to the drums. During his upbringing on Long Island, Morabito had exposure to a diversity of music and musical instruments. His father and uncle played guitar; his mother, the always hip and contemporary music connoisseur, worked for legendary guitar maker Jimmy DiAquisto in his workshop in Farmingdale, NY.
Music was a constant throughout Morabito’s college career at Tennessee Technological University (B.S.) and Long Island University at C. W. Post. (M.A.). At that time, Morabito found himself working as a clerk, lab assistant, carpenter, woodworker, and briefly as a floater in the shop of a local drum manufacturer to supplement his expenses. It was during his studies in psychology that he began building musical instruments for himself while keeping time on the kit for several bands whose genres included rock, metal, alternative, and grunge.
In 2004, Morabito set off to Vermont in search of greener pastures. There, not far from the capitol of the Green Mountain State, he found a vibrant jazz community. It is this community that inspired Morabito to embrace his early jazz interests, pick up an old tarnished pair of drum brushes, and never look back.
Morabito’s drum brush technique begins with contact between the brushes and textured drum heads. An expansive array of brush sounds are available to set the background context for the story of any Great American Jazz Song. (Think about a tried and truetoform classic ballad like Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” or switch gears for a modern take on John Coltrane’s “Inchworm.”) These stories are punctuated by swishes, swirls, smacks, and POPs on an array of brilliant bronze cymbals, resonant locally made maple drums, crisp icy chimes, and the occasional elephant bell or two.
During his tenyear tenure in Vermont to date, Morabito has played with literally hundreds of other (mostly jazz) musicians at many of the local venues from to Burlington to Bethel. His talents with the drum brushes extend beyond cafés, wine bars, clubs, and festivals; Morabito’s unique
sounds are in demand in the studio as well.
“Audiophiles and local venues love the brushes; they seem to have an appreciation for more creative, dynamic sounds,” Morabito exclaims.
“With most brushes made these days, the musician can better control the volume, emotion, and tension of a jazz piece…” Morabito further explains, “a stray cluster of six or twelve seemingly insignificant zinc plated brush strands on a coated drum head can create a beautifully novel and pleasing sound.”
Morabito and his Green Mountain Drums can be found virtually online at StephenMorabito.com, on Twitter @suwariwaza, and in person on his RailCar VagaBond Tour at venues near many Amtrak Station stops between Montpelier, Vermont and Pennsylvania Station, New York!
20 X 12 Kick
15 X 4 Snare
15 X 12 Tom
11 X 9 Tom