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Listening: Featured Artist Jeff Campitelli

Featured musican: Jeff Campitelli, drummer
Born: Dec 29, 1960, Fullerton, CA
Resides in: Benicia
Favorite Food: My dad’s pasta and my wife’s short ribs over polenta
Favorite Book: Anything by Kurt Vonnegut
Favorite Song: Now that’s impossible…way too many good ones out there.
Relationship Status/Children: Married to Christy Campitelli. One daughter named Gabby.

You’re well known for being Joe Satriani’s drummer, what music do you listen to that might surprise us?  Believe it or not I love John Prine, Neil Young, Nick Lowe…acoustic guitar and witty, well-crafted lyrics and oddly enough…not a lot of drumming.

You were only 16 years old when you played your first professional gig at the Cow Palace and a senior in high school when you formed a band with Joe Satriani.  Have you always worked as a rock drummer?  Did you ever have to wait tables? I’ve been very fortunate to always be able to make a living playing music but believe me I’ve paid some dues. In the early days I played hundreds and hundreds of not so glamorous gigs. To get good at something you have to work hard…practice, practice, practice!

You’ve toured the world, how did you end up in Benicia? We tour in over 40 countries and as much as I like hanging out in big cities I really like coming home to Benicia.  We were looking for a small town to settle down in…walking my dog along the water, helping out with softball, volunteering to help the school band and VOENA. It has a real community feel and it’s a great place to raise kids.

What was your best moment on stage? A show we did in London and Mick Jagger was watching us from the side of the stage.

Rolling Stone magazine lists you as the 50th greatest drummer of all time, but what impresses your daughter? I don’t believe polls. There are way too many great musicians to choose from to make a “greatest” list. I think my daughter is more impressed with my ability to help with math homework!

Can you tell us about your work with VOENA? I’m having a blast working with the kids in VOENA.  I have a small group of them in a special program called Voices of Rhythm where we are working on all kinds of percussion ideas to add to the show. 

Jeff Campitelli will be performing with Peppino D’Agostino in a benefit concert for VOENA on Sunday, May 20 at 7pm at Uptown Theatre in Napa.  For more information on this all ages show visit uptowntheatrenapa.com.

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