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Rodney Ballard

 

Rodney Ballard began playing drums in junior high school at the age of 13 and was performing professionally by the age of 16. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University, where he majored in music production and recording. He is a recipient of the A.J. Fletcher Jazz Scholarship, a talent-based award in the field of jazz. He performed with several bands on campus including the top Jazz Big Band and Jazz Combo, in addition to numerous student recitals. He was also selected for the NAMM Music Business Scholarship, an academic award for promising students in the area of music marketing and promotion. He did his internship at Yamaha Corporation of America, where he was managing editor of Yamaha’s largest drumset artist publication “Drumlines.” He wrote many articles and press releases that were featured in leading music industry publications such as Modern Drummer, Downbeat and JazzTimes magazine.

In addition to his college studies, Rodney has studied privately on a short-term basis with world-renowned drummers and good friends Dave Weckl, Zach Danziger and Joel Rosenblatt. In 2007, he completed further study at Drummer’s Collective in New York City where he studied Pop, Rock, Jazz, Caribbean, Brazilian, Funk and Afro-Cuban styles. While in New York, he also had the opportunity to study technique with legendary jazz drummer Joe Morello and to perform with renowned guitarist Vinny Valentino and the celebrated bassist Chris Tarry.  More recently, Rodney spent 18 months studying with Rick Dior, recognized author and educator at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He spent the entire summer of 2009 completing more advanced private study at Drummer’s Collective in New York City with Adriano Santos, Ian Froman, Kim Plainfield and Fred Klatz. He is currently continuing his technical studies with Dom Famularo.

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Rodney has performed with many world-renowned artists including jazz greats James Williams, Jack Wilkins, Frank Kimbrough, and legendary jazz saxophonist and composer Benny Golson. His versatility across many musical styles and genres has also provided him the opportunity to work with many leading artists in pop, rock and country music. He has performed and/or recorded with many top musicians in Nashville, TN such as famed bassist Adam Nitti, innovative pianist Michael Whittaker and prominent multi-instrumentalist Jake Clayton, to name a few. He performs regularly in Nashville with a diverse group of recording artists including Jake Clayton, Cali Tucker (The Voice) and J. Michael Harter (The Harters). His work there included a recent performance with these acclaimed artists at the CMA Music Festival, country music's largest festival.

Rodney’s composing credits as a songwriter and lyricist include the song “I Wanna Know,” which was recorded on the CD release of “Ripped Jeans” by John Cody. The song received airplay on a number of different radio formats.  His recording and production credits include Film/TV sessions, commercial radio spots and several CD releases.  Rodney is also actively involved in producing independent artists.  Visit the Audio Samples page and listen to songs from Sidnye Lathan’s CD “I See,” featuring drumming, production and mixing by Rodney Ballard.

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When not performing live dates, Rodney stays busy with session and production work at his home studio, recording Custom Drum Tracks for singer/songwriters, Film/TV supervisors and independent artists.

 

 


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