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Episode 244: How to Find your Rhythm with Wally Reyes Jr
World-renowned percussionist Wally Reyes Jr’s love for music stemmed from his early childhood experience with his father buying him a new drum set.
Though time and passion have been a driving force for Wally Reyes Jr’s mastery of his craft, they have also honed his creativity and innovation in the most unexpected times – whether at home or in the studio.
Touring and performing live with the most established bands is a team effort, he fondly retells. He shares never failing to show appreciation for the staff as “without them, we’re just musicians that play, but there’s nothing on stage.”
Sacrifice, the humility to learn, and the heart in doing the best show for the audience are how Wally Reyes Jr. taps his foot to the rhythm of life as a musician, producer, teacher, and father.
Join me in this episode of Someone Gets Me — How to Find your Rhythm with Wally Reyes Jr. ▶️
Key point covered in this episode:
✔️ Intuition is part of creativity. Wally Reyes Jr compares the team effort in performing in a band to a school of fish. It takes a unique type of intuition for fish to swim and look out for each other, just as how experienced musicians learn to react appropriately when things go awry.
✔️Always improve the vehicle that takes you to your creativity. A sudden burst of creativity can come when you’re making your morning coffee or spending time with loved ones. Wally Reyes Jr. recommends heeding that call to practice your craft and keep you in tip-top musical and mental shape.
✔️Ask for help. Fear is the biggest hurdle to improvement. Surround yourself with experts who can further enrich your skills. And don’t be afraid to ask even the silliest questions. What’s the worst that could happen?
✔️Put yourself in a position to receive the blessing. If you’re not prepared and you miss your chance, rewrite your plan. You may be in a place that hinders your growth. Go where the experts and students in your field thrive. This opens you up to endless opportunities. It’s not enough to be talented to stand out either. Learn to collaborate with your peers and mentors, and foster strong relationships.
✔️You deliver what you need to deliver. As a musician playing for big names like Chicago and Santana, Wally Reyes Jr. explains that improvisation should be left in your alone time. Audiences flock to shows to hear the soundtrack of their lives – untouched and unchanged.
✔️Go to your grave with nothing left inside you. Give it your all until your tank is empty. Don’t leave this world filled with regret about the amazing things that you could’ve created. This is the ultimate goal.
✔️Being a master of something takes sacrifice. The greatest, most talented artists spend most of their days in isolation – practicing, creating, and honing their craft. Reaching the highest level of mastery requires a period of focus and work before fame and recognition come.
Few drummers playing today can successfully combine the rich history of Latin, Afro-Cuban, and World Percussion with the drum set. For Walfredo Reyes, Jr., fusing the two disciplines has been his driving passion. In fact, by blazing this path, Reyes has challenged the technical levels of our instrument. Born in Cuba, raised in Puerto Rico, and culminating his musical style in the U.S., Wally (Walfredo Jr.) learned the traditions from the master, his father Walfredo Sr. He married those principles with his love of the drum set, coming up with his own truly global rhythmic style. Simply put, Wally is able to sound like a drummer and a percussionist at the same time. Add blistering chops and a penchant for playing unusual patterns to the mix, and you have only a small idea of what this man can do.
Not surprisingly, this “one-man percussion show” has gathered an impressive list of gigs over the years, including touring and/or recording with: Carlos Santana, Traffic, Steve Winwood, Jackson Browne, Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, David Lindley, Ricki Lee Jones, Richard Marx, Sergio Mendes, Smokey Robinson, Robbie Robertson, Joe Sample, Boz Scaggs, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Johnny Hallyday, Khaled, Lindsey Buckingham, Chicago, and many others.
Because of his versatility, Walfredo is one of the most in-demand musicians in the world today. He continues to expand his talents to recording, producing, composing, education, live performance, and touring.”
Bio written by Rick Van Horn.
Walfredo is currently touring with the world-renowned Classic Rock band, Chicago, playing drumset.
Tour info: http://www.chicagotheband.com/tour
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