Ronkko, Kevin

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Kevin Ronkko, a native of Maine, started playing drums at the age of ten. Strongly encouraged by his junior high school music teacher, and influenced by rock drummers such as Bill Bruford and Neil Peart,…
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Kevin Ronkko, a native of Maine, started playing drums at the age of ten. Strongly encouraged by his junior high school music teacher, and influenced by rock drummers such as Bill Bruford and Neil Peart, Ronkko completed eight years of private lessons with Dick Demers, a Maine drumming legend. Ronkko played the drums in concert and jazz bands throughout his public school years. His eclectic playing career began at age 15, moving from performing a Broadway revue to a Finnish polka band and on to a rhythm & blues bar band, all within the time span of a year. His musical experiences have varied widely in styles from reggae, punk, African pop, R&B, funk, and rock to jazz. He has headlined on college circuits in multiple bands and has opened for international acts, such as Burning Spear, Boukman Eksperyans, and Fred Ho and the Afro-Asian Music Ensemble. Ronkko has also worked in pit orchestras of small local acting companies, performing classics such as Nunsense, The King and I, and Camelot. With a style described as uniquely his own, Ronkko has carved a niche for himself within New England as a drummer and vocalist. Kevin Ronkko has released two solo recordings, Roots Rock Percussion in 1996 and How to Eat a Groove in 2001. Roots Rock Percussion received warm reviews and won a popular music award from ASCAP in 1997. Ronkko believes in a lifelong continuing education. He has studied with Royal Hartigan, author of West African Rhythms for Drumset. Ronkko has also studied briefly with jazz legend Joe Morello, who performed with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and is the author of Master Studies. After completing a semester of music theory and ear training classes at the University of New Hampshire, he continued on to study voice. Ronkko's philosophy, as a teacher, is to encourage students to enjoy practicing. Kevin Ronkko is a drummer's drummer who marches to a different beat. He encourages all to explore the joy in music which he has experienced.