I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Jim Catalano, the long standing cornerstone of Ludwig Drums. Known by many in the industry, Jim is an icon in his own right. He has been with Ludwig since 1983 and during that tenure Jim has endured just about everything one could expect to see working for the drum giant.
However, on this fall day I got to see a different side of Jim. A down to earth, grass roots side if you will. You see, we didn’t meet up in New York or Los Angeles or NAMM or the many drums shows where Jim is a staple. Instead, we met in Elkhart, Indiana, which is just minutes from the illustrious campus at Notre Dame in South Bend, a place where Jim started and where he has recently returned as an adjunct instructor in music.
The conclusion that I was left with after our visit is that Jim is a multi-dimensional person who is true to his roots. He is a veteran of the drum industry whose perspective is an interesting, and very different one; although Jim didn’t sell millions of records or tour with a band who is a household name he did substantially advance and support the drum industry which made it possible for other popular artists to succeed.
Today, with some time left to a wondrous career, Jim ponders his next step and indeed, I am left with the impression that his next step will be as eventful and fulfilling as perhaps the first one. There clearly is something to be said for someone who is consistently excellent for a long period of time and Jim has demonstrated that throughout his career. But there’s more; Jim is also a performer and teacher who is someone to be reckoned with (in fact, he is proficient in many styles ranging from rock to jazz and everything in between). He knows drums–inside and and out–and, he is very quick to share his knowledge and experiences which really rounds out the person in my mind.
So please enjoy our sit down with Jim Catalano. What you see is what you get with this man. He’s one hundred percent passion in anything he does.
Excellent work Mr. Catalano. I look forward to your next adventure.