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Chops: What It Means to Be a Drummer from Houston

Kendrick Scott, Chris Dave, and others praise their hometown mentors and institutions for fostering a uniquely Texan drumming style

Kendrick Scott
Kendrick Scott (photo: Mathieu Bitton)

Last December, the drummers Chris Dave, 44, Eric Harland, 41, and Kendrick Scott, 38, found themselves on old stomping ground, milling about the hallways of Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). They had returned for the annual holiday-season “DocFest” benefit, which raises money for a music scholarship fund, and decided to take a surreal detour down memory lane.

“We all went to the band room and just stood in there and looked at each other—like, ‘Wow,’” Scott recalls, chuckling. “And then everybody looked at the [wall of] plaques, and I’ll tell you the truth: I remember seeing each of their names on there, but I never made all-state. … To this day, that’s one of my motivating factors. That always irked me. I don’t even think I made all-region band.”

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Originally Published

Evan Haga

Evan Haga worked as an editor and writer at JazzTimes from 2006 to 2018. He is currently the Jazz Curator at TIDAL, and his writing has appeared at, NPR MusicBillboard and other outlets.