An Interview with Sandi Grecco
By: Mike Sales
I recently read an article that listed Sarasota as having the 6th largest per-capita concentration of professional musicians. The list of talented players is long, but when you ask about really good drummers, Sandi Grecco is one of the names you’ll hear first.
I managed to get her for an interview at midnight, on a bench, in Siesta Village, fresh from the SKOB stage…
WPT: How long have you been playing drums?
Sandi: I’ve been playing drums officially since 1980. My Dad was a keyboard player, so I’ve always had music in my life. I was hitting pots and pans as soon as I could walk.
WPT: List the instruments you play.
Sandi: I play all types of drums; marching, orchestral, jazz and rock kits, electric & acoustic guitar, bass, ukulele, piano and I sing.
WPT: How did you get to Siesta Key?
Sandi: I drove here for the millennium. It was the first time I’d been to Florida, other than Disney, and when I woke up and saw loons floating the canal in my backyard, I thought, “this is awesome”…I moved here less than a year later.
WPT: How did you break into the Sarasota music scene?
Sandi: I worked with all of the High Schools, Middle Schools, Public and Charter Schools. I volunteered just about everywhere to get my name out and then opened the drum studio.
WPT: So you teach music?
Sandi: Yes, I teach drums, bass, guitar and rock band.
WPT: Rock band??
Sandi: Yes, I host a rock band camp. I’ve been doing that for 12 years at the studio.
WPT: Oh yeah, I saw some of your pictures on Facebook. What do you teach at rock band camp?
Sandi: I mentor young people, to learn their instruments and play together, live. When they reach a certain level, I take them to public venues to play and get real world performance experience.
WPT: Are you currently accepting students into your programs?
WPT: Do you do solo gigs?
Sandi: As temporary host of the Tuesday SKOB open mic, I open the show as a solo. I plan to continue booking solo gigs when this is done.
WPT: How long are you filling in as host of the SKOB jam?
Sandi: Through Oct 22nd
WPT: How many bands do you play with?
Sandi: I do a lot of pick-up work; the list is long. I played with Twinkle and Rebecca Foley, for a while and currently with Ben Hammond and Halcyon, which is an acoustic band that does a lot of traveling.
WPT: How far do you travel with them?
Sandi: The furthest we’ve traveled is Nashville and N Carolina, but their new base is Atlanta, so we’ll probably be going further north.
WPT: What kind of band is it?
Sandi: They’re an original acoustic duo. They’ve been together for over 20 years and have amazing following.
WPT: Do you do studio work as well?
Sandi: I do studio work and have my own studio where I do session work for producers around the country.
WPT: How does that work?
Sandi: They send me tracks, I record drum tracks separately and send them back.
WPT: How often do you do that?
Sandi: All of the time; I work with several different producers who are always sending me projects, and I’m also getting ready to record my own project.
WPT: What kind of music are you recording?
Sandi: Music with great drums, ha! Its acoustic…alternative indie rock, built from the drums up. I’m writing all of the lyrics and playing all of the instruments.
WPT: When is it coming out?
Sandi: August 5th, I’m collaborating with an art and design college in St Petersburg, where I’m going to record and let the students mix and master, as part of their classwork, so; soon after that session.
WPT: What are some of your career highlights?
Sandi: Shirley King, B.B. King’s daughter, is one of the biggest artists I played with. In the 1990’s, I played the Blues circuit and the Chicago Blues Festival with her.
I also played with George Porter Jr, from the Funky Meters, out of New Orleans.
Florida has Festivals and Concerts all over the state, all year around and I do a lot of work at the big shows and share the bill with many national artists.
WPT: What is your career goal?
Sandi: I want to continue playing and touring. I also want to expand my lessons with an online presence and feature tutorials.
WPT: What is your message to your audience?
Sandi: I’ve got my own thing, my own style and way of playing. Some people are going to love it and some people won’t, but that’s okay, so long as I get to continue doing what I love.
My message is that everyone should do that. Everyone should find what they love and do their thing.
For more info about Sandi Grecco, visit thedrumstudio.com
Siesta Key Oyster Bar (SKOB) is located at 5238 Ocean Blvd Siesta Key.
Mike Sales is a local singer/songwriter for more info visit mikesalessings.com