Instruments: Piano, Drums, Tablas, Steel Drums
Genres: jazz, rock, north classical Indian, Irish, African, Latin, World Music
Location: Silver Spring, Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, MD, Reston, VA
Why I work well with kids?
Because life is new to them and I like seeing them learn and grow into musicians.
John S. Bio and Resume
Location of Birth: Greensburg, PA
John is a consummate musician. From age eleven he played the drums in rock-n-roll bands created by his friends and performed in school productions. Although Rock was his first mode for performing venues, a passion for Jazz soon emerged after a defining moment hearing the Dave Brubeck Jazz Quartet at the Meriwether Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Like many musicians, John immersed himself in all kinds of music, and studied intensively with private tutors and also at The Levine School of Music for four years, studying both drums and piano. For another five years, John commuted to New York City to study Jazz, R&B, and Fusion Drums. From the late 1970’s John became a professional drummer, traveling the east Coast in what he describes as” Funky Dance Bands”.
The love of music and learning new instruments, styles and musical traditions from all over the world is a passion for John. He has been richly endowed with the friendship and sharing of all types of music from other dedicated musicians throughout his versatile career as an artist.
John continues his studies in World Percussion, broadening his range and sharing it with his students and his audiences. These include piano, drum set, African Djembe, Indian Tabla, Jamaican Steel Drums (Pan), Latin Congas, Celtic (Irish) traditional drums and percussion as well as Modern Celtic Rock.
Currently, John is learning Japanese Flute, and teaching drums and piano. He teaches privately, and performs drum circles for healing with seniors and children, as well as performing as a professional musician.
1994 – present: Teaching Artist, Arts for the Aging. Bethesda, MD. Taught workshops and intergenerational programs focusing on interactive world percussion history and performance. Large and small groups in various settings including recreation centers, adult day care, nursing homes, mental hospitals, among others. Lead drum circles.
Included in national documentary on Arts and Aging broadcast on public television.
1985 – present: Piano and drum Teacher. Silver Spring, MD. Taught private drum lessons in home studio. Beginning to advanced focus on children, teens and adults.
2007 – Present: Piano Teacher. Silver Spring, MD. Beginning students in home studio.
1985- 1990. Drum Teacher. Music Exchange and Bethesda Music. Taught lessons in
professional studio setting.
1994- present: Solo percussion, workshops and demonstrations with Arts for the Aging
in nursing homes, schools and hospitals.
2007 – present: John Sausser Quartet. Performances of jazz standards in local venues.
2003 – 2007: Performed northern classical Indian music on tabla with sitar player at
Indian restaurants and weddings.
1997 – 2002: Alexandria Kleztet. Performed original and traditional Klezmer music at
concerts, weddings and Bar Mitzvas. WAMMIE award winning CD recording, 2000.
1996– 2000: Four Star Entertainment: Played drums in top 40 variety band for
conventions and weddings.
1982 – present: Freelance performing and recording in DC area of rock, big band swing
orchestra, jazz trios and quartets for local clubs, events and presidential inauguration.
Rhythm Section Lab, New York, New York. 1979-1982
Studied piano privately in high school
Levine School of Music, piano study, four years.
Private drum lessons: Drums Unlimited, Bethesda, MD
African Percussion with Aido Holmes, Wo’se African Dance and Drumming
Individualized study of a wide variety of percussion instruments, ongoing.
Most Influential Musicians/Bands:
James Brown and the flames, Traffic, The Band, Miles Davis, Joe Jones, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Alla Raka, Zakir Hussain
I really like all of Bernardhaw’s sayings. I would find it difficult to choose one!
Junior Bonner, Monty Python, Holy Grail, The Visitor
Irland, Spain, France, Italy, England, Scotland, Tartola, New Mexico, all over the US.
How would your friends describe you?
swimming, hiking, reading, learning
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