by: RACHEL MEANS/Staff Writer
You may not know of a drummer named Zoro, but you have probably heard his music.
Zoro has preformed with some of the most famous acts in music today. During the course of his career, he has made a name for himself as an accomplished musician and teacher.
On Oct. 5, Zoro gave a lecture to students in the Tom T. Hall Recording and Production Studio in the Creative Arts Building on the Levelland campus. The lecture had the potential to be just a bunch of technical talk that didn’t apply to anyone outside of the musical field. What it was, however, was something completely different.
The lecture was about life and the best way to live it. Zoro talked about his past, and after advised the students about the future. He was there to help the students make the most of their gifts.
Zoro has been in the music business for a long time. He got started when he was still in high school, playing with the marching band, stage band, concert band, and swing choir. After high school, he started taking private lessons and playing with many local cover bands. Eventually, he moved back to his original home of Los Angeles.
“Los Angeles was the epicenter of the music business,” said Zoro, “so it made sense to go where the action was. I networked a lot and met many people that altered the course of my life. I also continued to take private lessons and expand my musical knowledge, and then began to work locally as a musician. From there, people recommended me to various artists, and I began to audition for high-profile gigs. Eventually, I landed one, and from there my career took off.”
During the course of his career, Zoro has played with many famous people, including Lenny Kravitz and Bobby Brown. But he’s not just a musician. Zoro is also a teacher and an author.
The teaching spirit is something he has always had.
“It’s part of my calling in this life,” says Zoro. “Many people teach, but fewer of them are in fact teachers by design. I enjoy teaching and imparting what I have with anyone who will listen. It gives me great satisfaction to help others.”
Zoro has written many books that help music students at hundreds of schools learn not only the technicalities of the trade, but also the kind of mentality they need in order to be successful in the business. In fact, the Commercial Music program at SPC has a whole class dedicated to his book, “The Big Gig.”
One of the key ideas that Zoro teaches is that we all have a gift, and it’s up to us to find out what it is and how we can use it to help others. Of course, that often can be easier said than done. Motivation can be hard to find.
Zoro says that he stays motivated by “listening to all kinds of great music that inspires me.”
“I continuously feed my musical passions by going to concerts, studying other great drummers, reading books and magazines, and watching music documentaries,” he added. “All of these initiatives keep me motivated. I have always been a driven person with a strong inner desire to reach my potential and display excellence in all I do. I also like to read biographies of people who accomplished great things, and I watch documentaries on those same kinds of people. They don’t have to be musicians for me to be inspired by their life. Success principles are the same, whatever your profession is.”
His passion and drive are easy to see when you watch Zoro speak. You can tell he’s a man who loves what he does. It’s absolutely infectious.
He says that the thing he likes best about his job is the joy it brings others, and it’s obvious when you’re around him.
Zoro’s lecture was not just technical talk; it was life talk. Zoro wasn’t just talking about music, he was talking about living your life the way you want to, and accepting the gifts you’ve been given.
When asked what advice he would give to an aspiring musician, Zoro replied, “You have to be willing to take risks, and then be prepared for inevitable setbacks, disappointments and temporary failures. Most failures are not permanent. What makes them permanent, however, is quitting.”
“You have to realize that to succeed at anything is a journey of faith,” he added, “because even with goals, no one can know in advance how everything is going to come together.”