Zoro – Man of Faith & World Class Drummer!
What comes to mind when you hear the name Zoro? Don’t confuse him with a comic strip character. Zoro is a world class drummer! Voted the #1 Drummer & Educator” in Modern Drummer, Drum! and Rhythm Magazines.
Zoro’s best-selling book and DVD, The Commandments of R&B Drumming, is not the forgotten commandment, but a must for anyone serious about mastering the art of percussion.
When I think of the song Little Drummer Boy, and how he had no gifts for Jesus but a song from a drum, I would only hope the drumming sounded like that of Zoro.
The Minister of Groove as he’s referred to by admirers and peers. Zoro is the man, when it comes to Drumming! When he performs, he and the drums become one life force.
It is truly a work of art.
Zoro has a philosophical approach to drums that resonates in his teachings, his performances, and his writings. He is a true percussion master, as well as one of the most sought drummers on the market. Zoro has performed with the likes of Lenny Kraviz, Bobby Brown, Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, and many others.
Mostly, Zoro is a man of the Lord, and is very expressive about his faith. As a motivational speaker, he openly shares his testimony. He explains how Jesus plays integral role in his life, and performance!
Zoro was born to rock the kit, from Rock to R&B and everything between! You doesn’t get any better than Zoro, and speaking to him, I understand why.
Tell me about the book “The Big Gig.” I heard several musicians give it high praise and acclaim.
It all began when I was a young musician, just starting out toward my dream of becoming a professional and successful musician.
I desperately wanted to read something written by a successful and respected musician, that could show me all it took to succeed in a very complex industry.
I needed something that could illuminate my path. I looked long and hard for many years but never find such a book.
I told myself when I did succeed, I would write a book to help musicians who also share that same burning desire to succeed. I wanted to equip them with the essential tools which would increase their chances of achieving their dream.
“The Big Gig: Big-Picture Thinking For Success” is simply that… My long-time vision come to life. It is a 440-page motivational, educational and inspirational book designed to help launch others into their destiny.
It took more than fifteen years to complete. The book encompasses all I learned in more than thirty-three years in the music business. I combine the vocational, personal and spiritual aspects of success, which is the big picture of success itself.
“The Big Gig” is for anyone who wants to be inspired to reach for higher ground and be all God created him, or her to be, not just musicians.
You’re now in Nashville serving as a percussion instructor at Belmont University. How do you like that gig? I’ll bet students jump at the chance to get tutelage from you?
I love teaching at Belmont University, and enjoy working with the students very much. I am always honored when anyone wants to study with me or has the desire to partake of my talent. Besides being an adjunct professor at Belmont, I teach all over the world, and feel fulfilled when doing so. These opportunities are privileges.
Being a teacher and mentor was prewired into my DNA. It helps me fulfill one of the purposes that God had for my life, which was to impart the wisdom I’ve gained and sow it into others so they too might succeed at their calling.
How important is your Christian faith to your music career?
My Christian faith is the reason I have experienced any form of success in my life, including every aspect of my career as a musician, author, teacher and motivational speaker as well as my role as a husband and father.
My faith is inseparable from my being. It is the biggest part of who I am. I live by faith, walk in it in every conceivable way, and have pressed in diligently over the years to develop more of it!
Faith is like a muscle that must be developed over time. The more you exercise it and put it to the test, the more it grows and strengthens. The more of it you obtain, the closer you are to God, and the more you please him – since the Bible states that it’s impossible to please God without faith. Truthfully, the only gift man can give God is to believe and trust in Him.
All of my accomplishments are merely an extension of God’s unmerited favor on my life; I make sure I never forget that for one minute. Anything else that I will be able to accomplish in the future will only be made possible by the incredible grace that God shows me, which enables me to do all that I endeavor to do.
Are you currently touring or doing offering clinics?
I am not touring with anyone at this point. My children are at very critically important ages, and I have entered a time when my role as a father is more important to me than any other role I play.
Touring is on the back burner at the moment, but I am always performing in a variety of settings and grateful for opportunities to do so. I juggle a multitude of activities that include playing, teaching, speaking and writing. I enjoy them all equally and embrace this season of my life.
You are always voted “#1 R&B Drummer & Educator” in Modern Drummer, Drum! and Rhythm Magazines. Congratulations! How do you keep it fresh, and the learning process fun year after year?
Inspiration is all around us, so we should never be bored or become stagnant. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know in the grand scheme of things. The beauty of learning is that it is endless. And that’s what makes it exciting!
I love watching music documentaries, instructional videos, attending concerts, reading books and articles, visiting vintage record stores, talking with creative people of all kinds. All of these varied efforts help keep me engaged and interested in growing and acquiring more knowledge. It stimulates my soul and increases my desire to be better and reach more of my untapped potential.
In life, we develop an appetite for whatever we feed ourselves. All we need to do is keep feeding ourselves knowledge, and an earnest passion for more will naturally come to us.
What is your favorite Bible quote?
I have many of them but will share a few very special ones:
Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.
Proverbs 4:23 (New Living Translation)
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10 (New International Version)
A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.
Proverbs 18:16 (New King James Version)