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    Karen Carpenter: The influence of the Drummer who Sang


    Posts : 22
    Join date : 2010-02-05

    Karen Carpenter: The influence of the Drummer who Sang

    Post by Admin on Tue May 04, 2010 3:21 am

    Karen Carpenter is best remembered for her rich, deep, dark and smooth voice which owned the radio waves throughout the 70’s. Her voice was one of the most recognizable voices of a generation. But, Karen was also a drummer. Not just a drummer but a self taught accomplished drummer. Her interest in drums first came in 1964 when she joined the high school marching band. She played the glockenspiel but was quickly inspired by the drumming finesse of bandmate Frankie Chavez. At home she was using chopsticks and barstools as her drum kit until her parents bought her one.

    This was only the very beginning of Karen’s career in which she became very well known in her early days for singing and playing the drums. It was a rare sight in 1969/1970 to see a young feminine looking lady playing the drums and than add the fact that she also sang at the same time contributed to Karen Carpenter being the buzz around the music scene in the early years of her recording career. As the years went by Karen placed first in Playboy's reader poll for Best Rock Drummer of 1975, thus pioneering the way for a plethora of female drummers to follow.

    Karen Carpenter has been the inspiration for tens of thousands of female drummers on the music scene. This is a major accomplishment. She was what many would call a trailblazer and trendsetter.

    Catie is a young female drummer who states Karen Carpenter is one of her biggest inspirations. “Karen Carpenter is my idol”, Catie proclaims. After finding out Karen was a great drummer Catie watched some videos of her drumming and knew at that point she wanted to become a drummer as Karen was. “She made it look so easy and fun”, Catie exclaims, “I immediately ran to my parents and begged them to buy me a drum set. When I finally got a set and tried it out I realized it wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be. It made me look up to Karen even more because she was just so darn good at them”. Catie says if it weren’t for Karen she doubts she would have ever picked up a pair of drum sticks.

    Catie describes Karen’s voice as being angelic, “She sings like a real angel”.

    Caite’s musical tastes are varied and her influences include Sheila E., Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravitz). Caite hasn’t yet played in a band but looks forward to joining a band sometime in the near future.

    Our next featured female drummer is a fantastically nice lady from Brazil named Cintia Orlandi. Her drum style is fantastic and she composes her own music. She has been successful in her career as a musician and has traveled many parts of the world sharing her music with people from various cultures.

    The following is a letter Cintia sent to me regarding her career in music and her love for Karen Carpenter:

    My first contact with music was when I was 5 years old. I started to play guitar and have a nice voice. The teacher thought I would be a nice player. But it broke and we didn't have enough money to buy another one. Then I had some aunts who played piano... they let me play a little bit and I always had a good ear. I could play melodies just hearing and touching the right keys. Then when I was 12 years old a friend of mine introduced me to Carpenters. I loved the music instantly, not knowing that it was a duo. She had imported vinyl long plays. I started to listen and sing all day long. You can say a word and I can put into a lyric of a Carpenters song...LOL.. that was my favorite game. Then I started to collect scraps from magazines and found out that Karen was a drummer. I was playing flute in the marching band, but I wanted to change it to snare drum. That was the beginning. It was difficult to convince my Mom that I wanted a drum set. Dad made me my first pair of drumsticks and I used to listen to the radio and playing on the couch imitating the drum sounds in the music. Right when I got my drum set I was playing and singing at the same time. I could sing any Carpenters music, but not playing as well as Karen. My mentors were: Karen Carpenter, Omar Hakim (Weather Report), Jeff Porcaro (Toto) and Phil Collins among others and some Brazilians drummers Like Albino Infantozzi and Flavio Pimenta. Karen Carpenter and Sheila E. are the very first female drummers known worldwide. They opened the eyes of people to girl power, they were there at the beginning of the women‘s liberation movement. Women started to imitate them and get their own space in the musical scene. Then came others like Chic bassist, Lita Ford, Joan Jett, The Go-Go’s and so on. Personally I wanted to be Karen Carpenter. Successful and a singer. I cried a lot when I found out she had died. I was 19 years old. But I couldn't accept her disease, I mean she was very intelligent to achieve her success.

    Anorexia is kind of a suicide to me. Sorry if you are shocked, but it is like you know drugs will give you make you sick and you won't stop. Unfortunately it was to late when she realized she needed to get help. Karen's voice is sweet and strong at the same time.

    Cintia Orlandi is a Musician and journalist. She has 20 years of experience as a drummer and music teacher. She works with keyboards and software of music for more than 10 years.
    She has taught Classes and workshops for individuals for Drums, Keyboards and music software.
    She has experience in Preparation of arrangements, soundtracks and studio recording.

    Awards received:
    Project Honored by Women in G Major by the Casa de Cultura de Santo Amaro, where she presented her own compositions for the first time to the public and released her 1st CD instrumental.
    We have our first recipient of the Axis Achievement Award and Recognition of Excellence in Music and Inspiration. Cintia Orlandi is a long time educator and professional musician in São Paulo, Brazil. She has been teaching music for over 20 years and her work includes composition, transposing and arrangement but her greatest achievement is as teacher, mentor and guidance counselor to the youth. Cintia was featured in the May, 2008 Modern Drummer Brazil Magazine Women Drummers of Brazil and she has just completed two books (Brazilian Rhythms and Double Bass Drum Development for Students) Cintia was overwhelmed with this award and sends a big Thank You to Karen, Charles and Darrell for this honor. I miss you all!
    Anthony King (Axis Percussion Endorser)

    Current work:
    Brazilian drums and percussion private classes and workshops everywhere.
    Presentations as percussionist in weddings, events and parties in Angellus, Ione Costa Choir and Prelude Orchestra and Choir, among others.
    Volunteer for school AAEB (Association of Friends of the Handicapped of Brooklin) as a teacher of Music for handicapped children.


    Click Here to see more on Karen Carpenter's solo album

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      Current date/time is Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:16 am