Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Mondlak, Drori (Victor)

Mondlak, Drori (Victor), drummer; b. in Mexico City, 12th of April, 1958.

He began his involvement with music studying classical piano at six  years of age and continued playing four more years, at which time,  together with his sister, Liora and his Mom, Beth, he moved to London  for a year and a half and then on to New York City. That is where, at  sixteen years of age, his love of the drums begun and has continued to  flourish to the present time.

Drori's father, Jack was born in Zielun, Poland in 1917. He left Poland  by himself and moved to Mexico City around 1938. Right after WWll, he  visited London and met Beth Rose. He brought her back to Mexico City  where they married and had two children, Liora and Drori. His Mom, Beth  Rose was born in Brighton, England in 1918 and played the piano from an  early age. She was responsible for bringing music into the Drori's  early childhood. She had both Drori and his sister, study piano with a  classical teacher from Italy once a week. Liora was born in London,  England on January 20th, 1957.  

Drori began to play the drums at sixteen and was self-taught at the  start. He played in local groups around his home in Queens, New York.  These groups were mostly power trios: guitar, bass and drums. Soon  after that, he began to listen to jazz and became captivated by the  sounds he heard. He began to teach himself how to play that music and  immerse himself in the classic recordings. At the age of 18, he left  New York City and attended Bard College in upstate New York as a music  major with a minor in sociology and traveled to the city to study drums  privately, with Sonny Igoe and Charlie Persip in Jazzmobile. He also  studied music theory and dictation at Mannes College, private  vibraphone lessons\ with Doug Allen and improvisation with pianist Sal  Mosca for one year.

Some years later, Drori heard an old Dave Brubeck record, Gone with the  Wind and was fascinated with Joe Morello's graceful and subtle brush  playing. He sought him out and studied with him for a number of years  in his studio in New Jersey. After studying with Joe, he sought out  drummer John Riley and spent a year studying with him.

Drori's professional life has included touring and performing with many  great musicians internationally, in the US and locally in NYC,  including: Joe Williams, Ernestine Anderson, Frank Foster, Danny Mixon,  Don Friedman, John Hicks, Norman Simmons, John Bunch, Ronnie Mathews,  John diMartino, James Weidman, Ray Gallon, Fritz Power, Bill Charlap,  Roy Meriwether, Stan Hope, Bobby Forrester, Lynn Seaton, Ron McClure,  John Goldsby, Stanley Banks, Paul Ramsey, Eric Person, Bill Easley,  Mark Vinci, Chris Potter, Ernie Krivda, Kenny Davern, Ken Peplowski,  David Schnitter, Harold Ousley, Ralph Lalama, Karolina Strassmayer,  Warren Vache, Randy Sandke, Ray Vega,  John Marshall, Wycliffe Gordon,  Art Baron, Cary DeNigris, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jimmy Ponder, Dave Stryker,  Jarek Smietana, Vic Juris, Rodney Jones, Joe Cohn, Lou Volpe, Bob  DeVos, Joachim Schoenecker, Giacomo Gates, Evans and Coppola, Steve  Elson's Lips & Fingers Ensemble, Howard Williams Jazz Orchestra, The  Sunday Night Orchestra in Nurnberg, Jeru Jazz Quintet, Straight Circle  and KLARO!

He has performed in many notable New York City clubs such as: The Blue  Note, Birdland, Visiones, The Lenox Lounge, Smalls and others.

He has appeared at international jazz festivals, including: Montreux,  Bern, Copenhagen, Salzburg, Graz, Marianne Mendt Jazz Festival in St.  Polten, Outreach Festival in Schwatz,  Bingen Swingt Festival in  Germany, Dellbrucker Jazzmiele, Newport, JVC and Mexico City.He toured Japan as a member of Don Friedman's Trio.

He has also performed for Jazzmobile, Shea Center for the Performing  Arts, Princeton Jazz Festival, 92nd Street Y jazz concert series, SS  Norway Floating Jazz Festival, The Jazz Cruise, MOMA Jazz series, the  Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Grove St. Music Festival in Midland  MI., Midland/Odessa Jazz Society, U.N.T. Jazz Festival, University of  North Carolina Jazz Festival, S.W. Oklahoma University Jazz Festival,  Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado, and Stamford Center for the  Arts, Bardavon Opera House, and Flushing Town Hall.

Drori now resides on both continents, in Europe (Cologne, Germany) and  in New York City and is active in performing, recording, teaching as  well as doing clinics and workshops on jazz drumming. He also leads his  own group - "Drori Mondlak & Straight Circle" and  is  a member of the  Cary DeNigris Trio, The Lynn Seaton Trio and KLARO!. All groups feature  his work on recent CD releases.

  Drori has been profiled in Modern Drummer Magazine and also  contributes articles to their jazz drummer's workshop column.He also contributes educational articles to "Drums & Percussion"  publication in Germany.

Drori Mondlak & Straight Circle: "Wake-Up Call"; 
Karolina Strassmayer and KLARO!: KLARO!;
The Cary DeNigris Trio: "Between The Lines";
The Lynn Seaton Trio; "Zoom Blewz";
The Danny Mixon Trio: "Gemini Moon 2000" &"Building Bridges";
Steve Elson's Lips & Fingers Ensemble: "Smoke and Mirrors";
Bill O'Hashi and the Bridge Sextet: "Fantasia Ugetsu" & "Ampullae of Lorenzini";
The Lonnie Liebowitz Trio: "Piano Mountain";
Evans and Coppola: "Flamingo";
Mark Josefsburg & Charles Sibirsky Quartet: "The BQE";
Brian Kramer: "Strike While It's Hot"; 
Dean Freidman: The Treehouse Journals.

Unissued Recordings:
Drori Mondlak and Mike DiSibio Quartet recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Englewood, NJ
Free Zone Music with Sam Newsome, Karolina Strassmayer and Jay Rosen.

Live at the Berne International Jazz Festival (1994) with Ernestine Anderson and trio.
Parlor Jazz with Lew Tabackin, Don Friedman and Martin Wind.Alva Anderson and trio at Stamford Center for the Arts.
"Straight Circle" live at Stamford Center for the Arts.
Live at Showman's with Danny Mixon Trio.

Radio & T.V. Broadcasts:
Live concert radio broadcast with Don Friedman's trio in Tokyo, Japan.
Live on WBAI with the Danny Mixon Trio.
WKCR live interview.
Cable Television Broadcast of Danny Mixon Trio, live in concert
WDR live broadcast from "Art Cologne" in Germany with Joachim Shoenecker Trio.
Lynn Seaton's Trio TV broadcast, live from Grove St. Music Festival

Articles published:
"Conversations with Ourselves", Drums & Percussion publication in Germany.(Jan./Feb. 2006), "Monk & Roy", the melodic soloing of Roy Haynes, Modern Drummer Magazine (May 2002), "Monk & You" orchestrating melodies on the drums, Modern Drummer Magazine (September 2001).

Contact information:
email: drorimondlak@mac.com
in Europe: +49.221.9854.9877
in NYC: 917.743.8254
website: http://www.drorimondlak.com

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