Co-op High drummer Jeremiah Cherry got a chance to jam with a pro on Friday and discovered a new path to a career in music, from “Kind Of Blue” to Blue Man Group.
Cherry, a 19-year-old senior at the Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School was part of a music class visited Friday morning by two performers passing through town. Chris Smith and Randy Wooten, who are performing with the Blue Man Group show now at the Shubert, stopped by to talk about the life of a professional theater musician and performer.
Wooten showed Cherry a drum beat that features in one of the Blue Man Group’s pieces. Click the video to watch them jam, along with footage of Smith juggling and the Co-op jazz band playing a funk groove.
Wooten, a professional drummer touring with the group, also told the class how he got his start, discovering the Beatles’ Rubber Soul in his parents’ record collection. He took up drums at 9 years old, played all through high school, ended up in music school and now tours with Blue Man Group.
Sitting at a drum kit, Wooten told the class about the importance of studying the greats like Miles Davis (who recorded the Kind of Blue album 28 years before the Blue Man Group took the stage) and John Coltrane, of listening to how the musicians work together. He encouraged students to get together, seek out people who are more talented than you and learn what you can.
Smith encouraged the music students to work across disciplines: make a film score with a film student, work on a theater piece that involves music.
Blue Man Group came out of an art collective, he said: “You guys are in a unique opportunity to do what Blue Man Group did.”
Smith and Wooten ended up at Co-op on Friday afternoon because of a collaboration between the Shubert theater and the high school.
“It really does matter, seeing there’s a reality behind the performance,” said Smith. “There’s a possibility. There’s a path here.”
Cherry saw the path. “I’m thinking of joining the Blue Man Group,” he said. “I like to be different. They sound so different.”
Cherry said he recently auditioned to get into the Berklee College of Music. “I’m just waiting for the phone call.”