New York drummer featured in Snow’s jazz concert

Kassa Overall, a Brooklyn-based jazz drummer and producer, was one of the guest instructors and performers as part of the ongoing Snow College Jazz Festival.

Growing up, Overall was influenced by the hip hop movement in the late 80s, saying that “hip hop was something that only kids who liked it were almost like collecting comic books. It was like a thing that adults didn’t even really understand and it was like our little playground thing and then all of a sudden it blew up and it became the thing of the world”.

Overall, he also found inspiration playing the drums and wanted to combine his two life passions, hip hop and jazz drums saying “All my life is a bit of these two trees who grew up, and eventually I became a jazz drummer, but I was also making beats, I was always trying to figure out how to mix the two and figure out what was my thing, which is jazz drumming”.

Overall, three events were scheduled during his time at Snow College. He first participated as one of the guest instructors at the jazz festival on February 8. Overall, he was one of two guest artists along with saxophonist Chase Baird.

As part of the festival, the Snow College Music Program offered middle and high school jazz bands from across the region the opportunity to come to Snow College, perform their tunes, and get feedback and advice from Overall and Baird.

Kassa Overall and other jazz musicians performed at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. Photo by Lloyd Call.

When asked about young musicians following in his footsteps, Overall said he doesn’t want anyone to repeat his way of getting into music. “You can take some of what I’ve done, you can use some of my tools, but go your own way,” Overall said.

“So I think if you’re going to follow me, you’re going to have to be prepared to work very hard, just be prepared for a tough path and you have to tap into your creativity because that will guide you,” Overall also said.

The following day, Overall was invited to perform and give a talk as part of Snow College’s Convocation Series. For the performance, Overall and his band improvised a 25-minute track with the song Who’s on the Playlist featured as one of the songs.

During the conference portion of the call-up, Overall mentioned that his father was one of the many mentors who helped him grow into the person he is today, “my father was an amateur pianist from before -guard, then my brother was playing drums, so I followed him Larry Jones, my first teacher in Seattle was another mentor I had, countless people inspired me, but I had a lot of ‘help to get where I am today’.

After the show ended, Overall and the band members answered questions from audience members. One of the band members has worked with Miley Cyrus in the past, saying she was one of the nicest people he has ever worked for.

Later that night, Overall performed a concert for Snow’s students, performing songs from four of his critically acclaimed albums.

Overall, he said he would appreciate it if people watched him on his tour. “Go to my website and see me on tour, I’m a hard working quasi-independent artist, and if you like my music, please support and please watch it”.

For more information on Kassa Overall and his music, go to http://www.kassaoverall.com.

Ada J. Kenney