Official biography published on social media (December 12, 2016).
Dave DiCenso is a Boston-area drummer whose musicality and versatility have earned him a diverse list of playing credits. He also happens to be a drummer who can teach and has maintained a thriving practice throughout his playing career.
As a child, Dave could be found playing his dad's 60's Slingerlands along with his favorite 45's and albums in the basement of his parents' suburban home. By the age of four, he was asking his dad, Dick DiCenso - a renowned teacher in the Boston area for more than fifty years now - for drum lessons. After holding him off for a year his dad gave him his first lesson. As it turned out, however, Dave proved to be a less-than-ideal student, frequently opting to play along with his Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Kiss records instead of practicing his lessons. Despite his dad's expert tutelage and patience, Dave gave up on lessons after a few years and migrated toward another of his fascinations, guitar. Eventually of course, it came time to choose a career path and, well, we know which one he took...
With a desire to learn more about music and try to make a living at it, Dave reconnected with his father for a couple years' worth of lessons before going to New York City to study privately at the Drummer's Collective. At the Collective he had the privilege of working with more great teachers such as Kim Plainfield, Rod Morgenstein, Zach Danziger, Duduka Fonseca, Pete Zeldman, Frank Malabe, Ricky Sebastian, Bob Weiner, and Frank Katz. From there he went back home and took up with renowned teacher Gary Chaffee for the better part of a year. The rest of his education was "in the field", starting with his first GB gig at fifteen - to which his mom drove and retrieved him.
Since then Dave has worked with bands and artists ranging widely in genre - from hardcore to fusion, prog to r&b, jazz to pop. A partial listing of his credits includes Josh Groban, Steve Morse Band, Cro-Mags, Hiromi, Duran Duran, John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Gary Cherone (Extreme/Van Halen), Suze DeMarchi, Johnny A, Shelter, Two Ton Shoe, Aaron Katz Band, Jess Tardy, Jon Finn Group, Farrenheit, Ultra Blue, Bad Karma, and Mystery Jones. An interesting tidbit - and testament to his musical depth - is that Dave has performed at venues as disparate as the Kennedy Center and the Whisky A GoGo, and has shared stages with artists as dissimilar as Etta James and Slayer.
As mentioned, Dave is also an educator. In addition to being an Associate Professor of Percussion at Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music, he is an experienced clinician and has been a featured artist at major percussion industry events including the Modern Drummer Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, N.A.M.M., Frankfurt MusikMesse, and the Montreal Drum Festival.
As of late, in addition to touring with Josh Groban and teaching at Berklee, Dave has released his second drum method book entitled "Rhythm and Drumming Demystified", which follows up the well-received "Universal Rhythms for Drumset", published by Alfred. Also in the works is an online curriculum for which his books will be the basis.
Ex-Cro Mags skinsman Dave DiCenso is a professor/instructor for percussion at Berklee School Of Music.
DiCenso also played on Shelter's albums "Mantra" (1995), "Beyond Planet Earth" (1997) and "The Purpose, The Passion" (2001). Because of his duties at the Berklee School Of Music, Dave could not join in Shelter for months of touring. Instead Sean Sellers (a.o. Good Riddance, Kidneythieves) tried out and got along great with everybody, so he joined Shelter on their European promotion tour in 2001.
Dave DiCenso is known for his versatility, big sound,deep pocket and soulful style. He has honed this style by touring and recording with a long and very diverse list of world renowned artists including pop legends Duran Duran, prog-rock icon Steve Morse, Dream Theater guitar master John Petrucci, hardcore pioneers Cro-Mags, blues-rock master Johnny A, fusion guru David Fiuczynski, contemporary jazz virtuoso Hiromi as well as ex-Extreme/Van Halen front man Gary Cherone.
Dave DiCenso has been a featured performer at major percussion industry events including the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, NAMM, Music Messe, as well as two performances at the Montreal Drum Festival.
Dave DiCenso is a gifted and exciting clinician as well as an Assistant Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music. Dave ’s talent has been recognized worldwide, even catching the attention of drumming icons Virgil Donati and Steve Smith as evident in the January 2006 issue of Modern Drummer Magazine ’s “The Future of Drumming ” feature.
Dave DiCenso is sponsored by and has long-standing relationships with Zildjian Cymbal Co., Vater Percussion, Remo Inc., and Pearl Drums. Dave is also a gifted and exciting clinician as well as an Assistant Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music.
Growing up in the Boston area with a drumming father, Dave DiCenso has been living drums since he was a toddler. After banging on his dad's drums for a couple of years, Dave began asking him for lessons at the ripe old age of four. It wasn't until a year later that he actually began studying. He quickly realized that "playing" drums was more fun then studying them. Though he tended to prefer playing football and baseball to practicing drums, Dave kept up his lessons for five years. Despite his father's large collection of jazz records, during this time period, Dave's ears and heart migrated to the backbeat music he was hearing on the radio. He particularly enjoyed the sounds of artists such as America, the Little River band, Bread, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, James Taylor, the Commodores, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, and Steely Dan.
At the age of ten, Dave DiCenso decided to satisfy a long-standing craving to play the guitar. He took guitar lessons for the next five years while exploring heavier types of rock music. At this time, he began listening to artists such as Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Van Halen, Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. Dave's first several public performances were as a guitar player in rock bands at local schools and VFW halls.
At the age of fifteen, Dave DiCenso decided to pursue a professional drumming career. He began performing immediately at local schools, halls, clubs, and hotels. At seventeen, he began taking lessons again from his father and this time took his studying seriously. He was simultaneously learning music theory through private instruction on the piano. His listening pleasures were now including bands like Mötley Crue, Saxon, Queensryche, Michael Schenker Group, Metallica, and Slayer.
After high school, Dave DiCenso went to New York City to study privately at the Drummer's Collective. During this three-month period, he was able to pick the minds of people like Rod Morganstein, Kim Plainfield, Frankie Malabe, Zach Danziger, Ricky Sabastian, and Pete Zeldman. At this point, Dave began exploring fusion music from people like Chick Corea, Michel Camilo, John Scofield, and Mike Stern. Upon returning to Boston, he continued working with the area's top rock bands and began a one-year study program with renowned teacher Gary Chaffee. Dave now included people like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, and Jimmy Smith to his listening library.
These days Dave DiCenso finds himself listening to a wide variety of mostly backbeat music from artists such as Beck, Jeff Buckley, Mary J. Blige, D'Angelo, Foo Fighters, the Fugees, Meshell NdegeOcello, Radiohead, Jill Scott, Soundgarden, Tool, and U2 as well as lots of backbeat music from the 70's. Needless to say, Dave draws from a very deep well of influences and he is guaranteed to bring a sensitivity, potency, and originality into whatever music he is playing.
Dave DiCenso is currently finishing up his drum method book that is to be released fall of 2006.