Pat Petrillo has backed pop-singer Gloria Gaynor, Patti LaBelle, jazz guitarist Ed Hamilton, Glen Burtnik and Patty Smyth. His versatility extends to Broadway, having played such shows as Grease, Footloose, and Dreamgirls.
His instructional dvds, Snare Drum Rudiments and Complete Drum Workout, are known worldwide. Pat holds a BME and MA from Morehead State University and is also a DC alumnus.
Pat Petrillo is recognized as one of today’s most accomplished and versatile drummers, having performed and recorded with a wide variety of artists from many genres of music including Gloria Gaynor, Patti LaBelle, Dee -Lite, Patti Smythe, and Glen Burtnik, as well jazz guitarist Ed Hamilton, and most recently the world music group Oko Jumu. His versatility extends to Broadway in New York City, having played such shows over the years as "A Chorus Line", "Grease", "Footloose" and "Dreamgirls". Whether it’s a "deep pocket" groove, or a creative, sophisticated fill, Pat delivers…with authority. Check out the MultiMedia section for some examples of Pat in action.
Pat Petrillo is also one of the most sought after educators and clinicians in the business. As a clinician and endorser for Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, Regal Tip drumsticks, Hansenfutz practice pedals, Traps practice drum sets, and the S- Hoop drum hoop, he has conducted clinics and master classes all over the world. He is also a faculty member at Drummers Collective in New York City. For more on this, visit the Teaching/Clinic Info section.
Pat Petrillo’s dvd/book, "Hands, Grooves, and Fills", (Visual Music Media) represents a complete curriculum and methodology for drum set development.. His first video, the popular "Snare Drum Rudiments", was one of the first instructional videos ever released.
"To sum it up", as one magazine article stated: "You're sure to find Pat somewhere in New York, cymbal bag over his shoulder, and pedal grease on his sneakers!"
A word from the artists Pat has worked with:
"It’s always a pleasure working with Pat, with his tremendous groove and feel"
— Gloria Gaynor
"I've been fortunate enough to work with a number of excellent drummers, including Jeff Porcaro, and Kenny Aronoff and Pat is right up there on my list. His drum solo on my song 'Liars Club' will forever give me chills."
— Glen Burtnik
The rest of the story... "Back in the Day"
Growing up in New Brunswick, New Jersey in a culturally mixed neighborhood, Pat started playing at age 5. Playing came naturally, and he was drawn to the music of the Beatles. Along with the help of an older brother, he was playing along to their records endlessly. Ringo Star was a huge influence on Pat, and today, you can hear that influence in recordings Pat has made with various artists. As he got older, his next musical influences were James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic, Yes, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Stevie Wonder, and "anything that was on the radio".
Pat Petrillo also honed his chops with local drum and bugle corps in New Jersey. He joined his first drum corps at age 9, and continued to develop his rudimental chops, marching with various drum corps including The Saints, The Garfield Cadets, and finally, the Bayonne Bridgemen, where he studied with Dennis DeLucia. They were extremely popular, and gave him the chance to tour around the U.S. He competed in the DCI Individual Snare Drum Solo contests where he finished 3rd, and 2nd on two occasions. He went on to college, receiving a scholarship to Morehead Sate University in Kentucky, where he studied with Frank Oddis. He received both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Music Education, participating in the big band and percussion ensembles.
Upon returning to New Jersey, Pat Petrillo enrolled at Drummers Collective in NYC, studying with the likes of Peter Erskine, Frank Malabe, and many others. His years of studies with the late Malabe, were "truly inspirational, saturated not only with the music, but of the culture" of Afro Cuban music. "Peter Erskine taught me more about what not to play, and how to play more musically, effortlessly, and with conviction of time and a sense of space."
Pat expresses his love of playing in many ways, via teaching, clinics, live shows, and he loves to reach out to drummers around the world to share his passion. Recently, Pat taught the first "real time" internet drum lesson at Drummers Collective! The internet lessons are an exciting trend for the future that Pat welcomes with open arms.
For hobbies, Pat Petrillo is a college basketball junkie, and enjoys working on his lawn and landscaping around his South Brunswick, New Jersey home on a one acre lot in the country. ("It’s very relaxing, and organic.").
Petrillo also has a strong sense of family. His wonderful wife, Patrizia, and his two amazing daughters Carina and Tina, ("the real accomplishments in my life"), are his backbone.
Although he misses them when he tours, he often brings back many things from foreign countries, and sees it as "a great way to teach the girls about different cultures." Pat Petrillo sums it all up in a nutshell by stating "God has blessed me, and I owe him the glory and honor in everything I do".