Daniel Glass is a torchbearer. He specializes in keeping the history of drumming alive, and for that reason alone, his name is one you should file away and do a little homework on.

I met Daniel many years ago through a roommate who taught at the Dick Grove School of Music, in Los Angeles. I was talking with that same roommate not long ago, and when he mentioned Daniel’s name as a former drummer, the lights came on.

I looked up his website (www.danielglass.com) and was quite blown away by how much he had accomplished since we’d last met, over nearly 20 years ago. Clearly, he had become one of those rare souls who looked around the room and said, “Well… looks like I’ve found something to sink my teeth into.” That something is, of course, chonicaling the history of drumming and honoring those who came before us.

I’m not so sure this guy gets much sleep, judging from his productivity and on-going workload, but one thing is for sure: Drumming needs guys like him to remind us where the beat came from. It’s too easy to dismiss old black and white faded photographs of guys sitting behind 26″ kick drums with an array of temple blocks and think, “Wow, how old-fashioned.”

Indeed. And what we forget is that the pictures we are looking at were often the state-of-the-art players, the guys leading the pack, the trailblazers. You don’t have to have 900 toms, 45 pedals and 200 cymbals to change the world. You can do it (and many did) with a simple pair of sticks and dedication to being the best musician you can be.

If you don’t know who guys like Chick Webb, Zutty Singleton, Baby Dodds or Big Sid Catlett are, be assured that Daniel Glass does. They are, in fact, the gentlemen whose artistry contributed to making you the drummer you are today, because EVERYthing we play can be traced back to some definitive jazz roots.

That said, if you get the chance to attend one of Daniel’s clinics, look at it as an investment in two things: a lesson in the legacies of the past, and a springboard for the development of your drumming future. A good drummer always feed both of these fires, because in a way, we are all torchbearers…