"What Aaron did- weird, delightful, and a little bit terrifying..."
- Nels Cline
on CMS Improvisers Orchestra
"too aggressive to be a Nashville cat... country as "acid" as it is "alt."
- Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post
on These United States
"it's like Ornette Coleman, but wearing cowboy boots, sitting in with a punk band, you dig?"
- Rodney Williams (conguero with Earth Wind & Fire, Dinah Washington)
on Aaron Latos' Design School
NEW RECORD:Latos / Berger / Coleman
"You can't think about music; one must feel it. The brain is too slow for music, but the gut, the heart..."-Karl BergerIn June, Aaron and two of his favorite collaborators, jazz legends pianist/vibraphonist Karl Berger (Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Creative Music Studio founder) and bassist Ira Coleman (Tony Williams, Deedee Bridgewater, Sting), recorded their debut trio record together at the famed Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY."In a world of "perfect," I truly believe that the world needs artists to take the very bold step of making vulnerable, exposed, naked art. I wanted to make a record with heart, with grit, with exposed naivety not present in most contemporary jazz records. A record where the 'music' is the sound of the energy between three musicians who care deeply for each other and the music reaching out to each other through space. With my 2-year old, I'm always amazed at the purity of his sense of play, where falling down, mistakes, discoveries, forced left turns form the very fabric of the activity, of the discovery. This record is the sound of that approach to life, funneled through the process of music-making. And I'm honored to get to share the experience of making it with two of my dearest musical collaborators and mentors."
Follow Aaron on Instagram and Facebook for updates on the record!
New and upcoming releases Aaron's on:
A little too loud to be Americana, a little too old-fashioned for rock and roll.New record out Oct 11, recorded with Malcom Burn (Emmylou Harris, Daniel Lanois, U2) and Paul Antonell (Natalie Merchant, Living Colour, Shawn Mendes).
Meditative, contemplative singer-songwriter. Available now.
putting heart on tape
I believe musicians have a sacred task: to model the compassion and human interaction that our culture needs, and create experiences for people to feel, deeply.
I believe that the best way to do this is by being truly present and open with each other in studio and stage, focusing outwardly on the moment and our collaborators.
I delight in subtly helping other performers turn "red light jitters" and "nerves" into fuel for powerful, moving performances. I've seen firsthand, again and again, that making bands gel and having fantastic chemistry is dependent on explainable, repeatable factors, and I know how to get there.
I use my jazz background, study in emotionally intense acting techniques, and my profoundly synesthetic perception of sound/motion/color/energy to quickly learn arrangements, intuitively develop right-brained parts, and groove really, really hard... from the moment the red light goes on or the curtain goes up.I really love vintage instruments. I've studied the physics of drum/cymbal construction and deeply know the history of the craftspeople who have built them. I maintain a rather comprehensive stable of snares and kits because few things delight me more than being able to get the sound that inspires both me and my bandmates. Calfskin heads, concert toms, extreme sizes, non-western percussion, bizarre modifications: nothing's off limits.
I am a percussionist whose favorite place is the point where Americana and the avant-garde collide.
In addition to my work in others' studios (primarily the NYC metro area, the Hudson Valley, and Nashville), I have a studio of my own in Newburgh, NY. Located in a formerly abandoned barbershop, it's equipped with digital, tape, and direct-to-disc (record lathe) capabilities, as well as a collection of inspiring instruments, like a 1948 Hammond CV organ, a Deagan vibraphone, and, of course, at least a half dozen vintage drumsets at any given time.
It's an intimate, cozy space set up for making music in my preferred manner: with maximum eye contact, full body language, using the minimum isolation possible. Here, we utilize whatever form of recording technology best serves the project, be it the beautiful, edit-free, one-take zen of a historic 1950's record cutter, the crunchy experimental goodness of mid-fi 1/4" tape, or the creative possibilities of contemporary digital recording.
Title photo and quotes photo by John Fell. http://johnfellphotography.com
In 13 countries and 47 US states, including recent work with:Margo Price (country)Stephen Clair & the PushbacksThe Still Tide (indie rock trio)James Fearnley (of The Pogues)Karl Berger (avant-garde & jazz legend, bands of Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman)These United States (indie rock)
Ludlow Ejacula (grunge)
Squid Jenny (heavy electric fusion/free jazz)Noisebody (fusion/indie rock)Harry Pickens (jazz pianist, bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Garrett)Buffalo Clover (country/Americana)Brazilian Connection (Brazilian jazz-fusion)Screamin’ Rebel Angels (rockabilly)The Silverhounds (thrash metal/psychobilly)Kyene (African folk music/dance ensemble)
Co-founder of YouThere - music performance coaching and direct-to-vinyl recording
Co-director of the Motherlodge Live Arts Exchange, a week-long, interdisciplinary, inter-city collaborative arts happening featuring theatre, music, visual art, performance works, culinary arts; Louisville, KY and NY, NY.
Staff for Jazz Division of music department at Sarah Lawrence College; Bronxville, NY.Extensive teaching work, including workshops at Universidade de Brasília (2010), private instruction, and community-based outreach work (inc. Neighborhood House in Louisville, KY)
2013-2015 Creative Music Studio, New York.Teachers included: Karl Berger, Vijay Iyer, Henry Threadgill, Kirk Knuffke, Peter Apfelbaum, Warren Smith, Steve Gorn, Cyro Baptista, Billy Martin, Rudresh Mahanthappa.2011 Bachelors of Music with Honors with Emphasis in Jazz Performance; University of Louisville, USA.Recording/engineering with:Logic, Reaper, Ableton LiveAnalog tapeExtensive experience doing direct-to-vinyl recording
Improvisation Theory – Karl Berger, David FriesenDrumset – Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, Jason Tiemann, Matthew J. SchoonmakerJazz Improvisation – Chris Fitzgerald, Ansyn BanksArranging, Film Scoring – John LaBarbera (Buddy Rich)Composition (focus on contemporary classical) – Marc SatterwhiteBrazilian Styles – Renato Vasconcellos, Anderson Pessoa, Alfredo MouraBrazilian Percussion – Vanderlei Pereira, Leander MottaAfrican Folk Musics – Adam Mason, Gregory Acker, Matthew J. SchoonmakerMeisner Technique - Robbie Byrne, Liza Michael
what's going on
ASAplaysDRUMS: my toddler's instagram, mostly playing drums. way cuter than anything on his dad's.
I accept a very limited number of serious* students for private study, in my studio (Newburgh, NY) or via Skype.
While I have a curriculum, the application and delivery of said curriculum is tailored to help each student achieve their individual goals. Topics of particular focus include listening skills, developing vocabulary, writing effective parts/arrangements, mindset/conceptual work, physical efficiency and habit-understanding, and the technique of performing (be it in studio or live situations). Physical technique is addressed to the degree that it expands creative options and supports a lifetime of healthy music-making: I do not address technique as an end in itself.
Rates are $95/hr, taught 1-hr/week, with a 4-month contract after an initial "first date" lesson.
I offer, and encourage, lessons in longer than the 1-hour format, especially for students preparing for collegiate musical education or in the early stages of a professional career; call or write to discuss options.
*Seriousness denotes intent and mindset, not level of accomplishment, technical faculties, age, or professional/amateur status. With an effective mindset and preparation, I've seen even "beginning performers" deliver powerful, emotionally powerful performances to their audiences... so I have no interest in discriminating among my students on so-called "technical ability."
in addition to a giant pile of musty vintage drums, Aaron proudly and gratefully endorses:
I've been an Amedia artist since 2012, and find their cymbals uniquely full of character, color, grit and individuality.
The best instruments in the world don't matter if they don't arrive ready to go. Beato does it right. These are lifetime bags.
Finnegan Hill Irish Percussion
Brent Cuyler builds lovely handcrafted bodhráns that make my Irish friends jealous!
aaron.latos(at)gmail.comor use the form to the right
2015-2018 aaron latos