James Dreier is a drum set and Latin percussion specialist, educator, clinician and performer. Lucky for us, he heard Santana in 1968, and hasn’t been the same since. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) and a Master of Arts degree in music theory from the University of Iowa. A Lecturer in Jazz Studies at the University of Iowa, James directs the Latin and Jazz ensemble and teaches a variety of jazz courses.
For 45 years and counting, James has engaged all aspects of popular (and sometimes un-popular) music styles, including jazz, rock and roll, blues, Latin, big band, funk and many others. His passion for Latin music (muchas gracias, Carlos) led him to study with Pablo Landrum at the Berklee College of Music, and to perform and travel with Brazilian pianist Rafael Dos Santos, including a residency at the Conservatorio Pernambucano de Musica in Recife, Brazil. James also performs and records with his group Ritmocano and the UI jazz faculty group.
He is an educational artist for Sabian Cymbals and endorses LP brand instruments.