Bobby Previte began his life onstage at the 1956 Niagara Falls Talent Show, belting out a solo rendition of Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog’ while draped in an over-sized suit thinking music might be a good way to meet girls, he fashioned a drum set from a rusted garbage can, plastic trash bins, aluminum pie plates mounted on plungers, & fashioned a foot pedal from a wire coat hanger & linoleum. A year later he founded his first band, “The Devil’s Disciples,” but was fired from their first gig for not having ‘real’ drums. Seeking revenge, he took a job as a paperboy & a year later bought the Rogers kit he still uses today. Strolling in the East Village one bright 70’s afternoon, he peered inside a limo stuck in traffic (crosstown) & suddenly found himself face to face with Jimi Hendrix. Thinking fast, he unfurled the poster of Jimi he had bought just minutes earlier, then looked on in astonishment as Hendrix smiled & flashed him the peace sign. All the rest, as they say, is noise. THE NOISE: Bobby was a Percussion major under Jan Williams at the University of Buffalo. He moved to New York City in 1979. He collaborated with many renowned musicians & artists to include master composer John Adams, Terry Adams of NRBQ, legendary filmmaker Robert Altman, country music star Jessi Colter, blues great Johnny Copeland, composer/conductor Lukas Foss, seven-string guitar master Charlie Hunter, recently re-discovered genius Julius Eastman, rock guitarist &
author Lenny Kaye, jazz/noise guitarist Sonny Sharrock, maestro Michael Tilson- Thomas, the one-and-only Tom Waits, &, most recently, rock icon Iggy Pop. Bobby Previte as received numerous awards to include: NYSCA Composer Commission, 2017, The Greenfield Prize in Music, 2015, Guggenheim Fellowship, 2012, National Endowment for the Arts & multiple others. Bobby’s compositions have been heard all over the world. Some of his larger works are: RHAPSODY, song cycle about migration, released by Rarenoise, 2018; premiere New College, Sarasota, FL; MASS, medieval
meditation for pipe organ, choir, & heavy metal trio, Walker Art Center, released by Rarenoise, 2016; NIAGARA FALLS,1959, for four Hammond organs, trap drums, & boy soprano, Hudson Opera House, 2016; TERMINALS PART I: DEPARTURES, five concertos for percussion ensemble & soloist, Merkin Concert Hall, NYC, released Cantaloupe Music, 2015; THE 23 CONSTELLATIONS OF JOAN MIRÓ, miniatures based on the paintings, Teatro Nationale, Milan, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK, Winter Garden, NYC, 2004-2008. To add to his credentials, he has taught Master classes in percussion at: Princeton University, Eastman School of Music, The New School, Bard College, University of Washington, Walker Art Center, Istanbul University, Perth University. He has had Residencies at The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Italy, Civitella Ranieri, Italy, Lucas Artist program, Montalvo, CA, The Hermitage, Sarasota, FL., MacDowell Colony, NH (nine). He also has film & television credits: THE MUTE MARINE (with William Shatner), Actor, Saturday Night Live,1983; SHORT CUTS, directed by Robert Altman, Actor + Musician,1993.
It is a pleasure to welcome Bobby Previte as a member of the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame Class of 2019.