Dave Merritt - drummer

Instrument Descriptions
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Bodhran: taut goatskin played by an untaught goat!

Dave Merritt is an accomplished drummer of many talents and interests who has been playing drums for over 35 years. He has performed with varied and diverse groups including: drum set with the Road Runners Blues Band, Catfish, and Paul Plumeri Blues Band; bodhrán, bones,and hammered dulcimer with traditional Celtic bands Kintail, Cwn Annwn and Browne Jenkyn; and snare drum for the First Highland Watch of Pennsylvania Bagpipe Band and Revolutionary War re-enactors First New Jersey Volunteers. In 2004 he, along with Kim Leary, formed Groove Merchant Drum & Dance Ensemble, which led them to open the Drum & Dance Learning Center (DDLC) in May 2005.

A teacher since 1980, Mr. Merritt teaches a variety of drum techniques at the Drum Dojo at DDLC: Drum Set, Rudimental Snare Drum, Bodhrán, traditional West African Djembe and Dunun, and Arabic Tabla (Dumbek). As a drum teacher, his casual approach allows students the relaxation and freedom necessary to learn at their own pace, and his enthusiasm and appreciation of the instrument is both contagious and motivational.

With Mamady Keita in Brooklyn 2012

Dave has attended workshops with various drum artists including: Billy Cobham, Tommy Campbell, Rod Morgenstein, Ed Shaughnessy, Terry Bozzio, Greg Bissonette and Pat Patrillo (drum set); Sam Hall, J. Reid Maxwell, Jon Quigg and Gordon Bell (pipe band snare drum); Francisco "Fuyo" Gomez (conga); Victor Marshall, M'Bemba Bangoura and Mamady Keita (djembe); Mangue Sylla (dunun); Kim Leary, Souren Baronian, Issam Houshan, Amir Naoum, Karim Nagy, and Bill Koutsouros (Arabic tabla); and Phil Smiley of the Tannahill Weavers demonstrated bodhrán technique. Dave continues to refine and expand his own technique on these instruments, finding inspiration and new ideas everywhere he goes.

The history of the instruments that he plays is also important to Mr. Merritt. He continues to study their origins, cultural and social signifigance, historical impact and evolution. One of his hobbies is the restoration of vintage drums and drum sets. He has even designed and built a few snare drums and various folk instruments. Dave combines his love of drums, history and education in his school and library presentation of "A Day in the Life of an 18th Century Soldier", the Revolutionary War as seen through the eyes of a Drummer.

Playing the West African djembe with Groove Merchant

Rev War re-enactors First New Jersey Volunteers

Playing vintage Ludwigs with the Road Runners

"Rollin' & Tumblin'" with Catfish on a vintage Leedy set

A mix of old and new world instruments


Dave Merritt - PO Box 264 - Bordentown, NJ 08505 - ddlcnj@gmail.com