Art Cappio, originally from Paterson, NJ (home of Lou Costello, he enjoys pointing out) is a superior composer of rudimental drumming solos & ensembles as well as teacher and author of a rudimental drumming method book. He started his studies at 11 years with drummer and Broadway musician, Bill LaVorgna. LaVorgna, who died in 2007, was music director for Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland and worked with the like of Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and other entertainment legends.
In 1951, at age 16, Art was selected to represent himself as snare drummer for The New York All-State Band. The next Cappio joined the U.S. Air Force Band where he made it his career of 29 years.
In 1961, Art sent his first composition, Primo to Ludwig Industries for evaluation. Ludwig selected the composition out of 10 others as best representing rudimental excellence and published it.
From 1971 to 1975, Art worked as a clinician for Ludwig after which he became an endorsee for Remo, Inc.
In 1988 he taught snare drum at the U.S. Percussion Camp at Eastern Illinois University where he introduced his rudimental drumming system. In 1992 his book Cappio System of Rudimental Drumming was published by Pioneer Percussion.
Through the years, Art Cappio, has influenced and motivated hundreds of drummers throughout the country including rudimental drumming great and many time individual snare drumming champion, Rick Beckham. Beckham states that his solos from his book, The Beckham Book: Fire and Ice & Bridgeport were influenced by Art Cappio’s style.
Art is still active today in St. Louis heading up a trio at his drum set playing music from the 1930’s and 1940’s – “beautiful music!” says Art.
–“You know, you can always tell if a drummer playing in with a band has any rudimental training. What a beautiful difference – nice, clean execution!”– Art Cappio.
Thank you Art Cappio for sending us your story of your drumming career!