Born in Detroit, Michigan, RJ studied r&b and jazz from Motown drummers Benny Benkamin and Uriel Jones.  He started palying professionally at the age of fifteen. At 17, he joined the Brooks West Orchestra, reading and playing classic big-band arrangements in clubs and ballrooms in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.

RJ studied trap drums privately with Berklee College of Music drum masestro, Gene Stuart.  He then studied percussion, marimba and vipraphone with Mark Johnson at Michigan State University.  After graduating from MSU and a short stinit on the road with recoeding artists Goldrush, RJ moved to San Francisco and studied tabla drums and North Indian classical music with master percussionist Zakir Hussain.  He also studied African and Latin hand drums with Kenneth Nash, traditional drumset with Bay Area jazz recording artist George Marsh and finally with renouned drum maestro Charles Brown.

RJ has toured all over the U.S. with country-rock recording artists Goldrush. At the age of 22 he signed with Decca Records and later with RCA.  RJ continutes to work as a producer and session drummer on albums and film sound tracks, commercial video projects and jingles.

Rj teaches most styles of drumming including jazz, rock, r&b, funk, blues, Latin, Afro-cuban and world fusion.  In addition to dremset, he teaches congas, djembe, tabla, cajon and various hand percussion, puts on drum clinics around the Bay Area and teaches special perussion and performance workshops at Bay Area schools.

For further information or to schedule RJ for sessions, lessons and classes, call 415-233-3869 or Email him at upapado@hotmail.com