Published on June 20th, 2016 | by


Percussion master showcased in San Bernardino library workshop

According to his parents, Joseph Peck was still a crawling baby when he started pulling pots and pans out of kitchen cabinets and banging on them. They bought him a toy drum set out of the Sears catalog to lessen damage to cooking utensils and to offer an outlet to their musically inclined son. “They had to buy three or four more toy drums for me during those early years. When I was seven and seemed serious about playing, they bought me my first real drum set,” said Peck before he began an interactive percussion performance and educational workshop at San Bernardino’s Feldheym Central Library Saturday.

His dad grew up on a farm and listened only to country music before Peck expanded his music appreciation to jazz, the steel drums or pans of Trinidad and Tobago, calypson, reggae and ultimately world music. Peck added Afro-Cuban music to his stylistic choices when he was 11 and the family moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Boca Raton, Florida. Peck took children and adults — coming from as close to the city library as San Bernardino and as far away as Escondido — on a historical journey Saturday of the steel drum and music most associated with Trinidad and Tobago.

The crowd grew when others in the library heard music, peeped in the room and then joined the folks obviously having a great time. Some were fledgling musicians like 7-year-old flutist Daniela Zaragoza and her sister Aimee, 9, who plays piano and flute or accomplished adults like pianist Miguel Zaragova of San Bernardino and guitarist Walt Farmer of Claremont. Issa Hatter, 12, his brother Charbill, 8, and best friend Basharah Issa, 11, all of San Bernardino, just played for the joy of playing. Zack Hatter, a drummer, couldn’t play because of pain from a bad back, but he could slap beats on his thighs and hands. San Bernardino resident Kerry Peterson and Alhambra citizen Michael Carvaines’ beat drums accompanying Linda and Bernie Mases of Escondido on shaking percussions and Sarah Carvaines on cowbell.

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