Many drummers come to mind who've had a hand in raising the bar - leading by example with faster chops, innovative use of the instrument, more complex rhythms, more creative phrasing, and in general, better musicmanship. But few have turned as many heads as Virgil Donati.
Virgil Donati established himself as a premier session and touring drummer in his native Australia as a member of fusion groups Loose Change and On The Virg, a fouding member of pop-rock band Southern Sons and Taste, and plenty of touring with other local and international acts such as Branford Marsalis, George Cables, Mark Murphy and many others.
Since moving to the United States, Virgil has worked with the likes of Planet X, Steve Vai Band, Freakhouse, Tribal Tech, CAB, Ring of Fire and solo artists such as Derek Sherinian, Steve Walsh, Mark Boals and many more. He's been causing heads to turn and jaws to drop across the country, on the clinic trail, and setting new performance standards for the L.A. studio scene.
This sensation from "down under" had the advantage of starting a very young age. Through practice and sheer determination, he learned to tame his chosen instument, to coax his sound from it, and to fully express without impediment his musical personality.
Since securing his first drum set just one month before his third birthday, he has devoted his whole life and soul to his art. The catalyst has been his endless and restless pursuit to express himself through his playing.
Virgil is known amongst drummers as a technical virtuoso, having developed incredible power and flexibility (whilst playing traditional grip), mastered polyrhythyms, odd-time playing and intricate phrasing, attained blinding quickness and powerful, metronomic precision - all with a rare attention to showmanship and visual playing.
But it is no secret that it's Virgil's feet that have gained him the most attention, both in Australia and internationally. Having developed incredible speed both with single and double-stroke rolls on the bass drums, he is able to hold complex, often odd-time and syncopated ostinatos at ridiculous tempos with his feet whilst soloing freely and musically with his hands.