If you are a drummer and have been browsing the social channels as of late, you may have come across a new brand talking about the groove. They may have even dropped a cookie emoji 🍪 in the comment section of a video you posted – a sign they think you’ve “got groove.”
That company is Spirit and Groove www.spiritandgroove.com. A drummer-inspired clothing brand out of Arizona. Their focus is on selling “groovy clothing for drummers, musicians, dancers, djs, and other groovy people like you.” Currently, the company is spreading the word about the groove. They offer video lessons on the concept at their Groovy Community Blog. They have compiled a list of groovy drummers on their YouTube channel, share fun videos and posts on their Twitter and FaceBook channels and offer up those goovy cookie emojis through their Instagram account, because as they put it, “grooves are like cookies…everyone loves one.”
Sounds like fun right? But, what do they mean by groove? The answer to that question begins with Spirit and Groove’s founder.
Jeremy Larochelle has been in the music industry for over twenty-years. During that time, he has studied at the famed Berklee College of Music; managed independent pop group Masceo to heavy airplay on college radio from Maine to Texas and organized a Northeast College tour for the band, which led to initial-negotiations with a major label. When the group disbanded, Larochelle changed gears and hit the seas as a cruise ship orchestra drummer gaining valuable experience as an all-styles reader backing major headliners, production shows, and pushing dance bands on a daily basis. After his first contract, Jeremy went on a drumming sabbatical and began regular studies with master drummer and Berklee Professor, Kenwood Dennard. Kenwood’s tutelage influenced Jeremy to develop his own book on drum set technique, Rudimental Technique and Analysis, which his mentor endorsed with “Jeremy’s book is a fresh take on using the rudiments in practice.” The book led to a lucrative teaching studio for Larochelle, which supplemented his working-drummer lifestyle.
Jeremy never claimed to be a star, but rather a working drummer. “For over ten years, I made every penny through my kit. It takes a vast skillset, a hustle temperament, and passion for what you do to do that. It is a wonderfully brutal lifestyle.” To accomplish that, Jeremy has had to play everything. He has subbed for theater companies in the Northeast, pushed seventeen piece big-bands, swung with a quartet fronted by one of the Glen Miller Band’s touring pianist, worked countless clubs, hotels, and festivals across New England, played on cruise ships, and in the honkey tonks of Nashville.
If that wasn’t enough, Jeremy earned his degree in Music Business Management while on the road, graduating class valedictorian in the process. He left the stage after getting his diploma and took on a role as a booking agent with Mike Moloney Entertainment, www.mmec.com, out of Las Vegas where he has since earned his MBA while managing a multi-million-dollar entertainment program at two casinos in the Southwest.
So what compelled Jeremy to build a brand around the groove?
As he explains it all traces back to his first private lesson at Berklee in 1997.
Most drummers will agree with Jeremy’s statement to “put the song first” but for him, the lesson was the first step towards a path to a grander understanding of his instrument, music, and life in general. One that has been evolutionary, challenging, and magical at times.
“I was doing a hotel gig at this upscale resort and while my room was being cleaned I decided to go read in the lobby. This little white haired gentlemen plopped down beside me, looked at me and stated “you aren’t a guest here.” I confessed to him that I was not and that I was actually working as the drummer in the show band. With a big smile, he re-affirmed my statement. “So, you are a drummer” and proceeded to introduce himself – the former Ambassador to South Africa.
We spent the afternoon discussing drums and drummers. He taught me the history of our instrument. Not the musical history, but its historic presence in the development of mankind. How it preceded the spoken language and as such indigenous peoples of his land revered the drummer higher than any other being, because it was believed only he could speak to the Gods.
That gentleman taught me just how valuable drumming is for all of us…not just drummers.”
These two experiences provide the foundation for Spirit and Groove.
“At Berklee, I was taught that the primary focus of drumming was to sync-up the feelings and emotions of a song by tapping into its underlying dance… its groove. My interaction with the ambassador made me realize that drummers have been using the groove since the dawn of time. First, to speak with each other as our species’ initial language. Then, as a way to organize humans into group actions such as hunting, foraging, and building to better society. Drummers have even used the groove, the dance, the march, to push brave men into battle in nearly every pre-modern war. And when those tasks were completed, the drummer got those same people to dance in celebration.
Very few singular elements have had such an influence on our society.”
Jeremy wants to build a community of people in celebration of the groove and to do that he felt it was imperative to start with the men and women who already lead the way – his fellow drummers.
“I can talk drums forever, because I am so passionate about our instrument. I still practice every day and research my craft as much as I can. In the process, I come across countless videos and posts daily of drummers doing amazing things. Blast beats in excess of 180 bpm, intricate patterns between the hands and the feet, off-the-wall time signatures, and solos galore. I sit in awe of these great artists, but at the same time I want to remind all drummers just how special our instrument is and that we are bigger than all of those technical abilities. We bear a huge responsibility to provide the foundation for the music, to make people dance, and to fill the world with more groove power.”
Currently, Spirit and Groove offers a select line-up of groove-focused drummers’ tee shirts at their website www.spiritandgroove.com. They have crafted a number of lines including Groove Power™ that focuses on drummers who “lead the band;” #Groove to celebrate the importance of the groove with its own drumming-inspired hashtag; and the Got Groove? line which asks everybody that all-important question. Spirit also offers military-inspired tees, fun shirts that satisfy your fever for more cowbell, a ladies’ line and much more is in-the-works. As the brand evolves, they will offer sweatshirts, hats, and even have a premium-line in the coffers.
You can learn more about Spirit and Groove and check out their clothing at www.spiritandgroove.com. Jeremy also encourages everyone to follow the brand on their various social channels. “We want everyone to join our communities, so we can dance together and celebrate the groove as one.”
To learn more about Spirit and Groove, check out these links:
Jeremy Explains Groove: https://youtu.be/uLQW4jI3j2Q
Jeremy’s Explains the Concept Behind Spirit and Groove: https://youtu.be/hphBqrqctZI
More about Jeremy Larochelle
Jeremy’s Story Part One: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4SaWSKp-yfCxFvHbiBwokfOb2xbOBo_8
Jeremy’s Story Part Two: https://youtu.be/jPjKXWXE3_Y?list=PL4SaWSKp-yfCxFvHbiBwokfOb2xbOBo_8
For more information contact:
Jeremy Larochelle at firstname.lastname@example.org