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Dom Famularo – SEN Mentorship Award Winner 2024

Dom Famularo – SEN Mentorship Award Winner 2024

Known as Drumming’s Global Ambassador, Dom Famularo travelled the world for over 40 years, becoming one of the industry’s most influential and beloved drummers, teachers and motivators. A SABIAN artist since 1985, Dom was synonymous with SABIAN, sharing our passion for artistry, dedication to craft, and family.

In the spirit that drove Dom for over four decades, SABIAN proudly awarded the inaugural SABIAN – Dom Famularo – SEN Mentorship Award to Ukrainian drummer Maksym Logosha earlier this month.

As part of the award, Maksym will receive a $2500 grant and mentorship sessions with legendary performers and industry professionals including Andy Zildjian (SABIAN President), David Garibaldi, Chris Stankee (SABIAN Artist Relations Director), Joe Bergamini (SABIAN Education Network Director), Claus Hessler, Jim Toscano, Stephane Chamberland, Paul Quin, and Rick Drumm. A number of these judges shared their remembrances of DOM during the first of two SEN panel discussions late last year.


Andy Zildjian: I really didn’t know who Dom was the first time I met him. I was young in the industry. Dom was actually still pretty young too. I started to really talk with Dom and I thought, “whoever he is, this guy has a vision and boy, there’s nothing going to slow him down”…You know, I never saw him hard sell anybody. He was the type of person that would bring you along. Just because his enthusiasm was infectious.

David Garibaldi: He was just a beautiful, beautiful guy, you know. And the thing that was so cool about him is that he had vision. And that’s always, I think, the really important thing when you work with people – help them understand that they have to have vision. Incidentally, the reason I’m involved with SABIAN is because of Dom. He was everything that a human being is. I mean, he’s funny, angry at times, always thoughtful. He was convincing. He was a whole bunch of different things…He was an amazing person. He’s still an amazing person to me. He’s still here, you know.

Chris Stankee: To get the title of global ambassador of drumming, I think it actually requires you circumnavigate the globe about a thousand times, which he did. For me, it started about 11 or 12 years old at my first drum clinic in Davenport, Iowa. Grigg’s Music. And I just saw this crazy guy up there, set up sideways, amazing double bass technique, arms flailing. I stuck around afterwards, which was probably the greatest thing I ever did at that age, just to meet this madman. He was so nice and sweet and made sure that I met the owner of that store who probably thought I was just the punk kid that came in and made noise and wasted everybody’s time. He made me feel like I could be part of the community shaping the future. He made everyone feel that way.

Joe Bergamini: One of the things about being a teacher and a mentor is, you give everyone guidance and you treat everyone with the same attention and love. But when you see a horse go to the water and really start to drink – you know, if he saw you going for it, he doubled down. I can remember him being like, “well now there’s this other guy, Chris Stankee, he’s from Michigan.” I was like, “oh my God, I know right then we’d have another future best friend.” I just knew anybody that he picked out to mentor was a special kind of person in their own way. And he gathered that family around him.

Chris Stankee: We did not hitch to his wagon. He threw a leash over us, lassoed us and took us along for the ride. And I’m so grateful that he did. And that was my promise to him, to share what he did with as many people as I can. So that’s why I’m happy to be part of the Mentorship Award here.

Jim Toscano: I’m just thinking about my first drum clinic. He put me on with a bunch of people at Carle Place in Long Island at the Sam Ash. And I was like, “man, I never did one in a music store. I’m really nervous.” And he’s like, “listen, put your big boy pants on and get out there and do it, you know?” I only hope as a teacher and a mentor that I can do that, and continue to plant those seeds in my students’ minds.

David Garibaldi: When I first met Dom, in the clinic world, there was no global ambassador. There was nothing like that. There was no one like Dom who kind of became the go to guy for things. It didn’t exist. He sort of created a pathway for himself and it was just a blessing for him to be in that space.

Joe Bergamini: I left Dom’s clinics feeling just as inspired as when I left a RUSH concert. And if that’s not the meaning of music, nothing is.

Stephane Chamberland: The first time I saw Dom play was on a SABIAN VHS tape. He was playing cymbals with the sticks up in the air, on the sides of the cymbals, and getting different sounds. That was really, really amazing. And I felt like, “oh my God, this is so special.” I felt his passion. I was studying drums here in Quebec City and Dom came for a clinic. I was blown away, not only the way he was playing, but also what he was saying, and that’s really why I wanted to do what I do today for a living.

Joe Bergamini: Thank you all. And thank you SABIAN for having us here together…You know, Modern Drummer is going to be doing a tribute issue for Dom, and I was thinking about what they should say. If you studied with Dom, you knew Sanford Moeller, you knew George Lawrence Stone, you knew Ronnie Benedict, you knew Al Miller, you know Jim Chapin, you knew everyone that taught him. Dom Famularo is the most important drum teacher of our time, in my opinion. And I think that one of my goals in his legacy is to make sure that his name is mentioned among that constellation of names.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.