Jim Strickland


Jim Strickland (aka Strick) banged on his first set of kids drums when he was a few years old. From there, he graduated to pillow drumming with plastic bowling pins or wooden spoons on pots and pans to various music selections with family members. However, Jim started to play trombone as an Army Brat in Germany during 5th grade but maintained his interest in drums.

Jim's parents played in bands for years and wanted to start a family band. So he began to formally learn the art of drums while living in Massachusetts in 7th grade. After about a year of lessons and self-teaching, Jim performed in a country/rock band with his parents. Jim played his first gig on drums with them at 11and never looked back. He played weddings, block parties, etc., from Massachusetts to Mississippi to Maryland. During his last three years of high school, he was booked 3 to 5 nights a week (sometimes with more than one gig in a day) up to 8 months in advance with his parents’ band. Additionally, Jim played trombone in school bands and did a season with the Baltimore Colts Marching Band, all while successfully maintaining Honor Roll status.

After learning about Army bands while in middle school, he knew that was the direction he wanted to go as a profession. Right after high school, Jim joined the First US Army Band on Ft. Meade, MD in which he played trombone for its various bands. He played for all levels of politicians, dignitaries, base personnel, schools, etc. Jim also sat in with the University of Maryland Stage Band from time to time when needed. However, the drums were always in the back of his mind, so he eventually worked out a backup drummer role while with First Army. After 3 ½ years of active duty, Jim chose to take an Honorable Discharge to pursue life outside the military. Jim remained on reserve status with the army for the next 5 ½ years.

After active duty and while finding his way in the civilian world, Jim played on and off in various bands while pursuing his education. However, during a seven-year hiatus from music, he was able to complete his BS and MS degrees. After Jim completed his Graduate work, he went back to the drums and eventually joined a Classic Rock band, which remained active for a few years.

Jim moved to PA a few years later and eventually joined an Originals band that performed in the Alt Rock genre. Jim also began taking private Drum Lessons while living in PA. But as his band was picking up steam and starting to play out, the pandemic hit. And a few months later, Jim moved to MA. So from PA to MA, while his main Teacher continues to be Nate Morton (The Voice Band), Jim has taken lessons for specific reasons from Pat Petrillo (NY/NJ Educator, Session Drummer, Band Leader, and Hired Gun), Mike Mangini (Dream Theatre & former Berkeley Drum Staff), and Greyson Nekrutman (Social Media Phenom). He has also attended Clinics and Master Classes with several drum legends that include Todd Sucherman, Dave Weckl, Steve Smith, Peter Erskine, Tommy Igoe, Dafnis Prieto, Dave Garibaldi, Dave Mattacks, Jim Riley, Riccardo Merlini, Simon Phillips, and Anika Nilles.

To sum up, Jim has performed in venues that range from small bars & halls to stadiums from the South to the Midwest and up and down the East Coast playing a variety of music styles on drums and trombone, including Classical, Latin, Big Band, Jazz, Country, Rock, Soul, R&B, Musicals, etc. as he continues to be a student of music.