Rhythm Architecture

JD Stillwater has been playing drums and percussion since 1974. 

Classically trained in rudimental drumming by Hugh Robertson, JD Stillwater plays drum set, orchestral percussion, drum-line, and hand drums (djembé, congas, doumbek, frame drums), hand percussion (all kinds, including spoons), and drum machines of various makes. 

JD considers himself an accompanist: his job is to provide just the right touch to make your music soar. He never hesitates to say, “That piece/song isn’t asking for any percussion.” Other times, a complex, driving polyrhythm makes your head explode with ecstatic joy. 

Past and current bands and collaborators include: Collective Vision; Peter Yarrow; Pete Seeger; Emma’s Revolution; Voices in the Hall with John Terlazzo; Darryl Purpose; Peter Mayer; Cornell Big Red Band; Chelsea Caroline/Honey Clover; Jim Scott; Caledonia Show Choir; Conotton Valley Drumline; Ken Metz; Sarah Goslee Reed; Rick Gustaitis; Steve Todd; Noel, Moan, and the Blisters; Greg Greenway; The Wild Hymns; and too many other singer-songwriters and drum circles to count or remember.


In 1987, JD shared a Moscow stadium stage with The Doobie Brothers, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, and Santana as the drummer for Collective Vision, in the first-ever outdoor rock concert in the Soviet Union. 

JD is available …

  • to sit in for an absent drummer (Central PA only)
  • for session-drumming at a studio, event, or accompaniment
  • for remote rhythm design
  • for remote percussion tracks for an existing recording that needs percussion
  • to offer that extra something for a solo musician at a big gig
  • for other percussion-related work. 

There’s no shortage of “drummers” who say they can do anything. JD expects to be auditioned and vetted. References available on request. Compensation negotiable.