Brian Hamada - closet cowbell enthusiast, drummer and jazz educator - has performed with many modern jazz greats, including Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Lanny Morgan, Bobby Shew, Ernie Watts, Bud Shank, Bob Mintzer, Jeff Lorber, Peter Epstein, Tim Ries, Matt Otto, Tamir Hendelman, Jim Snidero, Michael Davis, Carmen Bradford, Madeline Eastman, Brian Lynch and Ingrid Jensen. As a member of the legendary CSU Fresno Jazz Band 'A' he toured Japan, Korea and Europe, performed at the Northsea and Montreux International Jazz Festivals, and in 1983 he was the recipient of a DownBeat jazz soloist award. (Other winners that year were Larry Grenadier, Vince Mendoza & Jeff Beal.) He has been an active jazz and drum clinician / adjudicator throughout California & Nevada for over 25 years, maintains a vibrant drum studio in central California, and currently holds down the drum chair for the Fresno Jazz Composers Orchestra.
Brian is now teaching jazz drumset at CSU, Fresno in the first year of the school's Jazz Instrumental Performance degree option.
Since 2005 he has drummed with the modern jazz group "bug", featuring acclaimed saxophonist Peter Epstein, pianist/composer James Miley, guitarist Jeff Miley, and bassist Roger Shew. The group's first CD "Murmur" was released in 2007. At the end of the band's November 2008 "World Domination Tour, Part IV", they recorded a new CD of original material, slated for release in fall 2009. Stay tuned for exciting details regarding this release!
Locally (in the Fresno area) he performs regularly with the Craig VonBerg Trio, the Mike Dana Trio, and the After Dinner Mints.
For over 25 years he has performed with virtually all of Fresno's best jazz and pop musicians at one time or another, and was honored by the local music community as "best drummer" at the "Contemporaries", hosted by the "Wild Blue" nightclub in 1990. During that era he played regularly with Aqua Bob, No Prisoners, Bill Bixler & Leslie Letven, Jim Bixler, George Roessler, Folly's Pool, The Dodger Haters, CSUF Alumni "Jazz Band "A", and many more.
His extensive show drumming skills have had him backing legendary artists as varied as Don Ho, Eartha Kitt, Bob Hope, Jerry Vale, Dick Contino, Sons of the San Joaquin, The Coasters, Red Skelton, Bob Newhart and Joan Rivers, just to name a few.
Brian's recent studio drumming credits is represented by jingles for local businesses - Good Company Players, Table Mountain Casino, KMPH, The Big Fresno Fair, Fresno Distributing, and other regional and national accounts.
He resides in Fresno with his wife Lori and his two happy children Madeline and Evan. Lori is a board member and president of Jazz Fresno.