Scott Allen – Drums and Percussion

I make my living as a blue collar intellectual, teaching human geography to 155 suburban teens, 187 days a year in a public high school. In our student hand drum club we turn the grind of education into groove. But my life of shadows is with jazz and the percussive soundscape of the city. Travels to urban centers such as Tokyo, London & Seattle are a focus for my young family. I remember visiting Bilbao, Spain on the 700th anniversary of the city and loosing myself in the aromas and textures of the Casco Viejo.

My first drum lesson was with noted ethnomusicologist John Galm during Indian Guides, a more native alternative to Boy Scouts. I got my start in music with orchestra, playing percussion, triangle, snare and timpani at University Hill Elementary in Boulder in 1974. But by 1982 I sold my drum kit to travel to Alaska. The drums returned. Not a full kit, but congas and Latin percussion. I learned hand drumming from “Doc” Rugenstein and later joined the percussion ensemble Kroku with his wife Laurie, Dan Hankin and Bob Wiz. Other local musicians I’ve performed with include, T Valladares, Sam Fuqua, Chip and the Chowderheads and Topaz Jazz trio.

Walks in my hood lets me hear the rehearsing of jazz trumpeter Brad Goode. A few blocks over resides Bob Story of Martian Acres whom I have recorded with. Down the street is the accomplished flautist Ray Stewart with whom I performed as Ancestral Voices.

Some of the most inspiring live performances that I carry with me are Jack Dejonette, Roy Haynes, in the jazz vein and Poncho Sanchez, Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente on the Latin side.

I hope to meet you on a jazz odyssey in the city.

Rembrandt Yard

We really like to play at opening receptions for artists because everyone arrives with an open state of mind.  When we played at the Boulder International Film Festival reception for independent filmmakers it was a thrill to be surrounded by the visual art of Rembrandt Yard.  As artists and sponsors mixed we served up our own style of cinematic jazz including a old favorite, In Walked Bud, in reference to bebop pianist Bud Powell.


Boulder Theatre

We played the Boulder Theatre on two occasions. You can just feel all that great history of cinema, radio and live music of every genre. You just play your heart out in tribute to the legacy that came before.

History makes for wonderful energy as the audience of the Boulder International Film Festival let us know.

The cloud murals on the walls of the theater are a constant reminder of the passing of time.

I recall we opened with Impressions by John Coltrane.