I'd like to thank all of the following people that have taken the time to either fill out my survey form or send me email with comments about my dad, or the dedication web page. I'd also like to thank organizations like Modern Drummer and PAS for taking an interest and helping to get the word out about Jimmie Stavris Sr., and the page.
You have done a beautiful job of letting people know about your fathers life's passion. I got a real feeling of his love for playing and teaching. Well done Lou!!
Steve Smith (Vital Information)
Lou, I just got done viewing your website for the first time! "WOW" Such a great job. I know your dad is proud and I know that Louie is too! Thanks for showing the great memories and thank you for being a Dynamic Drummer!
I had the pleasure of dealing with your dad for a number of years from when I first started at Pro-mark in 1985. Although we never met face-to-face, he was always very nice to me when I'd call him. I didn't realize he had passed away, as I've been away from day-to-day sales for the last 4 or 5 years. I'm sorry to hear it. I'll see if I can find an appropriate place on our site to make a link to yours. Thanks for the message and I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner. I've been out of town on business.
Pat Brown (Pro Mark Corporation)
Great job on the dedication page! I'm sure dad is proud. Dad was one of the most beautiful people I have ever met and a GREAT teacher and a hell of a drummer. I miss him dearly. Please give my love to mom & jim. I hope to be in Ct. mid. of May. Stay well
Great page and a fitting tribute to your father.
I visited your web site and found your dedication page to your dad most touching. He was a pretty amazing guy. Keep up the good work Louis.
All the best,
percussionist, composer, educator & recording artist
Good luck with the site; it's for a good cause!
Jimmie Stavris Sr. Dedication page
legendary J. Burns Moore
Johnny Long Orchestra
Jimmie Stavris Drum School and Shop
Jimmie Stavris Sr. was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. The son of Greek immigrants, Jim soon found he was not "cut out for" the family restaurant business, and found his true calling in life... Drumming!
His first instructor, the legendary J. Burns Moore taught the art of rudimental drumming with a heavy hand. Jim often told the story of how Mr. Moore would disapprove of a lesson that was not done correctly with a stern smack on the knuckles with his 3S sticks. Throughout his teens, Jimmie continued to work on his craft, and the culmination was a "gig" on the road with the Johnny Long Orchestra. Jim was also a veteran of The United States Navy and served during The Korean War. After the war, he decided to continue his study of Music at the Hartt School of Music where he studied under the world renown percussionist, Alexander Lepak. From that point on, Jimmie Stavris Sr. and Alexander Lepak were very close, and it was apparent that Jim held Mr. Lepak in the highest regard. It was the instruction theories taught by Mr. Lepak that led Jimmie to his true calling.... teaching the art of drumming.
Jimmie Stavris Sr. began teaching drums in 1958, and could only be stopped by a failing heart that caused his death in December of 1996. In almost Forty years of teaching, it is estimated that Mr. Stavris touched the lives of over twenty-five hundred students. During this time, he was also the owner/operator of the "Jimmie Stavris Drum School and Shop", which consisted of a small studio, and a little shop where he sold drums and supplies. Countless numbers of local drummers came to know the small shop as a place to get a fair price on top quality equipment, as well as find that small but important part that nobody else would carry. This was really the essence of the Drum Shop, it was more of a service for the drumming community then a serious attempt to make a profit, and the result was a small but loyal "family" of drummers.
Jim's extended family was very important to him, and was a driving force throughout his adult life. Only his Wife, two sons, and immediate family meant more. His gift of drumming was very strong with both sons. Jimmie Stavris Jr., became a spokesman for the town of East Haven, Connecticut during his High School Career, as he represented the town, and eventually the state in several accomplishments surrounding his drumming. Jim Jr., made All State two consecutive years, as well as being selected to both The McDonald's All American High School Band and The United States Collegiate Wind Band. A "chip off the old block", Jim Jr. clearly showed the talent and work ethic to carry the family name as a World Class drummer. The second son took a different path, but studied under Jimmie Sr. as well. At the age of thirteen, Lou Stavris began playing professionally with a duo that he co-founded and booked. Lou worked at both the music and business side of playing drums and soon developed a reputation that was worthy of the family tradition. Perhaps the most celebrated student and family member is Nick Forte`. As Jimmie's brother-in-law, Nick began taking lessons during his teens, and has gone on to play and teach professionally with a variety of Jazz legends. Nick has also authored several drum method books and has had several articles published in both Modern Drummer and Down Beat Magazines.
The legacy of Jimmie Stavris Sr. is that of his family, students, and all those that can say that the music is better because he shared with them his gift as a drummer and teacher. As his son, I have seen and shared in this gift first hand, and this is why I have dedicated this page to him.... I love you dad!!!
Louis A. Stavris
I will use the information you provided for an item in Modern Drummer Online, and will direct our readers to the site about your father. It will appear in either the next issue, or the one that immediately follows.
A wonderful dedication!! The band "Neybas" Wishes all of the Stavris family well.
Did I tell you how much I enjoyed the website? I loved the parts about your dad, I never knew all that stuff about him before, it was a lovely tribute.
Thank you for the information about your father. We are trying to decide how to help you. There is a possibility that we could mention something in one of our issues that go out to our members. I will be in touch. Sorry to hear about his death. My father died a year ago at the age of 55, so I know how difficult this is for you and your family.
Sincerely and best wishes,
Phillip J. Mikula
Very nice page you have put together. I envy you having a great teacher who happened to be your own father. How did it feel to have the drum battle with Louie? Personally, I would have been scared to death! I corresponded with him by mail for several years in the 80's. He's one of the nicest guy's you'd ever come across. Anyway, I included a link to your site on my links page. Keep up the good work!
I studied with your father about 20 or more years ago. I was deeply saddened to hear of your loss. He was a very kind, very giving man. I think your tribute to your father is wonderful.
I am sorry to hear of your father's passing.
I just wanted to compliment you on a job well done on your fathers dedication!! All of those pics of your father brought back a lot of great memories!
Talk to you soon.
I don't know if you remember me but I used to take drum lessons from your father a long time ago. It's Fran Merante.
First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest sympathy for the loss of your father. He was a great man and every note I am able to play and teach, I owe to your father. He was truly an inspiration to me and I'll never forget him.
I would also like to congratulate you on such a cool web site. It looks great.
As I was looking at some of the pictures on your page, it brought back a lot of memories. I remember you bringing me to the room where your kit was set up and showing me some of the Buddy Rich licks you and your father somehow figured out how to play. Thanks so much for that. I still use some of those licks today!!!!
Well just thought I'd say hello after you brought back such fond memories of my early days of drumming!!!
Thanks so much
Searching for vintage drum equipment. I came across your site. I am a former student of the Jimmie Stavris Drum School, East Haven, CT. I remember the house very well and Jimmy Jr. who at the time was 5 or 6 years old. Your dad left a lasting impression on me. An excellent teacher and a great soft spoken guy. I have been playing drums professionally since 1962. My deepest condolences and best of luck to you and yours.
I took lessons with Jimmie for about a year in 1974-75. I am from Hamden,CT and I am currently a pilot for a Major Cargo carrier. I remember Jimmie best for his demanding but rewarding style of teaching. I was saddened to learn of his death on this site. Those are great memories for me. I'll never forget Mr. Stavris. Thanks for the experiences.
George T. Hines
I don't know if you remember me, but I was one of your father's many students. I was a very shy girl who received a lot of "flak" for wanting to play drums. When I first started lessons with your dad, I remember being in awe. It was like entering a whole different world… A Drum World!! Most importantly, I remember your father's patience and kindness towards me, and never once did I feel the stigma of being a "girl drummer" when I was in his presence. He was by far the most respectable man I have ever met. Not only was he a GREAT teacher, but he was also a GREAT man. I could never express how much he meant to me or how appreciative I am to have known him. He was truly an inspiration.
I was telling a story of how I could always tell if someone studied with Jimmie by their hands… They always have great hands (form). When I was informed of his passing, I was so shocked and saddened. Again, words cannot express. Drums are still my life and I am now a teacher also. I mention your father often. One of your dad's famous quotes to me was "Pat, Pat, You have to walk before you can run!!!". He was a great man who still lives in many hearts!!! Whenever I hear thunder, I just figure your father is giving a class.
Much love to you and your family.
Very nice page and glad to see it, If it's got to with drums
you know I'm interested. Also hearing of Jim's passing was very
disturbing for me I had heard of it after the fact, to this day I
just wish I could have shown my respect at the services if I had
known. GOOD LUCK!
I took lessons from your father 25 years ago. What a real master!
I have a brother in law in north Carolina who collects
vintage kits. I was amazed to see a Gene Krupa kit, a
Buddy Rich kit, and many more of the greats. It reminded me of the days when I took lessons from your dad. His rudiments always blew my mind. I live in Branford, CT now, and although I have not player drums seriously in a long time, I still have some speed. At this point, I'd like to work a little on my timing. Any suggestions for a teacher?
I've been playing classic rock music and originals with my current band for about a year, and would appreciate any advice you could offer.
Your Web Site is Very Cool!
I Love the new web-site, especially the dedication to your dad. He was one hell of a guy. He is thought of often. Hope all is well with everyone. I'm still drumming, (teacher#2)since your dad passed on. I saw the piece you did on channel 8 news Sunday night. Great job! Your father would have been very proud of you. He always was. He spoke of you & Jim Jr. all of the time. He was very proud of both of you.
As you know, I only knew your dad for a short time, but in that time, we became good friends. It was more than just a teacher/student relationship. I can remember plenty of times after my lesson, we would go out for lunch. He always liked to go to the Twin Pines Diner in East Haven. I also remember one of the times I was laid up in the wheelchair with the m.s. (multiple sclerosis) & he came over my house to give me my lesson. I really appreciated that!! He gave me & 2,500 other students the foundation for drumming. May he rest in peace.
Please tell your mother & your brother I said hello.
Thanks for helping with the computer. I Went to your web site
excellent job! Your father would be proud. The pictures bring back memories.
I'm going to check out some sticks than call you with the model
number. I'll stay with Vic Forth. I have some of his BR sticks but they are to
heavy. The Ludwig model is the one. I have 2 pairs left. One I play with on
the pad the other still in the bag for collecting. I also have a Slingerland
BR model that's like a Pro Mark 747 that's two light.
Well, thank you again, and I'll be in touch!!
I didn't have the opportunity to meet your Dad, but I was introduced to Nick Forte some years back as he was close friends with a close friend of mine...the late Wardell Ward. I met him at a Jazz Club in Ct., where they had a gig together. I can tell that your Dad was a great drummer/teacher by the talent of his pupil. Thanks for sharing this dedication site....It's obvious
how deeply you loved and respected your Father, and I'm glad you did the spot on TV...otherwise I would have never known to check it out.