Interview with international multipercussionist & waterdrummer Walter Scalzone
Today we spotted one of the biggest entertainers in the Las Vegas of the Middle East, Dubai. He is the embodiment of the beat, a crazy mind…the percussionist Walter Scalzone
How long have you been a percussionist and what do you love most about it?
I started playing my first drum when I was 8 in a community of African kids where I used to spend afternoons in my hometown, Castel Volturno (Italy). I took it to the next level with studies and experiences on the stages (and dancefloors!) facing crowds from different nationalities and music tastes. This led me to experiment new sounds and percussions from all over the world, which now I adapt to the type of venue and audience. What I love the most is the connection with the crowd, when you start playing and the crowd feels you… feels your beat, your energy.
We have been mesmerized by one of your shows, The Wa(l)ter Drums. Please tell us more about it!
The Wa(l)ter Drums is unique show in the entire Middle East, based on the award winning Blue Man Group show in the US. It is a 100% customized percussion set, created along with an engineer, a plumber and a light technician. I felt the need of creating something that could strongly express energy, which is what drumming is all about for me. Today I consider this show as a metaphor for life. Whenever I perform it, my aim is to radiate that amazing power, positivity and gratitude I feel for being able to do what I do.
What would you say to whoever is aiming at becoming a percussionist?
Some people might think that playing percussion is a very easy thing to do because for them it’s all about banging the drums as hard and loud as you can. But that’s not what it’s about at all really. The most important thing is to know when not to play. Remember you are in a conversation, so it’s mandatory to listen closely to what the music or other musicians have to say and then make your decision about adding to that conversation. In fact, drumming is the most ancient, tribal form of communication, of connecting with everything around you!
Which are your top 3 favorite worldwide venues that you have ever performed?
Nikki Beach Dubai
This is one the biggest beach clubs in Dubai where I am resident since 2 years, a paradise venue I am highly attached to.
I performed there various time for events of Pacha & Café del Mar. Massive events, venues, and beautiful crowd.
Club 5, Senegal
Club 5, Senegal
I performed in the biggest nightclub of Dakar, Club 5, a great connection to traditional music, dance, and people.
Which other destinations or festivals/events do you wish to perform at? What is on your wish list?
My main wish is to inspire at least one person of my small hometown. Showing that everything is possible, also for those who apparently have less opportunities coming from a humble city, but can aim at the top by relying on their own skills and hard work. After having performed in more than 30 countries, my wish list is Ibiza and ultimately Las Vegas.