Re: Ari Hoenig
North Texas State (one o'clock) Jazz Band came to my high school when I was 14, did a clinic, then a show that night. During the clinic, with Ari a feet away, I saw him do the coolest stuff a jazz drummer could do, absolutely flawless. What made the biggest impression on me was his innovation: he removed a metal bead chain from around his neck, tossed if on top of his ride cymbal, and made it sound like it was riveted! This was in 1994, years before Pro Mark came out with their Rattler device. He also had an Ayotte snare, way before that company became well known among drummers.
He was friendly and amicable, to myself and the other drummers in attendance.
After the show, Ari and a few other members of the band autographed my show poster. He filled me with inspiration that day, and it's really cool to see how his career has evolved since then.