Dave DiCenso is a Boston-area drummer whose musicality and versatility have garnered him a diverse list of playing credits. He also happens to be a highly-regarded and sought-after educator and has maintained a thriving practice throughout his playing career.
As a child, Dave could be found playing his dad’s 60’s Slingerlands along with his favorite 45’s and albums in the basement of his parents’ suburban home. By the age of four, he was asking his dad, Dick DiCenso – a renowned teacher in the Boston area for more than fifty years now – for drum lessons. After holding him off for a year his dad gave him his first lesson. As it turned out, however, Dave proved to be a less-than-ideal student, frequently opting to play along with his Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Kiss records instead of practicing his lessons. Despite his dad’s expert tutelage and patience, Dave gave up on lessons after a few years and migrated toward another of his fascinations, guitar. Eventually of course, it came time to choose a career path and, well, we know which one he took…
With a desire to learn more about music and try to make a living at it, Dave reconnected with his father for a couple years’ worth of lessons before going to New York City to study privately at the Drummer’s Collective. At the Collective he had the privilege of working with more great teachers such as Kim Plainfield, Rod Morgenstein, Zach Danziger, Duduka Fonseca, Pete Zeldman, Frank Malabe, Ricky Sebastian, Bob Weiner, and Frank Katz. From there he went back home and took up with renowned teacher Gary Chaffee for the better part of a year. The rest of his education was “in the field”, starting with his first GB gig at fifteen – to which his mom drove and retrieved him.
Since then Dave has worked with bands and artists ranging widely in genre – from hardcore to fusion, prog to r&b, jazz to pop. A partial listing of his credits includes Josh Groban, Steve Morse Band, Cro-Mags, Hiromi, Duran Duran, John Petrucci, Gary Cherone, Suze DeMarchi, Johnny A, Shelter, Two Ton Shoe, Aaron Katz Band, Jess Tardy, Jon Finn Group, Farrenheit, Ultra Blue, Bad Karma, and Mystery Jones. An interesting tidbit – and testament to his musical depth – is that Dave has performed at venues as disparate as the Kennedy Center and the Whisky A GoGo, and has shared stages with artists as dissimilar as Etta James and Slayer.
As mentioned, Dave is also an educator. In addition to being a Professor of Percussion at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, he is an experienced clinician and has been a featured artist at major percussion industry events including the Modern Drummer Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, N.A.M.M., Frankfurt MusikMesse, and the Montreal Drum Festival.