David Stefanelli. Drummer, percussionist, guitarist, and music producer.


David Stefanelli

Growing up with a dad who was a jazz tenor sax player probably had something to do with it. Like most musicians if you are born with some definable talent odds are you are going to run with it. So began my love for music at a very young age. I was terrible at sports and with most of the popular, common things that kids show love and interest for except when it came to music. Music was indeed all mine. I excelled on the drums and thankfully so. I had an awareness with the drums that was more than just being able to play them. I was on my way to becoming a musician. Thank you dear God!

Like most young players from that time I ended up playing drums (and singing?) in a slew of local bands. In my time of being a teen which was in the 1970's, it seemed like every house had a young band rehearsing in it. Back then playing music in a band was really popular. These were indeed great days.

At 14, I got on a local bus and went to the other end of the city to meet some older kids that were putting a band together and looking for a drummer. I ended up joining the local rock band Zenophon as the drummer/lead singer. Lead singer? The singing addendum happened by accident. Fact was, I was an OK singer and the position needed filling immediately.

Years passed and I played in many great local bands. The Boston music scene was AMAZING back then. Original music from bands was the hot ticket. Everyone wanted to be "signed" by a record label. We had a slew of successful bands that were launched from right here. The bands included BOSTON, The Cars, The J. Geils Band, Aerosmith and more!

One Thursday night I watched and listened to a local singer/songwriter perform at a small club in Somerville (Jaspers). Robert Ellis Orrall and his band played these original songs that Robert had written and I really loved it. In the styles reminiscent of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe, but at the same time, very unique. Interesting because I had spent most of my time up to that point loving, listening and drumming to much harder sounding rock as well as progressive rock. This was not any of that.

As fate would have it, months later and thanks to a local musician named Bobby Brandon (Luna), my name was suggested to Robert when he was looking for a new drummer. I was 21 years old.

Playing with Robert opened up the world of recording for a major record label. We went on to record several of Robert's albums which lead me to my studio work in the United Kingdom with producer Roger Bechirian of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe fame. We ended up recording this cool pop song Robert wrote as a duet. At the time, country singer Carlene Carter was married to Nick Lowe and living in the UK. Perfect! We recorded the duet song "I Couldn't Say No" which went on to become a Top-40 hit in the USA.

I ended up working as a session drummer on many different projects over the years. Always performing in great local bands as well to keep the work flowing. A tough life as a musician but a happy one!

Zildjian Cymbals

I am proud to say I have been an endorser of Zildjian Cymbals for more than 32 years. Both the amazing line of cymbals and the equally amazing people at the company have indeed made my musical journey something very special. I am forever grateful.

Some of the artists/bands I have played with, recorded with and toured with:

Zenophon, Robert Ellis Orrall, Brian Maes, Joey Scott & The Connection, Tsouky & The Memories, Pat Benti and Shaboom!, The Beautiful Losers, WANTED DOA, The California Raisins, Simon Byrne, Carlene Carter, Mama Kicks, Lisa Guyer, The Handsome Brothers Music Service, Ross Vannelli, Peter Wolf & The Houseparty 5, The RoYaL PaInS, Sully Erna's Avalon, Roger Bechirian, RTZ with Brad Delp and Barry Goudreau, The Beloved Few, Lizzy Welch, Karen Carr, Red Peters, Michael Troy, Johnny A...

Places I have performed and toured:

The United States (extensively) and Puerto Rico, Canada, Japan, Spain, The United Kingdom and Wales, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany...

Studios I have recorded at:

The Record Plant (NYC), Syncro Sound (Boston), Longview Farms (Massachusetts), Rear Window (Boston), Q-Division (Boston), Studio B (Boston), Downtown Recorders (Boston), Blue Jay (Massachusetts), Northern Studios (Massachusetts), Normandy Sound (Rhode Island), The Village Recorder (California), Rumbo Studios (California), Ross Vannelli Studio (California), Rockfield Studios (Wales), Advision (London), Elephant Recording Studio (London - East End), Mason Rouge (London), Ampro (London), Eeel Pie Studios (London)...

Drum Tracking On Your Music

"Be sure to follow the "Tracking" link if you would like to have me record drums and percussion on your music." ~ David

Learn more about David's drum tracking


David Stefanelli, Zildjian endorsed.

David Stefanelli uses TOCA percussion instruments.

David Stefanelli uses Zager guitars.