104 Watchung Avenue Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043 | 973-783-4330
Mon - Thurs: 1pm - 5pm and Saturday 11pm - 3pm

Al Cutro

The Montclair Music Studio is proud to introduce drum instructor,
Al Cutro.

Residing in Belleville, NJ, Al Cutro has been a veteran drum instructor for 4 decades at The Montclair Music Studio.

During this time, Al has also been a successful free-lance drummer at many public and private events.Currently, he participates with The Nutley Symphony Orchestra, The Garden State Concert and Marching Bands and The Riverside Jazzmen Dixieland Band.

Mr. Cutro has performed with jazz greats such as tenor saxophonist Buddy Terry, guitarists Harry Leahey and Vic Cenicola, reknowned country fiddler Dave Rimelis, Vocalist Julius La Rosa, as well as trumpet great and brother Vinnie Cutro. He has also performed with comedians Soupy Sales, Uncle Floyd and Corbett Monica of the Joey Bishop Show.

Al teaches all styles of drum technique including Rock, Jazz, Latin, Heavy Metal, Reggae, Dixie-Land, Fusion and Country. He introduces solo patterns which make for an impressive beginning workout.

Al’s teaching covers all forms of stick and brush technique as well as methods of syncopation around the drum set.

Getting to Know Al 

What Brought on Your Interest in Music?

Music was always around my home.  My dad was an amateur trumpeter and loved big band music. He played in the army band.  My mother also loved music.  Music was always on the radio and she loved to sing. While I was still in the grammar school band, I had the opportunity to play on the 60’s TV show, Wonderama, featuring Sonny Fox.  That was a real turning point and motivated me a great deal. My parents also took me to see Louis Armstrong in NYC in the 60’s.  These were extraordinary and important inspirational moments for me.

When did you start your studies?

I started playing drums in grammar school.  I also studied piano and trombone. I love melodic instruments like piano, guitar and the various band and orchestra instruments.  I always stress the melodic aspects of the drums as well.

What other instruments are in your repertoire?

As I mentioned, I’ve studied piano and trombone.  In fact, I still take trombone lessons privately.

Have You Played at Other Venues?

As a free-lance musician and member of the local musicians’ union, I have had the opportunity to play at a wide variety of night clubs, schools and event locations all over the metropolitan area.  Wedding and party venues as well as concert locations have provided many opportunities for my musical development. I feel my greatest performance accomplishments have been in performing musicals as a professional drummer.  Theatrical performances such as The Wiz, The Music Man, Guys and Dolls and Bye, Bye Birdie can provide performance and educational skills experience which are invaluable to young drummers.  I love this craft.

What are Your Favorite Hobbies Other than Music?

I’m a big baseball fan.  I also love stand-up comedy which I still practice on my own.
However, listening to and playing all types of music is my true passion.  I encourage my students to open themselves to all sorts of music.