Jonathan Ulman, AS’04, MPS’12, was recently nominated for Session Musician…
Jonathan Ulman, AS’04, MPS’12, was recently nominated for Session Musician of the Year in the Boston Music Awards for being a relentlessly driven and prolific session and touring drummer. You can listen to Ulman’s music on Facebook and follow him @jmudrums, and if you like what you hear, cast a vote to support him.
Voting closes Nov. 20, and the winner will be announced at The House of Blues in Boston on Dec. 8.
“It’s an amazing honor,” says Ulman, who lives in Boston’s Roslindale neighborhood. “I was pretty excited to hear about the nomination. It’s nice to know that you’re recognized for something you love to do in your home city.”
Ulman was also recently nominated by Rhythm Magazine and MusicRadar in the Best New Drummer 2016 category.
Ulman’s passion for playing drums really came into focus when he was 11, and he recalls thinking it was only a matter of time before he hit the Big Time. Drawing inspiration from his favorite band at the time, Pearl Jam, Ulman worked for countless weeks learning and practicing the parts to the band’s debut album.
“I learned Ten front to back. In my mind, I actually thought that in the event that their drummer didn’t show up for a show, somehow Eddie Vedder would just call me up on stage,” he says. “I was naïve, but I was ready to go.”
He was also ambitious. “When I was around 11 or 12, I drew up a list of goals I wanted to achieve as a musician and I still keep it folded up in my wallet,” says Ulman, who’s endorsed by musical instrument heavyweights like Zildjian cymbals, Ludwig drums, and Vic Firth drumsticks. “Every year that goes by I get to check something off, but I know that I still have a lot more to accomplish.”
Today, Ulman’s schedule is virtually nonstop. He’s an on-call drummer for about 30 artists, and each year plays nearly 150 shows, learns 300 original songs and 100 covers, and spends around 40 days in-studio. In the past two years, he’s performed on 35 records.
“I’m extremely dedicated to what I do and try to leave a positive impression on anyone I play with,” he explains. “It means a lot when a band or artist reaches out to me and says I come highly recommended. It’s a nice pressure to have, really, because it keeps you striving to excel.”