Arti Dixson


Arti was born in Catskill New York. Always wanting to play the drums he played on oat meal boxes, his mother's pans and the arms of chairs because they had a soft sound to them. When he was 11 years old, he finally got to take drum lessons in school under the direction of Harold Fredericks. He was in the sixth grade when he started taking lessons but could not enter the school band until he was in the seventh grade. Arti's mother played snare drum in an all-girl drum and bugle corps before Arti was born. Arti was given his very first opportunity to play in a band by Hank Yost and Jamie Dinklelocker. Hank and Jamie lit the fuse in Arti that continued to burn with a band called "The Spirits of Sound". This band became very popular at Coxsackie-Athens Central High School. The band was formed with Arti, Steve Riley, Doug Wager, Marc Turnello and Ronnie Ray.

While studying at The University of Albany in New York Arti was playing with piano player, John Esposito in a band called "Skytrain". John told him that he sounded like Jack DeJohnette and that he should study with him. John somehow got Jacks number and gave it to Arti. Arti called Jack and began taking lessons. It was studying with Jack DeJohnette that inspired Arti the most to pursue a musical career. Jack is the guy who Arti attributes to much of his success today. Jack gave him his first big gig with Kalaparusha and Peter Warren. Additionally, while at the University of Albany Arti played in a trio with Clyde Criner and Santi DeBriano. He also played in another band with Dave Rostetter, Jodi Shane, Greg Speck and Bernie Molita.

Arti left home to go on the road with a show band where he played in The Four Seasons Hotel circuit from Montreal to Vancouver Canada and throughout the United States. During this time he was called to play with a band in England where he also studied voice at the London School for Singing under the private direction of Arnold Rose.

After leaving that band he then pursued his career in New York City playing jingles and various projects with different bands as well as song writers. While recording for singer David Wolf , producer Ron Frangipani recommended Arti to Janis Ian who he toured the world and recorded with for the next few years. When that tour ended Arti got to play with many musicians in the New York and Connecticut region. He played with Larry Coryell, Randy Brecker, Bill Evans, Randy Klein, Jessie Austin, Marion Meadows, Joe Melotti, Kevin Jenkins, Paul Spinner, Bill Payne, Alex Foster, Pete Levin, Roger Ball, Brian Keane, Michael Torsone, Sal Giorgiani, Paul Branin, Vicki Sue Robinson, Eartha Kitt, Tom Elias, Kit Hane, Michael Bolton, Brian Torff, Ali Ryerson, Blue Lou Marini, Joe Beck, Ron Murray, Rex Cadwallader, Mike Asetta, Jim Cammack, "Cookie" Thomas, and many more. In 1988 Arti married Joanne which slowed him down just enough to honeymoon in Hawaii.

In 1993 Dave Mills commissioned Arti to play in a jazz trio with a string quartet at Yale University. The pianist for that project was Ahmad Jamal. Ahmad rehearsed once with Arti and several days later while sitting at a string quartet concert leaned over and whispering asked him to play a performance with him. The date was Dec. 2nd and it was a date that Arti had already booked with Randy Klein. However, Arti asked Ahmad where the performance was and when Ahmad said Carnegie Hall, Arti immediately replied "I think I can do it". Arti called Tony Lewis another great drummer and asked Tony to cover the date with Randy for him. Randy agreed to let Tony play and Arti was at Carnegie Hall with Ahmad Jamal on Dec. 2nd 1993. Arti once again toured the world and recorded with Ahmad for the next year. While in Scotland Arti played with Ahmad opening for Jack DeJonette and once again Jack became part of Arti's success by recommending that Sonor Drum Company take on Arti as an endorsee. Afterwards came endorsements with Vic Firth drumsticks, E-Mu products, and Evans drumheads. On September 19th 1994 Arti and Joanne had their first child and in October of that year Arti left Ahmad's band to be closer to his family. In 1995 Arti played a couple of dates with Ahmad in Pittsburgh and at the Jazz Bakery in California.

Arti began working at the Foxwoods Casino as one of the house drummers where he played with many of the groups that came there including Harry Connick, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Connie Francis and Ray Cousins. On his way home from a performance at Foxwoods Arti was in a fatal head on collision. While Arti survived it took a while for him to recover from that traumatic experience.

Arti has put his own band together to perform jazz education concerts and workshops throughout the school systems in Connecticut for Young Audiences. He is a member of the Music Teachers National Association. He has recorded many albums and CDs with a host of singers and musicians from Boston to Philadelphia. He has also done shows like Phantom Of The Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar. Arti recently performed with Paul Brown, George Caldwell, Longineu Parsons and Tina Fabrigue in "Ella Off The Record" a twelve week sold out show about the life of Ella Fitzgerald. He did a one act play which Avery Sharpe scored and starred Jasmin Guy and recorded the percussion tracks for the HBO Joe Louis sports special. He currently his playing percussion on a project written by Cuban composer Jorge Martin with Yehuda Hananni on cello and Bill Schimmel on accordion scheduled to be recorded in November as well as his own solo project.

Arti continues to perform and record throughout the region and also accepts students for private drum set consultations.