Copyright © 2018 ESCAPE LLC. All rights reserved. All photography and video by Terri Rapp, Rappsnapper Photography, except where noted.
JOHN GURKE | DRUMS, VOCALS
As a graduate from the prestigious University of North Texas, John has embarked on everything percussion from orchestral, Drum Corps International (DCI) to jazz drum set and everything in between. A professional music educator/band director in the Dallas area, John keeps a busy schedule between band/drum line competitions, composing, arranging, recording, performing, adjudicating and conducting clinics. As a professional artist, John has recorded/performed with numerous artists, including Torrid Affair (Warner Brothers), Fearless (Independent), Michael Harris (Lion Music), Cheap Trick, The Supremes, Joe Nichols, Vince Neil, Al Green, Sting and even landed an audition with Ozzy Osbourne.
John has a diverse range of musical influences from Bach to the Beatles, Miles Davis to Motown, Led Zeppelin to Living Colour, Elton John to ELO, Parliament to the Police and James Brown to Jellyfish, while his drumming influences range from Ringo, Bonham, Buddy Rich, Tony Williams, Terry Bozzio, Steve Gadd, Stewart Copeland, Vinnie Colaiuta and of course, Steve Smith.
For ESCAPE shows, John tries to replicate Steve Smith’s kit with a 1986 Yamaha Recording Custom Kit (8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 2 x 22 BD and 6 ½ x 14 SD in cherry wood finish) or the same set up in a DW Collectors Series Kit (broken glass finish, but with single BD set up). Also in his arsenal: 8 drum kits, 30 snare drums, marimba, timpani, congas, bongos, misc. Latin Percussion instruments and even his own Yamaha marching quads (yep, band nerd).
Shure WH30TQG wireless headset mic, Berringer mixing console (sub mix), Westone ES50 in ear monitors, Roland TD20 module, Roland PD-100 pads, LP cowbell/tambourine and May miking system.
In his spare time, John is an avid soccer fan and player, enjoys cooking, good flicks and most of all, spending time with his beautiful wife, Shandy and their two boys, Joshua and Noah.