Let’s Talk Music welcomes Stewart Copeland

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45:15 in: “This is worth it. Those eighty-thousand people. That kinetic ritual. That electricity that comes to the stage, that the artist reflects back — that shamanism. You know, we get a rhythm going, and you’ve got this mass of humanity with you. That’s quite intoxicating.”




Published on Feb 16, 2015
LACM welcomes drummer and composer Stewart Copeland to their ongoing “Let’s Talk Music” series to share his outlook on the modern music industry and offer wisdom from his accomplished career to an audience of students, alumni and fans.

“Jazz is the last refuge of the talentless.” — 46:45 in




Stewart Copeland is an influential musician, composer, and multi-instrumentalist best known as the drummer for the rock band The Police. Born on July 16, 1952, in Alexandria, Virginia, Copeland grew up in a musical family and began playing drums at a young age. He is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and influential drummers in rock music history.

Here are some key points about Stewart Copeland and his career:

1. **The Police**: Copeland rose to fame as the drummer for The Police, a British rock band formed in 1977. Alongside Sting (bass, vocals) and Andy Summers (guitar), Copeland helped define the band’s distinctive sound, which blended elements of rock, punk, reggae, and new wave. The Police achieved international success with hit songs like “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle,” “Every Breath You Take,” and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.”

2. **Innovative Drumming Style**: Copeland’s drumming style is characterized by his energetic and inventive approach to rhythm, incorporating elements of punk, reggae, and world music into his playing. His use of syncopated beats, polyrhythms, and unconventional percussion techniques helped define The Police’s sound and set him apart as a drummer.

3. **Solo Projects**: In addition to his work with The Police, Copeland has pursued a successful solo career as a musician, composer, and producer. He has released numerous solo albums, film scores, and collaborative projects, showcasing his diverse musical interests and talents. Copeland’s solo work spans various genres, including rock, classical, jazz, and world music.

4. **Film and Television Scores**: Copeland has composed music for a wide range of film and television projects, including soundtracks for movies such as “Rumble Fish,” “Wall Street,” and “The Equalizer.” His dynamic and atmospheric compositions have earned him critical acclaim and recognition as a versatile composer.

5. **Collaborations**: Over the course of his career, Copeland has collaborated with a diverse array of artists and musicians from around the world. He has worked with musicians from different genres and cultural backgrounds, contributing his unique perspective and expertise to collaborative projects spanning music, film, and multimedia.

6. **Legacy**: Stewart Copeland’s contributions to music as a drummer, composer, and innovator have had a lasting impact on the industry. His influence can be heard in the work of countless drummers and bands who have been inspired by his playing style and musical creativity. Copeland’s legacy as a pioneering musician continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.

Overall, Stewart Copeland is a legendary figure in the world of music, celebrated for his groundbreaking contributions to rock music, his adventurous solo projects, and his prolific work as a composer for film and television. His legacy as a drummer and composer continues to inspire musicians and fans around the world.

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