Festival Date/Time/Location: Saturday, April 13 / 5:30PM / Sweetwater Grill and Tavern
A native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, Sturino quickly began to garner the attention of local musicians in the greater Milwaukee area at a young age. He found himself playing with a multitude of musicians by way of his father, an accomplished jazz pianist himself. Sturino first found music through the piano, but shifted focus to the drumset at the age of nine. As time progressed, it only seemed obvious that the natural combination of the two instruments was the vibraphone, on which Sturino now also regularly performs. While in high school, Sturino held the WSMA High School Honors Jazz drumset chair, the top drumset position for his age in the state, for all three eligible years. He was also selected as the drummer for the 2012 Jazz Band of America, under the direction of John Clayton. While in high school, Sturino composed two original compositions tailored specifically to his school’s percussion ensemble, which ended up receiving statewide honors from the Wisconsin State Music Association.
Sturino began his studies at the University of North Texas in 2012, where he quickly established himself as a versatile musician. His experience at UNT includes performing in the Grammy-Nominated One O’Clock Lab Band on Drumset and Vibraphone, the Downbeat-Award winning Two O’Clock Lab Band, the Downbeat-Award winning UNT Latin Jazz Lab Band, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban Ensembles, with Arthur Barrow (alumni and Clonemeister of Frank Zappa’s band) performing the music of Frank Zappa, and a multitude of student-led small group and degree recital performances during the school year. Sturino studied primarily with Ed Soph.
Sturino has also established himself as an emerging music educator, most notably through his association with Stanford University by way of the Stanford Jazz Workshop. During his summer tenures at Stanford, Sturino worked closely with students from a multitude of countries, as well as teaching along side a robust faculty that included Donny McCaslin, Ndugu Chancler, Tootie Heath, Allison Miller, Anat Cohen, Jimmy Heath, and more. Sturino also co-founded the Kenosha Jazz All-Stars, an annual summer youth program in his own hometown that brings jazz education and performance experience to middle and high school age students.
In 2010, Sturino was selected as one of two finalists in the “Jazz” category of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) International Drum Set Competition adjudicated by Jeff Hamilton, Matt Wilson, and Stanton Moore.