Katherine Pretto

Katherine Pretto

Ever since she was a young girl, Katherine always banged, tapped, hit, slammed and whacked anything she could get her hands on. During times when her brother and sister would watch television, she could never fight the urge to grab a pair of sticks and practice stick control. Regardless of how many times her older siblings scolded her to stop playing, she never quit. Katherine knew through all the performances she would witness and colleagues she would come to know, fate would never allow those sticks to leave her hands.

As she became more proficient, she began to tackle more challenging styles of music such as Latin grooves of Tito Puente and funk methods of David Garibaldi. However, in order to truly embrace rhythm, she had to experiment with every facet it had to offer. Thanks to her inane ability to learn quickly, she tackled traditional dancing (such as pointe ballet) to modern movements (hip-hop). Eventually she went on to tap dance, elevating her skills enough to perform the Center Stage tribute to River Dance in 1997 at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. Still, that didn’t prove to be enough. Her need and desire to learn lead her to competitive ballroom dancing in salsa, tango, mambo, samba and meringue with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Highland Park, NJ. She aced her first competition winning first prize in all dances in 2002.

Even though her respect for the dance discipline grew more profound, her natural desire to create distinct and innovative beats that moved the dancers outweighed her need to continue competing. She would play through every means possible, especially through a strenuous pregnancy. The incredible birth of her first child, Marianella Andrea, made Katherine realize drums were the key to keeping her wild heart tamed. Since then, she has drummed for many noteworthy New Jersey artists such as Amber Blues, Broken 3, Dr. Louis Guitar Conover, Eden Star, Left Disgusted, and Dr. Chud (former member of the Misfits), just to name a few. In the meantime, she has teched for Glen Burtnik of Styx and famed fusion drummer Ron Thaler – her esteemed mentor. All of this was accomplished under the age of 25. With so many remarkable achievements in a short period of time – and still never ceasing to amaze her honorable employers – her greatest accomplishment is witnessing daughters picking up their mother’s old sticks and playing their first beat.

Currently, she is endorsing Soultone Cymbals and Dark Horse Percussion, subbing for note-worthy drummers (such as Lester Veith, the Texas Shuffle King), and has become a protégé of acclaimed session musician and performer Sandy Gennaro.

Not bad for a Texas-born Jersey Girl . . .