Karl Latham, adjunct professor of music at County College of Morris (CCM), literally marches to the beat of his own drum. The percussion specialist, who resides in Warwick, NY, has appeared on hundreds of album releases, recordings and television shows in Europe and has toured the U.S. and Europe for the past 20 years.
Those flying Lufthansa airline this month are able to enjoy his beats while traveling. The airline’s jazz/ambient selection on its free in-flight entertainment features The Wolfgang Lackerschmid Connection’s latest album “Magic Brewery.” Latham plays drums and percussion during the entire album and has been working with Lackerschmid for 20 years in various groups.
“Prior to teaching at CCM, I spent six months per year in Europe touring from 1993-2000,” says Latham. “Germany is my main market, and I’m excited that my music is available to those flying Europe’s largest airline, which is based in Germany. It’s especially satisfying to be featured during such a popular month for travel.”
The Wolfgang Lackerschmid Connection is a modern jazz group led by German vibraphonist and composer Lackerschmid and comprises Latham, jazz bass legend Mark Egan and German trumpeter Ryan Carniaux, who Latham calls a “rising star.” The group recently completed a three-week tour in Europe in support of the new release, and additional tours are planned for 2014. Latham and Lackerschmid were introduced by John Lee, the leader of the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band. The group’s latest album was recorded in Augsburg, Germany, in July of 2012.
Latham’s work has appeared in many publications on sample CDs and downloads in the past, including Relix and Drumhead magazines. He is listed on the independent website www.drummerworld.com in its Top 500 Drummers list. He plays every style of music ranging from R&B to jazz, to funk, to Broadway musicals. He has played with many well-known artists, including Johnny and Edgar Winter, and appeared on Andy Snitzer’s album “Traveler,” which was in the top 10 of smooth jazz radio airplay for nearly an entire year. He is the co-leader of Big Funk with Don Braden, who Latham says is considered one of the top living jazz saxophonists and educators.
When it comes to music education, Latham has nothing but praise for CCM.
“I believe CCM and Professor Marielaine Mammon (chair of music, dance and performing arts) have developed one of the strongest two-year music departments, both in curriculum offered and the faculty teaching it, of any of the hundreds of community colleges I have visited,” says Latham, who has performed at many of those college across his 20-year touring career. Latham regularly includes that work experience with students to help them achieve their own goals.
Latham received his Bachelor of Specialized Studies from Ohio University and studied music performance at Rutgers University, Ohio University and Berklee College of Music, including private studies with drumming greats Gary Chester and Joe Morello.
# # #Photo: Karl Latham, adjunct music professor at County College of Morris, appears on the The Wolfgang Lackerschmid Connection’s latest album “Magic Brewery,” which is currently available on Lufthansa airline’s jazz/ambient selection on its free in-flight entertainment.
Credit: Herbert Heim, www.Jazzpixel.de