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www.AtlanticAveMagazine.com | July 2011 69 BY DIANE FEEN PHOTO BY ALEX GOYKMAN DREW TUCKER THE MAN AND HIS MUSIC D rew Tucker is a renegade of sorts. He sees things that others may not see and he does things that others may not do. But, to know Tucker is to know that he is a brilliant musician and music instructor, and that he takes pride and a lot of energy to build support in communities for the cultural arts. Tucker is visionary of lif EDQG DW /RJJHUV 5XQ 0LGGOH School and was in the Perform- ing Arts department at Olympic Heights High School. In high school he played drums (special- izing in the vibraphone) and was in the chorus and school plays. But for some reason he wanted more. I fell in love with jazz while I was in high school, but I wanted to perform, said the youngest child of Leo and Violet Tucker. So thats what he did. His father Leo took Drew all over South Florida so his son could perform in front of a live audi- ence. He played on Las Olas Blvd. at OHaras, at Van Dyke Cafe in Miami Beach, Ernies in Delray Beach and Jazid in South Beach (just to name a few). It is this brush with destiny, and with live performance spac- es, that set the stage for Tucker to create what is now known as the Tucker Academy. When I was in high school it became fun to practice music when I was not just performing for my extended family (he has four siblings) but for clubs and music venues. That is what motivated me to start this school so I could give young people the opportunity to perform in a safe space. 7KH UVW 7XFNHU $FDGHP\ ZDV founded in Coconut Creek in 2007. Students could take private lessons with Tucker and could be a part of a musical culture that GHQHG LWVHOI DV D SODFH ZKHUH live performances were more than just routine obligatory events for relatives and parents. I wanted to give students a musical culture where they could grow and express themselves mu- sically with like minded peers, said Tucker. Part of the Tucker Academy included performances and collaboration with local per- formance spaces. His students play at Jazz on the Avenue, The Parkland Food and Wine Festival and other performance spaces such as the Crest Theater at Old School Square. We put on major performances with lighting, mu- sic, sound tracks, drama and we sold tickets, said Tucker. Although Tucker is a breed among few in South Florida, his visions often soar above the clouds. Perhaps that is why he recently teamed up with the new Arts Garage in Delray Beach. This collaboration will continue WR H[SDQG WKH VFRSH DQG PDJQL - cence of musical instruction and performance for children and adults of all ages. And one thing for sure Tucker is the perfect person to lead this instructional musical enlighten-ment. Drew is a different level of cool; hes a visionary with an in- GHQDEOH VWDU TXDOLW\ +H LV DOVR not afraid to mash vintage prin- ciples with new age thinking, VDLG 5\DQ %R\OVWRQ RI )XWXULVWLF Woo Brand Consulting. Tuckers vision for this new academy at the Arts Garage will include musical instruction for all instruments and glee classes (like the TV show) as well as Saturday morning classes for children. There are also oppor- tunities to perform live with pop and jazz groups, Blue Man style drum ensembles (in orange) and string quartets. The Tucker Academy also VSRQVRUV WKH 5R\DO )DPLO\ &RO - lective, a group of slam poets and musicians who perform locally at hot spots like Dada DQG WKH /LYLQJ 5RRP LQ %R\QWRQ Beach. My goal is to change the culture to be more conducive for artists to create and have a sus- tainable lifestyle. We dont want to just create great musicians; we want to create great human beings. The skills they learn here, VXFK DV FRQGHQFH GLVFLSOLQH and self expression will help students for the rest of their lives in any career, said Tucker, who is also an active performer and studio musician. 7XFNHU DOVR KDV D QRQSURW foundation called the Bancroft Foundation of the Arts, and he has a partner, violist Laura Sinclair. They also provide schol- arships for talented students and have summer programs and workshops for children and adults. When children perform live it brings everyone together as one village. This positive cultural change is a way for people to connect that is sincere bringing hearts and minds together. Its what I call village building and thats huge. Sarah Martin thinks so too. Delray Beach is going through a transition and having someone like Drew as a driving force in the cultural arts is exciting. The talent level of his students is spectacular and is a product of his hard work, said the Execu- tive Director of the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative. The Tucker Academy at the Arts Garage 561-404-0464 thetuckeracademy.org inspire@thetuckeracademy.org facebook.com/drewtucker7 twitter.com/tuckerlogic Drews performance schedule: July 3 at Living Room July 30 at Dada August 3 at Living Room 69 www.AtlanticAveMagazine.com | July 2011