Drummer Jamison Ross believes that he took a gamble by singing on his first two albums.
Ross, who performs Saturday at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center as a part of the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, won the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drum Competition. Winning the Monk competition came with the chance to record his self-titled debut album, which was released in 2015.
He could have played to form and released an instrumental album or invited guest vocalists to join him. Instead, Ross decided to drum and sing on “Jamison.”
“Most people would say that it was risky to come out on my debut as a singer,” he says. “But I’ve been singing all of my life, so it’s not uncomfortable for me to sing and play the drums.”