I was born into a family of musicians. My grandfather was the Dean of Music at Penn State, and my grandmother played the organ and had perfect pitch. My father Phil Grant, a Julliard student, was a percussionist with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner, and later played with the famous New York Goldman Band.
Our house was always filled with musicians, including the greats like Elvin Jones, Mel Lewis, and Louie Belson when my father was the vice president of Gretch Drums. My Dad took my twin brother Jim and me to Birdland to hear Miles, Count Basie, and others.
Once, when I was a baby, my Dad put a snare drum in my crib to calm me down. He later became my first drum teacher, starting me off on the snare drum at age nine, and then adding the timpani. Morris Goldenberg from the Julliard School helped develop my snare drum technique and also taught me auxiliary percussion. I studied drum set for a long time with Ted Reed, a master teacher and author of the famous drum book “Syncopation.”