Jeanine Dell'Orfano

United States

I am a 42 year old drummer from Connecticut, USA. I began playing when I was 39 and have currently been taking lessons with my instructor and mentor Fran Merante for 2 years. I had a desire to play drums since I was very young and when I was a teenager asked my parents for lessons. After purchasing a kit and taking a few lessons, our attached neighbors were banging on the walls and cursing for the noise to stop. This was a real downside to growing up in Brooklyn, NY. That was end of my drumming aspirations until I decided to pursue the instrument at almost 40 years old. While still in the very early parts of my journey, I am inspired to dream big and hope to do session work someday. Some of my inspirations are Jeff Porcaro, David Garibaldi, John JR Robinson, Taylor Hawkins and Tommy Igoe. My submission is the tune “Diggin’ on James Brown” by Tower of Power. This was a perfect introduction to funk drumming for me as well as some more complex hi hat work.
I hopes to set an example for other women who think it’s too late to start learning a new instrument. It’s never too late. Music can never enter our lives at the wrong time. Over the last few years I have also been challenged by an autoimmune arthritis in my hands and wrists and there have been so many times that I have thought I would not be able to continue playing, but I never give up on myself.
I live on a small farm with my husband, step-daughters and 6 dogs. We also have small off grid cabin in the north woods of Maine. My IMPACT is environmental. We have horses that can drive and take the place of some machinery and our carbon footprint at our cabin is very small. We use solar panels for power and water and we provide a natural sanctuary for moose on our property in the state of Maine.


  1. rasila Queen on March 10, 2022 at 7:04 am

    Very nice work Jeanine! I loved your high hat work and choice of music. What a blast to the past. I started drumming when I was older than you were and know it’s never too late. I have a cat rescue at my house. Good luck.


  2. Jeanine Jeanine on March 10, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    Thank you so much Queenie!!!! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Love me some TOP. You’re right, its never too late!!!! Have a great day with your kitties!!

  3. nadkelly nadkelly on March 11, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Jeanine, really nice work! I love your ease at the kit. Your message is powerful. I have only been drumming since I was 42. I can’t wait to hear about your session gigs that will happen!

    • Jeanine Jeanine on March 11, 2022 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you so much! I hope I get to talk about them someday 🙂 !

  4. Jess Meade on March 11, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    Outstanding drumming!! Great work. Love the song and how much your style adds to it. Awesome!!!

    • Jeanine Jeanine on March 11, 2022 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you so much. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  5. MariaWulf MariaWulf on April 21, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    This is one of my favorite entries! I love your feel and how it matches the groove of the band, something that can’t be taught. I also really like the tone of your bass drum and how it was captured in the recording. Great job 🙂

    • Jeanine Jeanine on April 27, 2022 at 7:56 am

      Thank you SO much Maria! Your entry is also one of my favorites. I love your song choice and I love your funk drumming and feel. Good luck with this contest!

  6. EarthSongWoman EarthSongWoman on April 22, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Some skilled drumming here Jeanine 😀

    • Jeanine Jeanine on April 27, 2022 at 7:56 am

      Thank you so much so very kind of you.

  7. Sanford G. Thatcher on April 23, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Happy to hear that you came back to the drums after such a long time. Never too late indeed! I grew up playing with wooden spoons on pots from the kitchen accompanying my father, who played classic jazz on the piano. Didn’t get my own drum kit until I dropped out of grad school in 1967 and then played in a dozen bands until 1983, getting back into bands in 1999, 2000, and 2008 until I moved to Texas in 2009. Still have my drum kit, but just play along with records now at age 78. ToP was my favorite band from its inception in 1968 in Oakland, and for a decade I went to a dual concert with ToP and Average White Band at the Keswick Theater in Philly. Got Garibaldi’s signature on a napkin at breakfast one morning after one of those gigs. No one funkier than he, so loved your choice of material, which you performed in good ToP style. Wanted to go to a ToP concert in Dallas last month, but tickets are now selling for over $100.

  8. Jeanine Jeanine on April 27, 2022 at 7:59 am

    Wow!! What an awesome story! I hope you still have that napkin! Garibaldi is one of my favorites. I hope you get to a concert soon and thank you so much for the kind words. I really wanted this to be all feel so thank you.

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