Drum community mourns the loss of 'Drumming’s Global Ambassador', Dom Famularo, who has passed away aged 70

Dom Famularo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The drumming community is mourning the loss of Don Famularo — musician, educator, and motivational speaker, who passed away on 27 September aged 70, following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.

Known to many as Drumming’s Global Ambassador, Dom Famularo began his professional career in his teens, and, as a Long Island native, soaked-up inspiration from watching the likes of Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams and more perform first-hand. 

Dom went on to study under some of the world’s greatest pioneering drum teachers including Joe Morello, Jim Chapin and Ted Reed, and much of Dom’s life’s work centred around passing on the knowledge he gained from such greats.

As a drummer, Dom Famularo performed with artists including BB King and the Buddy Rich Big Band, but it was teaching that saw Dom introduced to students and audiences across the globe. He delivered countless drum clinics worldwide — including becoming the first western drummer to deliver a drum masterclass in China — helped instigate Sabian’s Education Network, and through his own private lessons, taught many thousands of drummers and drum teachers to play.

In later years, Dom became one of the founders of The Sessions Panel; an online resource designed to help musicians develop their careers through advice on the business and playing side. The Sessions panel YouTube channel features many long-form video interviews from world-class musicians where Dom’s easy-going nature and knowledge of his craft help to deliver priceless insight into forging a career.

In 2019, Dom headed to the world’s largest online drum lesson site, Drumeo, where he delivered an hour-long masterclass. His friendly, bombastic enthusiasm propelled Drumeo’s ‘world Happiest Drummer Plays Eye of the Tiger’ excerpt to over 3.5 million views, bringing Dom’s unique personality to a whole new generation of drummers.

As the news of Dom’s death broke, drummers and drum brands took to social media to honour Drumming’s Global Ambassador. Dom is survived by his wife and three sons. 

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.