Vinnie Colaiuta

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Vinnie Colaiuta born Vincent Colaiuta, February 5th, 1956, is a highly regarded drummer and prolific session musician. He met and auditioned for Frank Zappa in 1978 after a recommendation from Tom Fowler. The Zildjian percussion company created a Vinnie Colaiuta drumstick.


"A (guitar) soloist choosing to work in this odd style ultimately winds up as a hostage -- he can go only as

far into the 'experimental zones' as his rhythm section will allow him to go. The problem lies in the polyrhythms. The chances of finding a drummer, a bass player and a keyboard player who can conceive of those polyrhythms -- let alone identify them fast enough to play a complementary figure on the moment, are not good. (The grand prize goes to Vinnie Colaiuta, the drummer for the band in 1978

and '79.)"
— Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book


"The band I was bringing over from the States would be doing a total of seventeen weeks' work, all

of it rehearsal except for four weeks of rock shows, one week of orchestral concerts and five days of recording. It was to be a nine-piece group and each musician would have earned $15,000 for the seventeen weeks of work plus having all of their travel expenses paid, all of their food paid for,

all of their hotels paid for, etc.

Shortly before the start of rehearsals in the U.S., Vinnie Colaiuta and Jeff Berlin called our office and tried to make secret deals to get their individual salaries raised, saying, 'Don't tell the other guys.'

When I heard of this, I canceled using the electric group with the orchestra, saving myself a lot of time and trouble rehearsing them, and a lot of money moving them around."

— Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book


Vinnie Colaiuta provided drums (and the occasional vocal) on: