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Conversations with Jarvis Barnes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jarvis Barnes.

Jarvis, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I started out playing music when I was around four or five years old. Like most kids, I started playing a wide variety of sports such as soccer, basketball, tennis and more. Found myself getting frustrated with them not because I was bad but the obligations attached to them weren’t enjoyable. Going into my 9th-grade year, I had to make a decision if I was going to pursue tennis, my primary competitive sport, or pursue music.

Knowing they both required a huge time commitment, I went with the one that was causing me less stress, music. Music was my escape/happy place. Deciding to go all in on it, I started practicing and had a great musical staff at my local high school, Caesar Rodney located in Camden, DE that helped mold me. They placed me in a wide variety of music settings where I had to be a chameleon when it came to playing music. Became fluent in every genre ranging from Jazz, Funk, Latin, show music, orchestral, hip-hop and more. I was able to participate in my first student tour in my junior year of High School hitting five different countries in 2 1/2 weeks. After that tour, I knew exactly what I wanted to do the rest of my life. Play, create and ingulf myself in music that makes people happy. I wanted to provide a service that was memorable. I attended Berklee College of Music meeting some of the best musicians from all over the world. Got the privilege of studying with some of the best professors ever. Went back home to Delaware after a semester due to a struggle in finances.

Had to adapt to my new “normal” and create a different lane for myself. Started playing with a group call “The Ashley Mitchell Band” now known as “Rivers & Rhodes.” We played clubs, bars, casinos, weddings, etc. We were an event band. That experience taught me a lot about business, friendships, how to handle uncomfortable business conversations and more. That band eventually came to an end because we simply felt like we outgrew the experience. I then decided to move closer to Philadelphia, PA to tap into that market as a musician. Spent a couple of years there and eventually moved to Los Angeles, CA. After arriving here in L.A, I met a lot of very great people and have had the privilege of working with a couple of secular artists such as Teamarrr, Rayvon Owen and more. I’m currently working on building my brand, Drumming With Jarvis, focusing on all things drums such as live sessions, studio sessions, and drum lessons. The goal is to continue to work with various artists of all levels in various capacities.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Not at all. My parents got divorced when I was nine years old. Like most, it created a divide in my life. Now that I’m older, I understand now that my parents did the best they could with what they had but as a child, you don’t see that. You interpret the lack of quality time, lack of emotion and more as no one cares. When actuality they just didn’t have the time because they had to work to make sure I had food, clothes, uniforms, equipment, etc. I was forced to leave Berklee College of Music due to finances. My parents weren’t able to afford to keep me there. It didn’t make financial sense to go deeper into debt for it either. So, I had to come back start working at a local restaurant to help pay bills. Things got better for while then things got worst. I lost my best friend in a motorcycle accident, lost the home I was living in due to a separation between a girl I that I was dating and I was crushed. I had to leave everything I knew and move back home. Soon after decided to relocate to Los Angeles to really go over my dream and career. The 2nd day I was in Los Angeles the place I was staying got robbed. They stole my laptop, hard drives, watches, and other valuable things. Completely crushed me had no money, no place to live of my own, no job, a world full of unknowns. Just had a belief I could do it so I had to keep moving forward.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a professional Drummer/ Musician. Started my brand Drumming With Jarvis focusing on live session, touring, studio session, lessons, consultations, clinics and online content. Recently put out a percussion album called “Destructoid Drums” with my friend Rafael Weiss under Position Music. Still developing my online content on YouTube Drumming with Jarvis, my website and Instagram @Jarvisjeb The thing that sets me apart is my ability to play a wide variety of genres well as well as being able to articulate verbally how to do so. I’m able to be a chameleon.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Absolutely! Never sacrifice your moral code for to make money. Once you understand your standards and what works for you. You’ll never conform to just anything for anyone for any reason. I wish I knew how to utilize my resources more comfortably. I have an ego/pride like most that doesn’t allow me to ask for help. I had to get over it realizing help is great when you learn from it. Help is only bad when you become dependent on it. It’s still very much so a work in progress but at least I’m aware and actively working on it.


  • Studio Sessions Ave. $100 Per Song
  • Drum Lessons Ave. $75 Per Hour
  • Consultations Ave. $100 Per Hour

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