Posts Tagged ‘Renown’

Gretsch Greatest Hits…And Hitters

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Nathaniel Townsley: Gospel Groove To Funky Fusion

by Fred Gretsch

Nathaniel Townsley is a relatively new Gretsch Drums artist, having joined the roster in 2016. But he’s certainly not new to the drumming scene. In fact, Nathaniel has earned a reputation as a “quiet giant” among knowledgeable drummers who’ve followed his amazing career over the past two decades.

Like so many drummers of his generation, Nathaniel’s career began in church—his father’s church, as a matter of fact. Playing drums to gospel music from the age of three gave him a spiritual and a musical foundation—as well as an unshakeable sense of groove. As he grew and gained more experience, he also developed astounding technique and versatility, due largely to the diverse influences of drummers like Buddy Rich, Steve Gadd, Joel Smith, Will Kennedy, Bill Maxwell, and Dave Weckl. This versatility, in turn, has made Nathaniel a first-call drummer for a wide-ranging roster of artists. He’s recorded and/or toured with musical legends Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, and Nile Rogers, along with other stars including Corey Glover, Special EFX, Chris DeBarge, R. Kelly, Dru Hill, Public Enemy, and Lalah Hathaway.

While doing all of this, Nathaniel established himself as a drum clinician and educator. His appearance at the 2003 Modern Drummer Festival is still spoken of today by the 1,000 drummers who were lucky enough to see him in person. He also wowed the audience at the Montreal Drum Fest audience two years later, and he’s been conducting workshops around the world ever since.

Nathaniel gained international prominence when he was tapped by Weather Report founder Joe Zawinul to anchor the musical pioneer’s later band, the Zawinul Syndicate. Joe recognized the young drummer’s ability to groove and to burn—and to do everything in between. Nathaniel played with the Syndicate from 2002 until Joe’s passing in 2007.

In the years since then, Nathaniel has continued to work with major artists around the world, including his current primary gig with Grammy-winning Spanish superstar Alejandro Sanz. And he frequently returns to his roots in the Gospel world, recording with leading Gospel figures like Donnie McClurkin, Rev. Timothy Wright, and Tramaine Hawkins. And Nathaniel’s 2007 recording with his own trio, titled The Big Idea, is an absolute gem that showcases his talents as a drummer, composer, and bandleader. (Check it out at

Blessed with a musical passion that’s balanced by a humble and sincere personality, Nathaniel Townsley is still a quiet giant—one who lets his playing do all the talking. And with that playing, he has a lot to say.

Video Clips:

Nathaniel plays and discusses the 2017 Gretsch Renown kit.

Here’s Nathaniel on a live show with singer Kennedy and her band, The Kennedy Administration, at The Groove in New York City, in January of 2017.

Nathaniel did an incredibly funky performance in 2016, with bassist Alex Bershadsky, guitarist Oz Noy, and vocalist Kama Kamila.

While on the most recent Alejandro Sanz world tour, Nathaniel conducted a master class at Inca Drums in Lima, Peru.



Spotlight: The New Renown

Friday, June 7th, 2013


New Styling. Enhanced Features. The Same Great Gretsch Sound.

Some Change is Good
The concept of the Renown redesign was to give the series fresh visual appeal and enhance sonic performance, while preserving its classic Gretsch vibe and spirit. The newly designed round, two-toned badge features gleaming silver artwork embossed over a black nickel background.

Some Things Didn’t Need to Change
The Renown has always been revered for its rock-solid craftsmanship and excellent sonic performance. Gretsch still uses the proven and unique Renown formula that combines North American Rock Maple with a slightly softer maple species. Each drum is expertly completed with smooth 30 degree bearing edges and Gretsch’s exclusive Silver Sealer interior finish. Heavy-duty Gretsch die-cast hoops are fitted to all tom and snare shells and classic Gretsch lugs adorn each drum. This Gretsch-engineered shell/hoop combination produces explosive attack and power that is rich with warm, low-end timbre.

For all the details including kit configurations and finishes, visit




Spotlight: Gretsch Renown Purewood Hickory

Monday, August 6th, 2012

From the Gretsch Drums website:

The Gretsch Renown Purewood Limited series continues in 2012 with American hickory wood. Highly prized for its natural strength and density, hickory is a natural extension for the Purewood series. Tonal properties for the bass drum feature tremendous low end combined with punchy attack. Tom tones have an emphasis on the higher and lower frequencies to produce a focused, lively and controlled sound. The hardness of Hickory produces a solid wood tone and crack in the snare while retaining sensitivity for all styles of playing. Shell interiors are finished naturally and shell exteriors are finished in natural gloss lacquer to enhance the unique visual characteristics of hickory. Production is limited to 35 pieces of each configuration.


100% American Hickory
Die-cast Hoops
30-degree bearing edges
Natural gloss with natural shell interior

For more information including additional photos, specs, and how to buy, visit the Gretsch Drums website.



Spotlight: Renown 57 Motor City Black

Monday, August 8th, 2011

From the site:

Renown 57 Motor City Black

Inspired by the great American car companies from the 1950’s, Motor City Black adds a new color dimension to the innovative Gretsch Renown 57 drum set. All drums feature the distinctive ‘57 Chevron, which features an aluminum panel with raised edges and embossed badge. Each drum has its own sized chevron, scaled to symmetrically fit that specific drum size. Renown 57 includes standard Renown maple specifications to produce punchy, full tones and rock solid performance.

Drum Set Features:
• Innovative drum set design
• Proportionately-sized 3-D chevrons
• Maple shells with 30-degree edges and Silver Sealer interiors
• Die-cast hoops on snare and toms
• Hinged tom and FT leg brackets
• Heavy duty 12.7mm FT legs
• Gretsch ball-socket tom holder with 12.7mm tom arms
• Chambered FT rubber tips for enhanced sustain
• Evans G1 coated batter heads on toms/snare
• Evans EMAD BD batter head

Click here for all the details.