Sammamish’s own Little Drummer Boy is YouTube hit
January 12, 2013
By Lillian O'Rorke
New: Jan. 12, 12:20 p.m.
It’s not unusual, in the Carollo household, to find 11-year-old Jonathan exercising his rhythmic skills on the appliances. So, when Jonathan composed a catchy beat on the washing machine, his father grabbed the video camera. Three months later, Jonathan’s video “whirled beat” has been viewed more than 1.4 million times on YouTube.
“One day, I didn’t really want to practice my drums so I decided to do it on the washing machine instead,” said the fifth grade student at McAuliffe Elementary School. “The washing machine just makes the coolest sounds. There are so many different parts that make different noises.”
In the video, Jonathan starts out creating a double-time beat on with his right hand thumping against the edge of the washing machine and its agitator. Then he kicks it up a notch, bringing in his left hand to create a corresponding rhythm. The inside of the machine’s lid serves as a good snare. Then to, bringing the show to a crescendo right before the end, he leans down into the aptly-named drum and bangs away.
“I don’t know how I came up with it,” he said. “It just popped into my head and I played.”
Jonathan does have a drum set but said he finds it easier to play the washing machine.
“That’s kind of what I hope most of my students will do — is do creative things on their own,” said Jonathan’s drumming instructor Jake Evans of Moore Brothers Music in Sammamish. Evans saw the video in its early YouTube days when it hovered around 200 views. “YouTube is a serious vehicle these days. I was happy for him for…It couldn’t happen to a better kid. He’s a great little dude.”
Jonathan has been taking weekly lessons at Moore Brothers for nearly a year and a half.
“He’s a great student. He’s real talented,” said Evans. “Not all kids have talent like he does — real rhythmic kid. He is real creative too. He always comes in with beats that he makes up on his own.”
Like many children, Jonathan started out young, banging on pots and pan. His parents said they noticed that beyond the mess on their kitchen floor he seemed to have a natural technique. They eventually bought him a drum set, and at the age of six, they enrolled him in lessons. Now, he puts what he’s learned in class to use on appliances throughout the house, said Jonathan’s father.
“I was entirely amused: ‘Wow that sounds good,’ and said ‘this is really cool,” Dan Carollo said in early January about his son’s musical creation. “I thought I would show it to family and friends…and somehow right before Christmas Eve it went viral. In the last week, we went from 200 to 300 views to over 1 million.”
The young drummer’s performance got so much attention that on Dec. 28 it aired on the Today show. The video has also been re-posted on several websites, including The Huffington Post.
But not all the attention has been positive. Some people have commented online that the video is a fake. One viewer speculated about the wristband Jonathan is wearing in the video – inferring that he’s a hospital patient when really the blue bracelet was leftover from a family trip to Great Wolf Lodge. Another commenter accused his parents of being the “liberal ‘woldbeat’ type who…enjoy African voodoo drumming.”
“We’re not voodoo drumming hippie type. That’ not our lifestyle. We’re just an average family from Sammamish,” said Dan Carollo. “It just got out of control… There are good and bad sides to it.”
The Carollos said they may post a sequel sometime in the near future.
Reporter Lillian O’Rorke can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 242 or email@example.com.