Basic Background Info

Birth: February 6, 1969
Location: Tenafly, New Jersey
Band: T.J. Kirk, The Charlie Hunter Quartet, The Scott Amendola Band
Genres: Jazz, Funk, Rock, Experimental
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician, Composer, Educator, Booking Agent


Scott Amendola first started learning how to drum at the age of nine, but he began practicing even earlier than that. Grabbing any household item that gave a decent resonance, Scott Amendola enjoyed pounding on pots and pans as a young child.

Although at first Scott Amendola was musically inclined towards the rock and the heavy metal scene, he eventually played with the great jazz guitarist, Tony Gottuso (Nat 'King' Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Frank Sinatra) who also happened to be his grandfather.

Scott Amendola appetite freshly wetted for jazz, Scott found his way to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was there that he began to break down his playing and develop his own style. Twelve hours of practice was a normal occurrence. During this time, Scott Amendola auditioned to be the drummer for a 'mainstream' band. While preparing for the audition, Scott Amendola began to realize that it was not the type of drumming that he wanted to do. Although he went through with the audition, he "started scraping cymbals and stopping the beat and doing all this stuff they weren't used to." The unique playing style didn't get him an offer, but it made him realize that he wanted to pursue jazz drumming as a career.

After graduating from Berklee, Scott Amendola decided to move out west. He ended up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he remains to this day. He fell in love with the creativity and collaboration that the Bay Area had to offer. Though he initially fell on hard times, he was delivering bread in the mornings and trying to play gigs in the evenings, slowly but surely, Scott gained recognition within the local jazz community.

Scott Amendola career took off from there. Amendola met Charlie Hunter, and together they formed the group T.J. Kirk. Their musical endeavors led to a Grammy nomination in 1996. More recently, Scott has done extensive work with Wilco guitarist Nels Cline. Scott Amendola credits Cline with convincing him to incorporate the use of an effects pedal board into his drumming.

Scott Amendola is constantly pushing limits, not only of his own playing, but of the idea of music in general. He recently performed an organ and drums only version of Duke Ellington's 'Far East Suite.' Scott continues to be both a frontman and supporting artist in many ensembles.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1995 Finders Keepers Sonya Hunter
1995 Collect My Thoughts Phillip Greenlief - Scott Amendola Duo
1995 Red Reflections Dmitri Matheny
1995 T.J. Kirk T.J. Kirk
1995 Confidence, Man Stephen Yerkey
1996 Action Plus Action Plus
1996 Ready...Set...Shango! Charlie Hunter Quartet
1996 3 + 3 = 7 Joel Harrison
1996 Plays Mancini Oranj Symphonette
1996 Cues and Miscues Snorkel
1996 If Four Was One T.J. Kirk
1997 Natty Dread Charlie Hunter Quartet
1997 All Sides Now Pat Martino
1998 Medicine Hat Will Bernard 4-tet
1998 Return of the Candyman Charlie Hunter & Pound For Pound
1998 Who Shot the Piano Player? Herbie Kopf
1998 The Django Project Jenny Scheinman Quartet
1998 The Caldier Project Calder Spanier
1998 No Curses Here Noe Venable
1999 Steps Scott Hill
1999 Safe-Cracker Paul Plimley Trio
1999 Blue Suitcase Paul Sprawl
1999 Vapor G.E. Stinson
2000 Scott Amendola Band Scott Amendola Band
2000 Scrambledisc Myles Boisen
2000 Because of Wayne / The Only Song We Know Graham Connah
2000 Live at Yoshi's Jenny Scheinman Quartet
2000 Shuffle Play John Schott
2001 Live at the Du Nord Jim Campolongo
2001 Band Tony Furtado
2001 Big Ideas Jack West & Curvature
2002 Instrumentals Nels Cline Singers
2002 American Gypsy Tony Furtado
2002 Labor and Spirits Emory Joseph
2002 !Zipa Buka! Jessica Lurie Ensemble
2002 Save the Day Ira Marlowe
2002 The Neon Truth Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core
2002 The Allure of Roadside Curios L. Stinkbug
2002 Boots Noe Venable
2003 Cry Scott Amendola Band
2003 Clean Slate Ave Bortnick
2003 Red Headed Stranger Carla Bozulich
2003 One Room Palace Odessa Chen
2003 Nothing Comes Free Brigitte DeMeyer
2003 August Rain John Ettinger
2003 Hurricane and a Tumbleweed Matt Lax & Nearly Beloved
2003 Live at the Jazzschool Dave Liebman & Mike Zilber
2003 Slingshot Professionals Kelly Joe Phelps
2003 I Gorgona Plain Jane Trio
2003 Talking Only Makes It Worse T.J. Kirk
2003 Voices In the Wilderness John Zorn
2004 I'm Gonna Stop Killing Carla Bozulich
2004 Lakeville Amy Correia
2004 The Giant Pen Nels Cline Singers
2004 Careless Love Madeleine Peyroux
2004 Thick Red Pocket
2004 An Alligator In Your Wallet Rova :: Orkestrova
2005 Believe Scott Amendola Band
2005 End of Desire Jennifer Berezan
2005 Proceed Crater
2005 Invisible Ones Orenda Fink
2005 Bride of the Bull Eli Good
2005 Licorice & Smoke Jessica Lurie
2005 Tough on Crime Rebecca Pidgeon
2006 New Monastery Nels Cline
2006 Kissinger in Space John Ettinger
2006 Half the Perfect World Madeleine Peyroux
2007 Draw Breath Nels Cline Singers
2007 Plays Monk Plays Monk
2007 Smooth Jazz Cafe 9 Various
2007 Spinning the Circle David Withams


  • The band T.J. Kirk is so named because its music is inspired by Thelonius Monk, James Brown, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
  • "I feel like I spend most of my life playing other people's music, and there are some people I just want to honor, like Ellington and Monk. These people provide a lifetime of study. They're so interesting melodically and harmonically, and I have so much to learn from them. When I play their music, it's an education, always." -Scott Amendola
  • Amendola's wife is a molecular biologist. They had their first child together in 2005.
  • He enjoys carpentry and metalwork in his spare time.
  • Scott's grandfather, Tony Gottuso, was a member of the original Tonight Show Band under Steve Allen.
  • Scott is very much into politics and history and says that if he weren't a musician, he would have liked to have been a history teacher or researcher.
  • He books music for Bacar, an upscale restaurant in San Francisco.
  • “If Scott Amendola didn’t exist, the San Francisco music scene would have to invent him.” -Derk Richardson

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Craviotto
Cymbals: UFIP
Hardware: Drum Workshop Pedals, Impact Cases
Heads: Attack Drumheads
Electronics: Moogerfooger Pedals
Percussion: Mbira (African Thumb Piano)
Sticks: Vic Firth

Pics & Clips