Automatic Pilot members
Born in New Jersey, John Orlando started drumming in high school where he was a winner of the New Jersey All State Competition. While residing in San Francisco for many years, John performed with the popular 18-piece City Swing band, receiving rave reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere. As a member of David Kelsey and Pure Trash, the Dixieland band received three Cabaret Gold awards from the San Francisco Council of Arts & Entertainment as well as the Golden Laurel Award. He and each members of the group also earned a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
John later joined the critically acclaimed erotic jazz wave ensemble Automatic Pilot, which won a dedicated and eccentric cult following for its electrifying energy and Zappaesque lyrics. John also played with an innovative jazz trio called PBD (Piano, Bass & Drums.) After his move to Morrison, Colorado in 1990, he recorded his solo CD called Drum Songs. John continued performing with a drumming group throughout the Denver area called Urban Rhythm, and also the Rhythm Mystics. While giving drumming workshops at many libraries and schools within Denver metro, John decided to write some drumming folklore for his presentations. These stories quickly expanded beyond drumming but always included his rhythmic background.
His writing progressed into a series of novels that involve the mystical village of Legenderry. They include The Drums of Legenderry, and the yet to be published The Curse of the Diamond Finger, and The Totem of Aspira.
Samples of his CD, Drum Songs, and fantasy novel for young readers, The Drums of Legenderry, are available on his web site at www.legenderry.com.
John appears on the video recording of Automatic Pilot's 1982 performance at Valencia Rose, and preserved the only surviving copy. Click here to view John's drum solo from Doughnut Shop Dream (2.56 MB, MPEG1 format)