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Neil LaFortune
Photo of Neil LaFortune
Cell:(647) 291-1321
Teaching Location:Orillia, Ontario, L3V 6N1
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Email:Contact Neil LaFortune
About Neil LaFortune

Neil began playing drums in the mid-80’s and has covered the gamut of gigs and styles throughout the years.

From Classic Rock, Funk, R&B, Country, Latin, Pop, Jazz, and Blues based cover bands, to original acts, many tribute acts, from divey bars to TV,  studio, Festivals and an occasional arena, Neil has been there. 

Studies at the Ontario College of Percussion in Toronto, and later studies with the legendary Jim Blackley, helped prepare Neil for professional settings that required reading and versatility. 
Neil continues to study and practice and has taken lessons over the years with Ray Reilly, Tom Brechtlein, Bruce Becker, Dave Weckl, and Rick Dior. 

Gretsch Drums artist 

Neil has endorsed Gretsch drums since 2018, and signed on as an International artist through Gretsch USA in April 2021.
Click here to see his profile:

Neil LaFortune | Gretsch Drums

Neil was recently honoured to be asked by Fred and Dinah Gretsch to be a featured artist in 2023 in conjunction with Gretsch’s 140th anniversary!
The interview will be published on in the Spring 2023.

As an Educator 

Neil loves to teach, and has been teaching in-person lessons, doing workshops and clinics since 1988, and teaches between 15-25 students from his home studio in Orillia ON Canada as well as several online students from as far away as Sioux Lookout Ontario! 
He’s able to record students in his home studio and often utilizes the Drumeo platform for learning songs and special topics. 
Neil teaches students of all abilities and ages ranging from 7-70!

Career Highlights:

Neil is a member of ABBA Revisited, a premier tribute to the music of Abba, that plays soft seat theatres and corporate events worldwide, averaging 70-80 shows per year, and now post-Covid, aiming for 100. 
In the Spring of 2022 they played 32 shows across Eastern and Western Canada, travelled almost 10,000 km’s, playing to thousands of happy Abba fans 
The group has played amazing shows at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, was an opening act for Cee Lo Green on a star-studded Cancer Cures Gala; Played the Redlands Bowl in Redlands California to over 8,000 people (Redlands’ largest turnout ever) and selling out theatres and other venues and corporate events across the U.S. and Canada. 

Neil is also one-half of the musical duo, ‘Sticks ‘N Tones in which Neil also sings background and occasional lead vocal. They have recorded one EP called “Doin’ Alright”

Neil also plays with a fabulous tribute to the Police called “Message In A Bottle” 

In 2017 Neil played with Juno award-winning country artist Meghan Patrick opening for Rascal Flatts, Dwight Yoakam and Kiefer Sutherland.

When Filipino pop stars come to Toronto, or the U.S. Neil often gets the call because of his reading skills, and has played with stars such as, Morissette, Piolo Pascual, Martin Nievera, Pops Fernandez, Vice Ganda, Rey Valera, etc. 

Neil has also played sold out concerts with Movie, TV and solo recording artist David Pomeranz who wrote hits for Broadway as well as for Barry Manilow and has sold over 35 million records!

A Livestream series:

 In April of 2020 Neil started the popular “Gretsch Afternoon Drum Break” video podcast series where he chats to fellow Gretsch drum artists and experts about their musical journeys and their love of Gretsch drums.
You can find the interviews on the Gretsch Afternoon Drum Break Facebook page, and YouTube channel.


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