F-M graduate lives dream as Blue Man Group drummer

Randy Wooten talks about his musical past in the Landmark Theatre

Blue Man Group make their stop at Landmark Theatre this weekend, and while swirling and blowing snow may have been foreign for some, for drummer Randy Wooten, a 1992 Fayetteville Manlius graduate, it was a long awaited homecoming.

Known as an experience, a Blue Man Group show features a connection of musical communication between the band (with Wooten on drums), and the Blue Men themselves. Their focus on percussion sparked Wooten's interest years ago.

"I saw a show in '96 when it opened in Boston," Wooten says. "I was just blown away by the creative spirit of the show and the percussion. The music was great, and I always hoped to be a part of it someday."

Wooten started getting into jazz and improvisation in his late high school years at Fayetteville-Manlius, and never looked back. He says his influences stretch from Van Halen to Miles Davis, with each serving as an important piece of his repertoire that helps him connect to not only the Blue Men, but the audience as well.

"The show has a lot of improv. and spontaneity to it," Wooten, who joined Blue Man Group about three years ago, says. "We try to work things out. Between the band and the Blue Men, we have this relationship of communicating with the audience and the musicians really help shape that story."

Wooten's family and friends will attend the show throughout the weekend, a welcome sight to Wooten, who says he pinches himself sometimes in disbelief of playing percussion at such a high level.

"It's fun for me," he says. "My passion has always been playing music, playing the drums, and to say that's what my job is, it's not really a job, it's fun, it's a great experience."

2400 people attended on Friday night, and Wooten and Blue Man Group perform at the Landmark Theatre on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.