What’s a 13-year-old boy and prodigy drummer’s favorite band? Well, Van Halen, of course.
Eighth-grade South Country student and Bellport Village resident Julius Radino has been playing drums since before he could talk and sitting in on open mics since he was 4. Some might credit his father Jules Radino, drummer of the local Blue Öyster Cult band, but dad said he took an interest to it all on his own.
“He gravitated towards the drums when he was young with a DVD player watching Buddy Rich,” he said of his son. “Julius has held drumsticks from the age of 1.”
Julius is also an accomplished student musician, playing the marimba, timpani, snare drum, multi-percussion, and drum set… he also plays a little piano. His mother, Heather Radino, plays the piano and both his mother and father are Bellport High School graduates.
In second grade, Julius performed in front of his entire school with principal Sean Clark from Kreamer Street Elementary, playing “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne. After seeing an Alice Cooper concert, he set up his drums outside by the buses and played to “School’s Out For Summer” when the students were dismissed on their last day of school. On the Rock Legends Cruise, he performed with guitar players Gary Hoey and Brandon “Taz” Niederauer at the Legends Jam.
At age 10, Julius played marimba and received his first album credit with the band Blue Coupe, which featured Alice Cooper and former members of Blue Öyster Cult. Then, his first recording session took place in Los Angeles, Calif., when he was asked to do a promotional video with his dad for the drum company Dixon Drums. This past October, he also performed the song “Bucks Boogie” with Blue Öyster Cult at the Suffolk Theatre in Riverhead.
During his short middle school career, he has already performed in six NYYSMA solos in seventh and eighth grade, scoring between 99 and 100. He also plays in the Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble, has been selected for SCMEA All County, a member of the 2018-22 Festival Band, and is an honors student and member of the Junior National Honor Society achieving high honor roll every year.
On the weekends, he plays for Jazz Loft in Stony Brook with high school kids. He likes jazz, but his heart lies with rock n’ roll. Julius is also on the Bellport High School JV Golf Team and loves boating, as do most Bellport-born boys. He sails as a member of the Bellport Sailing Opti Race Team. Last year, he also volunteered with his dad at the Bellport Boys & Girls Club giving drum lessons to the kids once a week in the summer.
“We loved giving back to the community,” his dad said.
“We are proud of him for many reasons: his discipline to work hard and put the time into his music and education to be at his best, all with a kind and caring heart to help others,” both his parents added. “What we want for him is to follow his dream, take chances, have fun and be happy!”
Julius said he hopes to go to college and continue to study music. He also aspires to become a studio and touring musician. When asked what he loves about playing the drums, he said, “The outcome after putting in hours of practice feels good!”
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