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Oliver Kurzyp – Buffalo’s “not so little” Drummer Boy

At 6 feet, 3 inches tall, no one would call Oliver Kurzyp of the Buffalo Bills Stampede, Drum Line a “little drummer boy,” even as this celebratory time of year gets underway. Although, “if all you want for Christmas is your two front teeth,” as Evolution Dental Science’s manager for the production of dental prosthetics (implants, crowns, bridges, etc.), Oliver can grant that wish for you!

For those who enjoy a good full-blown old style football game with all the trimmings, each Bills home game has a unique and upbeat pre-game experience watching the Buffalo Bills Stampede, Drum Line perform! Oliver is in his second season as a permanent member of the Bills Drum Line that performs most often as pre-game entertainment for the crowds who come to New Era Field.

Oliver was born on Long Island, NY, and was a member of his high school drum corps at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, the 3rd place winner in a Drum Corps International Championships, a world wide competition for excellence in drums corps performance.

Oliver with drum line

“When your passion is drumming and football, drumming while being on a professional football field feels like being in paradise,” remarked Oliver. “Some of my best times are performing for Bills fans at tailgate parties, and definitely during the excitement of the opening stampede.”

After high school Oliver attended the University at Buffalo’s Music Program, and during those years he also performed with the Empire Statesmen Drum Corps, an all-age, world-class, multi-year, international championship drum corps in operation from 1983 – 2013. Kurzyp played with the Bills Drum Corps for the first time in 2009, and beginning in 2015, he became part of the permanent assembly of corps members. The Buffalo Bills Stampede, Drum Line is under the management of Dan English, founder of Downbeat Percussion. Downbeat Percussion is composed of world-class percussionists who thrive on energy, precision, and performance. The group performs for more than 70,000 audience members each week.

Oliver is a first generation immigrant whose parents fled communism in Poland during the 1980s. His family crossed the Atlantic to seek a better life for themselves and their children under the Ronald Reagan era special VISA program supporting individuals seeking to escape communism. Kurzyp, himself, was born in the United States. He beams when sharing some his favorite moments as a professional drummer performing with country music star, Keith Urban and with Hip Hop famed Rapping Rabbi.

Oliver Kurzyp lives in Kenmore with his fiancé Kaitlynd and their two children, Janek and Paxton.

Written by Mark Lazzara

Mark Lazzara

I have a passion for helping my fellow Western New Yorkers and advance the great things that are going on in this region. Buffalo Rising is a great booster and it’s a blast writing and contributing to BR about positive happenings in our neck of the woods. I appreciate the help I’ve received over the years from organizations and people who share my passion and supported me in efforts that put thousands of people to work and resulted in a community give back of more than $115M to Buffalo’s neediest during my days at the helm of AmeriCorps.

I’m especially grateful for the opportunities that enabled me to help cities devastated by Hurricane Katrina and rebuild more than 700 family homes that were destroyed. Back at home, I was able to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience as a coordinator for ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition where we were able to repair, beautify and upgrade homes for an entire neighborhood on Buffalo’s Westside. Other projects close to my heart include a collaboration with Sail Buffalo to build the Cazenovia Boating Center at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, and my annual Christmas season time is spent at Buffalo’s treasure, the Broadway Market, playing Santa Clause.

In my other life, I am a workforce development, business, marketing, public relations and fundraising professional. Earned a M.S. Human Service Management from Buffalo State, and enjoy my family life that includes four amazing grandchildren!

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