Amendola was originally from New Jersey and studied at Berklee School of Music in Boston. After relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area he came to popularity in the 1990s as a member of T.J. Kirk with Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard and John Schott. Their second album received a Grammy Award nomination. He has led his own bands and trios which have included Nels Cline, Jenny Scheinman, Jeff Parker and John Shifflett as well as Ben Goldberg and Devin Hoff. Often favoring guitarists he has toured with Bill Frisell and Kelly Joe Phelps and recorded with Pat Martino, Jim Campilongo, G.E. Stinson, Nels Cline and Tony Furtado. He is an original member of the Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core. He has been a session percussionist for Cris Williamson, Noe Venable, Carla Bozulich and Odessa Chen.