2011 saw the Drum Fantasy Camp grow
in every way with more campers from more
countries enjoying our most profound lineup of
teachers and performers yet. 77 full-time campers
joined 25 partial-camp attendees travelled from 16
countries for classes, jams, and two incredible
The camp opened on August 11, 2011,
with an afternoon clinic. This followed several
hours of setup and sound checking. More than a dozen
campers came early to help with the load-in and to
also get an inside view of how a large concert comes
It was a fun team effort! Thanks
to everyone who took part!
Noon, Chris Coleman, Peter
Gavin Harrison, Steve Smith,
and Dave Weckl walked on-stage and
performed individual solos followed by a roundtable
The instructors covered a
wide-range of topics, but Chris Coleman made perhaps
the most profound contribution when he introduced
his driving philosophy: "I AM my business." Chris
painted a very real picture of a musician's career
and the work ethic needed to be successful.
Chris' point was that every part of what we do:
rehearsing, arriving to practice on-time, being a
good listener, serving the music, and being
professional in every facet of our careers, is what
drives success. When we take full responsibility, we
ARE our business. This resonated with everyone in
The three-hour clinic ended with an
incredible drum piece performed by all five
instructors. Steve Smith charted out a phrase that
all the drummers played together. This was followed
by a solo. At the end of the solo, the phrase
repeated, followed by the next soloist. This
repeated as the intensity of the piece grew. The
syncopated ending brought down the house!
7:30 p.m., guitarist Mike Stern,
bassist Tom Kennedy, and
saxophonist Bob Franceschini took
the stage for an eclectic and powerful concert at
Cleveland's House of Blues (right across from the
Dave Weckl played the first
set, as he is a regular contributor to tours and
projects with Mike Stern. Dave and the band jammed
to recent and classic Stern tunes. The set closed
with an epic drum solo.
After a short
intermission, each instructor came out to play a few
songs and solo with the band. Steve Smith wowed the
audience with his version of "Mr. Hi-hat," while
Gavin Harrison lit it up on the classic
Peter Erskine delivered some of the tastiest
and most dynamic grooves, while Chris Coleman lit up
room with his power, finesse, and personality!
four days featured two master classes per day with
instructors. With less than 20 drummers to a room,
topics and discussions were intimate and
interactive. Most classes included lecturing,
playing, and plenty of intense discussion.
the three of the days, we offered bonus classes in
the late afternoon.
Day one saw Los Angeles
sound engineer Dennis Moody teaching a class about
getting a great drum sound live and in the studio.
Day 2 had a class devoted to best practices when
performing with a band. The third day featured the
great Bill Platt (retired form the Cincinnati
Symphony) teaching practical hand techniques. It was
an honor having him there.
three of the evenings, campers attended our
legendary jam nights! For the fifth consecutive
Baron Browne, Singer/keyboardist
Chrissi Poland, and guitarist
Vinny Valentino formed the jam
Each night, campers were called
up to play a tune by MC William Wolkoff. The band
and campers locked in on all kinds of music;
including funk, jazz, and rock tunes. Each of
our instructors took turns playing with the band
either on drums or percussion - and a camp highlight
was the explosive duet between Dave Weckl and Chris
Coleman! We're pretty sure the entire hotel shook!
Another highlight was the appearance of
legendary Indian drummer Sivamani,
who joined Steve Smith during the jams. Sivamani's
contribution was inspiring and eye-opening for
everyone - and he's just a fantastic person!
Vinny, Baron, and Chrissi were joined by Dave Weckl
for a concert at Cleveland's Nighttown restaurant on
the last night of the camp. The band jammed to cover
tunes, plus original
from Chrissi, and brand new project from Vinny and
With little rehearsal, the band
brought down the house song-after-song. Guest
performer Claire Weckl made her father very proud
when she joined the band for a tune! Dad responded
with an inspired solo at the end - bringing everyone
to their feet (with jaws on the ground).
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