|Click on a year to read
about the camp and view photos and videos.
August 7-11 - Vic's Drum Shop/The Music Garage
After seven great years in Cleveland, Ohio (and one
year in South Orange, NJ), Drum Fantasy Camp made a
big move in 2015. The camp took place in Chicago,
IL, at the country's largest independent drum store
- Vic's Drum Shop!
It all started with a
brief encounter at the 2015 NAMM Show. Camp director
Steven Orkin had just watched camp instructor Steve
Smith perform in the Sonor booth. Also watching
Steve's performance was Victor Salazar from Vic's
Orkin and Salazar started talking
and the conversation quickly moved to the camp.
Salazar asked "why don't you just do the camp at my
store? We have the space, the gear...?" Two months
later, Orkin flew to Chicago and a week later, the
deal was struck.
2015 was a record year for
Drum Fantasy Camp. Every spot in every class was
full, something that has never happened before. 25
attendees were from Chicago - more than than all of
the combined attendees from Cleveland the previous
seven years. The concerts were larger than ever and,
as always, attendees came from more than a dozen
It all started on August 7.
Attendees arrived at the Crowne Plaza hotel in
Greektown throughout the day while our world-class
band rehearsed for the evening's opening concert.
Back for his second year was legendary bassist James
Genus (Herbie Hancock/Saturday Night Live). He was
joined by our Music Director and guitarist Vinny
Valentino (Geroge Benson/Vital Information) plus our
dynamic singer Chrissi Poland (Bette Midler/Sam
Moore). The band also welcomed a newcomer - Stu
Mindeman (Fareed Hague/Gloria Estefan) - who played
keyboards at the jams and both concerts!
August 7 show featured performances by DFC
instructors Benny Greb, Mike Mangini, and Steve
Smith. At the end of the show, the three drummers
pulled off an amazing three-way jam. But, that's
wasn't really the end.
With the crowd
chanting for more, Dave Weckl and Jojo Mayer marched
through the crowd playing a cadence on their snare
drums. They marched up onto the stage, and sat down
in a line with the other three instructors. The band
joined in for "When The Saints Go Marching In" and
the song ended with a blazing snare jam! It was an
Still overpowered by the opening event, attendees
arrived the next morning for their first classes.
Benny Greb immediately marched his class down to the
parking lot for a unique lesson in rhythm. Full-time
attendees spent four days with our instructors
learning a variety of skills while also soaking up
the intangibles you only get in such an intimate
In the evenings, we ran our famous
"Jam Nights" in Vics' Showcase Room. Attendees were
treated to three private "concerts" with our
incredible band - but they got to be the drummers!
Of course, the instructors sat in, including a
really fun moment with Dave Weckl and Benny Greb
performing "Don't Stand So Close So Me" by The
Police! And Steve Smith joined Jojo Mayer for Stevie
Wonder's "Higher Ground."
On the final day,
it was business-as-usual until the afternoon class
ended. That's when we rushed Dave Weckl and his gear
out to Martyrs' for the closing concert!
course, it took forever to get out there, set up,
and sound check. This caused a delay that led
lineup of eager concert-goers all the way down the
street! With tensions mounting, Steve Smith and
Benny Greb came to the rescue. They went outside
with their snare drums and performed "Salt Peanuts"
on the sidewalk!
Once the concert began, Jojo
and Dave took over - each with their own
energy-charged sets. But that would not satisfy the
audience. So, they came back out and traded solos
over "Higher Ground!" It was the perfect ending to
the ninth annual Drum Fantasy Camp!
here to see more photos
on our Facebook page!