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Modern Drummer

Festival 2011



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This DVD covers the Modern Drummer Festival 2011 with over 5 hours of video. I was there and it was, as always, a very cool event. Let's check out the DVD.

Disc One

Gil Sharone

I first met Gil when we were both performing at the Cape Breton International Drum Festival back in 2005. I remeber him saying that he was a bit nervous about performing for a theater full of drummers, being as it was his first clinic/festival appearance, but he did a great job. Afterward, I interviewed him and told him that this was only the beginning. I saw it then that Gil would go far in the business and here he is, six years later, performing at the grandaddy of all Drum Fests! Gil, an expert in Jamaican SKA, Rocksteady, and Reggae styles does the thing he does so well.

Trevor Lawrence Jr. with Taki Hirano

Trevor, who has worked with Herbie Hancock and Dr. Dre, performs hip-hop and fusion styles with percussionist Taku Hirano.

The Jeff "Tain" Watts Quartet

Jeff blasts through half a dozen songs with his cookin' quartet featuring Marcus Strickland on tenor sax, Dave Kikowski on piano, and Yunior Terry on bass.

Morning Masterclass: Jim Riley

One criticism I always had of the Modern Drummer Fest was that there was an over-abundance of performances and extended solos but little clinic-type education going on. They have now corrected that situation by offering morning masterclasses. This one features the top country drummer with Rascal Flatts, Jim Riley (who also won Best Country Drummer in the 2011 Modern Drummer Reader's Poll), who opens playing to a track that combines country with some rock fusion and jazz, incorporating some great trading 4's and an extended solo - nice!

He then discusses the importance of good techique (right on!) and demonstrates some exercises on a single drum and as applied to the drumset. He also covers how to go about getting the type of gig that he's got, playing in multiple odd-time signatures and more.


Disc Two

Aquiles Priester

Prog/Metal drumming Aquiles manuevers his way through nine arrangements (from Hanger and Freakeys) including an extended solo. Nice precision work.

Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez and The New World Order

Horacio performs with an all-star music group that he assembled just for the Fest, featuring Pedrito Martinez (vocals and percussion), Yosvany Terry (sax and percussion), Benjamin Santiago Molina - El Moreno (dancer), Sofia Tosello (vocals), Jendez - Horacio's daughter (vocals), David Oquendo (vocals), Buika (vocals), Fahir Atakoglu (piano, keyboards), Alain Caron (bass), Amit Chaterjee (guitar), and Brian Lynch (trumpet).

Morning Masterclass: John Riley

John opens his masterclass expanding on his definition of the four qualities a great drummer must have. Technique, groove, creativity, and musicianship. He adds a fifth one, which is actually a pre-requisite to the others, inspiration. The remainder of his class is dedicated to getting to the bottom of how you get inspired and how to make use of that inspiration.


Included is a printable PDF eBook that contains transcriptions of selected performances, a preview of Neil Peart's "Taking Center Stage - A Lifetime of Live Performance" Trailer, Todd Sucherman's "Methods and Mechanics 2" trailer and more.


Bottom Line: Modern Drummer Festival 2011 DVD

As always, Modern Drummer does a great job assembling drummers from various bags to keep the audience interested and entertained. Whether you attended the Fest this time or not, I recommend picking up a copy of this DVD. It will keep you entertained and I'm sure you'll pick up some valuable tips and tricks over the course of its 5 hour and 40 minute running time.

And, while a good value at its retail price of $29.99, you can click the following link to find it at a discount online:

Stay loose!

Tiger Bill


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