Advertise With Us
Modern Drummer Festival 2003
There were plenty of phat Drums and Percussion at the MD Fest. Here's just a small sample:
And, in addition to the front stage action, here's a taste of what was going on backstage...
Undiscovered Drummer: Louis G. Santiago, Jr.
MD's International Showcase featuring
More Door Prizes and More Awards
Rick Van Horn also presented MD's Editors Achievement Award to Ralph Angelillo and Serge Gamache of Canada, the organizers of the Montreal Drum Fest who celebrated the 10th Annniversary of their Drum Fest last year, making them the second longest running Drum Fest in the world. A second award was given to Robert Paiste and, posthumously, to Toomas Paiste who died in an accident in August 2002. (The award was accepted on behalf of the Paistes by Ed Clift and Rich Manjicaro.)
Rick also handed out some of his "Commemorative Long-Distance Traveler Award" that goes to the DrumHeads who travel the farthest to get to the Festival. The award is officially called "The Duron Johnson Commemorative Long-Distance Traveler Award," named after drummer Duron Johnson from Anchorage, Alaska who won the award for the first five years of the Festival. Although he has been at several subsequent festivals, after his fifth win MD "retired" Duron undefeated and named the award after him.
Antonio had planned to perform to music on his laptop computer but the computer wasn't working so he held a question and answer session instead. Most of the questions had to do with his ability to maintain the clave beat in various time signatures while speeding up and slowing down the pattern of any of his other limbs at will. He was also asked whether he copied the playing styles of former Pat Metheny drummers, like Danny Gottlieb, or if he played his own way. His said he started by playing in a style similar to what Pat was used to but then he eventually began playing it his way. He finished out his segment with a solo, which led to a well-deserved standing ovation. (Antonio was sponsored by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals & Drumsticks and Evans Drumheads.)
Airto opened his segment by explaining his concept of musical energy, how we are surrounded by it and how it can change a person's state of mind. According to Airto, every time a musician plays it should make the people listening "feel better." That's why he says he plays "the spirit of the music." Look at the photo below and you'll get an idea of the vast number of percussion instruments Airto used for his opening piece, which included vocal chants, stick and mallets on various percussion, shakers, temple blocks, agogo bells, and even a bird whistle. After this piece Airto joked "I have too much percussion and I'm ashamed of myself," which amused the audience.
Airto played his next piece entirely on a unique tuned metal percussion instrument that was hand made for Airto by Pete Englehart and even given a name (see the photo below).
For his next two selections, Airto used a traditional drumset with the addition of a few percussion instruments.
Lastly, Airto stood in front of a microphone and creatively incorporated vocal sounds in conjunction with a hand drum and whistle for his grand finale. It seems his creative musical "spirit" reached the audience and they thanked him with a standing ovation. (Airto was sponsored by Latin Percussion, RMV Percussion, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, and Audix Microphones.)
For his MD Fest appearance, Shawn assembled a group he dubbed "House of Diablo" with Jeff Golub on guitar, Brian Mitchell on keys, Conrad Korsch on bass, and Clark Gayton on trombone and tuba. The group opened with an up tempo shuffle, followed by a funky version of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," and a unique version of James Brown's "I Feel Good." Shawn then discussed some of the strange instruments studio drummers have to come up with sometimes and demonstrated by incorporating a washboard into his next tune!
Shawn closed his segment, and MD Fest Sunday, with his version of "Boom Boom." He received a standing ovation and the audience was yelling for more but time would not allow. As Rick Van Horn explained, the Festival was running late due to some technical difficulties, so he thanked everyone for coming and that was the end of another totally entertaining MD Fest. But, as I mentioned earlier, the Festival was videotaped this year and will be available from Hudson Music sometime toward the end of this year. As soon as it is released, I'll let you know.
I'd like to thank everyone on the staff of the Modern Drummer Magazine for allowing us access to the MD Fest and a special thanks to Rick Van Horn for the tour of the MD offices in addition to another fine job coordinating this year's Drum Fest, the longest running Drum Festival in the world. Cool!
Click the following link for MD Fest 2003: Saturday Performances!
Click the following link for History of Modern Drummer Magazine and the Making of MD Festival Performances!
Become a Free Member of the largest, most Comprehensive Drum Site on the Web
Learn TigerBill's Innovative Tension Free Drumming and take your chops to the next level
Get TigerBill's Free Info-Packed Newsletter, Monthly Chances to Win Valuable Drum Stuff
& Much More...
* S I D E B A R *
Related Links on Site