2012 was another great year for Drum
Fantasy Camp! Campers came from 15 countries,
including India, Australia, Brazil, the UK, and many
more! We also welcomed several new faces to our
lineup of instructors and performers!
The camp opened on August 9, 2013,
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
together. Event coordinator Paul Kelly did an
amazing job of pulling everyone together - setting
up in record time!
Noon, Keith Carlock, Peter
Will Kennedy, Steve Smith,
and Dave Weckl walked on-stage and
performed individual solos followed by a group
piece, and then a roundtable
discussion. Keith and Will were new to the camp -
and they added so much to the conversation and
Will is a very inspiring person.
He puts so much passion into everything he does!
Everyone in the audience responded to his enthusiasm
and sage advice!
Keith's unique style was
especially compelling to the audience. His groove
and dynamics are amazing. When asked about his
dedication to healthy eating and exercise, Keith
touched the audience by explaining how being a new
father has been such an inspiration. The camp crew
can vouch for that; we caught him coming out of the
hotel gym shortly after arriving, despite a hectic
trip by way of Japan!
One highlight of the
day: an appearance from the legendary Vic
Firth! Vic attended the whole first day and
also some classes and the jam on our second day.
Accompanied by Joe Testa,
director of artist relations, Vic inspired everyone
with wisdom, humor, and class. Thanks so much to Vic
The three-hour clinic
ended with an incredible drum piece performed by all
7:30 p.m., guitarist and music director
Vinny Valentino brought out an all-star
band featurnig John Benitez (bass),
Josh Dion (vocals/keys/drums), and
Oli Rockberger (keys/vocals). The band
proceeded to put on an amazing and diverse concert
for a nearly-full House of Blues, right across from
Each drummer took a turn jamming
with the band and also soloing for the enthusiastic
crowd. A highlight of the evening: the closing
piece, Steely Dan's "Aja," featuring the duo of
Steely Dan Alumni Keith Carlock and Peter Erskine!
The band didn't miss a hit, and neither did these
drummers - trading drum fills and bringing the
audience to its feet! A video of the song will
appear on this page soon.
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.
Retired percussionist Bill Platt
(the Cincinnati Symphony) joined Peter Erskine's
class, focusing on hand technique. As always, he and
Peter made a great team!
Will Kennedy kept
spirits high - getting each of his students grooving
and focusing on serious dynamics! He also kept
everyone laughing! When an attendee did something he
liked, he would run to the door of his room, push it
open, and yell into the hallway: "IT'S GETTIN' FUNKY
Of course, Will's class was right
next to Dave Weckl's class. So, after Will ran back
into his room, Dave would emerge from his room
trying to figure out what happened! Will eventually
took his class down to Dave's room, opened the door,
and yelled this for Dave in person! It was one of
the funnier moments we've seen at the camp!
three of the evenings, campers attended our
legendary jam nights! Bassist John Benitez,
Dion, and guitarist
Vinny Valentino formed the jam
night band. Armed with dozens of rock, jazz, and
funk tunes, the band and our attendees jammed for
Each night, campers were called to the
stage by MC William Wolkoff. Each of our instructors
took turns playing with the band either on drums and
percussion. Some highlights of the jams included an
ambient Indian piece that featured Will Kennedy,
Arun Kumar, and Steve Smith (right). Dave Weckl did
duets with Will, Peter Erskine, Keith Carlock, and
Campers had an amazing time playing with pro
musicians and also watching their instructors take
On the last night, campers went to Cleveland's
Nighttown restaurant for a very special performance
of the Jeff Coffin band. The band featured drummer
Futureman (Bela Fleck) and Felix Pastorius (The
Everyone had a great time and
Felix was kind enought to pose for a photo with our
campers! A great closing to another amazing week at
Drum Fantasy Camp...
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