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August 11-15, 2011
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Cleveland, OH

2011 saw the Drum Fantasy Camp grow in every way with more campers from more countries enjoying a profound lineup of teachers and performers. 77 full-time campers joined 25 partial-camp attendees travelled from 16 countries for classes, jams, and two incredible concerts!

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 together.

It was a fun team effort! Thanks to everyone who took part!

At Noon, Chris Coleman, Peter Erskine, Gavin Harrison, Steve Smith, and Dave Weckl walked on-stage and performed individual solos followed by a roundtable discussion.

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 room.

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!

At 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.

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 "Chromazone."

Peter Erskine delivered some of the tastiest and most dynamic grooves, while Chris Coleman lit up room with his power, finesse, and personality!

The next four days featured two master classes per day with the drumming instructors. With 15 drummers to a room, topics and discussions were intimate and interactive. Most classes included lecturing, playing, and plenty of intense discussion.

On 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.

During three of the evenings, campers attended our legendary jam nights! For the fifth consecutive year, bassist Baron Browne, Singer/keyboardist Chrissi Poland, and guitarist Vinny Valentino formed the jam night band.

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 ofour 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 material from Chrissi, and brand new project from Vinny and Baron.

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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More Information

drumFantasy.11 Videos
drumFantasy.11 Recap

Duet: Dave Weckl and Chris Coleman

Solo: Dave Weckl at Nighttown Restaurant
featuring Chrissi Poland, Vinny Valentino
and Baron Browne

Gavin Harrison at the Opening Concert
featuring Mike Stern, Tom Kennedy, and Bob Franceschini