Caught in The Act
Chad Smith Gallery From DRUM! Night 2013
We’ve tried to convince Chad Smith to appear at DRUM! Night every year since its inception in 2009. Who says persistence doesn’t pay off? This year’s show finally happened to coincide with his busy schedule, as the Red Hot Chili Peppers were scheduled to play at Outside Lands in San Francisco the day after DRUM! Night 2013. So here are a few shots of his set that reveal several different sides to Smith’s onstage personality.
Chad Smith, caught in the grips of a groove, hammering hard.
It’s interesting that this living legend kept his spare sticks lying on the floor next to his throne. Is that how he does it with the Chili Peppers?
Smith demonstrates an old-school soloing trick by laying an elbow into the batter head to alter the pitch of his snare drum.
Once a goofball, always a goofball.
Changing things up, Smith segues into a samba feel.
Cindy Blackman-Santana Gallery From DRUM! Night 2013
After a brief stage changeover, Cindy Blackman-Santana took over the stage from Jason Bittner to present a totally improvised set of melodic and challenging drum solos.
The audience appeared spellbound as Blackman-Santana began her set. Look closely enough and you might spot her husband, Carlos Santana, looking on from his far-right balcony seat.
Come to mention it, Cindy seemed equally spellbound as she plumbed the depths of her creativity.
Blackman-Santana channeled the best of Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, and other jazz legends while soloing on her vintage ’60s Red Sparkle Gretsch kit.
The great drummer shared her philosophies about drumming and life during her question-and-answer session.
Jason Bittner Gallery From DRUM! Night 2013
DRUM! Night 2013 clinics kicked off with Jason Bittner, who managed to live up to his reputation as a powerhouse double-bass thrasher while surprising the crowd with styles and techniques rarely associated with metal drumming.
Here’s my favorite shot from the reams of photos that have thus far made it to the DRUM! office. Here we get the rare chance to share the exact view Bittner had as he launched into his set.
Bittner concentrates on placing his notes in direct proportion to the click track blasting into his headphones.
A maze of stands, cymbals, drums, laptops, and water bottles surround Bittner during his clinic.
Check out the perspective from the balcony as Bittner improvises a chops-heavy solo for the crowd.
Gear Gallery From DRUM! Night 2013 Expo
Last Friday’s DRUM! Night 2013 festival was a tremendous success, with exhibitors, artists, and attendees alike proclaiming this year to be our best presentation yet. While every seat in the San Jose Repertory Theatre’s 500+ auditorium was completely sold out to see Chad Smith, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Jason Bittner, and Street Drum Corps, most attendees arrived early to check out all of the cool drum and percussion gear on display during our pre-show Expo.
Twenty lucky ticket holders were chosen to attend a 4:00 electronic drum kit seminar, in which Bob Terry explained and demonstrated the many creative options available with his Yamaha DTX/Zildjian Gen16 setup.
In this shot, Terry hands the sticks to an audience member and encourages him to give the system a test drive.
The Expo opened up to the rest of the audience at 5:00 with a mighty bang as gear-hungry drummers began to flood the aisles.
As they did last year, Sabian used the opportunity to debut its all-new roster of Cymbal Vote models at DRUM! Night 2013, which the public will gradually whittle down into the company’s lineup of new cymbals for 2014.
Eric Gunn of Craviotto Drum Company seems bemused by the onslaught of drummers crowding the exhibit floor.
Adam Murphy explains the subtleties of drumhead selection to two rapt youngsters at the Remo exhibit.
A proud mom looks on as her daughter is guided through basic drumming technique by Mike Farriss at the Pearl booth.
The DRUM! Night merch table did record sales this year – of course we gave ourselves a particularly sweet location.
Up on the balcony level, Bob Hymans explaines how the miracle of Velcro sets his Black Widow Drum Web apart from conventional drum rugs.
John Jones listens attentively while a DRUM! Night attendee asks a question about the impressive assemblage of Thumper snare drums on display.
DRUM! Night 2013 Tops Previous Events: Chad Smith Leads Massive Jam At Concert Climax
San Jose Rocks In Biggest DRUM! Night Ever
DRUM! Night 2013, held Friday August 9, 2013 at the San Jose Repertory Theater, was the biggest night yet in the event’s four-year run. An all-star cast including Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, former Lenny Kravitz drummer Cindy Blackman-Santana, well-known for her Tony Williams project Another Lifetime, and Jason Bittner of Shadows Fall, along with emcees Street Drum Corps put on a blazing three-hour drumming demo for the capacity crowd of 515.
DRUM! Night is an annual event that includes a raffle and silent auction to benefit music education at Lincoln High School in San Jose. This year’s event included more than a dozen exhibits by top drum company manufacturers such as Pearl, Sabian, and Gretsch. Before the show, attendees also got a chance to sit in on an electronic drumming seminar with Yamaha and Zildjian clinicians.
The show was balanced by the genres of the different performers–metal, jazz, and rock. Each drummer chose a unique approach to explaining his or her art, playing along to recorded tracks, or soloing. During audience Q&A sessions students in attendance got a chance to interact with the stars and hear advice won after decades in the entertainment business. Cindy Blackman-Santana urged girls in the audience to not let their gender define them, but also that it is possible to be feminine and nurturing in a mostly male occupation. “I don’t have a problem being a woman drummer,” she said in response to one question, “though some people might have a problem with me.”
The show closed with all the stars playing together as Chad Smith exhorted his fellow drummers back on to the stage. These kinds of impromptu situations don’t always produce great music, but the three drummers clicked almost instantly and were then joined by Street Drum Corps for a rousing 10-minute drum jam.
DRUM! Night 2013 sponsors include San Jose Jazz Summerfest, Metro, DW, Gretsch, LP Music, Gibraltar, Sabian, Zildjian, Yamaha, Istanbul, Pro-Mark, Remo, Pearl, Tama, Vater, and Vic Firth.
For more information visit http://www.drummagazine.com/drum-night