Caught in The Act
Closing Jam Gallery From DRUM! Night 2013
We honestly didn’t know it was going to happen, but Chad Smith surprised the entire theater when he brought all of the evening’s featured drummers onstage to perform a completely unrehearsed jam at the end of his set. Here are a few views of the slightly chaotic but definitely fun throw-down.
Here’s how it looked from the side of the stage.
Now here’s a view from the back of the stage. (You can’t accuse us of not covering all the angles.)
From left to right: Chad Smith, Jason Bittner, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Frank Zummo, Justin Imamura, Adam Alt, and Bobby Alt take their final bows at the end of the show.
Jason Bittner signs a Sabian Holy China cymbal that Chad Smith randomly handed to an audience member toward the end of his set.
After all was said and done, DRUM! Night 2013 was a wild success. If you weren’t there, you missed a great drumming event – but here’s a video shot by an audience member of the final jam (keep your eyes peeled for a professional video production shot by Drum Channel):
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.