Caught in The Act
Caught In The Act: Elijah Wood
Artist: Elijah Wood
Where: San Jose, CA
Venue: SAP Arena
Gear: Gretsch, TRX, Remo, Ahead, Gibraltar
Elijah Wood is leading a charmed life, playing on big stages across the globe at an age when most kids are still hoping to get into college. He started learning drums early, with the musical support of his dad Mark , who was a founding violinist in Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Elijah started playing drums early and by age 14 was performing with EYS (Electrify Your Strings), a youth group started by his father. A couple of years later he became the drummer for America's Got Talent (Season 9) at Radio City Music Hall. Not long after that he joined the AGT Live! Group at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. And, along the way he also became a member of Orkeystra, with Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater.
Earlier this year a recommendation from a friend landed him the drum chair in Shania Twain's comeback tour, playing before packed arenas across North America. We visited Elijah backstage when he played in San Jose, and checked out his cool Gretsch stage setup. He sits high in the air, surrounded by high-voltage electronic fireworks that look like they might incinerate the drummer at any second. But don't worry. He's leading a charmed life. [Ed. Note: Elijah appears in an upcoming issue of DRUM! Magazine.]
KoSA China Brings Music Education Overseas
KoSA China proved to be a successful, sixth annual musical event made specifically for drum and percussion enthusiasts. Produced in collaboration with China's 9 Beats Music Education Schools, a nation-wide effort involving 400 school locations throughout China, the event featured internationally renowned drummer and percussionist Aldo Mazza, who taught and performed in front of 600 Chinese drum enthusiasts alongside an international faculty of drum teachers.
Mazza is the Canada-based founder and artistic director of KoSA Music, with his wife Dr. Jolán Kovács. KoSA Music has a 20-year track record of producing high-level music camps, workshops and festivals worldwide.
The 2015 event kicked off by leaving the port city of Tianjin, China on a luxury cruise ship heading straight to Japan. Throughout the week, drumset classes were given on the ship to eager, school-aged participants. An important ingredient to the success of the 9-Beats School System is the very important teacher training seminars. These teachers were taught by this year’s faculty: Rick Latham (U.S), Pete Lockett (U.K), Izumi Koga (Japan), Dom Famularo (U.S), Chris Trzcinski (U.S), Nicholas McBride (Australia) Sam Debell (U.K) An Yu “Ryan” (China), Han Bingchen (China), and Canadian drummer Aldo Mazza.
Plans are already underway for next year’s event in China (August 2016) with a possibly bigger collaboration with the 9 Beats school directed by Mr. Li Hongyu.
Everything You Want To Know About Drum Videos
Invited by Iran’s leading drum school and online community center, sixteen-year old drummer Antoine Fadavi recently traveled to Tehran, Iran where he presented a workshop entitled “Everything You Want To Know About Drum Videos”. During the four-hour seminar Antoine discussed pre-production, production and post-production as well as how to post and promote drum videos, answered questions from the dozens of drummers in attendance.
“ ‘Everything You Want To Know About Drum Videos’ was one of an ongoing series of events presented by Iranian-Drummer.com,” says Iranian Drummer’s founder and president, Alireza Tabatabaei. “The goal of the workshop was to help Iranian drummers learn about making drum videos— a popular and increasingly important aspect of modern drumming— while encouraging them to share their drumming on YouTube and other social media.”
“I love to travel and, since part of my family is Persian, it was natural for me to want to visit Iran,” Antoine explains. “I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are so many good drummers in Iran. While the players and teachers there are somewhat limited in terms of access to drum equipment and drumming influences compared to other parts of the world, they have a wonderful attitude, a ton of support from the local drumming community and, of course, they have YouTube.”
One highlight of the hands-on clinic was the production of a video featuring well-known Iranian drummer Ashoor Moradian. Using the students as the crew, and shot using GoPro cameras exclusively, the video was filmed and edited as part of the class and then uploaded to the Iranian-drummer.com YouTube channel.
Chad Smith Honored for Supporting Little Kids Rock
Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith was honored at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California for his recent charity work with the Little Kids Rock foundation on May 16th. Little Kids Rock is a program founded by Chief Executive Officer David Wish who has been working with Chad since 2002.
Chad originally started working with Little Kids rock in 85 schools in the Bay Area and New York and now they’re in over 1500 schools in 30 cities around the country. That’s 14 years of work and 14 years of support. For David Wish, “That’s why we’re honoring Chad today with our Living The Dream Award.”
We talked with Chad when he had just gotten back from attending the Acoustic for a Cure event on May 15th in San Francisco, California. It was a fundraiser for kids that have cancer and featured guest performances by Sammy Hagar and James Hetfield. He was visibly impressed with that event, mentioning how they raised more money than expected, and was anxious to see the success of the Little Kids Rock event.
When asked about what he enjoys most about working with children and music Chad gave insight to his personal experience growing up in the public school system “If it wasn’t for the music classes and the music programs in my schools that I went to, I certainly wouldn’t have graduated from high school," Chad said. Chad went on to say his interest was not math or english but music and he is ashamed that how music and art programs are often the first to be cut by schools. “I think it’s important that kids be exposed to music and art. So I wanted to do everything to support that.”
Chad's high-profile drum-off with Will Ferrell that aired in 2014 on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon is another example of his efforts to help the program. According to David Wish, Little Kids Rock was able to donate 287 drum sets to schools across the country thanks to Chad and Will.
Not only does he support Little Kids Rock, but Chad is also engaged nationwide with Michelle Obama’s Turn Around Arts Program. Chad describes The Mary Chapa Literacy and Technology Academy as an underachieving school in a tough part of the city where “no one cared about the school or learning or for the kids to have any inspiration at all.” Chad’s vision was to rekindle that fire and bring inspiration and hope to the students at Mary Chapa. Through his efforts the school received donations from the companies he endorses: Pearl Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Vater Drum Sticks, and Remo Heads. Chad feels the Turn Around Arts Program provides multiple benefits to the community because “parents get involved when they see that their kids are excited about art and music” plus “attendance and graduation rates are up.” Clearly his vision is working. I’m blown away at the success," he says adding, "It [Little Kids Rock] is one of the programs that actually works which is pretty cool to see.”
Caught In The Act: Matt Halpern
Artist: Matt Halpern
Where: Carrboro, NC
Venue: Cat's Cradle
Periphery's tour kicked off this week in North Carolina and we got shots of Matt Halpern in performance and giving a class in a bar. Who knows? It's a trend that could catch on. Matt is on the cover of DRUM!'s February 2015 issue with an interview that takes you inside his playing secrets and survival tips for today's drummers.
Remaining Tour Dates
- January 14 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution Live
- January 16 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
- January 17 Houston, TX House of Blues
- January 18 Dallas, TX House of Blues
- January 20 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theatre
- January 21 Phoenix, AZ Club Red
- January 22 Los Angeles, CA House of Blues
- January 23 Anaheim, CA Yost Theater
- January 26 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
- January 27 Portland, OR Hawthorne
- January 28 Seattle, WA El Corazon
- January 30 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
- January 31 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
- February 2 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theater
- February 3 Chicago, IL House of Blues
- February 4 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall
- February 6 Toronto, ON Opera House
- February 7 Montreal, QC Corona Theatre
- February 8 Albany, NY Upstate Concert Hall
- February 9 Rochester, NY WaterStreet Music Hall
- February 11 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
- February 12 New York, NY Irving Plaza
- February 13 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
- February 14 Philadelphia, PA District N9ne
For more info visit Periphery on Facebook.