Chicago Drum Show Set Attendance Records

Chicago Drum Show Set Attendance Record

Chicago Drum Show

[Ed. Note: For dozens of videos from the Chicago Drum Show, visit this link.]

The 25th Annual Chicago Drum Show (15th-17th, 2015) was expanded to three days to squeeze in everything that producer Rob Cook planned for the show. “This year’s show had more of everything,” says Cook. “We had seven headliner clinics, six Master Classes, 2 Cafe presentations, 4 conference room presentations, 2 Round Table presentations, plus several special displays.” The clinician roster included Will Calhoun, Dave Mattacks, Paul Wertico, Todd Sucherman, Bob Henrit, Steve Smith and Daniel Glass. Glass was assisted by musicologist Denny Brown in presenting his clinic, which had a "Sing, Sing, Sing" theme. The iconic Gene Krupa tune was deconstructed and explained, culminating with the Daniel Glass performance of the tune. Presenters included master drum builders Gregg Keplinger and Adrian Kirchler, percussion effects specialist Nick White, and Ringo’s Beatle gear archivist Gary Astridge. Jim Messina recorded interviews with vintage drum experts in the Rebeats Cafe for his VintageDrumsTalk online program. “The British Beat Boom” Round Table was moderated by Bob Henrit and included fellow Brits Dave Mattacks, Colin Hilborne, and Pete James. “The Life And Times of Gene Krupa” Round Table was moderated by Daniel Glass and Denny Brown. Tommy Piorek (with the assistance of David Anfuso of VintageDrumGuide.com) set up a large display in the show foyer, “The Drums Of Buddy Rich.”

Family Feel
“Although the show has been growing every year, it still has a family reunion vibe.” says Cook. “We have a small-show vibe with the profile of a major percussion entertainment event. Anywhere you looked this year, there was something pretty special happening, A lot of exhibitors stepped up their game with special displays. Steve Smith and Daniel Glass talked about their book Roots Of Rock Drumming from the Cafe stage, Mindy Abovitz spoke to the clinic crowd about female drummers and was on hand all weekend in her Tom Tom magazine booth. We even had a vintage drum themed barber shop! The barber was Derek Crawford, former show logistics coordinator. He cut hair and trimmed beards for not only a number of prominent exhibitors, but even Steve Smith stopped for a touch-up.”

A cast drum key was struck for the occasion. Produced in the Czech Republic, the key is shaped like the Rebeats logo and on one side lists the show’s exhibitors; over 1,700 characters!

“Attendance at the show is increasingly diverse" commented Cook. “More youngsters and female drummers are attending every year. One of the show’s most memorable moments for me was the raffle drawing. We were drawing for the snare drums. When we announced that David Anfuso had won, David came forward and said that he already had 30+ snare drums and wanted to give his winning ticket to a youngster. He handed to a young man in the front row, who lit up like a Christmas tree and left with a beautiful WFLIII snare drum autographed by William F. Ludwig III.”

Bigger Show In 2016
“I am really looking forward to the move in 2016,” says Cook, referring to the 26th Chicago Drum Show which will relocate to Villa Park’s Odeum expo center. “Aside from more room, the Odeum has many advantages that will benefit exhibitors and attendees alike. Proximity to the airport and downtown Chicago, Wi-Fi, 24-hour security, a staff EMT and the capability of receiving shipments of exhibit materials will be especially welcomed. In addition to all that, this facility features separate banquet and conference rooms better suited to our clinics and presentations plus a second arena that will feature a guitar show. The Four Amigos guitar shows are the largest and longest-running guitar events in the country. The facility now becomes a destination for the whole band!”