Billy Hart Celebrates 70th Birthday Behind The Kit
Drummers sure know how to celebrate birthdays – by playing drums, what else? That’s precisely what Billy Hart intends to do on the occasion of his 70th this coming Sunday, November 28, when the former sideman with such jazz legends as Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, McCoy Tyner, and Herbie Hancock appears at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. Hart actually kicks off a three-night run tomorrow night with his quartet, which also features saxophonist Mark Turner, pianist Ethan Iverson, and bassist Ben Street. They will play two shows a night, at 8:30 and 10:30, so tickets could still be available for the birthday bash. You don’t want to miss cake, after all.
TRAP Benefit Raises More Than $25,000
By Andy DoerschukPublished November 24, 2010
(Left) Doors drummer John Densmore and his longtime companion Ildi Sinnappan at the Autumn Stars Dinner, Auction, and Concert
We have always supported the efforts of our old buddies at TRAP, otherwise known as The Rhythmic Arts Project, an educational program that employs percussion to help people with disabilities learn basic life skills. Of course, fundraising plays an enormous role in TRAP’s ability to provide services, and its most recent effort took place on Sunday, November 14th, when the organization held its first annual Autumn Stars Dinner, Auction, and Concert at The Woman’s Club in Carpinteria, California. Conceived by Claud Mann, master chef of Dinner And A Movie fame, and his wife, Perla Batalla, Grammy nominated vocalist, composer, and arranger, the event was hosted by TRAP Board Members, actor/activist Edward James Olmos and Doors drummer John Densmore. We’re happy to report that the benefit was sold out and packed to the rafters, raising more than $25,000, which will be used to sponsor classes in mainstream special education throughout Santa Barbara County.
Nick Mason Contributes To Anti-Malaria Charity
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason has donated an autographed pair of drum sticks and a book from his personal collection – Chequered History: A Celebration of 50 Years of World Championship Racing – to the American racing team Patrón Highcroft Racing. Both items will be auctioned off at the organization’s Miles To End Malaria Ebay auction site to help raise awareness and money to battle the disease, which which kills one child every 30 seconds in Africa, according to Malaria No More.
Besides being world famous for his drumming skills, Mason is also a racing buff, as well as the father-in-law of Highcroft team driver Marino Franchitti.
Thomas Lang Boot Camp Heads To Seattle
Thomas Lang, who graced DRUM!'s June 2010 cover, is taking his drumming boot camp on the road again, this time to Seattle. The Thomas Lang Drumming Boot Camp (TLDBC) is a traveling, educational experience that hosts multi-day, intensive educational camps in various international locations. This year, the camp has traveled to London, Vienna, Berlin, New York and Los Angeles. It rolls into Seattle, Washington on December 10th –12th.
Instead of sitting in a classroom, watching or listening to a clinician -- TLDBC students are drumming along with Thomas for eight hours daily on their personal practice kit. Students can bring their own gear, or buy or rent a setup at the camp.
Each bootcamp is limited to approximately 25 students. According to Thomas that's so every camper gets the maxim amount of hands-on attention.
“You don’t have to be an advanced player – but this course will advance your playing,” says Lang.
To lock in a spot at this year's camp or a future one, visit: http://www.thomaslangdrumcamp.com
Custom Cymbalsmith Mike Skiba Passes Away
By Andy DoerschukPublished November 23, 2010
(Left) Mike Skiba and his daughter Kayla
The drumming world lost a truly original craftsman when custom cymbalsmith Mike Skiba passed away at the age of 50 on Saturday, November 13. The New Jersey drummer had dedicated his life to building percussion instruments, and became most renowned for his unique cymbal designs, an unusual skill that he developed early in life while assisting his father in his father’s machine shop, conveniently located in the basement of his family’s home.
In his brief autobiography posted on the website cymbalholic.com, Skiba explained how he ventured into the art of cymbal making: “Being the drummer in the family, I presented my father with the ultimate challenge of "reverse-engineering" cymbals. We did quite a bit of research in the mid-70's, mostly with Zildjian cymbals as they were really the only professional instruments available in our area at the time. We built a large lathe capable of turning pieces up to 24 inches, and looked to a local foundry as a source for metal discs.”