Chicago Drum Show

The 25th Annual Chicago Drum Show is shaping up to be another world-class percussion event. Organizer Rob Cook reports that every aspect of the show is on track to maintain the show’s status as a premier educational and entertainment event.

“We added more spaces this year but are still over ninety-nine-percent booked three months before the show,” says Cook. “We are welcoming sixteen new exhibitors, including Bass Plate, Castle Drum Company, Myron Dargus, Downing Drums, Drummers Dream USA, Empowered Percussion, John Grandt Vintage Drums, Impression Cymbals, KickPro, Kiss The Drummer Music, Liberty Drums, Low Boy Custom Beaters, John Medina Jr., Russo, Serco Percussion, and Stone Thrones. We currently have 130 exhibitors filling 160 booths and have commissioned a commemorative show drum key featuring each exhibitor’s name in the casting.”

Thanks to the continuing support of a great range of sponsors, a spectacular range of artists will be presenting clinics this year. 2015 clinicians include Steve Smith (Sonor, Remo, Firth, Shure, DW, Puresound, Samson, Hudson, Korg, Cympad); Dave Mattacks (Zildjian, Promark, Yamaha, Evans, LP, Cympad), who will present a special clinic presentation that will include drum tuning and cymbal selection, live and in the studio; Bob Henrit (Rebeats); Daniel Glass (Vic Firth, DW, LP, Crescent, Aquarian, Big Bang) whose clinic will focus on the iconic Krupa tune “Sing Sing Sing;” Todd Sucherman (Pearl, Sabian, Remo, Promark, Audix), Paul Wertico (Remo, Shure, DW, Paiste, Promark); and Will Calhoun (Remo, Vic Firth, Mapex, Sabian, Audix, Revolution, Korg, Hammarax, Ddrum3, Protector XL).

Master classes will be conducted by Steve Smith, Todd Sucherman, Daniel Glass, Paul Wertico, and Dave Mattacks.

Special guests include Adrian Kirchler, who is well known in the vintage and custom drum communities. He is making his first trip from his home in Italy to the Chicago Drum Show and is a master drum builder who constructs his own drums as well as refurbishes vintage drums, which often involves manufacturing parts that cannot be otherwise replaced. Seattle’s Gregg Kepplinger will also be in attendence. Kepplinger is a prominent drum tech and master drum builder who also makes a line of cymbals.

The Rebeats Cafe stage will again see a busy schedule in 2015. Jim Messina brings his Vintage Drums Talk online show to this live forum as he interviews the top names in the vintage and custom drum communities. New exhibitors and new products will be interviewed here also, and in a special presentation Steve Smith and Daniel Glass will talk about their recent joint Hudson Music publication, The Roots of Rock Drumming.

Special displays and presentations include 20th Century Sound: Drummer’s Traps and Sound Effects of the Early 20th Century. Nick White will display and demonstrate his large collection of drummers’ sound effects devices. Tommy Piorek presents The Drum History of Buddy Rich, a collection of the snare drum models used by Buddy Rich throughout his career, in cooperation with

The 2015 Chicago Drum Show Roundtable Events include The Life and Times of Gene Krupa presented by Daniel Glass and Denny Brown and The British Beat Boom moderated by Bob Henrit (Kinks, Zombies, Argent), with Colin Hilborne (Faces, Elton John), Pete James (Blackjacks), and Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention). The discussion is centered on what it was like to be a part of the British rock scene of the late 1950s, early 1960s, and 1970s.

The always-popular drum show raffle program is off to a fast start in 2015, with four snare drums already donated from Drum Workshop, Mayer Brothers Drum Company, BIII Drum Company, and the Jenkins-Martin Drum Company.

The Chicago Drum Show is also announcing a new venue for 2016. “I have never focused on growth as a goal of the Chicago Drum Show,” says Cook. “My aim has always been to make each year’s show a little better than the previous show; more of an entertainment event, more educational aspects to the show, a slicker printed program, and a more professional trade show experience for exhibitors. This has led to our growth. We now find ourselves running out of room at the venue we have occupied for the last twenty-plus years and we now announce that the 2016 26th Annual Chicago Drum Show will be held at the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park. This move will provide more space, a much closer proximity to the airport and downtown Chicago, and many other advantages.


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