This past November 11–14, the Percussive Arts Society held its annual international convention in San Antonio, Texas. This milestone event marked the fortieth anniversary of PASIC and the first year that live-streaming passes were offered. Within the convention, attendees had access to an expo hall filled with the latest gear from the percussion industry’s top manufacturers, as well as clinics and master classes from some of the world’s most respected players. The drumset clinics spanned two stages and included sessions from modern jazz greats Mark Guiliana and Mark Colenburg, studio masters Nir Z and Chris McHugh, rock powerhouse David Elitch, fusion legend Chad Wackerman, Rascall Flatts’ Jim Riley, Animals as Leaders’ Matt Gartska, German rising star Anika Nilles, Jill Scott/John Legend’s Rashid Williams, R&B/pop master Ndugu Chancler, Snarky Puppy’s Larnell Lewis, and more.
One of many highlights from the convention was the first ever U.S. performance by Nilles. The YouTube sensation performed several original tracks from her upcoming solo album and held an open discussion with the audience about her songwriting process, technique, and practice methods. Other highly anticipated performers included Mark Guiliana, who opened up his clinic with an inspiring improvised drum solo and then walked the audience through some of his personal philosophies and practice methods for developing improvisational skills, and Rascal Flatts’ drummer, Jim Riley, who debuted his new book, Survival Guide for the Modern Drummer, and played along with some of the original music that he wrote for the book.
The convention offered twenty drumset clinics over the course of three days. Each session provided a great experience for the attendees to interact with these world-class drummers as they performed, explained how they’ve grown as drummers, and fielded questions.
PASIC 2016 will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, November 9–12. For more info, visit PAS.org.