Stickman Drum ExperienceArticle by Sean Mitchell // February 18 2012
Imagine yourself in the fresh open Canadian air around a roaring fire, rubbing elbows with Billy Ward and Rich Redmond. As the Canadians say it, "Not a bad weekend, eh?" Add to that, the opportunity to hang with these guys all weekend, get lessons, and shed some grooves. Well, guess what? Our very own Jayson Brinkworth is going to make that happen, folks, with a four-day camp designed especially for all drummerkind! The great Canadian outdoors and five of the heaviest players on the planet all at your disposal. How can you attend? Read on, friends.
Jayson, let’s talk about the Stickman Drum Experience. How did you come up with it and what prompted you to make it happen?
The idea of the drum camp is a progression from the clinics I have been hosting for years and also the drum festival last year. It was also influenced by George and Julie Dimas, whose son attended a drum camp last year and thought this idea of a complete drumming experience could work on the prairies. There is a lot of music activity in western Canada, and my mandate has been to provide the best education experience whether it is in private lessons, group lessons, a clinic, a festival or a full-on camp experience.
Being that you premiered your very first drum festival (Regina Drum Festival) to an incredibly successful reception, how has this experience compared in organizing the event?
These events take a lot of time and attention to details. No one warned me of this, but I have more energy than brains, so forward I go. Seriously though, I love working on the industry side of things, and the people at the drum companies, drum media and beyond are amazing to deal with. I was blessed as a teenager to have seen some amazing clinics that had a big impact on my choosing music as a career. The reason I started hosting clinics and moving ahead with all of this is to give back and hopefully have drummers be inspired and influenced the way I was.
Who do you have lined up and can you give us a bit of history on how they came into your event?
I am very excited about the artists we have lined up for our first year. When we started putting the event together, we were trying to figure out a logical way to present the event. It only made sense to have one artist from each of the major music centers in the world. This year we have New York, Nashville, LA and Toronto covered.
Rich Redmond (Nashville) works with Jason Aldean, Thompson Square and many other top artists. He has recorded on several chart-topping hits worldwide and has a gift for educating and inspiring. I have known Rich for a few years and we are excited to get a chance to finally work together.
Vito Rezza (Toronto) works with his group Five after Four, Joey DeFrancesco and many others. Vito is an absolute monster behind the kit! Chops, musicality, passion and fire, you will get it all. He is best friends with Vinnie Colaiuta, and Vinnie actually played on Vito’s solo album. Vito is also a Yamaha artist and Sean Browne was the mastermind behind this one.
Billy Ward (New York) has worked with Joan Osborne, Bill Champlin and many, many others. Billy is a one of a kind player, educator and human being. I love this guy. I was lucky enough to work with him on the first big clinic I presented in 2008 and he went above and beyond for that event. I was waiting for the right opportunity to do it again and this is it!
Tim Smith (bass, Nashville) has worked with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton and many other legendary performers. He is a groove monster! Billy Ward recommended Tim, as I wanted to have a rhythm section element to the event. The drummers will get to work with Tim and feel what it is like to play in a rhythm section with a great bass player. Billy and Tim will also present a clinic with them playing and talking about working in a rhythm section.
Our artist from LA is confirming his spot very shortly. I wish I could give you more information, but I can say this, he will blow your mind with his playing and is one of the nicest people on the planet! OK, one hint, think Pink!
What can attendees look forward to at the Stickman Drum Experience?
The event will breakdown something like this. July 4 is registration night. People will show up, get checked in to their rooms, get their welcome packages, and start hanging with everyone. There will be drum videos playing while registration is going on, and the practice rooms will be ready to rock! That night, our first two artists (Rich Redmond and Vito Rezza) will also be around to hang and share information with everyone in the main drumming area—and by the campfire later that night.
July 5 will have our practice rooms open at 9am, breakfast at 10am and our first master classes will begin at 11:30am. The attendees will be split into two groups—half with Rich and half with Vito—for their classes. Lunch will be at 1:30pm and the groups will switch for the 3pm master classes. Supper will be at 5pm, and our evening clinics and jam will begin at 8pm with the fire pit hang to follow. Practice rooms will close at midnight.
July 6 will be the same time lines, but with our artist from LA, who will be confirmed very soon. He is a monster! The second artist this day will be another great Canadian player, to be announced as well. Practice rooms will be open from 9am to 12am with the same meal times. Clinic, jam and night time fire pit as well.
July 7 will be master classes with the one and only Billy Ward from New York and bass player Tim Smith from Nashville. Our two groups will switch off between classes with Billy and Tim. It will great for drummers to get to work with a world class bass player and get to jam and interact with Tim. This night will be the wrap up with a big clinic from Billy and Tim and our Stickman Drum Experience “Monster” jam where all students get to play tunes with a full band!
July 8 is breakfast, final words and departure. We will also have a ton of prizes to giveaway all weekend.
One thing we want all attendees to understand is that this is a music education experience with master classes and lessons. But you also get to eat meals, hangout and talk one-on-one with the biggest players in the world all weekend long.
Who are the Stickman Drum Experience team?
Our team consists of my wife, Laura Roddick, our friends George and Julie Dimas, and I. It is a great balance for this event as I have the industry-side covered. Laura is very creative in graphics and marketing and George and Julie run the website. They are very organized and have an amazing business sense. I believe we have found a very strong team that can push this and other events forward in a big way. I am very excited!
Let’s talk about the venue. Canada has some incredible natural scenery. Where will attendees be staying and experiencing the Stickman Experience?
The event will take place at Cedar Lodge at Blackstrap Lake. It is 10km from Dundurn, Saskatchewan, and 30 minutes from the Saskatoon International Airport. The lodge and the location on the lake couldn’t be more perfect with its beautiful prairie vibe. We have the run of the lodge for the weekend, which is great for a drumming event. The rooms are very clean and comfortable, and all of the meals are home cooked by the staff. Attention will be paid to specific diet requests, etc, and the price includes accommodations, all of your food and snacks, plenty of drum swag, inspiration beyond belief, and a true connection to the biggest artists in the world.
How can one get signed up? What are the prices? And let’s talk about the early bird discount.
All of the information is on our website at www.stickmandrumexperience.com. The registration sheet is there answering all of the questions you might have. If you don’t find your answer, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer that day.
Our pricing is $899 for the all-inclusive camp experience, but if you register by February 29, 2012, the price is $799. One of our goals was to not over price the event while providing the best education and personal experience with the top players in the world.
About the Author
Sean has 15 years experience behind the kit, studying under greats like Mitch Dorge and participating in master classes with Dom Famularo and Zoro. It was these life-changing exchanges that prompted the Canadian-born drummer to create a global drumming community, The Black Page, that was easily accessible to drummers of all backgrounds and levels of expertise. In addition to his work with BP, Sean is one-half of the world soul group The Mitchells.
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