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Cape Breton International Drum Festival 2010

Article by Sean Mitchell // June 02 2010
Cape Breton International Drum Festival 2010

The 2010 Cape Breton International Drum Festival started off with a bang, at least I like to think it did. It just so happens that yours truly was the opening performer for the 10th anniversary of the festival. A high honor bestowed upon me by Bruce and Gloria Jean Aitken.

A stacked lineup, an eager crowd and an amazing house band proved that Bruce and Gloria Jean have yet again raised the bar for drum festivals worldwide. Every drum festival has its high points and hair-standing-on-end moments. But the 2010 CBIDF would prove to have many.

Let’s start with the legends: Roxy Petrucci, Pete Lockett, Dom Famularo, Carmine Appice, Jerry Mercer, Alan White, Denny Seiwell, Paul Wertico, Bill Cobham, Pete Lockett, Skip Hadden, Bernard Purdie, Danny Seraphine, Liberty Devitto, Chad Wackerman, Troy Luccketta and Michael Shrieve. This lineup, my friends, speaks for itself.

As always, incredible performances by drum festival favorites Scott Pellegrom, Elie Bertrand and Sonor’s Scott Atkins lit up the audience, particularly Atkins’s flawless presentation of both drum corps and kit playing.

Add to an already impressive lineup, a two hour legends concert on the last day of the festival. Each performer taking a turn playing the tunes they are most famous for, behind an incredible house band handpicked by Bruce himself. And I would be remiss if I did not give a very honorable mention to one of the tightest horn sections I have ever seen.

Michael Shrieve gave one of the first legends concert performances with the Santana classic “Black Magic Woman,” prompting all the legendary performers to join him onstage on percussion duties, armed with music stands, pipes and even a garbage can. From then on no one left the stage as the legends concert turned into a huge all out jam.

Imagine if you will standing side stage to watch Bernard Purdie doing that thing he does (yes, folks, the Purdie shuffle) to “Babylon Sisters” or Danny Seraphine playing along to that incredible horn section in Chicago’s “I’m A Man.” Carmine Appice took over vocal duties on the tune he and Rod Stewart penned, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy.” And the festival grand poobah himself, Bruce Aitken, brought the house down as he manned the microphone with former John Lennon drummer Alan White on the kit for a heartfelt version of “Imagine.”

Of course the final drum jam led by the ever inspiring Dom Famularo had the crowd in such a frenzy I thought the floor might give way. That last day we went three hours over schedule, but do you think anyone was really concerned?

To end off the weekend, an after party of extreme magnitude: the entire cast of performers, the house band and the legends all met at the hotel lounge afterward for some amazing grub and a jam session that lasted until 3 am.

A big thank you has to go out to all the volunteers, drivers and stage crew who made the weekend possible and without whom the event would never take place. And of course a huge thank you to Bruce and Gloria Jean Aitken; you made so many dreams come true.



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About the Author
Sean Mitchell

Sean Mitchell has been an active participant in the drumming industry for over 20 years. He has studied under Crash Test Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge and Drumming's Global Ambassador Dom Famularo. Sean is also a songwriter and regularly performs with his wife (and singer) Jill Mitchell. Sean proudly endorses Aquarian Drumheads.

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