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Stickman Drum Experience 2013

Article by Sean Mitchell // June 10 2013
Stickman Drum Experience 2013

For those of you not in the know, the Stickman Drum Experience is an incredible 5 day interactive drum camp that is held on the great western plains of the Canadian Praries in Saskatchewan. This is the second year of the event and it's creator is none other than our very own Jayson Brinkworth. We caught up with Jayson earlier this month to fill us in on all the drummning goodness.

Jayson, how did Stickman Drum Experience get its start? 

Our first camp happened in July 2012, but the planning began in October of 2011. Our partners, George, Julie and Chris Dimas had a vision of Saskatchewan being the perfect central location for this type of event. With all of the strengths we bring to organizing such an event, we are finding our way and making it a better educational experience all of the time. 

Tell me a bit about this year’s line-up? 

The 2013 line-up ended up being quite amazing once we had all of the players confirmed. We have everything from metal to funk to jazz to fusion to county and beyond. Our first day includes registration night and a bonus hang and jam with Scott Pellegrom (clinician extraordinaire) and the one and only Matt Halpern (Periphery). Lessons begin the next day with Scott and Matt, and that evening Paul DeLong (The Code, Kim Mitchell, David Clayton Thomas) and Chris Coleman (Chaka Khan, Prince) show up. Lessons continue the next day with Paul and Chris, as well as Ronn Dunnett (Dunnett Classic Drums) who will be showing up with his drum wizardry. That day, Tim Smith (Bass, Mr. Groove, Johnny Cash, Bill Evans) and Billy Ward (Joan Osborne, BB King, Robbie Robertson) show up. It is quite an overwhelming amount that everyone will be inspired and motivated by. 

What can camp attendees expect to be doing over the five days? 

Throughout the event, attendees will sit in on two master classes by each artist and learn a vast amount of techniques, approaches to the instrument and so much more! They will also get plenty of one-on-one time with the artists, as we all stay in the same location, eat meals together and are closer than we could imagine to some of the best players on the planet. Along with the classes, each artist has a formal clinic spot where they get to do their thing and educate from that angle. Also our final night has the house band host our drumaoke (karaoke for drummers) where all drummers get to pick songs from their massive list and sit in with the band. I did forget to mention that our practice rooms are also a huge hit, and are open from 9 a.m. to midnight. 

Personally, what have been some of the best gems (educationally speaking) that you have taken away from previous camps? 

There we so many that we all took away from last year. Rich Redmond (Jason Aldean) motivated and inspired everyone beyond belief. Vito Rezza made us all want to sell our gear after his display of chops and musicality. Chester Thompson's playing was amazing and his stories he shared on the balcony—of working with Frank Zappa, Weather Report and Phil Collins—were incredible. Tim Smith made every single player at the camp feel like they could accomplish anything, and my great friend Billy Ward took it all into overdrive with his one of a kind playing style and personality. I have been to many drum festivals and clinics, but the camp atmosphere is a totally different kind of inspiration everyone needs to experience. 

One of the most inspiring things from last year was the attendees exchanging information on playing and music. It is a very tight community from the moment people check into their rooms. 

Sounds great! How do I sign up?  

Registration is at www.stickmandrumexperience.com. The full weekend with accommodations, all meals (which are home cooked), all classes, clinics, jams and more, is only $999 CAD. It obviously costs money to put these events on, but we want to deliver the best world class music education event that we can and offer it at a very reasonable price in the drum camp industry. 

What should I pack? 

You need to pack comfortable clothes, bring jeans and shorts. Bring sticks and any other personal music items you think you might need (iPod, headphones, metronome, etc.). Also bring sweats as the food is unbelievable and we will all gain 10 pounds. 

If I am not from Canada, can I still attend?

Yes, you can. The camp is at Cedar Lodge on beautiful Black Strap Lake. It is only 20 minutes from the Saskatoon International Airport, and we provide shuttle service. Also, it is driving distance from North Dakota and Montana.

Does the camp need volunteers and how do they sign up?

We are just on the verge of needing more volunteers. I am very fortunate that I have family that loves helping, but I am thinking in year three we will have to call in more help. That information will also be found on our website when it is necessary. 

What were some of the highlights from last year’s event?

There were so many highlights! The grand finale jam was quite epic, all of the clinics were fantastic and the master classes passed on so much information.

I think the biggest highlight for year one was how much fun and inspiration the attendees and the artists had. The testimonials on our website pretty much sum up the event in a nutshell. Every one of the artists wanted to return for year two, but schedules wouldn't allow—and we wanted to make a few changes each year.

Who are the sponsors and how does one apply to be a sponsor for future events?

We have been fortunate and had many sponsors in the past two year, from local companies Mosaic, DirectWest and Graham's Tire, to all of the drum industry companies. Our mandate is music education first and foremost. Any sponsors need to understand that if people aren't leaving this camp feeling a sense of inspiration and motivation to be their best in music and life, we haven't done our job. The drum is both physical and mental, thus covering both wellness and the arts.

What does the future hold for the Stickman? Any events south of the border or overseas?

The future plans are just to see where this event can go in year two and three. Obviously the future is determined by interest from the players to attend, for sure. If the interest is there, we will reach for the stars and bring in the biggest names we can. It is also very important for us to get feedback from attendees and make adjustments to make the camp the best possible education experience for all involved.

We have no plans as of yet to expand; we are very happy hosting the event at Cedar Lodge, as the venue has everything for us and the view and atmosphere is quite perfect.

Visit the Stickman Drum Experience online at www.stickmandrumexperience.com



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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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