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We Have Been Dom-inated

Article by Jayson Brinkworth // October 02 2010
We Have Been Dom-inated

It was ten years ago, almost to the day, that we were last visited by the global drumming ambassador, Dom Famularo. This time was a little different for two reasons. One, this time it was me who was putting the event on, and, two, there was a whole new era of players that were going to be blown away with this man’s talents and motivational ways.

It was October 6, 2010, and I was very excited to have Dom coming here to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada for a clinic, along with my good friend and Sabian artist relations rep, Terry Ryan. I was lucky to get Dom on a rare day off as he was doing clinics across Canada. The night before he was in Victoria, B.C., hanging out with our very own Sean Mitchell, and the night after our event he was to be in Winnipeg inspiring our Manitoban friends.

My excitement about the event had initiated an excitement in my student as well—though they were a bit puzzled as to who Dom is and what he does exactly. They had asked questions like, “What band is he in?” or “Who has he played with?” Well, this is a tough one because even though Dom has performed with some of the best (Buddy Rich Big Band, B.B.King, Lionel Hampton, George Benson) he has dedicated his life’s work to educating and motivating people about drumming, music and life. It is hard to get this fact across to the students, but once they experience Dom, they truly understand his commitment to the art form and to global education.

As I said, I met Dom briefly years ago when he was here in Regina, SK, for a clinic. He was also here in 1995 heading up a huge drum event kicking off the Grey Cup. The event included drumming from all corners of the world, and the 5,000 plus in attendance still talk about it to this day, including Dom. This time I was able to hang with Dom and Terry for most of the 24 hours they were here.

Our first order of business upon landing was finding an Earl’s and having lunch. At this lunch, I quickly observed that Dom was very interested in our drum community here and was wanting to figure out how we can make it bigger and stronger. He was also interested in the music school we have—where the business is at and where it is going.

Dom was not afraid to share his past experiences in the industry of how he paved his path to becoming the drum educator to the world. We talked a lot of business and numbers, talked some retail and ideas, talked about a possible drum festival and many other items to push our drumming community to its full potential.

After lunch, we headed to set up and sound check for the clinic. As the setup was going on, Dom was being asked questions by people there helping and was more than happy to answer and engage in conversation with everyone. Just observing Dom function in a social setting is so motivating. This man is always on and truly loves what he does every second of the day.

A little while later, we finished up. I dropped Dom and Terry at the hotel for them to get ready for the event. Doors were to open at 6:30pm, so we planned to return to the venue for 6:15pm. The line up had already began, as Terry and I headed into the venue. First thing Dom did was beeline over to the lineup outside to converse with the crowd. He stayed outside until the doors open and came into the venue with the crowd, all the while talking music and drumming to everyone he can. Right up until he is introduced, Dom continued to chat about drums, cymbals, Moeller technique and anything else that the people wanted to know.

The clinic began with Dom in full swing, sharing stories of past drumming and music experience, and talking about his youth and how his career in music began. With humor, dynamics and timing, he had the crowd hanging on every word, then he sat at the drums and played. This 30-plus minute solo performance encompassed every style, technique and lick you can think of. Dom’s sheer control over his body and the instrument is a miracle in itself. His feet can outmatch any metal player and his hands can outdo any jazz or fusion drummer. This is not about any competition though; it is about being able to express yourself fully on your instrument, and Dom exemplifies this to its fullest, enjoying every moment of the ride. 

After the solo performance, Dom shared his past teachings from Jim Chapin and Joe Morello, as well as George Lawrence Stone and Billy Gladstone’s hand techniques. Again with wit and timing, Dom had the crowd hanging on every word.

After his portion wrapped up, we gave away prizes and people stuck around for autographs, photos and some more banter with this drumming legend.

When all was packed up, we headed to another Earl’s (see a theme here?) for drinks and a bite to eat—more chat about business and the drumming community. Dom engaged everyone at the table in conversation on subjects from relationships to travel.

The next day I met Dom and Terry for breakfast before their flight and continue, what else, more chatting. Once I dropped them off at the airport, I felt totally empowered in my ability as a player, educator and business owner—not to mention personally as a friend, husband and father.

This event will be remembered for a long time by everyone who attended, drummer or not. Thank you, Dom, for your passion and insight into this instrument that we love, and thank you for your love of life itself. Also for passing the great word of Jim Chapin, Joe Morello, George Lawrence Stone and Billy Gladstone to the next generation of players.

Thanks to Terry Ryan and Sabian for the support to make this happen. Your commitment to education is never taken for granted.



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About the Author
Jayson  Brinkworth

Jayson Brinkworth is an accomplished drummer, percussionist, vocalist, educator and writer based out of Canada. He is co-owner of the Saskatchewan music school Music In The House, as well as the founder of both the Regina Drum Festival and The Stickman Drum Experience.

Jayson proudly endorses Yamaha drums, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Evans heads, Impact cases, Kickport, Flix, Future Sonics and Mountain Rhythm. Visit Jayson online at www.jaysonbrinkworth.com.

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