Montreal Drum fest

Today began the 21st Montreal Annual Drum Fest.

I attached a link with the schedule from today and tomorrow.

Today was amazing and featured some very different acts, all of which were World Class.

Collin Baily [ now 81 years young][ Joe Pass, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Ray Brown, João Gilberto] played, demonstrated and explained some of his techniques.

He is off to Tucson tomorrow and then off to LA to do 3 nights with the Joe Pass group [ his regular gig]. He is still an outrageous drummer.God bless him.

Everyone was great but I’ll skip to the day’s finale.

Sonny Emory,[ Earth Wind and Fire, Steely Dan] Tommy Igoe [ Glen Miller, Blood Sweat and Tears, Stanley Jordan] and Aaron Comess [ Spin Doctors] all played separately and then together and accompanied by keyboard, guitar, bass, trumpet and sax.

Aaron was very good, Tommy was over the top and Sonny Emory was…well… just unbelievably from another World.

The 3 of them playing was a sight to see. If you have not heard them, youtube is your friend.

The last event was sponsored by Yamaha and they had a ticket draw to win an Anton Fig snare drum made by Remo.

An old acquaintance, drummer Jerry Mercer [ Mashmakhan, April Wine] came on stage to draw the ticket for the prize.

I called out “Jerry, seat K-1 please.” Jerry reached in the box and pulled out D-1 but the holder had left the venue.

The second ticket [ I kept quiet] was D-38 and that holder had also left.

I tried again, "Jerry, K-1 and Jerry reached in and picked out a third ticket. He looked at the ticket and then at me and said, “K-1”. We were both pretty surprised but heck, I am now the proud owner of a beautiful snare drum AND I was able to get it autographed by the THREE drummers!!!

Was a pretty fine day!

Tomorrow is Billy Kilson [ Ahmad Jamal, Bob James, Kirk Whalum, Freddie Jackson, Chris Botti, Donald Brown, George Duke and Dave Holland] and Omar Hakim [Sting, Weather Report, Mariah Carey, Madonna, David Bowie, Miles Davis, Marcus Miller, Dire Straits ] and others.

Thx, Gordon!

Absolutely loved it :slight_smile:

When I play this track from the Burmester Sample Vol. 3:

my visitors are comletely stunned. The low frequency extension and dynamics are mindblowing.

My HiFi buddy with Scarlatti rig and Wilson Sasha now consider replacing those with SoulSonic.


George Duke (from the original program)?

frode said: from the original program

frode said: from the original program


Didn't George Duke die the 5th. of August?

Yes. :frowning:

Ah, no wonder he did not stand up to play…

Sorry if my format was unclear.

The brackets hold some of the Bio-credits.


Just got back from the Fest.

Great sessions today and more musical “ensembles” than “how-to-clinics”.

Of special note was a young lady from Paris, Natasha Rogers, who sang and played percussion with her quartet. I think she has a bright future and her arrangements were novel and Cuban Jazzy.

She reminded me of Cassandra Wilson style but with a voice more similar to Rickie Lee Jones and sometimes Norah Jones.

Then came Billy Kilson with Chris Botti’s Guitar and Bassman. Billie has also been with Chris for 10 years.

He has an uncanny way of making complicated passages so “squeaky clean” and powerful. He is definitely a power hitter and turned percussion into music, if you know what I mean.

His style is deliberate, strong, adds lots of emotion and authority at transitions and does it all so CLEANLY and with such perfect timing that it sucks you right into the “bus”. Impossible to take an alternative route. We nicknamed him the "Hit-man"

Next came Omar Hakin with his squeeze Rachael-Z on keyboards and accompanied by a standing bass. Omar has a very different style from Billy. He is almost delicate in his respect for the drum heads slowly builds to the transit points with amazing timing with the rising emotion of the music.

We called HIM the “storyteller” since he was always weaving tales on skins and brass and with unpredictability and surprises between floors. Rachael-Z was not only fabulous on the keys, she is also a very talented arranger and today’s project included Be-Bop versions of Pop Rock hits that were just barely recognizable before they took them into their New Genre.

I was able to record a bit on iphone and got permission to load incomplete tracks to youtube for the “forum boys” if you are interested. I still had to duck the ushers so they are not in HD but might give you a peek at what we were so fortunate to experience.

Link to follow.

Oh… anyone looking for a nice new snare drum? It was autographed yesterday too!

My iphone videos are disgustingly poor so here are a couple of youtube Billy Kilson and Omar Hakim clips.

You have probably listened to them many times without knowing as they have backed many stars.

They are worth a watch.


Billy Kilson

Omar Hakim

AND…It does not get much better than this!!!


Even on this last one with Wayne Shorter and “Le Boys”?

I’ve still got goosebumps.

Drums are one of my favourites. Its too bad Krupa and Rich aren’t around today. Excellent videos Gordon.


YUP, and we never know when some of these guys may disappear too.

If I had to pick a favorite from this weekend It would have to be Omar Hakim.

They were all AMAZING but Omar seemed to still have that humble and un-jaded love for what he was himself experiencing. His techniqueSSS [ capital S is on purpose] just take you on a journey and his transitions are never what you anticipate. They are always different and BETTER.

I just downloaded a cd from CDBaby and will listen tonight.

I was also very impressed with Rachel-Z and the two of them playing together was magical.

I wish you all could have been there.