Yamaha Drums celebrated their 50th Anniversary with an exciting event in Los Angeles, CA featuring several prestigious Yamaha artists.  Held at Musician's Institute, this invite-only event gave drummers the chance to sit down behind every Yamaha drum kit on the market as well as learn from the legendary clinicians- Tommy Aldridge, Dave Weckl, and Larnell Lewis. 

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This September in St. Paul, Minnesota, PMC and Klash Drums helped create a whole new crop of young drummers who attended the first LET BE THERE DRUMS Festival on Harriet Island.

Drummers of all ages assembled their personal drum kits covering four football fields in size for the all-day event, registering to play along with Paul McCartney's Abby Road Medley and Aretha Franklin's Rock Solid.

Drummer celebrities attending included Bernard Purdie, Jimmy Paxton and Jay Williams. The festival was founded by Minnesota Music Hall of Fame inductee, Mick Sterling and the 30 Days Foundation to set a new Guiness Book of World Records for "the most drummers to play with the band".

Klash Drums founder and owner Jeremy Krueth invited the PMC to get involved by providing the PMC's Lesson Lab Tent and Klash Drums instructors provided free first-drum-lessons to anyone looking to start playing and learning drums.

Festival spectators of all ages became instant-drummers for the first time...through this positive educational experience of sitting behind a drum kit and learning to play basic rhythms and four-way coordination. Complimentary novelty branded products and educational materials were provided by PMC Membership firms,...and Klash Drum Shop suppliers to make this an exciting once-in-life-time opportunity.

Plans are already developing for an even large event next year. For further details, please contact: Klash Drums, Minneapolis, MN; 612-208-5716.



Rich Redmond's 5th Annual "Drummers Weekend" is this weekend November 3-5, in Nashville! Many of his graduating students have gone on to successful positions in the music business.

The event includes THREE 8-hour days of hands-on training with these talents, door prizes, a hotel package, catered meals, boutique transportation and the perfect opportunity to create and foster lifelong relationships in the music business.

This is the INSANE world class teacher lineup:

  • Keith Carlock (Sting/John Mayer/Steely Dan)
  • Rich Redmond (Jason Aldean/Sessions) 
  • Sean Fuller (Florida Georgia Line) 
  • Jim Riley (Rascal Flatts) 
  • Hubert Payne (Little Big Town)
  • Daniel de los Reyes ( Zac Brown Band/ Day Glow Music School)
  • Lalo Davila (MTSU)
  • Harry McCarthy (Drum Tech to the Stars) 
  • 3 Kings Rhythm Section (Jason Aldean)
  • All Star House Band

Register here


For the sixth year in a row, Percussion Marketing Council (PMC) sponsored FREE DRUM LESSON Lab Tents at Vans Warped Tour (VWT) sites across the country. This year, retailers at six of the national VWT tour dates participated, connecting with huge youth-oriented markets in local communities by providing free beginner drum lessons. This grass-roots approach exemplifies PMC’s mission to create and expand the next generation of drummers.

Billy Cuthrell is a PMC member through Progressive Music, Raleigh, NC, and program director for the PMC VWT initiative. He introduced the idea eight years ago at an all-members PMC meeting. “I had been pushing to get outside the normal channels—for finding and growing new drummers,” he says, explaining that the idea is to target young, active music lovers who attend concerts and inspire them to become active music participants—specifically, drummers.

“VWT attendees matched our target demographic perfectly,” says Cuthrell. “Vans Warped Tour has a whole nonprofit arm. They provide space for a certain number of nonprofits to be onsite for each tour. They provide a 10 X 10-foot space and often they will even help you set up,” says Cuthrell. PMC loans Playdrums.com tents, which are shipped directly to designated VWT locations from PMC headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio.

Each year the PMC Board reaches out to retailers offering them the opportunity to manage a PMC FREE LESSON Tent by providing drum lessons to the local area youth market that attends VWT events. It’s a win-win for the retailers as they get to connect with potential new customers in their market with very little investment. “That’s a big draw for retailers,” says Cuthrell. “The booth space is valued at $2,000. And since PMC provides the tents as a nonprofit participant, it’s a free, high-visibility space in front of 30,000 captive music lovers.”

For young VWT fans, it’s a rare opportunity to sit behind a real kit. “The Vans Warped Tour is a fun atmosphere and neutral ground for participants, so the intimidation factor disappears,” says Cuthrell. “It’s the perfect alternative to the retail setting, where all drum sets are for sale and the stores can’t just let people sit down and play.”

“Drums are one of the few instruments that can offer beginners instant satisfaction,” says Cuthrell. “We can get them playing a straight beat, or something like Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’—boom-boom-tap. When they sit behind a drum kit for the first time, hit the drums, and feel the rattle in their chest, it’s a moving experience. They are hooked on drums just like that.”

“For the retailer, they have opened the door to build a relationship with potential new customers,” says Cuthrell, who is a successful music retailer and drummer himself. “It makes sense to be physically in front of customers, collecting names and contact information, so you can stay in touch.”

Rupps Drums, hosted a tent at a late June tour stop in Denver, Colorado. “Each student at their event filled out a contact card,” says Josh Beyers. “We used the card to follow up and possibly develop new students for our studio. I met a lot of people! Great people and fun vibes.”

Drummer and educator Mark Powers worked with Rhythm Traders of Portland, Oregon, to provide drum lessons. “I had a blast teaching lessons at the Vans Warped Tour in Salem, Oregon,” says Powers, who estimated they taught around 100 lessons on that Saturday in June. “Another 20 to 30 existing players dropped by to rock out for a few minutes. “We found that allowing a player to jam for a moment attracted even more attention from passersby.”

PMC member Hal Leonard Corporation, represented by Brad Smith, was on-hand at the tent at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, stop hosted by Cascio Music Super Store. “It still amazes me—every year,” says Smith. “A new crop of young people wants to play drums, and more than half of them are ladies. These are our people.”

Plans are already developing for the 2018 PMC-VWT summer tour with dates and locations appearing on the PMC website in early spring. Interested percussion retailers are encouraged to contact the Percussion Marketing Council at kbdustman@aol.com or by calling 440-582-7006.


By Bobby Reed, Editor of DownBeat

The Percussion Marketing Council held its PMC Members Meeting and Percussion Industry Gathering on Jan. 19 at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel’s Vista Lounge during The NAMM Show.

Among the speakers were the four executive officers of the organization: Brad Smith, vice president MI products at Hal Leonard; Dave Jewell, marketing communications manager, customer sales and marketing group at Yamaha; Stacey Montgomery-Clark, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Sabian; and Karl Dustman, co-executive director at Dustman & Associates.

In his opening remarks, Smith explained the main goal of the PMC: “What are we trying to do at the Percussion Marketing Council? It’s to make more players. That mission statement is pretty simple. So how do we do it? It’s through programs year after year, in the community, in the schools and with retailers.”

Montgomery-Clark reported that the 2016 International Drum Month “Roadie For A Day” campaign was the organization’s most successful contest yet. She also announced that the professional musician who will mentor the winner of the 2017 contest will be Matt Greiner, drummer for the band August Burns Red.

Rich Redmond, who plays drums for country superstar Jason Aldean, discussed his fun, fulfilling experience of mentoring the winner of the 2016 “Roadie For A Day” contest’s Henry Saad, a 12-year old from Raleigh, North Carolina.

PMC executive officers Karl Dustman (left), Stacey Montgomery-Clark, Brad Smith and Dave Jewell pose during a meeting on Jan. 19 at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel during The NAMM Show.

Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation, told PMC members, “We are now working very hard with states across the country to make sure that the gates are wide open for music education to be strong on the community and district level. I encourage you, anywhere you go, to be an ambassador for music education and its benefits. Talk to people about its benefits and make sure that school districts are adequately funding music education, that they include it in their core education budgets, and that they’re including funding for highly qualified teachers [just] like they would for math or reading or social studies or anything else.”

Jewell recounted the successful efforts of the NAMM music lobbying “fly in” to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress. ESSA is a really important bill that was passed, and it will affect everyone in this room,” Jewell said. ÒESSA is [the acronym] for the Every Student Succeeds Act. It will come into play in 2018. For the first time ever, music and arts are called out as stand-alone subjects, as part of what’s called “a well-rounded education” that every child is entitled to. That’s a huge win. That language, “a well-rounded education,” originally came from NAMM, from language that they submitted to Congress. And that is part of a national bill.” He added, “Everybody in this room knows that music makes a person better.”

During The NAMM Show, the PMC also hosted a brainstorming and dialogue session for members on Jan. 22 at the San Simeon Room, located in the Hilton.



A guitar riff can launch a craze, and a drumbeat can inspire a kid to pick up drumsticks. There may be no drummer who has influenced more young drummers than Hal Blaine, one of most recorded musicians of all-time. Blaine most famously drummed with Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” studio band. Nicknamed the Wrecking Crew, the band dominated the recording industry, playing on more than 40 number one hits. One of the most popular songs they recorded was “Be My Baby,” sung by Ronnie Spector of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted The Ronettes. On Saturday night, January 21, at the NAMM show, members of the Percussion Marketing Council (PMC) arranged for Spector to perform this song on the Nissan Grand Plaza Stage with two drummers—Blaine and Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel’s drummer for more than 30 years).

“Ronnie looked exactly like she looked all of those years ago—absolutely gorgeous. She sang absolutely gorgeous. I had goose bumps and my beautiful new DW drums and Zildjian cymbals had goose bumps too. The audience was covered with goose bumps! Liberty played his goose bumps off! The performance at NAMM was a holistic adventure that brought me back to Gold Star Studios in Hollywood in the ’60s. Thanks for the opportunity of my life to have had the pleasure of reliving those memories and thanks to the wonderful PMC members. What a fabulous night for all of us. All the fans were thrilled at NAMM!” says Blaine.

“As a teenager from Spanish Harlem, on my very first day in LA, in 1963, we recorded ‘Be My Baby,’” recalls Spector. “Hal created the most recognizable drum intro in the history of rock and roll on that record, and to be able to reunite with Hal 54 years later at NAMM was more than a dream come true—it was my career coming full circle. Those were magical times in the studio with Hal, making some of the most loved recordings from the ’60s. It all came back to me that Saturday on stage—turning around and seeing Hal behind the kit—Wow! And having Hal next to Liberty, it doesn’t get any better than that.”


PMC members Drum Workshop, Zildjian, and Hal Leonard made the reunion possible by contacting Ronnie’s management in December and arranging for Blaine to have his drum kit available for the duet. The PMC consists of drum and percussion companies who share the mission to go outside the industry and make more players by implementing programs with schools and retailers.

PMC Director Karl Dustman says, “The PMC strives to bring inspiring events to the next generation of players. Hal Blaine’s playing on ‘Be My Baby’ made a generation of kids want to pick up sticks and experience the joy of drumming, creating thousands of new drummers. He was one of the best ambassadors of that time and today! We felt it was worth the effort to have him play with Ronnie Spector when the opportunity was presented. We are grateful to Spector, her manager Jonathan Greenfield, Liberty DeVitto, and drummer Dennis Diken who suggested the idea. That song continues to inspire people to become musicians.”