Today I had the opportunity to sit in the Masterclass for Jazz Drumset put on by the ever-talented Sammy K. Walking into the building and up the stairs to the session I could already hear campers jamming out on some drum sets. I enter into room 313 and five bright eye campers turned their heads and then quickly went back to playing. Quickly I pulled out my ear buds, as you can imagine five drum sets going in a room can be just a tad loud.
Sammy K walked in the room and the session began. This session was going to be just a little different than the others they had as today they got to FaceTime the legend, Will Kennedy for a Q&A session! Recognized as one of the top drummers in the world, Will Kennedy’s performances have not only inspired a generation of musicians, but have helped to define the world of contemporary jazz.
The campers were on the edge of their seat with a handful of questions wanting to get as much info on how to be as great as Mr. Kennedy. One think that stood out was that he created his own style and identity in the jazz genre. “Make your sound, your voice,” Mr. Kennedy said. Don’t loose your technique, but don’t be afraid to push the limits when you sit behind the set.
This philosophy landed him gigs all over the world from being a member of The Yellow Jackets and soon teaming up with Snarky Puppy. However, he keep on preaching to the campers that the performance world is yours if you continue to strive to get better, but more importantly produce quality music with “your” distinct sound. Watch out the musical world, these jazz drum campers will be stars one day, and hopefully, sharing all that they have learned with future campers just like them.