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Zildjian-NAMM-Lansing-Xena

January 16, 2008

This is quite a week. I visited the Zildjian factory and world wide headquarters on monday, it was a dream come true. Ever since I became aware that there was such a place, I have wanted to go. The Zildjian family has preserved most of it’s history and a good deal of it is on display at the factory. Most of my drumming heroes are on the wall somewhere in the building and it was great to see cymbals being made. Adam Weems was my host, and my contact as Manager of Marching and Education at Zildjian and I had a blast hanging out with him and picking out cymbals. Ron Allman stopped by too, he is in charge of the Drum Stick brand at Zildjian, and it was great to have some time to chat with him too. I topped it all off by getting some new cymbals, and making my flight despite the sketchy weather.

The NAMM show starts tomorrow here in LA, and I am looking forward to seeing all of the people who support me during the year and saying “Thank You” in person. NAMM is always a bit of a zoo, but it is a great chance to thank those that make my career better and my life easier. I also manage to find a few new pieces of gear that I would lilke!

After my double hit with Travis Howard and Austin Hanks on friday night….I take a plane from LA to LA…..Los Angeles to Lansing Area to be exact! I will be a Featured soloist with Mike Daniels’ “La Batterie” concert on sunday at Dart Auditorium. If you are in the area, come see the concert, it is gonna be something special. I studied with Mike at that very place when I was 11 years old, and his mentoring and friendship over the years has helped me to be where I am in my career. There should be 25 or so drummers performing together and I can’t wait.

I will also be teaching in the Port Huron MI area set up by Erick Senkmejer whom I marched with at Michigan State University. I will also be doing a clinic at MSU for my friend and mentor John Madden…he is as good as they come…and I am excited to see him and work with the current Spartan Brass Drummers.

Then I grab that LA to LA flight again and do two shows in LA with Lucy Lawless of “Xena Warrior Princess” Fame. Michael Orland is the MD and his musicianship is astounding. For those of you who enjoy the credits-Elton John-Barbara Streisand-American Idol etc….he IS the man. We are playing at the Roxy on the famed Sunset Strip for two nights and I know it will be memorable.

That is it for now……overdue for that coaster ride……SK

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