This tenth anniversary edition of the Cape Breton International Drum festival was billed as “The Year of the Legends”, and it fully lived up to its billing. Few festivals, if any, can boast a line-up like this one: Carmine Appice, Bernard Purdie, Billy Cobham, Alan White, Michael Shrieve, Liberty Devitto, Jerry Mercer, Danny Seraphine, Pete Locket, Denny Seiwell, Paul Wertico, Chad Wackerman, and more, many more.
This was a line-up of drummers that between them can make a valid claim to have played on a significant chunk of the most seminal jazz and rock records of the latter part of the twentieth century.
Over the course of two days, each of them was given ample time on stage to regale the audience with wonderful stories, to demonstrate how they played their most-loved songs, and to share advice freely with the novice drummers in the audience. Master classes by Troy Luckette (Tesla), Jerry Mercer (April Wine), and Alan White (George Harrison, John Lennon, YES) were sold-out events.
Sunday evening’s Concert of the Stars was the highlight of the Festival, featuring 10 drummers performing their most iconic tracks along with backing band The Wizards of Wall Street. Songs like George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord (Alan White), Santana’s Black Magic Woman (Michael Shrieve), Billy Cobham’s Stratus and Steely Dan’s Babylon Sisters (Bernard Purdie) brought the crowd to their feet.
Special congratulations go out to SABIAN endorsers Jerry Mercer and Carmine Appice who were presented with Legends Awards, along with Alan White and Roxy Petrucci (Vixen). Bruce Aitken and his wife Gloria Jean Aitken have once again put on a world class drumming event in the tiny community of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. See you there in 2011!
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