I am currently in L.A. at the National Association of Music Merchants annual convention at the Anaheim convention center. I arrived Wednesday night after a long commute by car from the airport to where I was staying in Silver Lake. At one point there was a helicopter circling so close over head that I thought it was going to land on my car. After getting dinner I headed to David Hilal's recording studio in Orange county, about and hour and a half away. There he was conducting an African drumming class with his friend and teacher, Dramane Kone. Dramane is an excellent drummer from Burkina Faso and David is an excellent drummer from Orange county. The class was supposed to start at 8:00pm but I didn't get there until 8:30pm. We worked on a short break and techniques played with the rhythm Sofa. After the class we continued to play and I didn't leave the studio until after 1:00am. It seems that everything in the L.A. area is at least an hour away and I din't get back to Silver Lake after 2:00am.
The next morning after breakfast I met with my drum set teacher, Daniel Glass, in person for the first time. We had been doing Skype lessons for nine months we finally had the opportunity to meet. After a long lesson working on technique, many of which he learned from Freddie Gruber, the drum set guru. Daniel has taken these techniques as well as others of his own creation and refined them and worked them into his teaching system. After nine month of working on these techniques I thought I was getting pretty good at them. But Daniel could see what I could not and he did his best to bring specific points to my awareness. I will continue to work on practice the techniques, hopefully with more awareness.
After leaving the lesson I drove another hour or so to Anaheim for the BASS BASH. Through Victor Wooten I volunteered as a stage hand for the bash. This was the first time that I had been a stage hand and I was a bit worried about how it would go. I was upfront about this but because of my experience being in bands they were willing to take a chance on me.
The line up: Opening was Steve Lawson and Divinity, who played with Beyonce. Next was Or Lubianiker and his band, all of whom are from Israel. Than Bakithi Kumalo of Paul Simon fame. He's on Graceland! Bakithi has also worked with Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Harry Belafonte, and Cyndi Lauper. Next was Bobby Vega who has worked with Sly Stone, Tower of Power, Paul Butterfield, Lee Oskar, Jefferson Airplane and Starship, Etta James, Joan Baez, and Santana. That's not even everybody notable that he's worked with. The closer was a young bass player named Alissa Benveniste. She brought a fourteen piece band. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n3fX-O4N_4
I arrived at 2:00pm and was there in time to help complete the stage plot, moving bass cabinet and amps. I didn't get out of there until around 11:00pm. In my next post I'll talk more about this evening as well as the next day at NAMM. I hope you've enjoyed reading. Let me know if you have any comments.