Drummerfest 2019 Recap – Cascio Interstate Music

It’s the eve of one of my favorite events of the entire yearDrummerfest 2019 was incredible.

For those unfamiliar, Drummerfest is presented by music retailer Cascio Interstate Music in New Berlin, Wisconsin. 

I’m lucky to live so close.

It was the 19th annual all-day drum extravaganza — I couldn’t have been more excited. The lineup this year was fantastic, featuring Calvin Rodgers, Gerald Heyward, and Carter McLean.

Drummerfest 2019 Guests and Sponsors

Calvin Rodgers is an incredible drummer from Chicago, Illinois whose credits include Fred Hammond, R. Kelly, Kirk Franklin, and Aretha Franklin.

Carter McLean is a killer NYC jazz drummer who runs Four Hands Drumming ( 4HD is a video course that aims to help drummers expand their musical vocabulary, improve ideas, and find their voices.

Gerald Heyward is one of the most sought after drummers of the R&B world and is considered the “Godfather” of gospel drumming. His credits include Puff Daddy, Coolio, Beyonce, and Michael Jackson.

Drummerfest always has incredible deals, as well.

If you’re in the area, doors open at 10 AM tomorrow. Attendees save 20% all Drummerfest sponsor’s gear. Sponsors this year include Pearl, Zildjian, Ludwig, Meinl, Remo, Drum Workshop, and Promark.

The event is over, but be sure to check back next year for Drummerfest 2020! Read on for my recap.

Drummerfest 2019 Recap – Cascio Interstate Music

It’s a few days after Drummerfest 2019, and I am so happy I was able to attend this year. Without a doubt, it has been one of my favorite events of the year.

I arrived a bit late, unfortunately, and missed the Milwaukee Bucks Beats Drumline. I had few friends in college who played with them.

I rolled into the parking lot around 11:15 AM, and there wasn’t a spot in sight — always an excellent sign for an event like this. I was able to find parking in the back.

Calvin Rodgers

Calvin Rodgers at Drummerfest 2019

When I walked in, Calvin Rodgers had just started his performance and clinic — everyone in the building attending gazing in awe.

The highlight of Calvin’s performance for me, and many others, was his performance of James Fortune’s Free Indeed. 

I’m sure many of you have already seen his performance of the tune for MEINL Cymbals. Calvin’s playing style is fluid, intense, precise, and appropriate.

Carter McLean

Carter Mclean Drummerfest 2019
Carter McLean

Next to take the stage was Carter McLean, an incredible jazz drummer from New York City. 

His performance credits include Charlie Hunter and the Lion King on Broadway. He also has one of the most inspiring YouTube channels I’ve found.

Carter approached his clinic from an educational standpoint, rather than more performance. The concepts taught are from his book Drumset Concepts & Creativity: Find Your Unique Voice on the Drumset. 

The book covers practice ideas, sticking patterns, grooves, and creative workouts.

His performance was extraordinary and seamless.

Gerald Heyward

Gerald Heyward Drummerfest 2019
Gerald Heyward

Last up was Gerald Heyward, the Godfather of gospel drumming. Gerald chose a wide variety of songs and styles for his performances, including everything from pop tunes, to a 7/8 loop he shed over.

Gerald also had a great question & answer segment that went in-depth as to what it’s like to be a touring drummer and how those in the audience could take steps to achieve that goal. 

The Drum Jam

Drummerfest Drum Jam

After clinics from each, all three drummers hopped back on stage for an impromptu drum jam where each showed their voices.

Calvin Rodger, Carter McLean, and Gerald Heyward all put on stunning performances and gave the audience astonishing insight into both playing and the music industry.

The Brand Showcase

Drummerfest Brand Showcase

It was awesome seeing all the different kits and cymbals set up for the brand showcase. Cascio offered massive discounts on all products displayed.

Wrapping Up

I’m lucky to have attended Drummerfest again this year. For the past few, I have been on the road and have missed out.

If you’re in the area next year, I highly suggest checking it out.

For more information on Drummerfest, as well as current instrument deals, check out Interstate Music’s website.

Nick Cesarz

Nick is a drummer, percussionist, and blogger from Milwaukee, WI. He toured extensively with Vinyl Theatre, opening up for acts like twenty one pilots, Panic! at the Disco, and more. Now no longer touring, his passion lies in gear and playing the kit as much as time allows.

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