On May 22nd and May 23rd, The Cape Breton International Drum Festival will be celebrating its 10th year of attracting renowned drummers from around the world.
The festival is being staged at the Savoy Theatre, a venue described by event organizers as the “theatre of dreams.”
Jennifer Nemeth, the festival’s 2010 trade show director, describes how the Festival’s growing prestige has resulted in top-notch drummers quickly confirming their attendance. “Early commitment from many of the worlds’ finest performers has enabled the directors to confirm a stellar line up at such an early date,” the festival announced in a press release last June.
“We are very excited to confirm world drumming megastars Virgil Donati, Denny Seiwell, and Bill Cobham will be amongst the drummers performing at the festival.”
“Ten years is a big mile stone,” said last year’s director Ryan MacArthur. “So many drummers and percussionists wanted to be here… people will be very happy to see past favourites such as Bernard ‘Pretty’ Purdie and Pete Lockett return.” MacArthur also added that New York session giant Billy Ward, who attended the first and fifth festival, is back to share in the 10th year celebration. “We couldn’t imagine doing it without him,” MacArthur stated.
The organizers’ excitement is understandable, those familiar with the drumming world will recognize the featured guests as the drummers behind some of the music industry’s biggest names. Over the course of his career, Purdie collaborated with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Larry Coryell, Miles Davis, Hall & Oates, Al Kooper, Herbie Mann, Todd Rundgren and Cat Stevens.
Since 2005, the drum festival has included an annual Legends Award, presented to individuals who have contributed to music in a way that has shaped the industry as it relates to drums and percussion. The 2010 recipients include Roxy Petrucci, Virgil Donati, Jerry Mercer, Alan White, and Carmine Appice. In the announcement of the five recipients, 2010 festival director Mike Megaffin praised their contribution to drumming and education. “Their ground breaking performances truly are legendary.”
The full 2010 line-up includes Roxy Petrucci, Pete Lockett, Dom Famularo, Virgil Donati, Carmine Appice, Jerry Mercer, Alan White, Denny Seiwell, Paul Wertico, Bill Cobham, Scott Atkins, Dylan Mombourquette, Billy Ward, Steve Wilton, John Morrison, Pete Lockett, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, Asani/Ed Mann, Skip Hadden, Danny Seraphine & Liberty Devitto, and Chris Sutherland with special guests Sean Mitchell, Moe Hashie, Mark Marshall and Ben Ross.
Tickets are available at the Savoy Theatre box office in person, by phone at 902-842-1577 or 902-564-6668, and online at savoytheatre.com. Tickets can also be purchased through the Centre 200 box office.