“More than 1000 people came out to experience NEIDX,” Cherie reported. “The entire hotel became a sold out drummer’s spa and retreat, the Expo Center, the clinic halls and the tavern were full of drummers, and drumming lessons were being held outside on a perfect autumn afternoon in Manchester. People were playing drums in hotel rooms and in the parking garage.”
“What can be better than halls full of drums, drummers and drum events?” asked Pete Lockett. “Not a lot and we can count ourselves lucky that NEIDX is another must attend fixture in the drum and percussion calendar.”
According to show attendees, beautiful new, custom and vintage drums and accessories and much more were displayed throughout the weekend.
As Cindy Blackman stated, “There were a wide variety of clinicians, dealers and companies as well as fans. There was also a very large selection of vintage drums— everything from Gretsch, Leedy and Ludwig to Rogers and more! As a fan of vintage drums, that was awesome! I think this festival is going to have much success in the future and I’ll be happy to perform there again!”
By the end of the show, raffle-drawing winners had walked away with exotic snare drums, shells, cymbals, scholarships, and other prizes. An abundance of drum swag was also donated by sponsors and well received by attendees.
Artist performances featured Steve Smith’s tribute to the late Max Roach with a masterful rendition of “Drums Unlimited”, Pete Lockett’s brilliant tapestries of world rhythms on tablas, bongos and hand percussion instruments and Cindy Blackman’s intensity that amazed and inspired the audience. Dave Mattacks, Bob Moses, Neal Smith, Kenwood Dennard, Andrew Barr, Sergio Bellotti, Jerome Deupree and Dave DiCenso were also on the bill and all performed with mastery and soul.
“All of the performers reached new heights at this event. Bob Moses and Kenwood Dennard’s improvisational duet was incredible and Steve Smith and Pete Lockett’s performance together, combining Indian and western trap set rhythms, brought the house down.” said Cherie. “I and a lot of other people are eagerly anticipating the DVD to see it all again!”
“I Loved the Drum Expo. Watching Kenwood Dennard was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen,” said Mike Morin. “I really had a blast and I can’t get over how much creative energy was generated and honored during those precious hours,” said Monique Avakian, “I learned so much and I am so inspired. It’s really the best festival-type event I’ve ever been to in my life.”
As John DeChristopher, VP of Artist Relations & Event Marketing Worldwide at Avedis Zildjian Co, commented, “In my more than 20 years working in the Percussion Industry I’ve attended virtually every major percussion festival in the US , and many others throughout the world. The International Drum Expo was a new and unique experience for me, as it blended clinics and performances from some of the world’s foremost artists, with an expo highlighting some of the most amazing vintage gear I have ever seen. The International Drum Expo gave something back to drummers of all ages and styles and my congratulations to Cherie Willoughby for a job well done.”
For a recap of the 2007 show including photos and testimonials or for future information, go to the New England International Drum Expo website.