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A Drummer’s Dream

This screening took place on
Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 3:00pm
Yukon Arts Centre

A feast for the ears, this joyful and energetic doc records a gathering of master drummers on a remote farm in rural Ontario. In accomplished documentary filmmaker John Walker's film, they've come together to bond, share secrets, teach enthusiastic young prodigies and jam like hell. It's a wonderfully multicultural mix - African-American, Cuban, Filipino and Caucasian players, all speaking the same universal language. There's a profusion of styles on display here, from Latin grooves to pounding rock beats by drummers who have played with the likes of Carlos Santana, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. These are superstar drummers of the jazz and rock world: Nasyr Adbul Al-Khabyyr, Mike Mangini, Dennis Chambers, Horacio Hernandez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Raul Rekow, and Kenwood Dennard. We hear from all the main drummers about their origins as musicians: their fumbling first steps, their moments of revelation, the secrets of their techniques, their philosophies of musicianship. All of them are quite articulate about what drives them and how it took shape in their lives. "There's no big secret," says one virtuoso with decades of success behind him, "Effort is all." It's an inspiring message: that the dream is open to anyone with a strong will. More cinematically conventional than his ground-breaking Arctic history exposé Passage (ALFF 2009), Walker's latest film offers pure musical pleasure (especially in the meticulous surround sound mix) and was made to showcase of each player's solo performance on a stage in the old barn of the farm where the week-long workshop takes place. What we see achieved again and again is the great musician's dream come true: technical mastery fused with unbridled passion. It's a film of contagious joy and thrilling virtuosity - what these guys can do with a drum kit is quite something indeed...
  • Directed by John Walker
  • 2010, Nova Scotia
  • 84 minutes

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