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In Tribute To A Tribute: Reflections On The Modern Drummer Festival 2020

Of course, given the nature of the times, the 2020 Festival couldn’t be held in its traditional live format. Instead, dozens of notable drummers submitted recorded performances, which were then compiled and edited by Modern Drummer magazine’s staff, along with a crack production team.

The Drummer Gives Us Some! Saluting Cindy Blackman Santana’s New CD

If you wanted to find someone who fits the definition of “renaissance drummer,” Cindy Blackman Santana would be the perfect choice. She simply has done—and continues to do—it all.

21 Drums Camp 2019

This year I was delighted to be invited to attend the last day of the 21 Drum Camp and its finale drum clinic the following day, an event created by top drum educator Mike Johnston and Music Maker Ltd.

A Gretsch Abroad — An Interview With Los Lobos Drummer Enrique ”Bugs” Gonzalez

Whenever Los Lobos drummer Bugs Gonzalez visits his local juice shop in East LA, the shopowner always brags loudly to the other customers, pointing to Bugs and saying, “Do you know who this guy is? He’s the guy from La Bamba!” The other customers usually look at Bugs in confused amazement, as if they are looking at a re-incarnated Ritchie Valens. Bugs just laughs it off and explains that he is the drummer for Los Lobos, which maybe isn’t as cool as being a re-incarnated Ritchie Valens, but it’s still pretty darn cool.

A Gretsch Abroad — Exclusive Interview with German Multi-Instrumentalist Charlotte Klauser

 Gretsch is proud to welcome Charlotte Klauser into the Gretsch family of artists. In Germany, Charlotte has a reputation for having consummate professionalism as a backing musician and multi-instrumentalist.

A Gretsch Abroad – Behind the Brand With Director of Operations Paul Cooper

It’s a warm summer day in 1947 at the Gretsch Building #4 in Brooklyn.  The young up-and-coming drummer Louie Bellson starts placing wild demands on Gretsch drum production manager Bill Hagner.

A Gretsch Abroad–Behind the Brand: An Interview With Gretsch Drums Brand and Artist Relations Manager Andrew Shreve

We caught up with Gretsch Drums Brand and Artist Relations Manager Andrew Shreve to talk Gretsch drums and to find out what exactly he is looking for in a Gretsch endorser today.

A Gretsch Abroad–An Exclusive Interview With Blonde Redhead Drummer Simone Pace

It was a chance meeting back in the early 90s in a Manhattan restaurant when Italian twin brothers Simone and Amadeo Pace first met Japanese guitarist and singer Kazu Makino.

Harvey Wolfson and his Gretsch Drums

From The Army to New York’s Village…and Beyond. Here’s a story that proves you don’t have to be a superstar to have a remarkable drumming history.

The Story Behind the Creation of the Iconic Gretsch Drum Kit Logo

Tarzan, great neighbors, and how a classic logo was created sixty years ago…

A Gretsch Abroad — An Exclusive Interview with Gretsch Artist Ash Soan

When Ash Soan turned 19, he, like the rest of us, realized that he was never going to be Vinnie Colaiuta. Yet unlike the rest of us, Ash stayed committed and forged a unique playing style that has landed him jobs with the likes of James Morrison, Billy Idol, and Adele.

On the passing of D. J. Fontana

Along with the rest of the music world, everyone at Gretsch is saddened by the passing of Dominic Joseph “D.J.” Fontana this past Wednesday, June 13. But we also want to celebrate two wonderful things about D.J.

A Gretsch Abroad — Exclusive interview with Robbie Williams and James Blunt drummer Karl Brazil (Part 2)

Exclusive interview with Robbie Williams’ drummer Karl Brazil continued…

A Gretsch Abroad — Exclusive interview with Robbie Williams and James Blunt drummer Karl Brazil (Part 1)

Karl Brazil has struck that perfect balance that you will often find amongst A-list drummers. They are fun to be around in those gloomy 4-hour delays at the airport, but when it comes to laying down the groove, whether on stage or in a recording session, there is no more joking about. It’s this very professionalism and adaptability as a player that has landed him top level gigs with the likes of Robbie Williams, James Blunt, and countless others, making him one of the busiest session drummers in the UK.

The Fred Thread: Four Gretsch Presidents Named…Fred (Fred #4)

Fred #4: Fred W. Gretsch – Leading The Return Of “That Great Gretsch Sound.”

In 1984, ownership of the Gretsch Company returned to the Gretsch family and was placed in the capable hands of Fred William Gretsch, the great-grandson of founder Friedrich (and the son of William “Bill” Gretsch, who was president from 1942 until his untimely death from cancer in 1948).

A Gretsch Abroad — Exclusive Interview with a-ha Drummer Karl Oluf Wennerberg

By January 1986, I, like the rest of the world, had watched a-ha’s Take On Me video and had been completely enamored by the story line, the panic of being chased by Nazi-like bad guys, and the fight for love!

The Fred Thread: Four Gretsch Presidents Named…Fred (Fred #3)

Fred #3: Fred Gretsch, Jr. – Guiding The Golden Age of the 50s and 60s.

Fred Gretsch, Jr., representing the third generation of “President Freds,” was born on March 10, 1905. His father, Fred Sr. must’ve been proud that his first-born was a son who would someday follow in his footsteps.

The Fred Thread: Four Gretsch Presidents Named…Fred (Fred #2)

Fred #2: Fred Gretsch, Sr. – The Visionary, Teenage CEO.

The oldest child of Friedrich and Rosa Gretsch (and the first to be officially named Frederick) was only a teenager when his family received the shocking news of his father’s unexpected death while visiting family in Germany in 1895. Overnight, the 15-year-old went from being a high school student to the Gretsch Company’s “New CEO in knickers.”

The Fred Thread: Four Gretsch Presidents Named…Fred (Fred #1)

If you had a time machine and attended any Gretsch family reunion in the past 100 years, you’d probably meet more than one Fred Gretsch.

A Gretsch Abroad — Exclusive Interview with P!nk Drummer Mark Schulman, Part 2

Enjoy part two of this special interview with drummer Mark Schulman. Mark discusses what he likes about Gretsch drums, his best and worst concert experiences, his work as a motivational speaker.

A Gretsch Abroad — Exclusive Interview with P!nk Drummer Mark Schulman, Part 1

For most music industry insiders, Gretsch drum artist Mark Schulman is a man that needs little introduction. Over the past three decades he has played on stages the world over touring with the likes of P!nk, Cher, Simple Minds, and Billy Idol.

Great Gretsch Educators — Jason McGerr: The Student As Teacher

Jason McGerr is a recent Great Gretsch drum artist, having come on board just last year. But he’s certainly no stranger to the drumming community. His work as a member of internationally known Death Cab For Cutie has cemented his reputation as an innovative and musically creative drummer.

A Gretsch Abroad — Gretsch Family Returns to Beloved Norway and Resurrects Gretsch Drum Night

Fifty years may seem like a long time to hold on to precious musical moments, but not for the Gretsch family.  Take Gretsch Drum Night, a historical drum event from a bygone era pulsating with rhythm, charisma, and fanfare.

A Gretsch Abroad — An Interview with Gretsch Drummer Morgan Ågren

This month “A Gretsch Abroad” will be focus on Gretsch Drums in Sweden, and some of the interesting people that help bring “That Great Gretsch Sound” to this fascinating nordic country with such a strong musical tradition.

Gretsch Greatest Hits…And Hitters: Zach Danziger

There are many terms that could be used to describe Zach Danziger including “innovative,” “cutting edge,” and “futuristic.” All of them are accurate, but none of them quite cover Zach’s amazing range and imagination. Perhaps the best description is offered by the international drumming website Drummerworld, to wit: “Combining both acoustic and electronic approaches to drumming at the very highest level, Zach Danziger may be the quintessential drummer for the new millennium.”

Gretsch Greatest Hits…And Hitters

Nathaniel Townsley is a relatively new Gretsch Drums artist, having joined the roster in 2016. But he’s certainly not new to the drumming scene. In fact, Nathaniel has earned a reputation as a “quiet giant” among knowledgeable drummers who’ve followed his amazing career over the past two decades.

Great Gretsch Educators: Mark Guiliana

What makes Mark a Great Gretsch Educator is the way he shares his information. Instead of claiming to have a secret formula for success or a quick way to get good, Mark simply lays out the practice methods that he himself used to achieve his unique voice on the drums. He doesn’t suggest that you learn to play exactly like he does; he simply suggests that you might benefit from studying the way he learned to play that way.

Gretsch Greatest Hits…and Hitters

If you’re looking for a drummer who can do it all—and, in fact, who has quite literally done it all—you need look no further than Alvino Bennett. A veteran of stage and studio, Alvino has made a career out of providing whatever a given artist needs from a drummer. And he’s done it with his own brand of style, taste, and musical skill.

Great Gretsch Educators: Matty Amendola

Matty is a multi-threat artist. In addition to his drumming skills, he’s a talented guitarist and bass player, a record producer, and a skilled audio engineer. And you can add to that list the role of highly motivational educator, eager to share his knowledge and experience.

Havana Moon: The Rolling Stones’ Historic Journey & Untold Gretsch Connection

A record-breaking event of historic magnitude deserves nothing less than a “one night only” film screening at thousands of cinemas around the world. The film Havana Moon was shot during The Rolling Stones’ March 25, 2016 concert in Cuba—which was attended by an astonishing 1.2 million adoring fans.

Fondest Memory

It’s said that every picture tells a story. Well, there are a multitude of stories connected with this historic picture. The occasion, the setting, and many of the individuals depicted in the photo all have fascinating histories associated with them.
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The Gretsch Drumkit That Made Olympic History

As the world focuses on the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, I’d like to share a story that took place the last time that the Summer Olympics were located in the Americas. North America, in fact, exactly twenty years ago.

Fred Gretsch Receives Honorary Degree From Elmhurst College

Fred W. Gretsch, fourth-generation leader of a family business that has helped shape American music history, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Elmhurst College at the school’s Spring Commencement on May 28, 2016.

On The Passing Of Remo Belli

The Gretsch family joins everyone in the drum and percussion industry in mourning the passing of Remo Belli on April 25. As a veteran of that industry myself, I had the pleasure of knowing Remo for many years on a personal and professional basis. My wife Dinah and I shared  visits with him at trade shows and other drumming events, and we always enjoyed our time together.

A New Gretsch Drum Website is a Time For Celebration!

by Fred W. Gretsch

It's been some time since my last "Fred Gretsch Perspective" piece appeared. I'm pleased to be back as a regular contributor, and I pledge to keep my future contributions both interesting and entertaining.