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dw honors
It goes without saying that all of us at Drum Workshop are extremely proud of our association with some of the greatest drummers that have ever lived. We thought it only appropriate to honor past family members and keep their memory alive for generations to come.
They may be gone, but their musical legacy endures.
Omar Phillips   |    Hal Blaine   |    Ginger Baker   |    Neil Peart   |    Mitch Mitchell   |    Jim Chapin   |    Joe Morello   |    Carlos Vega

Tony Williams   |    Nick Ceroli   |    Randy Castillo   |    Larrie London   |    Richie Hayward   |    The Rev   |    Mike Botts

Mark Craney   |    Freddie Gruber   |    Chuck Silverman

Omar Phillips

Omar Phillips picture The Atlanta native recorded and performed with some of GA's finest including Outkast, Big Boi and Arrested Development. The percussionist and drummer was the house drummer for Outkast's famous Stankonia Studios and also played alongside multi-platinum artists such as Usher and Mary J.Blige. His infectious beats were often sampled by Hip Hop's most celebrated producers.

Hal Blaine

Hal Blaine picture Part of Phil's Spector's infamous Wrecking Crew, he moved to California ins 1943 to play Jazz and Big Band, but it was Rock and Roll session that would cement him as one of the foremost studio drummers of all time. Some of his most notable recordings were with luminaries such as Elvis, Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Neil Diamond and Simon and Garfunkel. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker picture Coined as Rock's first superstar drummer, he was best known as a founding member of Cream along with Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton. In the 70's he pursued his interest in African rhythms spending several years in the country recording and performing along side the legendary Fela Kuti. His showmanship and electric performances earned him a spot in both the Rock and Roll and Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.

Neil Peart

Neil Peart picture Regarded as one of the greatest Rock drummers in history, the Canadian musician spent the majority of his career as drummer for the progressive power trio, Rush. Inspired by British forefathers Bonham, Baker and Moon, he was also the lyricist for the band and was instrumental in the band's creative direction. His orchestrated drum solos were revered and his mystique within the drum community was unlike any other drummer of his time. He was inducted into the MD Hall of Fame in '83 and the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2013.

Mitch Mitchell

Mitch Mitchell picture He auditioned for the Jimmy Hendrix Experience in 1966 and rock and roll drumming instantly gained an icon. His playing on the song “Manic Depression” is anything but manic. His feel and jazz-infused style was influenced by the likes of Elvin Jones, Max Roach and Joe Morello. Unquestionably, he left an indelible mark on the music of the late 60’s.

Jim Chapin

Jim Chapin picture Mostly known as a passionate and enthusiastic educator, he was a New York born and raised jazz drummer who authored two of the most recognized texts the drumming world has ever known; "Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, Vol. I," and "Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, Vol. II." Inspired by Gene Krupa, he played with Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey and went on to educate and inspire countless drummers including Dom Famularo and Thomas Lang during his 60+ year teaching career.

Joe Morello

Joe Morello picture Best known for his tenure with The Dave Brubeck Quartet, he studied with legendary Radio City Music Hall percussionist, Billy Gladstone and went on to teach such notable drummers as Danny Gottlieb and Max Weinberg. His work on the classic recording, “Take Five” and his multi-award winning career produced over 120 records, nearly half of them with Brubeck. He was inducted in to the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1988.

Carlos Vega

Carlos Vega picture A Cuban-born and California raised, he was part a group of ace session players that included Mike Landau, Jeff Porcaro, and Steve Lukather and David Garfield. His most well known work was with artists such as Larry Carlton, Vince Gill and of course, James Taylor. He was an effortless player with a pocket that influenced “cats” such as his friend and colleague, Jeff Porcaro and fellow L.A. studio great Joey Heredia. His work throughout the mid seventies and early eighties remains influential to this day.

Tony Williams

Tony Williams picture Anthony Tillmon “Tony” Williams was born in Chicago and studied with famed educator, Alan Dawson. At the tender age of 17 he found fame with Miles Davis and later embodied the fusion jazz movement with the release of the classic record, Emergency! which included fellow musicians John McLaughlin on guitar and Larry Young on organ. In 1976, Williams was a part of a reunion with his old Miles Davis band compatriots, pianist/keyboardist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter. In 1979 his “Trio of Doom” included McLaughlin and Weather Report bassist extraordinaire, Jaco Pastorius. His contributions to the art of drumming are seldom equaled.

Nick Ceroli

Nick Ceroli picture One of DW’s earliest endorsers, he was a mainstream Jazz player with Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass from 1965-69. Previous to that, he played with Stan Kenton and later became a highly regarded studio musician in Hollywood. He was a Warren, Ohio born boy that made Los Angeles his home for the better part of his musical career.

Randy Castillo

Randy Castillo picture Like many 70’s and 80’s rock drummers, seeing the Beatles play on Ed Sullivan was turning point is his life. He joined his first Rock band in the late 70’s and moved to Los Angeles in 1981, scoring his first major arena tour with The Motels in support of The Cars. His hard rock drumming career began with Lita Ford, later graduating to icon Ozzy Ozbourne and finally, Motley Crue in early 2000.

Larrie Londin

Larrie Londin picture Born Ralph Gallant and better known by his stage name, Larrie Londin, he toured with Elvis Presley during his last years. He also played on huge selling records by Journey and Steve Perry in the 80’s. The rest of his impressive resume included such artists as Lionel Richie, Dianna Ross, BB King and country superstars Charlie Pride, Randy Travis, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. He made Nashville his home and his passion for drumming lead him to open the area’s first dedicated pro drum shop. He was also part of Nashville’s so called “A Team”.

Richie Hayward

Richie Hayward picture He was a fixture with the California-based band Little Feat, but also worked with a very impressive list of artists that included, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, The Doobie Brothers, Bob Dylan, Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy, Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal, Robert Palmer, Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers, Bob Seger, Carly Simon, Stephen Stills and Tom Waits. In addition to his drumming duties, he was also a prolific songwriter and penned works in his familiar rock, funk and blues genres.

The Rev

The Rev picture Jimmy “The Reverend” Sullivan played with acclaimed cult metal band Avenged Sevenfold and was influenced by prog rockers such as Frank Zappa and King Crimson in his younger days. Later, he was heavily influenced by drummers such as Vinnie Paul, Mike Portnoy, Dave Lombardo, Lars Ulrich, and Terry Bozzio. He also co-wrote many of the band’s hits and played piano on their records as well. He was a multi-talented musician, winning the “DW Best Drummer” award at the second annual Revolver Golden God Awards show.

Mike Botts

Mike Botts picture Drummer for 70’s hit makers Bread, he went on to work with Linda Ronstadt; recording and touring. A singer, songwriter and producer, he worked with other soft rock mainstays such as Richard Carpenter and Dan Fogelberg. His final effort was a solo record in 2000.

Mark Craney

Mark Craney picture Born in the Midwest, he attended art school to learn his musical craft. His varied career saw him working with well known artist such as Jean-Luc Ponty, Tommy Bolin, Gino Vannelli and most notably, Jethro Tull. Though he battled his health for much of his life, his strong will and determination enabled him to rehabilitate himself on several occasions and he went on to play with Jeff Beck, Eric Burden and Tower of Power.

Freddie Gruber

Freddie Gruber picture Considered a legendary educator, his students included Dave Weckl, Neil Peart, Steve Smith, Vinnie Colaiuta and Drum Workshop founder, Don Lombardi. His jazz years included a stint with Charlie Parker, but it was his mentoring of some of the world’s top drummers that made him truly famous within the drumming community. He was a New York native who relocated to Los Angeles during his more than four decade teaching career.

Chuck Silverman

Chuck Silverman picture His passion for Afro-Cuban rhythms lead him all over the world to both learn and teach. He was an author and advocate for applying ethnic patterns such as Mamba, Samba and Songo to drumset. As a well-respected educator and clinician, he believed drumming could be an interactive experience and his lessons were often featured in the world’s top drumming publications.

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