Top Percussionists Present Clinics and Concert in Virginia

An impressive roster of percussionists will be presenting an extensive series of youth-oriented clinics, followed by a mini concert as part of the first-ever Slammin' '08 Percussion Symposium, being held at the Sunset Beach Resort Hotel in Cape Charles, VA on Saturday, May 3.

The event was created by Jason "Malletman" Taylor, a vibraphonist and jazz recording artist who was mentored by the late, legendary Lionel Hampton. Taylor, a Yamaha keyboard percussion clinician since 1991, is very sensitive to the fact that music programs are being eliminated from many of our country's schools and wanted to provide something for youth who have an interest in playing percussion instruments. The Virginia location was selected because he believed there was a need to bring a musical event to the small resort area, which most travelers pass by on their way to crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Joining Taylor on the panel of clinicians will be drummers Bernard "Pretty" Purdie and Will Calhoun and international percussionist, Daoud-David Williams of the Spirit of Life Ensemble. Purdie is known as the world's most recorded drummer and has played with many of the music industry's top artists, including Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Miles Davis and Steely Dan. Calhoun is best known as the two-time Grammy Award-winning drummer for the band, Living Colour. In addition, Calhoun has recorded and toured with a number of artists that include B.B. King, Lauryn Hill, Paul Simon, Herb Alpert and The Allman Brothers. Taylor himself has quite an impressive track record, which has been highlighted by opening for such greats as Earth Wind and Fire, Isaac Hayes, Diana Reeves and Pieces of a Dream.

The symposium will end on a high note when the clinicians come together to put on a mini concert for the attendees.

"Bernard, Will and Daoud didn't hesitate to come on board with this project because we share the same passion for teaching music to the next generation of musicians. There are a lot of young percussionists out there. I believe the ability to play percussion instruments is a natural instinct we are born with. I don't know of anyone who didn't pound on something as a child in order to produce a sound, " said Taylor.

The event is open to students of all ages. Those interested in attending Slammin' '08 can register and get additional information online at or by calling (973) 686-0231. The cost of registration is $75.00 before April 20 and $95.00 after.

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