Video - Clinic & Performance
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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The Savoy King

The Savoy Ballroom was the home of the amazing Lindy Hop dancers, and the first venue in America where Blacks and Whites could dance and socialize together. Born fatherless and poor, Chick Webb developed spinal tuberculosis and was a hunchbacked dwarf in constant pain, yet he virtually invented modern drumming and built the hottest Swing orchestra of the 1930s — the "house band" of The Savoy Ballroom. Chick was mentored by Duke Ellington, toured with Louis Armstrong, argued with Jelly Roll Morton, jammed with Artie Shaw, discovered and practically adopted Ella Fitzgerald, beat Benny Goodman (with Gene Krupa) and Count Basie (with Billie Holiday) in legendary battle of the bands, befriended Mario Bauzá ("The Father of Afro-Cuban Jazz"), encouraged a struggling Dizzy Gillespie, fired Louis Jordan ("The Father of Rhythm 'N' Blues" - for trying to steal away Ella), and helmed the first Black band to host a national radio show . . . all before drumming himself to death at age 30.


Here's the trailer from the 90-minute documentary film.



"Chick drew drummers by the dozen to where he was working. His playing, so clean and fast and technical, had the kind of drive that is impossible to describe if you weren't there to feel it. He showed us, by example, how to back sections, how to shade for the ensemble, how to structure drum solos, and make breaks count. He was the master, the little giant of the big noise." — Gene Krupa

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