Benny Greb (Germany), Ron Spielmann Trio
Over the last couple of years Benny has without a doubt achieved world class status. He has performed on every major global drum event and has completed several workshop tours all over the world entertaining drummers with his clinics. His playing style is modern, slick and full of finesse and musicality. It has style and defines today’s modern drumming.It is among the best in the world right now. Along with his popularity in the worldwide drum community, Benny can be found playing with a broad assortment of musicians, all demanding his tasteful and immaculate playing style. You can find him in rock settings with German singer Stoppok and The Ron Spielman Trio in jazz with his own Benny Greb Brass Band and Turkey’s Sabri Tulug Tirpan. He has also played classical music, working with the NDR Orchestra on their Zappa / Pops project and for film composer and ex-police drummer Steward Copeland. Benny’s ability to mix jazz and rock finds him also working with the fusion band 3ergezimmer. And of course, Benny is also a highly in-demand session player in his native Germany, where his studio duties also include the roles of composer and producer.
Mike Johnston (USA), www.mikeslessons.com
Online Educator and clinician Mike Johnston began studying the drums at the age of five. He spent the next 15 years studying privately with some of the greatest educator/drummers of our time including Pete Magadini and Steve Ferrone. At the age of 21 Mike received his first major label record deal with his band Simon Says (Hollywood Records) and spent the next five years touring the world. In addition to his time with Simon Says, Mike also toured with Warner Bothers Recording artists FILTER. Mike currently runs the educational website mikeslessons.com where he offers pre-recorded video drum lessons as well as "LIVE" on-line drum lessons nationally and internationally. Every year he hosts multiple International drum camps at the mikeslessons.com facility.
Jost Nickel (Germany), Jan Delay & Disko No.1
Jost Nickel is a well known musician in his native country of Germany and his reputation is rapidly spreading worldwide. His name appears in the credits of many hit records in his homeland. In the nineties, Jost's career received a real boost when he joined the German fusion band Matalex. He recorded all but one of Matalex's albums (two of them featured Randy Brecker on trumpet). Jost began to expand beyond his native homeland when he toured with the great guitar player Barry Finnerty, whose studio lineage and tenure with Miles Davis helped draw substantial audiences. Currently Jost plays for German Soul Singer Jan Delay, where he lays down a solid musical foundation with his amazing groove and feel. Jost’s creativeness and musicality on the drums make him one of the most remarkable drummers in Germany. Known for his punchy, articulate drum sound, which he counterbalances with a jazzy, exotic cymbal wash, Jost reflects a cutting edge drummer who keeps one foot steeped in tradition.
Hannes Grossmann (Germany), Obscura
Drummer Hannes Grossman flings precision blastbeats and poly-grooves through shifting time signatures with the casual flexibility of a yoga master. Due to his talent and ambition, Hannes landed his first professional gig in 2003 at the age of 20, playing with the German Technical Death Metal legend Necrophagist, a band which back then was rather unknown to most people. From 2005 until early 2007 Hannes played almost 200 concerts with Necrophagist all over the world and gained popularity with a larger metal audience. In 2007 most fans were shocked as Hannes announced his departure from Necrophagist to join another unknown underground band named Obscura. In order to accomplish their own musical vision, Hannes and Steffen Kummerer (OBSCURA founding member-guitar, vocals) formed an entirely new line up of Obscura. By hiring the extremely talented Christian Muenzner (Necrophagist, Defeated Sanity, Spawn of Possession) on guitar and fretless bass guitar master Jeroen Paul Thesseling, OBSCURA was able to receive a worldwide record deal with US label RELAPSE RECORDS. In early 2009, the metal music press was stunned by the virtuosity these four musicians showed on their debut album "Cosmogenesis" which immediately cracked US newcomer billboard charts.
Jens Herz (Germany), Bamberger Symphoniker – Bayerische Staatsphilharmonie
Guido Marggrander (Germany) Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
These two classical percussionists are playing in some of Europe’s best and most famous symphony orchestras. Jens Herz also acts as Meinl’s product consultant for their recently released symphonic cymbals. For the first time ever in the history of the Meinl Drum Festival, a masterclass about symphonic percussion- and cymbals will be held this year and it promises to be one of the festival highlights.
Georg Feltes (Belgium), Front Of House Engineer
Georg Feltes has been the FOH for the Meinl Drum Festival since many years.
He is also an instructor for Event Technique at the WES Academy in Aachen, Germany.
DRIO – the drumtrio
DRIO is a drumtrio consisting of the three German drum superstars Benny Greb, Wolfgang Haffner and Jost Nickel. Each one of them has previously played at the Meinl Drum Festival in an individual capacity and has created a huge buzz on the international drum scene. For the first time ever, these three Meinl artists will play together on one stage to debut DRIO at the 2012 Meinl Drum Festival. DRIO will present a show which will feature Benny, Wolfgang, and Jost individually, as well as specially rehearsed drum compositions as a trio. Everybody who knows and has seen Benny, Wolfgang, and Jost perform individually before will immediately understand that this will not only be a highly musical drum show, but also a very funny, humorous and entertaining headlining act for the 2012 Meinl Drum Festival.
Matt Halpern (USA), Periphery
Hailing from Washington DC, Matt Halpern and his band Periphery are one of the freshest progressive metal acts on the scene today. With their signature blend of polymetric grooves and soaring melodies, the band continues to push the envelope of modern metal music. The band released their first full length album 'Periphery' in 2010. It debuted at #128 on the Billboard Top 200, as well as #2 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Since its inception, Matt and Periphery have been relentless in their effort to have their music heard. Allowing free access to almost their entire catalog, including over one hundred and thirty download-able songs, this self produced band is seeking to redefine the way music is experienced. Periphery has toured extensively since 2008. The band’s first European headline tour in early 2011 titled 'The League of Extraordinary Djentlemen' was a huge success. They released their 'Icarus EP' on April 19th, 2011 and recently completed a European tour supporting prog-metal legend Dream Theater. In addition to being one of the brightest faces in modern progressive metal today, Matt is the founder of bandhappy.com. Bandhappy provides a worldwide, comprehensive, user-friendly place for musicians to promote, schedule, pay for, and have LIVE online, video chat and on-tour music lessons. It’s the only global, music education marketplace that connects musicians LIVE through online video chat instruction and on tour music lessons!
Milos Meier (Czech Republic)
Milos Meier is from the Czech Republic and is an amazing drummer. The drum solos which he plays and uploads on youtube have created a big buzz in the worldwide drum community already. Milos has developed his very own unique drum style that is full of finesse and musicality. He is a raising star on the horizon of the worldwide drum scene. Milos was born in 1984 in Hronov, Czech Republic and began playing drums at a very young age. When he was 13, he recorded his first two albums. Later he moved to Prague and studied Jazz, Fusion, Pop, Rock, Marimba, Xylphone and Timpani at the Prague Music Academy. During that time Milos played in various bands and practiced drums extensively which began a great career playing with Czech musicians like Michal Pavlicek and Kamil Strihavka.
Currently Milos plays with Czech bands Dymytry, Kraken Exist and Noid.
JP Bouvet (USA), Helicopria
JP is the winner of the 2011 Guitar Center Drum Off contest, one of the most prestigious drum contests in the world. He has also won the Roland U.S. V-Drum contest and scored second place in the international finals. A native of Lakeville, MN, JP juggles his studies as a student at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA with multiple drum duties that include recording and international touring with his band Helicopria and working as an online session drummer.
Giovanni Imparato (Italy)
Onkel (Germany), Ohrbooten
An additional supporting program will feature several of Meinl’s percussion endorsees such as the Italian master conguero Giovanni Imparato, Onkel of the German band “Ohrbooten”, and many others.
The 2012 Meinl Drum Festival will finish with a signing session of all participat