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Z on Tour

Zildjian On Tour Blog


ZOT Team visits Memphis Drum Shop, Memphis TN, with J J Johnson, Sept 26

Watch a video highlight of the day below. And for more videos, including interviews with Zildjian's Debbie Zildjian, John King and JJ Johnson, head to

The Zildjian on Tour Team completed its tour of Tennessee by rolling into Memphis to visit Jim and Nancy Pettit's nationally acclaimed Memphis Drum Shop. After dealing with the marching ducks at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis the night before the ZOT event, the Z Team broke bread with the entire drum shop staff at a great restaurant just steps away for the store. The event started with guns blazing early Saturday with cymbals flying out of the shop as Z Team members helped Memphis customers as they came in. The new Zildjian prototypes from the Zildjian Sound Lab were sold almost as soon as they appeared. John Meyer's drummer and Zildjian artist, JJ Johnson also joined in the fun by offering customers his insights in selecting cymbals for the attendees as well as giving a mini drum set clinic for those in attendance.

The shop offered constant streaming video for those who could not attend the event and interviews were given by various Zildjian Team members that will eventually be posted on the Memphis Drum Shop website. Everyone had a great time on the last day of the Southeastern swing of the Zildjian On Tour events and the tour offered many great memories for all of the attending Zildjian staff members.

ZOT visits Fork's Drum Closet, Nashville, TN, with Danny Seraphine, Sept. 23

Before officially landing at Fork's Drum Closet in Nashville, the Z Team attended a great clinic given by Zildjian endorser Danny Seraphine of CTA (formerly of the band Chicago). It was obvious that many of Danny's fans were in attendance and they gained lots of insights as to what went on during his years with Chicago. The event was a great opportunity to let everyone know of the Zildjian on Tour event that was happening at Fork's the very next day.

Joining the Z Team for the ZOT event was Debbie Zildjian, who was visiting the shop for the very first time. Debbie stated, "It is hard for me to remember any dedicated drum shop that was as fully stocked as Fork's." Hosts Gary and Mellissa Forkum said, "We always look forward to any Zildjian event that is held in our shop because it always generated lots of excitement with our customers." Danny Seraphine's presence created that much more excitement as he took the time to chat and sign autographs for his fans that were in attendance. As he did in Knoxville, an impromptu drum solo by Danny held everyone's attention. Stopping by the event were several Nashville Z artists such as session masters Chuck Tilly, Brian Fullen, Steve Ebe and Waldo Latowsky who enjoyed checking out the new cymbal prototypes that were on display.

Once the day was complete, Z staff and employees from Fork's celebrated the event with several delicious pizzas. The Z Team thanked everyone in the Music City for their hospitality and good wishes before moving on to Memphis Tennessee.

After some of the Zildjian On Tour team waded through the floods of northern Georgia, everyone arrived safely at Fork's Drum Closet in Knoxville where Gary Forkem and his capable staff had everything ready for the events of the day. Zildjian artist, Danny Seraphine (CTA & formerly of Chicago), also arrived safely only to be greeted by a bunch of his fans, most of whom brought lots of classic Chicago albums to be signed by the band's founding drummer. He also took the time to stretch out on a nearby drum kit and play a group of Armand series cymbals which sounded remarkably similar to the cymbals he played 40 years ago. While this impromptu performance was taking place, a video of his band CTA performing at the Modern Drummer Festival in 2006 was also being shown. Getting Danny's playing "in stereo" was a great treat for all of his fans.

The team continued to show new cymbal prototypes for Zildjian's Sound Lab and got a lot of great feedback from the drummers of middle Tennessee. After the day's festivities were complete, the ZOT Team prepared to head off to Nashville where Danny will conduct a full blown clinic on Wednesday and have another ZOT meet & greet at the Fork's shop in "Nash-Vegas" on Thursday.

After a week of clinics, master classes and performances at Berklee, Steve Smith joined the ZOT crew at Daddy's Junky Music in Boston to meet fans, help with cymbal selection and to hang. Craigie Zildjian, Paul Francis and Leon Chiappini who all shared stories with Steve and the other drummers in the store. The Zildjian Sound Lab Prototypes were the real stars of the show though, showcasing the different innovations coming from the Zildjian Factory a few miles away in Norwell. Everyone of the staff members from Daddy's were extremely gracious hosts (as always) and the day was a great success.

For more photos and info, head to

After a 3 hour drive through the Hill Country of Texas, the Zildjian On Tour team descended upon Lone Star Percussion who proceeded to offer their brand of Texas hospitality. Owners Jeff Nelson and Scott Zender and their intrepid staff greatly assisted the Z Team in every way possible as they took their turn to display all the new prototype pies from Zildjian. Once again, Zildjian artist Chris Layton was on hand to hang with Lone Star customers and provided some great grooves while helping visitors select their cymbals. Zildjian VP Debbie Zildjian signed lots of "History of Zildjian" books that came with every cymbal sold during the day and the entire Zildjian team worked non-stop while showing off all the great new instruments from Z Land.

Tomorrow, the Z Team heads off to the University of North Texas to show the new prototypes to the students there as well as assisting with a Zildjian clinic with Zildjian Artist, Eric Harland. That event will end the week in Texas before moving on to multiple ZOT events in Tennessee next week.

Tommy Robertson, owner of Tommy's Drum Shop welcomed the Texas Zildjian on Tour Team for a great day of meeting Austin area drummers. The team was augmented by Zildjian artist Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughn) who gave his insights on how to choose the best cymbals for many of those attending the event. Debbie Zildjian continued to offer insights into the inner workings of the Zildjian Company. The Zildjian Team started to notice some visitors who had also visited the previous ZOT event in San Antonio in order to continue absorbing the "Zildjian Vibe." As the team moves onto the Dallas area, they thank everyone who visited the Austin event for their support for all things Zildjian.

The Zildjian on Tour Team rode into the Lone Star State and took over much of the floor space at Jeff's Ryder's Drum Shop in San Antonio. Joining the ZOT team in Texas was Debbie Zildjian, daughter of Armand Zildjian and granddaughter of Avedis Zildjian III. Debbie remained totally accessible to all of the drummers in attendance as she signed autographs and offered numerous stories on Zildjian Family history. Zildjian endorser JJ Johnson of the John Mayer Band was also in attendance offering lots of encouragement to all of the up and coming drummers attending the event. JJ was actually revisiting a neighborhood he grew up in and paying homage to Jeff Ryder Sr, who was his former drum instructor.

Our hosts Jeff Ryder and son, Jeff Jr., opened up the entire shop to Zildjian by squeezing together a multitude of drum sets to accommodate lots of room for customers to explore all of the Zildjian Sound Lab Prototypes on display. There was a steady stream of new Zildjian instruments going out the door all afternoon. Once the festivities were finished at the shop, they continued further with great conversation and food at the Alamo Cafe. The Zildjian team certainly "rode off into the sunset" with great appreciation for all of the hospitality offered by the drumming community of San Antonio.
The ZOT Team rolled into the beautiful Atlantic coast community of Hollywood, Florida to visit Resurrection Drums and to once again display a unique grouping of special cymbal prototypes from the Zildjian Sound Lab. Zildjian artist Morgan Rose of Sevendust arrived on time to chat with Resurrection customers despite a cancelled flight, missing baggage, an unscheduled overnight stay at a hotel without extra clothes and arriving with strained back muscles from his last tour. Despite all of that, he hung with everyone all afternoon without complaint and had a great time.

Shop owner Jeff Lee was the consummate host as he introduced many of his customers to the Zildjian staff who saw why this drum shop is held in high regard by all the drummers in the Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale area. There was a steady crowd coming in all afternoon to check out the new prototype cymbals from Zildjian. Cady Zildjian related many tales of Zildjian Family history as other Z staff members assisted customers with their cymbal selections.

After the closing bell had rung, all the Zildjian members and Resurrection staff were invited back to Jeff Lee's home where they all celebrated a great day in southern Florida. It was a great way to end the Florida Zildjian on Tour events.

Zildjian on Tour continued its travel in Florida by visiting Seminole Music in Seminole Florida. The store's general manager and drum department head, John Spinelli worked very hard as he constantly brought customers over to the Zildjian display of one-of-a-kind cymbal Sound Lab prototypes. John Blackwell once again was in attendance to sign autographs, but this time he treated store visitors with an outstanding display of talent on the drum kit. To continue the spontaneity of the moment, Zildjian Artist Casey Grillo (Kamelot) stepped in to start trading 4's with John on another kit and then the fireworks REALLY started. It was a terrific "drum battle" by two good friends that will be remembered by all those who witnessed the fun. Shortly thereafter, a birthday cake was brought out to celebrate Mr. Blackwell's recent birthday. The Zildjian staff again appreciated meeting all the great drummers from the Tampa/St. Pete area as they move on to the Fort Lauderdale area next.

Jimmy Chamberlin joined the Zildjian On Tour gang to meet with fans and help them choose which cymbals were best for them. THe customers also had the chance to check out the Zildjian Sound Lab Prototypes.

Zildjian began its southern swing of Zildjian On Tour this week by invading the confines of Drums2go in Orlando Florida. Owners Shane and Michelle O'Connell did a great job displaying one-of-a-kind Zildjian Sound Lab Prototype instruments that were offered for sale to customers that were lucky enough to attend. Zildjian artist John Blackwell took the time to offer autographs and cymbal advice to many of his fans that attended the event. It was discovered that it was also John Blackwell's birthday and he suffered through a terrible, yet still enjoyable rendition of "Happy Birthday." Zildjian staff offered background on the inner workings of the Sound Lab Prototypes as well as examining and dating cymbals that customers brought in. Cady Zildjian, granddaughter of Armand Zildjian and Business Development Coordinator for Zildjian was also in attendance offering insights into the history of the family business and gaining some good feedback from Drums2go customers. The Zildjian staff met some great people during the day and it was an excellent way to start the fall segment of Zildjian on Tour.

'Zildjian on Tour 2009' hit the west coast this week with two great events in Southern California.

On Saturday, June 20th, the Professional Drum Shop in Hollywood hosted the year's best "drummer hang!" Players mixed with the Pros to check out all the new Zildjian Sound Lab Prototypes, with some models selling out immediately at the start of the event! Zildjian CEO Craigie Zildjian and the legendary Hal Blaine were on hand to meet the crowd. Hal was great in telling stories and offering his opinions of the superb new sounds coming out of the Zildjian factory. Other Zildjian artists included: Jake Hanna, Peter Erskine, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Gorden Campbell, Gerry Brown, Denny Seiwell, Mike White, Ronald Bruner Jr, James Wormworth, Denny Fongheiser, Gil Sharone, Ralph Humphrey, Mike Fasano, Nick Vincent and Bernie Dresel to name a few...

Owners Stan and Jerry Keyawa were extremely happy with the event and were fantastic hosts. Hal, Stan, Jerry, Danny and the entire staff at the shop provided superior consultation and service for their customers. At the close of the day, Craigie Zildjian presented a special cymbal plaque to Stan, Jerry and Delores Yeager to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this iconic drum shop. Their dedication to serving the drumming community of Hollywood is world renown. A great day in So Cal!

Heading north of LA on Monday, June 22nd, "Zildjian On Tour" stopped at Mike's Drum Shop in Santa Barbara. A truly 'eclectic' shop, Mike's boasts some of the best assortment of Zildjian cymbals on the west coast. Owner George Pendergast (original drummer for the band, Dishwalla) and his staff including Mark Cavanaugh, provided a great opportunity for the Shops many students to come by and learn about cymbal craftsmanship from Zildjian experts Paul Francis and Mike Brucher. A Big Thanks to Barry and the entire Mike's Drum Shop teaching staff for all their help. On hand for a 'meet and greet' was Danny Seraphine of CTA (California Transit Authority and founding member of the legendary group "Chicago") who was also seen sampling a few of the new prototypes. The Zildjian Family also extends 'congratulations' to Mike's after just celebrating 40 years of serving drummers in the Santa Barbara community.

"Zildjian On Tour" will take a break for the summer and will resume in September with swings through the Southeast and Southwest, beginning with a tour event at Drums2Go in Orlando, Florida.

Mark your calendars and make your plans to join the Tour in the Fall!!!

Zildjian On Tour hit Ft. Collins, CO this past weekend taking over Colorado Drums. Craigie Zildjian, Paul Francis and John DeChristopher were on site along with the incredible Sonny Emory. Lucky fans got a chance to purchase one-of-a-kind Zildjian Sound Lab Prototypes as well hang with the Zildjian pros. There was a great turnout and we thank everyone at Colorado Drums for an excellent time.

Following tremendous events in Iowa and Kansas City, Mo, the Zildjian team travelled to St. Louis, MO and Drum Headquarters for the next stop on Zildjian On Tour.

This event featured special guests Craigie Zildjian and Steve Gorman, drummer for The Black Crowes. Legendary radio station K-SHE95 ran a live remote broadcast from the store during the event.

Drum Headquarters owner Jim Uding had the store completely stocked with Zildjian (cymbals, sticks, and swag)! As we saw in Kansas City, many customers drove several hours to get to the event. Some had heard the buzz about the prototypes from the prior two events and a line formed outside the door prior to the event. Many customers had help from Craigie and other factory experts in picking out the perfect cymbal to compliment their setup. Some were one of a kind prototypes. In addition, St Louis' top pro drummers in all styles of music stopped by to say hi and check out the scene. Many walked away with a new shiny Zildjian cymbal and a stack of sticks.

Thanks to all at Drum Headquarters, especially Jim, Brian, Bill, Kevin, Bernadette, and Steve for helping make the day fun for us and the customers!

After a great start in Iowa, the Zildjian team travelled through beautiful farmland in Iowa and Missouri to our next Zildjian On Tour stop: Explorers Percussion in Kansas City, MO.

This great drum shop, owned by Wes Falconer was decked out with a wide variety of Zildjian Cymbals and Drumsticks. Craigie Zildjian was on hand with Danny Seraphine of CTA (and formerly of Chicago) to meet drummers and help them pick out cymbals.

Some customers drove up to three hours to get to the event, and it was well worth their time. Whether it was a one of a kind Zildjian cymbal prototype or the perfect cymbal from Explorers deep stock, customers left happy. Cymbal experts from the store as well as the Zildjian factory were on hand to help customers pick out cymbals. A long line lasted throughout the day as customers wanted to meet Craigie Zildjian and Danny Seraphine and many had their pictures taken and CDs and cymbals autographed.

Thanks to all at Explorers Percussion, especially Wes, Lorene, Aaron, Adam, Todd and Nick for helping make the event fun and successful for all!
Craigie Zildjian was on hand with Danny Seraphine of CTA (and formerly of Chicago) to meet drummers and help them pick out cymbals. Chris Wood and Marc Kray run a terrific drum department under the direction of Robin Walenta, President of West Music. ZOT took over the whole store with one-of-a-kind prototype cymbals set up in the large performance space and a deep selection of Zildjian cymbals and sticks displayed in the drum department.

Craigie Zildjian was interviewed on two radio stations, and one station ran a live remote broadcast from the store to interview both Craigie and Danny Seraphine.

Customers ranged from beginners to professionals with ages ranging from under ten to over ninety! In fact, the oldest customer walked away with a brand new, shiny 20" Armand ride.

The event was a huge success for everyone, but mostly the customers! In addition to the top-notch store staff, Zildjian cymbal experts Kim Dunning and Ron Allman flew in from Zildjian HQ to help drummers pick out cymbals.

Thanks to all at West Music, especially Robin, Chris, Marc, Jake, Carol, and Jeanne for helping make the event fun and successful for all!

"Zildjian on Tour 2009" was launched this past Saturday, May 16th at The Drum Shop of Portland in Portland, Maine. Owner Chris Dealerman and his sales staff; Josh and Stefen did a great job in promoting the event with a line forming outside the shop an hour before opening!

The event featured Zildjian 'Sound Lab Prototypes' as well as great buying opportunities on the existing Zildjian Cymbal line, Zildjian Drumsticks and Accessories. Given the tough economic climate, sales for the day were still five times greater than the average Saturday, thanks to the efforts of Chris and his staff.

Also on hand to help kick-off "Zildjian on Tour 2009," was Joey Kramer of Aerosmith. Joey's fans were out in full-force with Joey signing autographs and posing for pictures. Photos below.

A great day and a great event. Thanks to The Drum Shop of Portland for their friendship and hospitality and we'll see you on tour!

To find out the other "Zildjian on Tour" dates, go here.

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