ICMP recently hosted a fantastic masterclass with one of the most talked about drummers currently on the scene, Kaz Rodriguez.
About Kaz Rodriguez
Kaz is renowned for being a composer and touring session drummer within the pop scene, who recently featured on the cover of the April edition of Rhythm Magazine, and provided a world-exclusive lesson for the magazine’s YouTube channel. As well as playing for singers including Joss Stone, Jessie Ware, Sinead Harnett, Jay Sean, Plan B, Wilkinson, and Aston Merrygold, he has also toured with 15 musicians accompanying Cirque du Soleil. In the drumming world he has collaborated with the likes of Travis Barker (Blink 182), Aaron Spears (Lady Gaga), Anika Nilles, Chris Coleman (Prince), Gerald Hayward, and many more. Kaz is a regular demonstrator for Roland and well-known for giving masterclasses internationally and composing his own songs and backing tracks.
Great advice for drummers
During the masterclass, Kaz discussed his choice of equipment, specifically his hybrid set up, special cymbals for use with electronics, and how to use samples and triggers to create different styles, such as Drum’n’Bass grooves on an acoustic kit. He covered various aspects of technique, including layering, but advised students that a vital skill for a session musician is being able to play what is needed, because “it is the most simple groove that will get you the gig”. Students heard how his time with Cirque du Soleil, whilst at university, was a real learning curve, and the experience that inspired him to start songwriting. Alongside this they were told that having the discipline to “always finish whatever you start” – be it a musical project or a music degree course, is a motto he lives by.
What did students think of the event?
The students clearly found the class inspirational and informative, staying long after the session finished to find out more about Kaz’ kit and ask further questions. BMus Drums Degree student Alexander Savva commented that it was an “amazing experience; definitely informative and beneficial. I would love to see him re-visit!”
What did Kaz make of performing with ICMP’s drum students?
Kaz was equally enthused by his visit, saying after:
I've had a wonderful time here at ICMP, such a wonderful establishment and dedicated students who gave me warmth in my masterclass, looking forward to coming back!"
What’s coming next?
This packed-out event at ICMP’s London campus, attended mostly by drum degree students, was just one in a series of masterclasses that ICMP hosts annually for students on Degree and Diploma courses. Studying music degrees is a great way to experience these kinds of inspirational and educational events, alongside getting a fantastic education on ICMP’s music-industry focused degree and diploma courses. So watch out for more upcoming events from ICMP!