In December 2015 I launched the PlayCajon Podcast, (conversations with drummers and percussionist from around the world). The aim of the podcast is to bring you fascinating stories and perspectives from some of the most interesting and sometimes well known drummers and percussionists in the world.
Over the past few weeks I have been lucky enough to talk to some of the top people in the percussion world including Munyungo Jackson (Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis), Luis Conte (Madonna, James Taylor), Pete Lockett, Heidi Joubert, David Mortara, Steven Black, Jaron Mossman, and Mark Powers. With many more great people set to be on the PlayCajon Podcast.
To hear the current episodes go to: http://playcajon.org/category/podcast/
Subscribe on iTunes to get the latest episodes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playcajon-with-paul-jennings/id1067020894?mt=2&ls=1
On Friday I was proud to launch version 2.0 of my cajon lesson website PlayCajon. It was the culmination of 6 months work on the re-design. We shot 20 new video lessons for a beginner course featuring Sela Cajons which now takes the over all quality of lessons along with the look and feel of the site to the next level.
The new lessons were all shot in a professional studio with the best audio and camera equipment. I really wanted to get the best possible sound and look with the new lessons and now we have that, we can move forward with each new lesson looking amazing.
PlayCajon now features three courses, a beginner course, an intermediate course, and an advanced course. Each course features 20 video lessons and are carefully constructed to advance you easily through your learning. Along with the courses, the site has new categories which organize the lessons in a way that makes it easy for you to quickly find the lesson you want.
The pricing on PlayCajon has stayed the same but now you also have the option to buy the individual courses if you wish.
The look and feel of the site now has a simple design that is easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of PlayCajon. It really has taken an immense amount of work and devotion to bring it to the world and I will continue to strive to make it even better.
2013 turned out to be probably one of the biggest years for me ever. Not only did I form a percussion distribution company, launch a new online store, but our company Paul Jennings Music also became the North American distributor for Sela Cajons, one of the world’s top cajon brands. We are continuing to build our lesson sites and have been working on PlayCajon version 2.0 which we are planning to launch in January 2014. The new site will have a lot of new content and great features. Along with all of this I managed to hit the road in the U.S and Europe with Red Hot Chilli Pipers for a bit too.
Here are some of the highlights from 2013.
Grew a beard.
Became North American distributor for Sela Cajons.
Shaved beard off as part of A Face Project.
Received first shipment of Sela Cajons into the U.S
Got a new bike.
Ran 10 miles!
Went on more bike rides.
Sold more cajons.
Went on epic bike trip…
On the same day as an epic storm. Abandoned epic bike trip.
Tried out one of these. Gave it back 🙂
Gave the cats more boxes.
Went to the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville.
Got me some boots.
Had us some fun in Nashville.
Drove across American again.
Played some fun shows.
Played some nice drums.
Did some telly.
Took some selfies.
Missed connection in Detroit with Alex Kosak.
Had to drive home.
Got a puppy!
ISLAY (EYE-LA) the PUPPY!
Taught Islay the business.
Put Islay to work for PJM.
Went to New Orleans.
Met up with Johnny Vidacovich for some inspiration and tuition.
Got the cats an iPad.
Went to the Berlin Wall.
Met up with Helmut Hage and Robert Zovko of Sela Cajons.
Celebrated 4 years of marriage.
Prepared for 2014.
This Hang solo by Daniel Waples is very cool indeed:
Ever since the hang drum hit the scene back in 2000, people have been drawn in by its hypnotizing sound. Originally created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Bern, Switzerland, the instrument, that looks like a UFO, is constructed from two half-shells of deep drawn, nitrided steel sheet and fixed together leaving the inside hollow. The hang is then hammered to create the notes in a similar way that you would create a steelpan, but modified in such a way as to act as a Helmholtz resonator. The top side of the hang has a center ‘note’ called the “Ding” hammered into it and seven or eight ‘tone fields’ hammered out around the center. The bottom of the hang which is called the “Gu” is a plain surface that has a rolled hole in the center with a tuned note that is created when the rim is struck. The name Hang comes from the Bernese German word for hand.
Daniel’s website: http://www.hanginbalance.com
Daniel’s Facebook page: http://facebook.com/hanginbalance
Thank you to everyone who entered the Paul Jennings Music #buildyourgroove competition 2013. All of your entries were amazing and I had a lot of fun watching them all. All the fantastic entries equally made it very hard to pick winners. As you can see I decided to go with 2 joint 1st place winners who will each receive a Snare Cajon Kit. I very much look forward to the next #buildyourgroove competition. Thank you so much again for the great entries.
The winners are:
Joint 1st place: Suze Yuill (China)
Joint 1st place: Steven James Black (Scotland)
2nd place: Chris Cajon (Germany)
3rd place: James Downing (Ireland)
Amazing runner up entry: Rylee Bronner Kaplan (USA)
Amazing runner up entry: Gary O’hagan (Scotland)
I am delighted to announce the first ever #buildyourgroove competition where I am giving away a Snare Cajon Kit by Sela, a pair of Vater Cajon Brushes and a 1 year subscription to playcajon.org to the winner. I will also be giving prizes to the 2nd and 3rd place entries.
All you have to do is submit a photo or video that depicts building a groove in someway.
In a photograph or video (no longer than 3 minuets) I want you to #buildyourgroove. It could be as simple as just a cracking photo or video of you or someone else playing an instrument. Maybe you are actually building your own drum or musical instrument in the photo/video or maybe you are building a groove by making a creatively edited YouTube video, maybe it is just a great photo of someone playing a groove. Whatever your interpretation of the phrase “Build Your Groove” is, I can’t wait to see your entries.
The #buildyourgroove competition runs through November 2013 and I will be announcing a winner along with 2nd and 3rd place runners up on December 1st.
Here are some examples of what could be submitted:
If you have something that you think fits the bill, submit it to the Paul Jennings Music Facebook, tag #buildyourgroove and you might just win.
The New Snare Cajon Kit
It has a super punchy bass, it has a snare that cuts through, it will allow you to achieve dozens of additional tones, it has a removable snare, it is a fun project, it is a drum set in a box. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to the most advanced, affordable kit cajon on the market.
The New Snare Cajon Kit by Sela is pushing boundaries and ticking all the boxes (pardon the pun).
The main new feature with the new model is that it features the Sela Snare System which is the same one that is used on the CaSela models. The Sela snare is totally removable and adjustable. You can also stack additional snares on top of the first snare to give you maximum snare sound.
The Sela logo has now been placed on the front instead of the side. This makes the Snare Cajon Kit much more ascetically pleasing.
This cajon would stand up against many top of the line cajons in the sound department. I can honestly say as a professional percussionist, I have never heard a cajon that sounds as good as this for the price. The bass has a powerful punch and the snare gives an excellent crack but the best part is all the additional tones that you can get when you run your foot up and down the front plate. I would seriously use this cajon at any gig.
It’s all in the box
Everything you need to build your snare cajon is in the box. Only a power drill is needed to complete construction. You don’t have to be a gifted craftsman to build the Snare Cajon Kit because all of the parts are prefabricated and make assembly very easy. Each step is well documented and easy to follow in the included manual.
– Body: 11 layers birch, 15mm
– Playing Surface: Poplar Veneer, 3mm
– Sela Snare System (Adjustable & Removable)
– Solid bass tone
– Excellent snare crack
– Many additional tones are achievable
– Weight: 13lbs
– Footing: Nonslip rubber feet
The Snare Cajon Kit is $149.99 and is available from www.pauljenningsmusic.com
One of the things about Summer NAMM 2013 that we did not expect was all the great media attention we managed to attract. As well as doing interviews for Balcony TV and Drummer Cafe, we also were asked to to a live interview on ABC Morning News. This was great for us and Sela Cajon who we were representing at the show.
Here we are on ABC Morning News