PlayCajon Podcast with Paul Jennings

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

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PlayCajon Version 2.0

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.

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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.

– PJ

Visit PlayCajon

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Me on the Life-Like Podcast: Life story so far

Last week I was delighted to be asked to be part of the Life-Like Podcast where I shared my life story so far.

Life-Like is a conversational interview podcast hosted by Minneapolis musician Schuyler Petersen [aka GREY(coyote)]. Cataloging conversations with interesting and prolific people (musicians, artists, activists, media moguls, etc.) from around the Twin Cities and elsewhere; the goal of this podcast is to inform, educate, entertain and hopefully bring everyone involved to a deeper understanding of the human condition.

2013 in review

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.

NY1

Grew a beard.

NY2

Launched the Paul Jennings Music online store.

NY3

Became North American distributor for Sela Cajons.

NY4

Went to Mexico with Natalie. (Photo by Natalie Champa Jennings)

NY5

Shaved beard off as part of A Face Project.

NY6

Received first shipment of Sela Cajons into the U.S

NY7

Got a new bike.

NY8

Ran 10 miles!

NY9

Went on more bike rides.

NY10

Hung out with Laura Cortese.

NY11

Sold more cajons.

NY12

Went on epic bike trip…

NY13

On the same day as an epic storm. Abandoned epic bike trip.

NY14

Tried out one of these. Gave it back 🙂

NY15

Gave the cats more boxes.

NY16

Went to the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville.

NY17

Got me some boots.

NY18

Had us some fun in Nashville.

NY19

Drove across American again.

NY21

Went on tour with these guys.

NY22

Played some fun shows.

NY25

Played some nice drums.

NY27

Did some telly.

NY29

Rode a horse at the Willis Clan Ranch.

NY33

Took some selfies.

NY35

Missed connection in Detroit with Alex Kosak.

NY36

Had to drive home.

NY37

Got a puppy!
NY38

ISLAY (EYE-LA) the PUPPY!

NY39

Taught Islay the business.

NY40

Put Islay to work for PJM.

NY41

Went to New Orleans.

NY42

Met up with Johnny Vidacovich for some inspiration and tuition.

NY43

Got the cats an iPad.

NY44

Toured Germany.

NY45

Went to the Berlin Wall.

NY46

Met up with Helmut Hage and Robert Zovko of Sela Cajons.

NY47

Played some fun shows at home. (Photo by Natalie Champa Jennings)

NY48

Celebrated 4 years of marriage.

NY49

Prepared for 2014.

Build Your Groove Winners 2013

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)

STAV

2nd place: Chris Cajon (Germany)

3rd place: James Downing (Ireland)

JD

Amazing runner up entry: Rylee Bronner Kaplan (USA)

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Amazing runner up entry: Gary O’hagan (Scotland)

GARYBYG

Summer NAMM Show 2013

I am back home now after spending a week in one of the greatest cities in America: Nashville, TN. The reason I was there was for the Summer NAMM Show, an annual event that sees some of the worlds premier musical instrument manufacturers, retailers, & artists gather under one roof.

It was my first time at the show and as the U.S distributor for Sela Cajons, we were there to bring the word of Sela to the American market.

The NAMM staff were always there to help with what ever we needed and most people who came to our booth over the weekend were very friendly and interested in what we were showing.

We managed to gain a lot of media attention while we were there, including a spots on ABC morning news in Nashville, Balcony TV, Drummer Cafe, & Drum! This was most unexpected and added an air of excitement and exposure to the show that brought even more interest our way.

One of the coolest things that happened at the show began at the Wells Fargo bank on Music Row, Nashville. While in there I met a man by the name of Christian Wolf who is the drummer with Angel Mary & the Tennessee Werewolves, a Nashville country band who are fast gaining some major attention.

I met Christian later that weekend at NAMM and we ended up endorsing Christian as a Sela Cajon artist. Christian is excited to use the cajon for smaller acoustic shows as well as on radio and TV appearances.

Angel

Angel Mary & the Tennessee Werewolves will release their new single July 30th.

We were also honored to be recorded for Balcony TV Nashville and after meeting with the shows host Crow Lee Belcher who plays with Nashville folk/rock/hip hop band IIIRD Class, we decided to sign Crow to the Sela artist roster too. What a top man!

crow

In the booth at NAMM with Crow

Another highlight for me was meeting Bart Elliot from Drummer Cafe. Bart asked me if I would come to his studio to record an interview for his up coming show. We spoke about everything from cajons to Shetland Sheep. It was a pleasure to hang out. Stay tuned for the episode.

I must say that having been fortunate to travel to many American cities, Nashville now sits as one of my favorite. I am sure there is an underside as there is with any place, but over all people were genuinely friendly, it was clean, had a great vibe, and there was music every where you turned. We will be back.

PJ

Jamming with Crow & Christian Wolf at NAMM

Cajon Talk: Ross McCallum

Cajon Talk, episode 1. 

In this very first episode of Cajon Talk, I catch up with internet cajon educator Ross McCallum 9000 miles away in Melbourne, Australia via video chat. I ask Ross about his journey into cajon playing, cajon basics, teaching on YouTube and more. He also gives some great advise for new cajon players.

Ross McCallum on YouTube

Paul Jennings on YouTube