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Legendary Drummer Michael Bland to Hold Drum Clinic at McNally Smith This Friday

World-renowned drummer Michael Bland will be leading a drum clinic this Friday, Dec. 14th at 2 p.m. in McNally Smith's Sound Bite Cafe.

Named “The Best Drummer on the Planet” by the Star Tribune, monster drummer Michael Bland is best known for his work with The New Power GenerationPrince’s backing group from 1989–1996. Since his tenure with the Purple One, Bland has become a studio master, having tracked well over 1000 songs for a number of big-time artists. In addition to his weekly gig with the legendary Dr. Mambo’s Combo at Bunker’s in downtown Minneapolis, Bland has recently kept time for a number of internationally known acts including Soul Asylum, the Dixie Chicks and Nick Jonas.

This Friday, McNally Smith is honored to host this world-class talent for an exclusive, on-campus drum clinic open to students, staff, faculty and guests.

Bio: Michael Bland

Minneapolis native, Michael Bland, like so many other outstanding drummers, started taking piano lessons at age 6 due to the direction of his musical mother and sisters. One year later he began taking lessons on the baritone horn, but fortunately, drums entered his life at 9. As his drum playing progressed he joined his church’s band.

Around age 14, Michael decided to take drums seriously, and his practice and dedication paid off when two years later he won the “Twin Cities” Best Drummer contest. After the contest, local musicians took notice and he began playing with Hiram Bullock. A few years have passed and we find him in the drum chair gigging with Dr. Mambo’s Combo in a local club where the budding Twin Cities “soon to be stars” performed. Enter another Minneapolis artist, Prince. After hearing Michael’s percussion work, Prince asked him to join the New Power Generation. Michael was 19 and on his way.

Michael performed with Prince for 7 years, followed by a tour in 1996 with Paul Westerberg. After a Chaka Khan tour in 1997, he recorded and toured with Maxwell from 1998 – 2000, as well as other artists such as George Benson, Howard Hewitt, Evan and Jaron, Dionne Farris, and Phil Upchurch.

Minneapolis is still his home where he continues to play with local artists, plus the Legendary Combo at Bunkers. He also collaborates with Tommy Barbarella, Sonny Thompson, Jef Lee Johnson, and Julius Collins in his progressive Gospel group, Sons of Almighty.