• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theatre and More

Life After - International - Jamie Drake

Jamie Drake's setup for the premiere of Life After at the Berkeley Street Theatre in Toronto, Canada.


"I had the privilege of playing the drum/percussion book for the premiere of a beautiful new musical called Life After that ran in Toronto. It's a gorgeous 90 minute show about a teenager dealing with the sudden death of her celebrity-self-help-author father, with book, music and lyrics all written by talented Toronto composer Britta Johnson.

One of the great pleasures of the show for me was getting to meet and work with New Yorker Lynne Shankel, who served as music supervisor and orchestrator and vocal arranger. Lynne is a force to be reckoned with, and she brought so much to the project, both as supervisor and with her gorgeous orchestrations.

The show was orchestrated for piano/conductor, violin, viola, cello, bass and percussion. Although the setup is relatively standard and is built around a drum kit, most of the show seemed more like a chamber music percussion book that I happened to be playing on kit, rather than a 'kit book'. Lynne's instinct for what works for percussion with this music proved to be unerring (especially her beautiful writing for cymbals!), and it was a real treat to play this book and play as part of this band for a couple of months. The only negative was that everyone else was on stage and I was stuck in my own little pipe-and-drape cubical off stage left. The life of a percussionist!

I hope this show has a long life ahead of it, and I hope it gets a remount in Toronto - I'd love to play this book again."

  • Yamaha Club Custom Drums (10/12/14/20) with Yamaha Vintage Wood Hoops
  • Yamaha Sensitive Series 6.5x14 Snare Drum with Remo Skyntone Batter Head

  • Hammerax Liquicy 21" Ride (which has an amazing almost "sizzle"-like sound)
  • Sabian 16" HH Suspended Cymbal
  • Paiste Twenty Series 14" Hi-Hats
  • Istanbul 18" Mehmet Thin Crash
  • Dream 22" Contact Ride

  • Yamaha YG-1210 Glockenspiel
  • 4 Chime notes (special thanks to Yamaha Canada for supplying these for the show)
  • Bongos
  • Mounted Tambourine
  • Bell Tree
  • Triangle on Miller Machine
  • Swan Percussion Shakers (two banded together, one by itself wasn't quite enough volume)
  • RhythmTech Studio Shaker
  • Black Swamp Wood Blocks (2)

Sticks/Mallets: Innovative Percussion
  • MG-1 Sticks
  • IP-5AM Multi-Stick
  • WBR-2 Heavy Wire Brushes
  • OS-1 Medium Soft Xylophone Mallets (for woodblocks)
  • James Ross IP907 Small Brass Bell Mallets (for bell tree)
  • James Ross IP903 Dark Xylo/Bell Mallets (for glockenspiel)
  • Rattan Series RS251 Medium Vibe/Marimba Mallets (for some of the cymbal rolls)
  • Chris Lamb CL-C2 Chime Hammer

October 2017