land of the rising drum!

Photo by Taxi Okuyama

Photo by Taxi Okuyama

In Late November I had a great time in Japan…. playing, teaching and visiting…

At the Canopus Headquarters

From left to right: Takashi Suzuki, Nori Kitagawa, me, Naoya Hasegawa and the CANOPUS President Shinichi Usuda

From left to right: Takashi Suzuki, Nori Kitagawa, me, Naoya Hasegawa and the CANOPUS President Shinichi Usuda

Meeting the Mr … and the stuff of Canopus was awesome. The handcraft and love they put in the drums are just mind blowing. I was introduced to the latest inventions and got to play some great instruments. We did some video shoots of me playing 1) prototype drumkit and 2) the zelkova drumkit.

Videoshoot at DRUMlab

I had the great opportunity the record some education videos for THE DRUM LAB. Special Thanks to Producer and THE DRUM LAB president Takushi Okuyama and also to our recording engineer Takuma Anzai.

Please stay tuned!

Videos will be available at THE DRUM LAB website pretty soon:


Singing a Japanese childrens song

Big Fun to play the drum at this special event. According to the average age of the audience I decided to sing a Japanese childrens song and integrate into my solo.



w/ Masashi Tomikawa, Takushi Okuyama, Hironori Kaino, Gaku Yamaguchi, Shigeki Tanimoto, Kensaku Tamura, Yoichi Sato

Mt. Fuji

A real natural spectacle to see the sunrise at Mount Fuji. I don´t know why but for me it was kind of a drumrise. My friend Taxi Okuyama shot some great pictures. You can check them out on his instagram!



Playing different styles and playing different venues means also to be flexible with the sound of my drumkit. Canopus has some great new muffling system I brought from my trip. It gives me the opportunity to muffle my drums in three different ways with very easy adjustment.

Also I brought this bassdrum muffle which is very hip. It is kind of a prototype and not officially available.

One thing I really love about Japan and found quite amazing: In almost every deli, warehouse, restaurant or coffee place you can listen to great jazz music. I often found myself just watching the world go by and listening to great music at those spots.


Watch out!

Watch out!

Hot Coffee on demand.

Hot Coffee on demand.

Benedikt Hesse

Drummer, bandleader, and educator Benedikt Hesse is based in Cologne, Germany.

Early in his career, he made a musical pilgrimage to New York and New Orleans to study American styles at their source with some of their greatest masters including Johnny Vidacovich and Adam Deitch. His career now reflects the investment he made to delve into each of his many musical interests, having toured internationally with the musical Dirty Dancing, Roamin’ Jasmine, and Terrence Ngassa.

Benedikt remains firmly rooted in his hometown of Cologne, maintaining a decade-plus tenure with the acclaimed Haenneschen Theatre, running his own drumming school, and cultivating original projects like Cubanola and the organ trio Hesse/Koerner/Petrov.