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ACM were pleased to welcome US drummer Chris Johnson back to Guildford to deliver a masterclass session to our students. Chris visited ACM back in 2012, touring the facility and meeting students alongside Ryan Kilgore and Hannah Vasanth.

This time around however, Chris visited ACM on his own following the completion of the Manchester tour date for Rihanna in order to keep a promise he made on his last visit to ACM in December.

“I had so much fun (at ACM) meeting all these wonderful students. I’ll be back soon!”
Chris Johnson Drummer for Stevie Wonder

During the two hours masterclass session, the Yamaha and Sabian endorsed drummer, spoke candidly of his drumming career from humble beginnings drumming for his church (of which his father is pastor of), to his first major break in the industry, through to the first time he stepped into the studio to rehearse alongside Stevie Wonder and his band.

Chris also reminisced on his introduction to a then new artist who’s new single ‘Umbrella’ was predicted to make waves around the world. Chris had no idea that an artist called Rihanna would see him travel the world many times over drumming in front of crowds exceeding 80,000 people.

As well as playing a number of solo performance pieces, Chris also spoke about the value of timing as a drummer and the need to take every opportunity available as a professional musician including the value of the education provided by ACM.

“This (ACM) is on a whole other level compared to Berklee MI and your students should cease the moment and take adavantage of every opportunity while you’re here.”
Chris Johnson Drummer for Stevie Wonder

In addition, current ACM Performance students Luigi Cassanova (Bass) and Adam Amer (Guitar) were lucky enough to join Chris on stage for an impromptu jam, which Chris seemed to thoroughly enjoy.

ACM would like to thank drummer Chris Johnson for visiting ACM, speaking with students and sharing his experiences of life on the road as a session musician. We wish him well for all his forthcoming commitments and hope to welcome him back to ACM again soon.

More about Chris Johnson
With star studded credits that include the likes of Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, Seal, Mya, Patti LaBelle, Anastacia, Fantasia, Beverly Crawford, Norman Hutchins and Maze (ft. Frankie Beverly), drummer Chris Johnson has spent much of his career touring the world.

Chris is currently on tour with Rihanna as she undertakes a world tour of the US, Europe and the Far East.

For more information and to follow his tour exploits online follow Chris Johnson on Twitter.