Cygnus Exclusive: Modern Drummer Festival 2020 – A Tribute to Neil Peart

What else can I possibly say about the biggest influence on drums, philosophy, and work ethic in my life that I haven’t already said in the past, thousands of times? That of course, being Mr. Neil Peart.

That’s why I decided to let this post speak for itself through a few clips from the Modern Drummer Festival 2020, which was posthumously held in honor of this percussion Juggernaut.

In collaboration with Neil’s wife, Carrie, all proceeds from the show were donated to brain cancer research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the disease which claimed his life on January 7, 2020 at just 67 years old.


Interview Segments and Drumming Compilation

Let’s start off with a few words from the man himself, along with some incredible isolated samples of just a few of his live performances…


Lorne Wheaton

In case you’re not aware, while Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson traveled by bus or plane, Neil always rode his BMW motorcycle between gigs. The man usually by his side was Lorne Wheaton, his Drum Tech for some 15 years. Short and sweet, Lorne feels basically the same way I do. As far as he’s concerned, there’s very little narrative necessary in describing his best friend…

Lorne Wheaton: Neil Peart Drum Tech, close friend and riding partner.

The DW Drum Company

Neil first began using a Drum Workshop kit during the recording of the “Test for Echo” album, in 1996. He never looked back, and played DW’s for the rest of his career. That was an obvious choice for one of the best Rock drummers ever, since they’re the best fucking drums on the face of the planet.

Here’s a clip of DW Vice President, John Goode and Founder, Don Lombardi, expressing heartfelt thoughts as well as anecdotes about their experience with Neil and DW…

John Goode and Don Lombardi discuss a bit of their history with Neil.

I agree with John. I’d give anything to attend just one more Rush concert, to add to the 23 times I’ve already had the privilege of doing so, since 1979.


Closing the Festival

In honor of Neil, Modern Drummer magazine CEO, David Frangioni announced two new major awards that will now be given annually:

  • Neil Peart Lifetime Achievement Award”, which will be bestowed upon an artist who has innovated and furthered the art of drumming on a world-wide level over their lifetime and career.
  • “Neil Peart Spirit of Drumming Award”, which will provide a single up-and-coming drummer the opportunity to win a year of free drum lessons from a world-class instructor.
First recipient, naturally its namesake

Last but certainly not least in this segment, some closing remarks are delivered by Neil’s wife, Carrie Nuttall-Peart. Her deep love and pride for such an ultra-talented yet humble man come shining brightly through…


Explore more information about this member of all-time Rock royalty at:
The Official Web Site of Neil Peart
Neil Peart on Wikipedia

If it’s within your means, you can make a donation in Neil’s name here, to the facility who treated his disease:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – Giving


Although we’ve lost such a unique soul, his music, instruction, lyrics, poetry, books, and other art will live on in the hearts of his millions of fans, forever.

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