Former DREAM THEATER Drummer MIKE MANGINI Returns With Exclusive Masterclass Series

January 2, 2024

Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Mangini is thrilled to announce a special masterclass series, marking his return to in-person educational sessions after more than a decade-long hiatus. With a passion for sharing knowledge and fostering musical growth, the Grammy-winning drummer, composer, and music educator invites aspiring drummers and all musicians to participate in a unique opportunity to learn directly from one of the industry's most accomplished talents.

In masterclass sessions, students can address their challenges and questions, receiving personalized guidance from Mike, while learning from his solving others' challenges leveraging his expertise. Mangini provides tailored solutions, while fast-tracking technical and musical goals. This exclusive opportunity promises to equip attendees with exceptionally fast skills growth, offering valuable insights for a significant impact on their musical journey. This premier educational event utilizes Mike's Rhythm Knowledge solutions protocols, ensuring your journey to require significantly less time and work.

Mike sold out his first two classes at Drum Center Portsmouth and Bosse Music School and will be conducting more masterclasses throughout January and February of 2024. Due to the intimate nature of these sessions, spots are limited, and interested participants in Mike's January 9, 2024 Long Island Drum Center appearance are encouraged to reserve a spot today at

Masterclass dates:

Jan. 09 - Long Island Drum Center - Hicksville, NY
Jan. 18 - Mark's Music - Brewer, ME
Feb. 17 - Badges Drum Shop - Cincinnati, OH
Feb. 19 - Nstuff Music - Pittsburg, PA
Feb. 21 - Parkway Music - Clifton Park, NY

More dates throughout the country will be announced soon.

Mangini's commitment to education is evident in his past role as part of Berklee College Of Music's percussion faculty earning a top 1% national student evaluation rating, as well as his achievements as top tier clinician for both Pearl and Zildjian. His Rhythm Knowledge instructional materials on Vimeo and via his store, including award-winning DVDs like "The Grid" showcase his dedication to advancing drumming education.

Mangini joined DREAM THEATER in late 2010 through a widely publicized audition following the departure of Mike Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER 38 years ago. Mangini beat out six other of the world's top drummers — Marco Minnemann, Virgil Donati, Aquiles Priester, Thomas Lang, Peter Wildoer and Derek Roddy — for the gig, a three-day process that was filmed for a documentary-style reality show called "The Spirit Carries On".

Mangini made his name in the hard rock world in the mid-1990s when he played with EXTREME, before landing the gig with guitar legend Steve Vai in 1996. Nearly a decade later, Mangini took up a full-time teaching position at the world-renowned Berklee College Of Music.

In a recent interview with Brazil's Ibagenscast, Mangini was asked "how proud" he is of the "legacy" that he built with DREAM THEATER during his 13-year stint with the progressive metal band. He said in part: "Very. I'm so happy to have been a part of the lives of so many musicians, especially in a way where it's all good, where the vibe is positive. How fortunate am I? I went surfing for a while. That's what I did. So, yeah, how great is that? And I can look at the Grammy [I won as a member of DREAM THEATER for the song 'The Alien'] and say, 'Ah, I remember working on the grooves for that [track] four years, four or five years ahead.' In fact, I think I sent a drum demo to Jordan [Rudess, DREAM THEATER keyboardist] years ago. It was that, that riff, that thing, and it became 'The Alien'… It's one of those things that occurs and, yeah, it happens. And then you just go, 'Oh, well, that was nice. Cool.' And look at it for what it is and then move on to what's happening now."

In early November, Mangini told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about his exit from DREAM THEATER and the return of Portnoy: "All I know is the decision was made and when I heard it, all I pictured was, 'Oh, this is an original guy going back to his band. Uh, okay. All right. Let's go to the next thing.' It was nothing more. I was told. It was just nothing more than — it seemed so simple to me. And maybe intuitively it's, like, 'Oh yeah, I get it.' And that was that. That's really it… So that's really the crux of it all is it was an easy thing for me to understand. And then once the news hit and it became real, which is when it set in, because once I knew about it, I just got busy. I was, like, 'Okay, I've got all these videos to finish.'"

The 60-year-old Mangini continued: "I'm actually doing like a lot of stuff for my [recently released solo] album. I'll do some drum playthroughs. Not to yap and yap and yap about it, but I have a lot on my cork board and my lists and things to do and things to accomplish and things to complete. There's so much there I haven't been able to do. But once it hit and it became real, it was real quick for me. I'm, like, 'Okay, I get it.'"

When host Eddie Trunk noted that everything about his exit from DREAM THEATER, from the way it was handled to the fans' response to Mike's attitude about it, was "about as good as it could be," Mangini concurred. "It is as good as it could be," Mike said. "I think people are where they need to be. It's, like, there's stuff to do, there's places to be, there's people to see, there are things to accomplish and roles to fulfill and tasks to do. And that's what it is. That's really what it is.

"How lucky am I, how fortunate am I to be just a part of that history, to have all this amazing stuff happen?" he continued. "It's positive, positive, positive.

"I know I've accomplished some things with my career, and I've had a lot of struggles and a lot of things that didn't work or whatever, but for my parents to be in their 90s, to see this happen, and I'm not talking about career stuff; I'm talking about how I've treated people and how they treat me. I mean, I think that's what I want for my kids — I wanna feel well about how they are with people and how people treat them at the end of the day. I think that's just awesome."

When Portnoy's return to DREAM THEATER was first announced on October 25, Mangini said in a statement: "I understand DREAM THEATER's decision to get Mike Portnoy back at this time. As was said from Day 1, my place was not to fill all the roles that Mike held in the band. I was to play the drums in order to help the band carry on. My main role of keeping our live show working tightly on a nightly basis was an intense and rewarding experience. Thankfully, I got to experience playing music with these iconic musicians, as well as some fun times laced with humor. I also really enjoyed spending lots of time with the crew. And then there's the Grammy win, which was amazingly satisfying. To the fans: thank you so much for being amazing to me. I cherish the pictures I have of you all losing your minds and having fun. Finally, I really love the band, crew and management and wish them and the entire organization all the best."

Mangini released his debut solo album, "Invisible Signs", on November 11. Accompanying Mangini on the LP are Tony Dickinson on bass, Ivan Keller on guitar, Gus G. (FIREWIND, OZZY OSBOURNE) on lead guitar and former EVANESCENCE guitarist Jen Majura on vocals.

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