Just Add Drum Corps
– Janina Gavankar’s “Don’t Look Down” Features Drum Corps International
Indianapolis – Drum Corps International (DCI) recently partnered with singer/actress Janina Gavankar to produce her latest music video featuring full musical and percussive orchestration. “Don’t Look Down — #JustAddDrumCorps” debuted last week on YouTube and other social media sites along with a behind-the-scenes version detailing the video’s conception, preparation, and production. The videos garnered more than 70,000 views in the first week on YouTube alone.
Gavankar first fell in love with Drum Corps at age 13 while a percussionist in her high school band in Joliet Illinois, where she performed on a variety of instruments including marimba. Her percussion instructor at the time was a former percussionist with the World Champion Cavaliers of Rosemont, Illinois. He instilled in her the love of drum corps performance and the marching arts and challenged her to raise the level of her performance every day.
After beginning the audition process with the Phantom Regiment of Rockford, Illinois a few years later, Janina’s acting called her to Hollywood before she had the opportunity to earn a spot in the group. She has maintained her staunch support of drum corps and found the perfect way to partner with Drum Corps International to create a new genre of musical entertainment.
“Don’t Look Down – Just Add Drum Corps” reimagines the recently-released Martin Garrix and Usher collaboration and features the Jersey Surf World Class Drum Corps. The drum corps, which is based in southern New Jersey, is a group which enjoys a reputation for creating fun-loving and audience friendly entertainment with a performance excellence focus beyond the drum corps idiom. With its close proximity to Brooklyn and Manhattan where Gavankar lives and works filming NBC-TV’s “The Mysteries of Laura,” the corps worked quickly to assemble a 50-member marching ensemble comprising current and former members, instructional staff and friends of the program with immediate availability to work on the project.
Jersey Surf Director Bob Jacobs explained, “When Janina approached us with her vision to create a video that showcases drum corps against the backdrop of the benefits of performing arts education, we were all-in.” He continued, “Understanding there was an incredibly tight production timeline, we strapped-in for a wild and breathtakingly fast ride.”
In the span of less than one month, Gavankar’s visualization came to life with custom musical arrangements, recording sessions and spectacular lighting. With help from instructional staff and strategic partners, the ensemble rehearsed, recorded studio tracks, choreographed, and shot the video production on location in southern New Jersey, seamlessly melding the exhilarating world of marching music with the exploding world of electronic dance music (EDM).
Original artist Usher tweeted, “Blown away by Janina Gavankar recreation of #DontLookDown. Salute.”
Gavankar credits music and arts education with shaping her success, having studied classical piano and voice along with percussion and acting. She says having an arts education makes her stronger, every day, because she has a foundation based on an arts education. She maintains consistent advocacy for strong programs in schools and promotes the proven model that students who are exposed to strong arts education experience higher achievement levels in school as well as in their chosen vocations – regardless of the field.
Drum Corps International Executive Director & CEO Dan Acheson said, “Engaging marching music in such a groundbreaking and creative enterprise is an incredible way to emphasize the positive impact of the arts in education.”
When asked why she did incorporated Drum Corps into the video, Gavankar said without reservation, “Art for art’s sake. I love Drum Corps!”
Drum Corps International is the world leader in producing and sanctioning competitive events for the world’s most elite and exclusive touring marching music ensembles for student musicians and performers. For additional organization and program information, visit www.dci.org.