I hardly know anyone who is closer to the real Moeller than Claus Hessler.
Jim Chapin, 2006
My father always spoke so highly of Claus, his dedication and technique. He thought Claus was great!
Tom Chapin, 2011
Photo: Jules Bartolome
Future meets TRADITION
In fact, the passing on of this ever-present drumming philosophy (named after Jim‘s Mentor Sanford Moeller) could hardly be in better hands – especially if Jim Chapin being the undisputed master of this technique puts out a quote like this. Besides being seen as “legitimate MOELLER TECHNIQUE successor” of Jim, Claus is mostly known for his unique OPEN-HANDED approach to drumset playing and has performed at numerous DRUM EVENTS across “planet drum”, sharing stage with players like Steve Smith, Alex Acuna, Walfredo Reyes Jr., JoJo Mayer, Johnny Rabb or percussion fame Luis Conte – also earning STANDING OVATIONS at PASIC, Indianapolis. SABIAN has also created the 18″ and 20″ HH GARAGE RIDE in collaboration with Claus, besides that he is endorsing MAPEX drums, EVANS drumheads, GON BOPS percussion, AHEAD ARMOR cases, the DRUMMERSHOE and COOPERMAN rope tension drums. He has also designed a signature stick with PROMARK, find more here and also here at this site. He also endorses CRS SYSTEMS, GRUV-X Percussion and the POLYNOME App. Together with PERCUSSION CREATIV, the biggest German-speaking drum association in Europe, he is pushing the network of drummers and percussionists.
Photo: Dagmar Rickert
MUSIC meets TECHNIQUE
Influences from World Music, Jazz and rudimental applications connect to a musical mix in which technique is always just a means to an end – and never dominating the performance. Besides his solistic work in clinic-like settings Claus has been performing in a variety of musical styles with bands/artists like the Grammy Award winning New York Voices, Barbara Dennerlein, Mike Stern, African Balafon great Mamadou Diabate, Sting’s Rhani Krija and Dominic Miller, Herb Ellis or Larry Coryell to his credit. Most recent musical activities include his work with FLUX: Run – Seven To Heaven – Thunderstorm ; OLIVER KRAUS ELECTRIC BAND – latest release “The Return of Don Arpeggio” – or STEFAN HERGENROEDER on bass: Die Achse – Löwenzahn. More on Claus’ YouTube Channel.
GROOVE meets INDEPENDENCE
Trademark of Claus’ individual style is a mixture of stunning technical skills, ostinato-work, a wide variety of musical styles and open-handed playing – bridging the gap between “just drums” and real-world musical applications. Here is a clip with Claus being part of SABIAN’s “Big & Ugly” Campaign, enjoy!
Photo: Jules Bartolome
FUN meets EDUCATION
His educational packages OPEN-HANDED PLAYING VOL. I + II (released with Wizdom Media/Alfred Publishing; co-authored by Dom Famularo and with prefaces by Billy Cobham, Simon Philipps, Will Kennedy and Kenny Aronoff) gained worldwide recognition including a FOUR-STAR review in the “Modern Drummer” and have been nominated “Best Educational Book 2013”. His book DAILY DRUMSET WORKOUT went to 3rd printing in less than a year from its original release – again being nominated “Best Educational Book” in the UK and with Modern Drummer Magazine. His double DVD DRUMMING KAIROS is one of the most comprehensive packages in drumset education, focussing on MOELLER TECHNIQUE as taught by the late great Jim Chapin in special. His next publication CAMP DUTY UPDATE with credits from Steve Gadd, Steve Smith, John Wooton, Vic Firth or David Garibaldi covers the rich historic side of our drumming heritage in previously unknown dimensions. His most recent publication TALADIDDLE (co-written with Claudio Spieler) focuses on the unexpected common ground between Indian/Carnatic rhythms and rudimental structures. 2016 Claus was also nominated “Best Educator | Clinician” with MODERN DRUMMER. In Germany, Claus maintains a busy teaching schedule including the University for Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt; he is also the first European drumset player to be honored with a DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR degree at KEIMYUNG UNIVERSITY in Daegu, South Korea and being announced DISTINGUISHED EXPERT at China’s oldest University SHANGHAI CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC. He is constantly contributing to the biggest European drum magazine DRUMS & PERCUSSION and is also writing for the MODERN DRUMMER (USA), DRUMSCENE (AUS) and PERKUSISTA (PL). His clinics feature an ENTERTAINING MIX of information, drumming and interaction with the audience – HUMOUR included. On special request Claus is also available for PRIVATE LESSONS – one-on-one and well as through SKYPE with students from Europe, the US, South America, Australia and the far east likewise.