Joel Cummins Masterclass Recap

DIME Detroit welcomed Umphrey's McGee keyboardist and author of The Realist's Guide to a Successful Music Career, Joel Cummins, for a special masterclass on Friday, January 31st, 2020. Interviewed by DIME Detroit's Music Industry Studies instructor and Area Coordinator, Stephanie Belcher, Joel discussed his lengthy career as a touring and recording artist.  Joel also performed his newest Umphrey's McGee single "Suxity" with DIME Detroit students: Marquette Winston (Vocals), Cyrus Keshtkar (Guitar), James Balina (Drums), Casey Jaerling (Bass). Check out some photos of the event below!


Photo Credit: Donatella Pompeo

About The Realist's Guide to a Successful Music Career

About writing the book, Joel says: "During the Summer of 2017 I realized that, along with the rapidly approaching 20th anniversary of Umphrey’s McGee, it was also my own 20th year of working in the music industry. With that came a flood of memories about that journey. I couldn’t help but think about how much easier our path could have been if someone had just told me a few things along the way that seem pretty obvious now. So I decided to work with my friend and now co-author Matt DeCoursey to create The Realist’s Guide to a Successful Music Career. Loaded with practical and useful tips for musicians at all stages of their careers, the book includes not only my own input and advice, but also that of many well-known industry performers, promoters and entrepreneurs who we will soon announce as well. My hope is that what we have created can do exactly as the title says and act as a guide for others to follow their dreams."

Cummins not only shares insight from his 20+ years in the industry but the book also features interviews with musicians such as Huey Lewis, Susan Tedeschi, Chuck Leavell and Nikki Glaspie as well as impresario Peter Shapiro, UM managers Kevin Browning and Vince Iwinski, Sony Legacy VP of Digital Marketing Syd Schwartz and others. To learn more about Joel's book, or to purchase, visit

About Umphrey's McGee

The music of Umphrey’s McGee unfolds like an unpredictable conversation between longtime friends. Its six participants—Brendan Bayliss [guitar, vocals], Jake Cinninger [guitar, vocals], Joel Cummins [keyboards, piano, vocals], Andy Farag [percussion], Kris Myers [drums, vocals], and Ryan Stasik [bass]—know just how to communicate with each other on stage and in the studio. A call of progressive guitar wizardry might elicit a response of soft acoustic balladry, or a funk groove could be answered by explosive percussion. At any moment, heavy guitars can give way to heavier blues as the boys uncover the elusive nexus between jaw-dropping instrumental virtuosity and airtight songcraft. To learn more about Umphrey's McGee, visit their website at

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