About Chicago Drum

Founder Jim Moritz explains the beginnings of Chicago Drum:

Jim Moritz - Chicago Drum

In this interview with Nick Grizzle of DRUM! Magazine, Jim talks about the history of Chicago Drum

In this Drum History podcast, Growing Up Slingerland, Jim sits down with Bart Vanderzee to talk about his history with Slingerland® and discusses how he used that experience to begin making drums at Chicago Drum

I have a rich family history with Slingerland drums. My great uncle, Oswald Kern worked for Slingerland and helped my father, Jack, get a job at Slingerland when he emigrated from Germany to the United States.

Dad was with Slingerland for over 30 years. He was head of the woodshop there and he was with them up to the very end when they moved from the Niles, Illinois plant to the Algonquin, Illinois plant. Dad had European craftsmanship roots and taught me well.

During Slingerland’s heyday in the mid-1970s, I worked summers at the Niles plant while in high school and after school on the night shift. Talk about a sweet job for a high school kid who was a drummer!

Oswald Kern Working at Slingerland
Copper Strata Set with Chicago Drum Logo

I attended a local high school where I was taught drums and participated in a percussion ensemble led by Slingerland endorser/clinician, Jake Jerger. You could say the love of drums was always there and the family history with Slingerland made it all that much better.

With woodworking, cabinet making/finishing and machining backgrounds it was only natural to take the next step to form Chicago Drum. We have the knowledge, craftsmanship skills and the attention to detail that you won’t easily find elsewhere.

Chicago Drum is not a huge company in size but is quite large in detail, like our Slingerland badge grommets which we manufactured because no other supplier carries a correct style grommet. These grommets truly are “dead on” reproductions of the old Slingerland parts and that’s the kind of extra attention you’ll get from us!

Jim has the skills and foresight to create a company that not only upholds the traditions of the old Slingerland drum line, but also leads the way with innovative percussion products of impeccable design.

– Jim Moritz, President and Founder of Chicago Drum

In Memoriam

We were heartbroken at the loss of Jim’s father, Jack Moritz, on October 10, 2020. Jack was a wonderful Dad, friend, and mentor. He was very much a part of Chicago Drum, often coming to help out, or just to hang out in the shop. Jack was always free with his advice and his willingness to lend a hand, that was just who he was. We miss Jack terribly but are thankful for the time we were able to spend with him.

Rest In Peace, Jack
September 11, 1927 – October 10, 2020

Jack Moritz - In Memoriam - Chicago Drum
“It’s rare in today’s world to get such a combination of old-time customer care coupled with superb hand-craftsmanship. I really appreciate all you have done to make my overall buying experience so terrific–I can’t wait to play my drums and refer others to your wonderful lineup of percussion!”
—Russ Freed