Percussionist Drew Hester has left Chicago. The veteran rock band posted the news on its website today (May 27), citing Hester's decision to return to his "primary passion of playing drums" as the reason.

Hester joined Chicago in 2009 as a drummer while Tris Imboden was unable to perform due to health issues. Following Imboden's return, Hester stayed with the band as a percussionist. He appeared on their 2011 Christmas album, 'O Christmas Three.'  He has also worked with Joe Walsh and Foo Fighters.

The news comes roughly two weeks before Chicago are to start a summer tour. They will headline dates across the country from June 13 to July 1, and from August 28 to September 16. They will spend the six weeks in between on the road with the Doobie Brothers. Check their website for shows near you.

Hester has been replaced by Walfredo Reyes, who has played with such legends as Carlos Santana, Steve Winwood and Jackson Browne. The band promises Reyes will "blow your mind, being a perfect fit for the touring band. In a short amount of time, he already fits the Chicago ensemble like a glove."

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