Just 21 years old, 2017 Hit Like A Girl Marching Percussion Champion Anastasiya Kostromina (aka AJDrumz) was born in Russia but raised in Brooklyn, New York, USA. AJ began drumming by teaching herself how to play snare drum at the age of 9 and eventually became section leader of the Drumline, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band and Orchestra at Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton High School. Later, she studied snare drum with former Blue Devil Pete Sapadin and drumset with George Gray (Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire).
AJ remains extremely active in the New York City drumming scene. She is creative and social media director for the arts & entertainment company “ChopUniversity”, a member of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets drumline and has performed at venues such as the Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theater, Tribeca Film Festival, Brooklyn Museum and Barclay’s Center. AJ’s drumming was featured in Tom Tom magazine’s Oral History Of Female Drummers, at the 2016 Kenzo and H&M fashion show and on “Play’n Drums” with renowned drummer/educator Dave Natal. Along with HLAG Champions Helly and AP Tobler, she was a featured performer at the Hit Like A Girl Showcase at PASIC 2017.
Today, her active schedule takes her all over the country playing marching snare drum with Performance Paradigm, an entertainment company that produces entertainment for major corporate events. She is a private teacher (in the NYC area and on Skype) and a clinician. She also plays drumset for a few artists in the New York music scene.
In addition to her musical skills, AJ is a talented photographer, videographer, online content creator and social media specialist. She also holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and an Associate’s degree in Business Administration.