Drumset Judges

Amanda Dal

2019 Hit Like A Girl winner Amanda Dal is a session drummer based in London, UK. Born in Sweden, her childhood was spent annoying the family with endless repeats of ABBA songs until she started playing the drums at age 14. She then annoyed them with metal music as well and eventually moved to London to pursue a career in music. After graduating with a BA in popular music performance she was awarded a scholarship to complete an MA and has since worked with a broad range of artists and bands.

Amanda has performed with Grammy Award winners Clean Bandit, toured with the hit musical “Rock of Ages” and Dom Coyote’s award-winning “Songs for the End of the World”. She has also recorded with some fantastic producers and engineers including Sean Read, David Holmes, Steve Lowe and James “Lerock” Loughrey.

Currently Amanda is the drummer for electro grunge artist Nova Hall and singer-songwriter Amy Fitz Doyley. She also works with blues-rock band Deep Blue Sea and is spending 2020 on tour with Ruf Records’ Blues Caravan holding down the groove for Jeremiah Johnson, Ryan Perry and Whitney Shay. Amanda is a TRX Cymbals artist.

Anika Nilles

Anika Nilles is a drummer and songwriter based in Germany. Her first EP, called Alter Ego, was written, recorded and released in 2014. Anika’s music can be classified as a mixture of Pop/Rock/ Fusion, but the most important element in her music is always the groove. Her use of the drum set as an expressive instrument rather than just a rhythm keeper allows for some extravagant playing without stealing the focus away from the music.

Anika’s playing style is distinguished by her strong groove, technical finesse, and her unique sound. This was well received with her world tour in 2015 as she travelled to various countries to share her music, which included performances at both PASIC and the London Drum Show in 2015.In 2016 she busied herself, among other things, with authoring publications for various esteemed drumming journals in the UK, USA and Germany, as well as producing her debut album Pikalar, scheduled for release early in 2017.”

Anika plays Tama drums, Meinl cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, and Evans drumheads.

Bunga Ardina Putri

Bunga Ardina Putri is female drummer from Indonesia. This girl is 13 years old now and has been playing drums since she was 5 years old. She likes playing rock, now she studies fusion and percussion. She has won several competition in Indonesia, such as Zildjian drum competition and many more. Last year she also won the HLAG drumset category Championship in the under 13 age group. She hopes HLAG always give spirit and inspiration to all women in this world.

“Thank you for choosing me and I’m so excited.”

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Camille Bigeault

Camille Bigeault is a 28-year old French drumming sensation from Toulouse, France. Born to musician parents, she started drumming at 13 and composing, playing guitar and singing at 15. Later, she studied drums in a conservatory with a teacher that taught her Jazz, fusion, rock, and metal styles along with double pedal, drum ‘n’ bass, different time signatures and various drum techniques.

She earned a drum award at the school and a jazz musicology degree, all while playing with multiple bands, including Xxelles, a female jazz-fusion band, and La theorie des cordes, a progressive jazz-rock band. She later joined the Genesis tribute band, Genesya, and, after she posting some of her mind-bending, polyrhythmic-based drumming videos on YouTube and other social networks, she was tapped to play in the French rock opera “Le Rouge et Le Noir”.

Since moving to Paris in 2018, Camille has become one of the busiest drummers in the city. She recently completed an educational video project with Drumeo and later this year she will tour with French pop mega-star, Jenifer. Camille endorses Meinl cymbals, Tama drums, Remo heads, Vic Firth sticks and Cympad.

Cathy Rich

The only child of drumming legend Buddy Rich, Cathy Rich’s musical career began almost at the moment of her birth. And, although she was born into a musical dynasty that has spanned nine decades, Cathy has definitely carved her own path in music history.

Cathy began her recording career at the age of twelve singing “The Beat Goes On”  live with her father’s band on the legendary album Big Swing Face. She then went on to have a successful career in singing, acting and modeling. At eighteen, while traveling the world with the Buddy Rich Band, she signed with the prestigious Wilhelmina modeling agency.

Since her father’s passing, Cathy has devoted her life to preserving the legacy she was born into. It was Buddy’s wish to keep his band and music alive and it has been her mission to make sure her father’s wish came true. Cathy created and produced the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert series as a showcase for Buddy’s music and some of the greatest drummers in the world. In 1995 she teamed with rock drumming icon Neil Peart to co-produce the Grammy nominated Burning For Buddy CDs and DVDs, which featured twenty two drumming luminaries and became top-sellers.

The next phase of Cathy’s career will be the launch of the “new” Buddy Rich Big Band, featuring award-winning drummer Gregg Potter and a fresh crop of today’s finest young musicians, that will record and tour in Buddy’s name. In this way Cathy’s father’s name and drumming, as well as his contribution to the music world, will live on and never be forgotten.

Cherrise Osei

Playing to sold-out arenas and global audiences, Cherisse Osei continues to work with legends as well as up-and-coming artists including Simple Minds, Bryan Ferry, Paloma Faith and MIKA. She has played the world’s top music festivals from Coachella and Glastonbury to the Isle of Wight, South by Southwest, Fuji Rock, Exit and Roskilde. Her visual flamboyance and rock solid technique make her one of the most sought after drummers in the UK.

Cherisse was given her first drums at the age of five – a pink Mickey Mouse kit from her uncle – and has been playing ever since. By 12 she was performing in bands and as a result exposed to many genres of music. Her fascination with drumming styles only continues to grow.

De’Arcus Curry

2012 Hit Like A Girl Champion and 2020 Spokesperson De’Arcus Curry was born in Jackson, Mississippi and comes from a very musical family. Her father plays multiple instruments, composes and produces and her mother sings while one brother plays drums and the other plays bass.

De’ started playing drums at church in 2007 and got her first major tour with Grammy Award-winning artist TPAIN in 2010. In addition to still playing for TPAIN, De’Arcus has also worked with a wide range of Gospel and R&B artists, including Glenn Jones, Tony Terry, Calvin Richardson, Bob, Cherelle, Klymaxx , Lil G (Silk), Chrisette Michelle and many more. This year, De’ will be touring with Grammy-Award nominee Janelle Monae.

Dena Tauriello

A drummer, educator and author with a host of credits and tons of experience, Dena Tauriello currently holds the drum chair for the new Broadway musical, “Head Over Heels”. The show, co-produced by Gwenyth Paltrow, features the music of the Go-Go’s and recently premiered in San Francisco. It opens at the Hudson Theatre in New York in July. Dena has also been featured with Rob Thomas  of Matchbox Twenty as a member of the “RT Quartet” since 2017. A studio album and tour are planned in 2018.

In 1998, Dena began work with New York City-based female rockers, Antigone Rising. The band was signed to Lava/Atlantic Records and toured constantly for several years. During that time, Dena and the band enjoyed many high profile gigs, including a VH1 Special (Listen Up), appearances on the Today Show and Tonight Show, A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts and Emeril Live and opening slots for the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Allman Brothers, Rob Thomas, Joan Jett, Cheap Trick, B-52’s & the Bangles. Dena’s other past projects have included studio sessions with Lisa Loeb and live shows with Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic/Talking Heads) and Kathy Valentine (Go-Go’s).

Dena is a Certified Drum Therapist with the DAD (Drums & Disabilities) program, a freelance writer for Modern Drummer magazine, clinician, private teacher and a former Adjunct Professor at Passaic County Community College. She endorses Pearl, Sabian, D’Addario, Evans, ProMark and Drumtacs.

Didi Negron

Didi Negron is powerful and versatile drummer who performs with the Cirque du Soleil worldwide touring show Amaluna. She enjoys having an influence on the lives of other drummers and has been a four-time judge of the Hit Like A Girl Contest, In 2015 Didi served as spokesperson for Hit Like A Girl. In addition to her touring work, Didi is a noted drum clinicians.

Didi got her first drum set for Christmas at the age of three. Ever since she sat at that white-pearl kit, no one has been able to get her off the drums. She honed her skills studying under jazz drummer John B from California Drum Shop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and with Terri Lynne Carrington, Dave DiCenso, and jazz legend Ralph Peterson.

Didi has a versatile creative, style of playing with the ability to fit a variety of styles from rock and jazz to Latin, gospel and reggae. Her self-motivated personality and dedication to music, along with what other musicians describe as a phenomenal ear, have made her in demand. Didi is endorsed by Vater Drum Sticks, Sabian Cymbals, Latin Percussion, Kickport, Gretsch Drums, Cympad and Roland.

Emily Dolan-Davies

Emily Dolan-Davies is an accomplished drummer who has recorded on numerous albums and toured extensively worldwide. Her professional career began in 2008 playing with The Hours, signed to IsGood Records, and she spent two years touring around the world. Highlights of those 2 years include playing with Bono of U2, recording an album with The Hours (See The Light), produced by Flood (U2, Nine Inch Nails) collaborating with Damien Hirst on the artwork and shooting a video with Tony Kaye.

In 2010 she joined Bryan Ferry to be part of his corporate band and also recorded on his album Olympia which was released October 2010 on Virgin Records. That was followed by tours with Tricky, XFactor artist Janet Devlin, jazz artist Emilia Mitiku, Becky Hill, Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins, and The Darkness. Most recently she has been working on her one woman drumming spectacular Feathers and Cogs: an alternative theatrical show, which premiered in London, in December 2015 and toured in 2016. Emily plays Yamaha and Zildjian.

Emmanuelle Caplette

Emmanuelle Caplette made her debut at age nine joining a local drum and bugle corps in her native Quebec. Ever since, drums have been her life. She won many awards as a young drummer and studied percussion at Drummondville College with Camil Bélisle, later studying at the University of Montreal.

She has performed on numerous TV shows and toured with several different French-Canadian artists in Quebec. She also appeared at major events such as the Cape Breton Drum Festival, The Winnipeg DrumTalk Festival, Drum Ladies Fest in Italy, TamTam Festival And The Bag Show In France.

In 2013 Emmanuelle joined ex-Police guitarist Andy Summers in his band Circa Zero, and since then has toured as musical director with Stephane Rousseau. In 2016 Emmanuelle announced a new venture in online lessons. Emmanuelle endorses Sonor drums, Evans heads, Vic Firth sticks, Sabian cymbals, Roland mixers, and Sennheiser microphones.

Faith Benson

Faith Benson is an award-winning, 17-year-old drummer and composer from Hawaii, now based in Los Angeles, CA. From her drumming, to her curly hair, and even her non-stop energy; everything about Faith is big and bold! She started drumming at 12-years-old, and shortly after, she and her three sisters formed the Alt-Pop band, Crimson Apple. Together, they have won many awards, released their debut album, and moved from Hawaii to California to pursue music.

Although Crimson Apple is Faith’s main focus, she is also very excited about writing, composing, and producing her own music, which she publishes to her YouTube channel, “faithndrums”. In 2017, she became the Hit Like A Girl Competition <18 Grand Champion with her own instrumental composition, “Aoi Raion”. Faith has also worked as a session and studio drummer for various artists, including HAPA, Aidan James, and Foreseeable Futures.

Faith is inspired by drummers such as, but not limited to: Anika Nilles, Matt Mcguire, and Steve Smith. She credits her mentor, Arin Ilejay, as her current greatest influence. For more information on Faith Benson: http://www.crimsonappleband.com.