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.
Jess Bowen is the drummer for the band Summer Set, formed in Arizona in 2006 with brothers John and Stephen Gomez. Summer Set has several well-received albums under their belt plus successful stints on the Warped, AP, and Dirty Work tours, and has had songs featured on shows such as “Dancing With The Stars.” Touring behind their latest album Legendary the band recently has been doing acoustic storytelling sets in addition to their usual high-energy show. Jess grew up in a drum-playing family learning from her dad and an older brother, both of whom played in local bands.
Jess cites as major influences drummers such as Sheila E, Dave Weckl, and Brad Hargreaves (Third Eye Blind). Jess plays SJC drums, Sabian cymbals, Vater sticks and Remo heads.
Starting out in Van Nuys, CA, Lia Braswell was playing with some of the most phenomenal artists around before turning 25. She started writing music and performing in Los Angeles with a band called Ostrich Eyes and she went on to continue in an art punk band called Peter Pants that had a major presence in the underground DIY scene in Los Angeles.
Along with the bands that she helped form, she also joined in on drums for touring projects such as White Sea, Therapies Son, Pageants, Only You, Gothic Tropic and James Supercave. After playing shows nearly every day, she found an opportunity to drum for Le Butcherettes. She recorded on the band’s 2nd LP, “Cry Is For the Flies”, and toured with acts such as Iggy and the Stooges, The Mars Volta, The Melvins, and The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group— playing shows and prominent festivals such as Coachella, Neon Desert, and Rifflandia.
Lia has toured in Israel, Europe, Australia, and the States multiple times. She currently lives in New York and plays for TR/ST and A Place To Bury Strangers as well as her solo projects in Los Angeles and in New York.
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.
Who better to judge our ‘Hit Like A Girl’ contest than a drummer who most definitely does not fit the stereotype of one who “hits like a girl?” Hayley Cramer is a rock drummer and songwriter who is indeed a heavy-hitter without sacrificing timing and groove.
For the last 3 years Hayley has held down the drum spot in the highly-acclaimed active rock band, Pop Evil, touring the world and recording with the band on their most current, self-titled 2018 release. The album’s first single, ‘Waking Lions’ reached #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. She endorses Gibraltar hardware, Zildjian cymbals, SJC drums and Vater sticks— on whose 2019 catalog cover she is featured.
Hayley is also known for being a founding member of the all-female British unit, McQueen. And has on occasion joined LA’s Camp Freddy playing with the likes of Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction/ Red Hot Chili Peppers) Duff McKagan and Slash (Guns n Roses) Billy Duffy (The Cult) to name a few.
2012 Hit Like A Girl Champion 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.
Nick D’Virgilio has had a long and fruitful career in the music business. He has played drums for artists/bands such as Tears For Fears, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Kevin Gilbert, Frost, Mike Keneally, Fates Warning and many others. D’Virgilio was also founding member of prog rock giants Spock’s Beard where his 20 years with the band saw 10 studio releases, multiple live DVD’s and many tours of the US and Europe.
Since 2007 Nick has been a member of the critically acclaimed band, Big Big Train. From 2010 to mid-2014 Nick was part of the Cirque DuSoleil touring production TOTEM where he was the drummer, lead vocalist, and assistant bandleader.
In August of 2014 Nick joined Sweetwater Sound. Nick’s positions at Sweetwater include “in house” drummer and drum specialist as well as vocalist, producer and engineer in Sweetwater’s world-class recording studios. He is also one of Sweetwater’s main web content providers.
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.
Dom Famularo has been traveling the globe preaching the gospel of drumming for over 40 years. An intense performer, Dom is one of the most respected solo drum artists in the world, with a career built solely upon his unique skills as a drummer, educator, author and motivational speaker.
He has presented master classes and clinics around the globe in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Columbia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Peru, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Russia, Israel, Serbia, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Costa Rica, Honduras, Puerto Rico, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Canary Islands and South Africa.
He has directed and emceed major drumming expos around the world, and has been one of drumming’s most sought-after private instructors for over 40 years. Students regularly fly in from around the globe for intensive study with Dom…currently teaching over 1,000 students from over 20 countries at his WizDOM Drumshed studio in NY. A major player in the percussion industry, Dom acts as Education consultant for Sabian Cymbals, Promark Sticks, Mapex Drums, Evans Drumheads, Hudson Music Publications, Wizdom Media for whom he oversees programs worldwide.
Currently Dom continues to travel intensively while working on several drum educational products as well as his series of motivational books.
“From behind the drum set, Vera Figueiredo takes her audience from the Brazilian rainforest into the clubs and concert halls of the world. Jaws dropped at her unique presence, approach, and distinctive licks.” (T. Bruce Wittet, Modern Drummer Magazine).
Nominated by Rhythm Magazine as the “Queen of Samba”, Vera has been a leading ambassador for Brazilian Music by performing at festivals, clinics and masterclasses around the world— appearing at Percfest Memorial Naco, Drum Ladies Fest and Percussive Art Society (Italy), Frankfurt Musik Messe (Germany), The Ultimate Drummers Weekend (Australia), Mendoza International Drum Fest (Argentina), PercuSonidos Festival Internacional de Percusiones (Mexico), AGP Drum Event (Luxembourg), Days of Percussion (Sweden), Drum Fest – Primer Festival Internacional de Batería y Percusión (Chile), Cape Breton International Drum Fest and KOSA (Canada) and PASIC (USA) as well as Brazilian festivals including PAS, Salão da Bateria, I Encontro Percussivo REC-PEC and Girls On Drums.
In 1990, Vera founded the IBVF – Instituto de Bateria Vera Figueiredo, which became one of the most important drum and percussion schools in Brazil. A couple of years later, Vera and IBVF created one of the world’s most remarkable drum and percussion festivals: Batuka! Brasil. Held in São Paulo city since 1996, Batuka! Brasil brings together the top drummers on the planet and has had fourteen festivals and two album releases.
Vera’s popular play-along book Vera Cruz Island – Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset was released by Hudson Music. She endorses Mapex Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads, Audix Microphones and Gope Brazilian Percussion.
Growing up in Curico, Chile, Fer Fuentes learned to love and appreciate the rhythms of her home country from cumbia and cueca to salsa and Latin rock/pop. In addition to being First Runner-Up in HLAG 2014, she has played and recorded with the Latin Grammy and MTV awards nominated girl band MammaSoul and toured through Europe and South America with LaBanda en Flor. Since moving to Los Angeles 4 years ago her exceptional skill and passion for music has led to tours with international artists such as Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony (on her South American Tour opening for Halsey) and world famous reggaeton artist Becky G. as well as spot dates with Thalia, Debbie Gibson, Indonesian pop star Inul Daratista, Jorge Blanco, Abraham Laboriel and Oscar Hernandez among others.
Fer currently endorses TRX Cymbals, DW Drums, Vic Firth and MEE Audio.
Drummer/composer Yissy Garcia belongs to the forefront of the new generation of Cuban jazz musicians. Her music shows a mixture of modernism and tradition, captivating both her audience and the critics, who can’t resist the groove of her drum playing. She has shared the stage with some of the greatest of all times, such as Omara Portuondo, Dave Matthews, Roy Hargrove, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Jane Bunnett and Joshua Bell. Since 2012 she leads YISSY & Bandancha, a quintet that follows the routes of Latin jazz, funk, electronics and Cuban music, and that recently released their debut album “Última noticia” and their first DVD “Descarga con Bandancha”. She is one of the stars of the acclaimed group Maqueque, comprised of six Cuban women and Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett. The group has earned rave reviews in performances across North America .
Growing up in Chicago, Illinois, Darryl Howell was exposed to a variety of musical influences from inside and outside his home. He began playing the drums at the age of 4 and credits the church for cultivating his love and passion for music.
Darryl’s first major professional opportunity came from multi-platinum R&B artist Avant and would forever change the trajectory of his career. Working with Avant opened doors and created new relationships with top industry professionals— leading to extensive touring and recording, most recently with world-renowned R&B, Pop and Gospel artists such as Maxwell, Camila Cabello, Nicki Minaj, Jonathan McReynolds, BJ The Chicago Kid and more.
While Darryl takes pride in his accomplishments thus far he remains humble and focused on furthering his skills while aspiring to create great music, not only as a musician, but as a band-leader and producer, as well. Darryl is the Founder and CEO of DLemar Music, LLC. and he is currently producing new music that is slated to be released during first half of 2019.
Darryl endorses DW Drums, Vic Firth, Gibraltar, Remo, Liberty Drums and TRX Cymbals.
Senri Kawaguchi was a child prodigy in Japan, starting on drums at the age of five and then studying under the famous drum guru Mr. Kozo Suganuma when she was eight years old. She began winning contests and appearing on Japanese TV in 2007. At the age of 12 she started performing with the fusion band Fragile and released a DVD Horoscope. At that time she also posted her first YouTube performances.
In 2013 while still in high school Senri released her first album A La Mode which received positive reviews in Japan. In 2014 she formed a new unit Kiyo*Sen with organist Kiyomi Otaka. Their release Chocolate Booster, also garnered raves. Senri plays Yamaha drums, Evans heads, and Zildjian cymbals and sticks.
Samantha Landa is a Canadian metal drummer based in Montreal, Quebec. Originally from Vancouver, Sam’s primary group is melodic death/thrash band Dead Asylum. She has also spent the last few years as a touring session drummer with bands such as Nervosa (Napalm Records) and Introtyl (Concreto Records) and has played in about 20 countries around North America and Europe.
Sam has been featured by outlets such as Sick Drummer Magazine (including their first live stream to feature a female drummer) and DRUM! Magazine, and is a contributor to Drumeo.com. She proudly endorses Mapex Drums, Sabian Cymbals and Los Cabos Drumsticks.
Marian Li-Pino is an American drummer and percussionist based in Los Angeles, California. She tours and records as a founding member of La Luz, a garage-surf band that hails from the Northwest. Additionally, she tours with folk singer-songwriter Lady Lamb.
From a young age, Marian found herself drawn to rhythm due to the constant rotation of swing, latin jazz, and classical music she heard around her home. At age 11 she began taking private lessons for percussion and from there joined ensembles and orchestras to further explore her interest in music. Her true passion laid in the drum set, which she taught herself by applying learned classical percussive techniques.
Throughout the years, she developed her sense of style by watching videos of other drummers and playing along to various albums. Her formal music lessons ceased once she entered the University of Washington, where she studied psychology and began collaborating with other musicians on the side as a hobby. It wasn’t until she finished school that she understood drumming was her true calling and dedicated herself wholly to becoming a professional musician.
After some years of playing in the Seattle music scene, Marian met fellow La Luz founding member Shana Cleveland and from there the band has toured the world, opening for artists Of Montreal, Ty Segall, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard along the way. They headline national and European tours regularly and produced their latest album with Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys, who named Marian as one of the best drummers he has recorded.
Marian is proud to endorse Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals and C&C Drums.
Samantha Maloney is known as one of the most respected female drummers in the music business. Classically trained as a percussionist, she is an alum of New York City’s prestigious Performing Arts High School. Samantha has played drums with Hole, Mötley Crüe, Eagles of Death Metal, Peaches, The Crystal Method, and Billy Ray Cyrus to name a few. Her musical talent expands beyond the drums to producing, composing, and contributing to soundtracks including the Oscar winning movie Black Hawk Down. As an actor, she has appeared in movies and on TV, including playing the recurring character “Sam” Showtime’s Californication.
Moving beyond the role of an artist, Samantha’s ambition has driven her to impressive levels of success in other areas of entertainment. In 2010, she founded a successful music management company in Los Angeles, eventually expanding its reach globally by partnering with the biggest talent agent in Europe. In 2014, Samantha was recruited to become Vice President of A&R at Warner Bros. Records where she signed and developed new talent. As a trusted executive at Warner Bros., she also worked closely with music icons Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart. Concurrently, she recorded and co-produced a 34-piece orchestra for Disturbed’s cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence,” which received a Grammy nomination and became their biggest selling record to date.
Most recently Samantha moved into an executive producer / creator role by writing the first ever interactive tv docu-series on Songwriter Hall of Famer Allee Willis, whom The New York Times has coined “The Most Dangerous Woman in The World.”
Natalia “Moty” Miranda
Natalia Miranda (Moty Baketas) es una baterista de Hermosillo, Sonora, que ahora vive en la Ciudad de México. Actualmente, como parte del proyecto de Yamaha México “She’s Got The Groove”, está jugando con Salmerón, Silent Lune, Mint Parker y MonteCoral, por mencionar algunos.
Natalia Miranda (aka Moty Baketas) is a drummer from Hermosillo, Sonora who is now living in México City. Currently part of Yamaha Mexico’s project “She’s Got The Groove”, she is playing with Salmerón, Silent Lune, Mint Parker and MonteCoral to mention some.
Stella Mozgawa is best known as a member of the indie rock band Warpaint, with whom she has recorded three studio albums. Alongside her work with Warpaint, Mozgawa has contributed to recordings by musicians Kurt Vile, Andy Clockwise, Adam Green, Cate Le Bon, Jagwar Ma, the xx, Tim Presley and Regina Spektor.
Growing up in Sydney, Australia, Mozgawa was raised by her Polish parents, who had moved from Poland to Australia to perform music together as a musical duo. “It would have been totally unnatural for me to not play an instrument in the family. That said, when I told my mum I wanted to play drums, she was like, ‘No f***in’ way!’ We managed to sort things out after that, though”.
Stella began playing the drums at age 13 and was initially influenced by the drummer Zac Hanson from the pop band Hanson. Later, upon joining the band Mink, Stella and her bandmates moved from Sydney to New York City, to pursue their musical career. She befriended Red Hot Chili Peppers bass guitarist Flea, who suggested she move to Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, Stella befriended Warpaint vocalist and guitarist Theresa Wayman and was subsequently invited to join the band. She was featured in the recording of the band’s first album, The Fool (2010). In 2014, the band released its second studio album, Warpaint, with Stella contributing fully to the songwriting process, followed by Heads Up in 2016. Stella appeared on the cover of the February 2017 issue of Modern Drummer magazine and, in 2018, she placed first in the Experimental Rock category of the Modern Drummer Readers Poll.
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.
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.
Hello everyone! My name is Yuki Ogawa. I am 14 years old and I’ve been playing drums since I was 3 year old. Last year, I was extremely proud to be selected as the under-18 champion of “Hit Like A Girl 2018”! This year, I am honored to be a judge for the contest.
Here are a few other highlights of my drumming career, thus far:
・2013’ CD Release : “Prologue” by Yuki Ogawa (Gekidan-Himawari “Asuka Monogatari” Stage music)
・2014’ Recordings : “Asuka Monogatari” by Tenchi Garaku
・2014’ 2015’ 2016’ Performance / tour : “Kyoji Yamamoto Sanyo tour” support drummer
・2017’ Recordings : “Yamato Mahoroba” by Tenchi Garaku
・2018’ I formed my own band “Big Bang Attack”
To all of this year’s participants: Let’s make the “Hit Like A Girl 2019” exciting together! Good luck and best wishes ! Visit me at yukidrums.com
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.
Austin, Texas native Lisa Pankratz drums for Grammy award winning artist Dave Alvin and his band the Guilty Ones. They are currently on tour behind their latest CD, a collaboration with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, called From Downey to Lubbock.
Lisa’s father is a drummer and she began playing percussion alongside him in his reggae band as a young teen. She also played on her own and performed on an episode of Austin City Limits while still in high school. After earning a degree in English Lit. from Rice University she moved back to Austin and began her drumming career. She was sought out by artists who wanted their country to shuffle with soul and their rock to have some swing in the beat.
When she began touring with legendary Dallas Rock ‘N’ Roller Ronnie Dawson in the early 1990’s she established an international reputation as a solid and exciting drummer. After a few years working freelance and in Texas dance halls for artists such as The Derailers and Hayes Carll, Dave Alvin asked her to participate in a project featuring many accomplished female musicians. This became a well received CD called Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women and a two year tour. Later Dave asked Pankratz to anchor his full time band, The Guilty Ones, and her style proved to be a great fit for his original repertoire of American roots music, from folk and blues inspired songwriting to sheer rock and roll chaos.
Lisa endorses Pro Mark Drumsticks, has been featured in Modern Drummer, Tom Tom Magazine and the book, “Women Drummers: A History from Rock and Jazz to Blues and Country”. Notable appearances include the Conan O’Brien show, The Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall and many clubs, theaters and festivals across the US and Europe.
Stephen Perkins was born in Los Angeles in 1967 and picked up his first pair of drumsticks at the age of 8. He recalls that his first public drum performance was at his bar mitzvah in 1980 in front of family and friends. It wasn’t for nothing because he was able to buy his first first drum set with his bar mitzvah gift money. During high school Stephen’s bands played shows at legendary clubs on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip including The Troubadour, The Whiskey A Go Go and The Roxy.
In the summer of 1985 Stephen started a band called Jane’s Addition with Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro and Eric Avery. In 1988, Jane’s signed a 7-record deal with Warner Bros. Records, released “Nothing Shocking” and was nominated for a Grammy® Award. The group’s 1990 album “Ritual de la Habitual” received 2 Grammy nominations and provided the foundation for the creation of the Lollapalooza music festival.
Throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s Stephen formed/played in several independent projects, including Infectious Grooves, Porno For Pyros and Banyan— later reuniting with Jane’s Addition for records and shows, as well. During this period he also toured and recorded with Tommy Lee and Methods Of Mayhem, Panic Channel, Strays, Hell Ride, Tabitha, Summer Moon and Drop The Needle. His session work included tracks with Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rancid, Rage Against The Machine, Love and Rockets, Cheryl Crow, Jewel, Dhani Harrison and many more
Known for incorporating world percussion and “found” instruments into his drumming, Stephen has appeared in many drum clinics, master classes and festivals, not to mention hosting the Guitar Center Drum-Off for several years. His newest project is a musical and theatrical experience called THINK EXP that is described as an immersive audio & visual journey.
A devoted father to his son, Stephen loves drumming, dogs, riding bikes, hanging-out outside and enjoying the sunshine.
Emmy Award winning drummer Gregg Potter, is currently the drummer with the sixteen-piece Buddy Rich Alumni Big Band. Gregg’s inaugural show was at the 25th Anniversary Buddy Rich Memorial Concert in England at the London Palladium in April of 2012. After leading the band through a sold out 2012 Summer Tour and a 2013 SRO Japanese concert series, Gregg was featured in the December 2012 commemorative Buddy Rich issue of Modern Drummer Magazine. In 2016, Hal Leonard Publishing released a first ever, Buddy Rich “Play Along” CD/ Book package featuring Gregg’s drumming along with the Buddy Rich Alumni Band.
Gregg began his professional career after winning the Slingerland/ Louie Bellson National Drum Contest at the legendary Frank’s Drum Shop in Chicago. While still a teenager, he landed the drumming spot with radio icon Steve Dahl and his band “Teenage Radiation”. Gregg performed on Dahl’s daily radio show, Emmy Award winning television specials, feature film soundtracks, daily morning television shows and live concert appearances.
Gregg played with national recording artists and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Members Joe Walsh and Rick Nielsen, among others, which lead to his first major label record deal with the band, SIREN. Recording, videos, and tours followed. SIREN’S first album, “All Is Forgiven” garnered two hit singles which received heavy MTV rotation and massive radio airplay.
Gregg continues to record, tour, educate and gain the respect of his drumming peers. He is a contributing writer for Modern Drummer magazine and will front the legendary Buddy Rich Alumni band in 2019 as they headline shows around the world.
Gregg endorses Ludwig Drums, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks, Aquarian drumheads, Gibraltar hardware, Tama Pedals, Slug Percussion Products, Trick Drums, Drumearz, SledgePad Innovations and Humes and Berg cases.
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.
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.
Sarah Thawer is a self-taught drummer based in Toronto, Canada. She started playing drums at age 2 and her first stage performance was at age 5. Sarah is currently freelancing, touring, recording and performing with international artists playing various genres including jazz, fusion, latin, gospel, funk, r&b, hip hop, indian and world music. She studied jazz and world music at York University and was the recipient of the Oscar Peterson Scholarship, the highest award given by the institution, in addition to graduating with the Summa Cum Laude distinction.
Sarah has shared the stage and played with many popular artists including AR Rahman, RobertSput Searight, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, Charlotte Day Wilson, Ruth B, Osman Mir, Shweta Subram, Jeremy Ledbetter, Salim-Sulaiman, Benny Dayal, Thompson Egbo-Egbo, Roger and Sam Grandison to name a few.
Sarah endorses Vic Firth drum sticks, Evans drum heads, Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, 64Audio, Gruv Gear and Prologix Pads. Sarah is also the Brand Ambassador for the company Remitbee.
Seattle-based musician Heather Thomas has music in her bones. The golden-voiced singer and head-banging drummer takes in the world and generates music— distilling the day into choruses and transforming emotions into melodies. And her prolific gift has taken her to stages around the world, performing from concerts and festivals in Europe and the U.S. to radio and TV shows including Good Morning America. Plus, she is committed to getting more girls drumming through her educational outreach at the Seattle Drum School and Mode Music.
While Thomas’ brightest billings have come as the drummer for the Grammy-nominated singer Mary Lambert (opening for artists like Sam Smith, Ariana Grande and Pharrel), she remains one of the most sought after performers in the Emerald City. Among her many projects, the multi-instrumentalist fronts her power trio, The Heather Thomas Band, performs many roles in her psychedelic project, General Mojo’s, and is regularly hired for studio sessions. For 2019, Thomas will take to the road, playing in New Orleans, Austin at SXSW and myriad cities around the U.S.
There are drummers and there is Sarah Tomek. With the rumbling authority of a John Bonham and the razor precision of a Keith Carlock, she has become one of the most in demand drummers today. Currently playing for Steven Tyler, and the fast rising Americana band Loving Mary, Sarah Tomek commands a front row seat in the new class of top tier musicians.
Calsey Tory, was born in Monterey Park, California. When she turned nine, she moved to Indonesia with her parents. One day, after attending a concert in Indonesia, Calsey discovered a new passion and since that day drumming became a major part of her life. Last year, she was chosen as the over-18 Champion of the Hit Like A Girl female drumming contest.
Calsey has won multiple competitions in addition to Hit Like A Girl, including PMC Indonesia 2013, Yamaha Guitar & Drum Competition 2015 and Yamaha Magnificent Seven 2017. She has also performed throughout Indonesia independently as a DJ and with Magenta Orchestra. Recently she returned to California where she enjoys performing as a DJ, percussionist and drummer.
Lindsey Raye Ward
Lindsey Raye Ward is a Los Angeles- based drummer originally residing in Prescott, Arizona. She started playing drums at the age of 9, and has pursued music as her passion ever since. Lindsay is well-known for her YouTube channel where her drum cover of Sia’s hit “Chandelier” has reached more than two million views. She has also performed with artists such as Tayler Buono, Ryan White, Oh, Be Clever, and Mint. She proudly endorses Truth Custom Drums, Vater Drum Sticks, and TRX Cymbals.
Driven by her lifelong passion for rock and extensive studies in jazz, Hannah Welton has a fascinating history, including her role as the rhythmic backbone of Prince’s 3rdEyeGirl, the legendary artist’s explosive four-piece rock band that also featured Canadian guitarist Donna Grantis and Danish bassist Ida Nielsen. Prince performed with the band until his tragic passing in 2016.
Formerly the drummer and vocalist of the Chicago-based rock trio The Hannah Ford Band, the Milwaukee-based crossover Christian band, Bellevue Suite, and her one-woman inspirational Peace Love & Drums multimedia show, Welton’s versatile performance history covers all styles of music, from pop and rock to jazz. She was a child prodigy who launched her professional career at age twelve by joining a blues band with her trumpet-playing father in the Windy City. Among her many awards she is the only female to win the Louis Bellson Heritage Days Drum Competition (2006).
Born in Louisville, Kentucky Welton took up drums at age 7. Through her school years she studied with some of the world’s greatest drummers and teachers, including Diane Downs (Louisville Leopards), Louie Bellson, Ruben Alvarez, Jerry Steinholtz, Ndugu Chancler, Peter Erskine, Stanton Moore, Danny Seraphine, Johnny Rabb, and multiple GRAMMY® award winner Paul Wertico. Hannah endorses Zildjian, Gretsch, Vater, and Evans products.
Jordan West is a drummer, vocalist, and songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA. She works as a freelancer and studio musician in addition to being a Product Specialist for Roland Drums and Percussion (and a former Hit Like A Girl contestant). On drums, her roots lie in jazz and R&B, but West is comfortable in all genres, from ragtime to progressive rock and everything in between. Her list of favorite drummers includes Steve Gadd, Steve Jordan, Elvin Jones, Mark Guiliana, and Chris Dave. As a songwriter and vocalist, she is driven by emotion, drawing influence from a wide array of musical interests – she listens to everything from Cher to System of a Down to Amy Winehouse to Herbie Hancock. Her original music has been featured on WBKE, WCRD, WBOI, 98.9 The Bear, and Indy In Tune radio stations, among others. She recently won a songwriting contest sponsored by Avid and Sweetwater Sound. In her own group, West utilizes her passions for songwriting, drumming, and singing simultaneously. She is also currently serving as the group’s manager and booking agent. The band’s self-titled album can be found on iTunes and Spotify.