Top Undiscovered Drummers In The Country Compete In The World’s Premier Drum Competition, Plus An Evening Packed With Performances By The Drumming Elite
The Legendary Steve Gadd will be honored at the Drum-Off Grand Finals with an induction to Guitar Center’s RockWalk
What: Now in it’s 24th year, Guitar Center’s nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer has chosen the 2012 grand finalists. Starting in August, drummers from across the nation signed up to compete in the world’s largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in cash and prizing as well as the coveted title of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion. After multiple qualifying rounds, five drummers will now go on to fight for the title and the grand prize package valued at nearly $50,000.
The annual competition was created to support talented drummers, providing them an outlet to be heard, giving them the gear and exposure they need to be a successful professional drummer. Past Guitar Center Drum-Off winners have gone on to have successful professional careers in music including Cora Coleman-Dunham (Prince, Beyonce), Tony Royster Jr, (Jay Z), Eric Moore II (Suicidal Tendencies), Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta). For more information please visit: gc.guitarcenter.com/drum-off-2012/
WHO: The 24th annual Guitar Center’s Drum-Off competition will host five of the nation’s greatest undiscovered drummers at the competition’s Grand Finals event. In addition to the competitors, the night will feature live performances by drumming greats including the legendary Steve Gadd with Pedro Martinez, John Blackwell, Gerald Heyward, and many more. Additional guest performers as well as the panel of celebrity judges soon to be announced.
Aric Improta (Hometown – Fullterton, CA)
Robert “Diamond” Johnson (Hometown – Gardner, KS)
Alphonso Lovelace (Hometown – Houston, TX)
Devon Taylor (Hometown – Fayetteville, GA)
Juan Mendoza (Hometown –Perth Amboy, NJ)
• Steve Gadd – A seasoned session and studio player, the legendary Steve Gadd is regarded as one of the most influential drummers of all time. Most well known for playing with Paul Simon, Gadd has also played with such greats as Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, George Benson, James Taylor, Kate Bush, Paul McCartney and more. Gadd will be honored at the Drum-Off Grand Finals with a special induction to Guitar Center’s RockWalk.
• Pedrito Martinez – The New York-based world class Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez is a mainstay in the Cuban Rumba style and a former member of Afro-Beat band Yerba Buena. Martinez has been featured on more than 100 records, six of which have received Grammy nominations.
• John Blackwell – A world-class groove master/drummer most well-known for playing with Prince, John Blackwell has also drummed for Justin Timberlake, Patti LaBelle, P Diddy, Cameo and more.
• Zigaboo Modeliste – Zigaboo is a legendary New-Orleans drummer for the influential and iconic funk group The Meters.
• Keith Carlock – Carlock has recorded and toured with such musical luminaries as Sting, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Diana Ross, Faith Hill, among others.
• Darren King – As the official drummer for the electro-alt rock band Mute Math, Darren King was nominated for a Grammy in 2007.
WHEN: January 19, 2013
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Showtime at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Club Nokia at L.A. Live
800 W Olympic Blvd # 335
Los Angeles, CA 90015
TICKET INFO: Tickets are available now for $15 including taxes and fees and can be purchased at
ADDITIONAL INFO: The annual Drum-Off competition was created to support talented drummers, providing them an outlet to be heard, giving them the gear and exposure they need to be a successful professional drummer. Past Guitar Center Drum-Off winners have gone on to have successful professional careers in music including Cora Coleman-Dunham (Prince, Beyonce), Tony Royster Jr, (Jay Z), Eric Moore II (Suicidal Tendencies), Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta). For more information please visit: gc.guitarcenter.com/drum-off-2012/
Guitar Center’s RockWalk is dedicated to honoring those artists who have made a significant impact and lasting contribution to the growth and evolution of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blues and R&B. Guitar Center’s RockWalk became a reality on November 13, 1985 with inaugural inductions including Stevie Wonder, Eddie Van Halen, Creator of the Gibson Les Paul guitar Ted McCarty, Martin Guitar founder C.F. Martin III, Marshall Amplifier creator Jim Marshall. Located at Guitar Center’s Hollywood location on Sunset Boulevard, all Guitar Center RockWalk inductees are chosen solely by past honorees. In this way, inductees are chosen by real “music authorities,” those who would best be able to gauge his or her contribution to music history.
As the latest inductee, Steve Gadd’s handprints will reside in the RockWalk alongside other accomplished musicians and innovators such as, Eric Clapton, George Martin, Jimmy Page, Iron Maiden, Carlos Santana, Johnny Cash, Van Halen, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Run-D.M.C. and Queen, among numerous others.
SPONSORS: Guitar Center Drum-Off is presented by: DW, Pro-Mark, Orange County Drum & Percussion, LP, Meinl, Roland, Gretsch, Pearl, Modern Drummer, Shure, Vic Firth, Zildjian, DW, Sabian, Remo, Tama, Evans