6th Annual Drum Competition at Cactus Jack's Celebrates Outstanding Talent
Enthusiastic drummers from across the Music Maker Workshops community gathered at Cactus Jack's for the highly anticipated 6th Annual Drum Competition, showcasing exceptional skill and creativity. The event, held on January 27th, featured participants competing in three divisions, with Division I for beginners, Division II for intermediate players, and Division III for advanced drummers. Participants played one at a time for a judging panel in addition to an enthusiastic and supportive audience that filled the room. “It really makes for an electric and high energy afternoon, the excitement in the room is palpable and contagious!”, said events and marketing coordinator, Jess Magee.
In Division I, the top spot was claimed by the talented Oliver Twilley, followed by Evelyn Graff in second place and Tripp Lequin securing the third position. Each participant displayed a unique blend of rhythm, technique, and flair, captivating the audience and judges alike.
Elijah Santillanes emerged victorious in Division II, taking home the first-place trophy. Aedan McCarthy secured the second position, while Jeremiah Teeling showcased his skills to claim the third spot. The competition in this division was fierce, with participants demonstrating their proficiency in more complex drumming techniques.
Division III witnessed an outstanding display of expertise, with Eden Hartsfield clinching the first-place title. Madden Guimond earned the second position, and Henry Garvy impressed the judges to secure third place. These drummers showcased a high level of mastery, pushing the boundaries of creativity and musicality.
Adding to the excitement, the event featured a judging panel of esteemed drum professionals. Austen Mack from Captain Squeegee, Daniel Ybarra of Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, and Christian Rich (makes music under the name C.D.R.) who has played with bands such as Diva Bleath and Playboy Manbaby, all brought their wealth of experience and knowledge to evaluate the participants. Their insights and critiques provided valuable feedback to the drummers, contributing to the overall growth of the drumming community. About the competition, Christian Rich said, “The drum competition is an electric environment perfect for young drummers to showcase their passion. Thirty of the valley's best showed up on Saturday and every one of them gave it their all!”.
The competition also highlighted the diverse and vibrant drumming scene in Phoenix, with participants incorporating various styles and influences into their performances. From traditional beats to experimental rhythms, the event celebrated the rich tapestry of drumming culture in popular music. “This competition is such a special day for drummers! Oftentimes drummers are in the back on stage and do not get the recognition they deserve. Drummers are really the heartbeat of the band and it is an absolute pleasure to celebrate them each year for their own special, one of a kind, competition!”, said Ms. Magee.
As the afternoon concluded, participants, judges, and attendees alike left with a sense of appreciation for the talent on display and the thriving drumming community in Ahwatukee. The 6th Annual Drum Competition at Cactus Jack's once again proved to be a resounding success, fostering a spirit of camaraderie among drumming enthusiasts and showcasing the incredible talent that Ahwatukee has to offer in the world of percussion.
AFN Article by Jess Magee