RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Industry News — September 2022

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Sep 26, 2022

    Pearl Larissa YeePEARL
    “Musicians Making a Difference” College Scholarship Recipients 
    In May 2021, Pearl Corporation announced the opening of a new college scholarship, “Musicians Making A Difference,” awarding two $5,000 scholarships annually to high school musicians who have demonstrated the ability to impact positive change in their community. After careful review from a diverse panel of Pearl staff and artists, Pearl is proud to award this year’s scholarships to Amy Hwang and Larissa Yee.

    "I am beyond grateful to be a recipient of the 2022 Musicians Making a Difference Scholarship,” says Amy. “The scholarship will be invaluable in paying for my college and conservatory education and allow me to focus on becoming a better musician and person. Thank you so much to Pearl Drums for supporting musicians who are passionate about giving back to their community!"

    “I am honored and beyond grateful to be selected as a recipient of the Musicians Making a Difference Scholarship,” says Larissa. “Music has been an important part of my life since I began learning the violin in first grade, and as I begin college at the University of California, Berkeley this Fall, I plan on staying involved in musical ensembles and student organizations.”

    RBI Eric SandsRBI MUSIC
    Eric Sands Named National Sales Manager
    Rhythm Band Instruments, LLC, has announced that Eric Sands has been named National Sales Manager for RBI Music. Eric will be responsible for domestic sales and sales administration for all RBI Music brands including Toca, Silvertone, Grover Pro, Boomwhackers, Vintage, Aulos, and Big Joe.

    Previously, Eric worked as Sales Manager–Americas for Positive Grid, National Sales Manager for Orange Amplifiers, and District Sales Manager for Korg USA. “Eric’s experience working with dealers, key accounts, and rep firms are a perfect fit for us. He will help us to move forward, build great relationships, and grow the market for our brands,” said Brad Kirkpatrick, President, and CEO of RBI Music.”

    Eric added, “I look forward to working with the team and great brands at RBI Music while providing excellent support for our dealer partners.”

    For more information, visit

    Toca Mary KnyshTOCA
    Partnership with Mary Knvsh for “Inclusive Music Circles”
    Toca Percussion is pleased to announce a teaching and product arrangement with Mary Knysh, the founder of Rhythmic Connections, an innovative company advancing education, health, community building, and creative development through drum circles and music improvisation She has traveled the world for over 35 years inspiring participants to tap into healing and human potential through the transformative power of music. Mary is also a professional musician, recording artist, and published author who works with people of all ages. A sought-after facilitator, trainer, and Orff Schulwerk clinician Mary has long been an endorser of Rhythm Band Instruments, the parent company of Toca Percussion.

    Since the release of the Toca Freestyle II line of drums, Mary has increasingly used these instruments as part of her repertoire. And with those Toca products as a base, she has created a curriculum course designed for music educators, music therapists, and drum circle facilitators to develop and practically apply methods, techniques, and practices for leading and engaging students Pre-K to Grade 5 in creative music performance circles that emphasize improvisation, responsive musicianship, social emotional awareness, student leadership, and community building using body, percussion, voice, drums, and small percussion. 

    Central to this course is a World Drumming Kit anchored by Freestyle II Nesting Djembes and Tom-Toms, Toca’s Flex Drums, Egg Shakers, and an assortment pitched tubes from Toca’s sister company, Boomwhackers.

    For more information, visit

    Rubén Blades Percussion Section Added to Artist Roster

    Toca Jose Daniel Raul

    Toca Percussion is pleased to announce the signing of three percussionists playing with one of the most iconic performers in the salsa and Latin jazz genres, the world renown musician, composer, actor, and activist, Rubén Blades.

    Jose Ramon Guerra is a percussion teacher and school band instructor as well as a percussionist and chorus musician with more than 25 years of experience. He has been involved with the Orquesta Sociedad Anónima for more than 15 years, accompanying international musicians such as Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, Larry Harlow, Danny Rivera, and many more. He is currently a percussionist (conguero) and chorus member of the Roberto Delgado Orchestra, which accompanies Master Rubén Blades. He won two Latin Grammys in 2021 with Blades. 

    Daniel Jimenez has shared the stage with and accompanied international artists in the Salsa and Latin scene such as Wichy Camacho, Ricky Luis (N’klave), Frankie Vasquez, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and many others. In 2014, he won first place in the El Rey del Timbal contest, and in 2015, he won first place at the La Fiesta del Tambor in the drums category. From 2015–19, he directed his first musical project along with other colleagues and musical friends called MecaniK InformaL. That group combined Salsa, Cuban Timba, and the urban sounds of Panamanian reggae music. Currently he is the drummer of the Roberto Delgado Orchestra, the backing band for Rubén Blades. He won two Latin Grammys in 2021 with Blades. 

    Raúl “Toto” Rivera is a professional percussionist from Panama who has been performing with Rubén Blades since 2015. Previous to scoring that gig, Raúl has performed with a such salsa and Latin jazz artists as Ismael Miranda, Cheo Feliciano, Pedro Arroyo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Celia Cruz, Tito Nieves, La India, Víctor Vítin Paz & Big Band, and many more. During his time with Rubén Blades, he has received five Latin Grammy awards and two Grammy awards. “

    For more information, visit

  • Industry News – July 2022

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jul 25, 2022

    HLAG Perseverance AwardHIT LIKE A GIRL
    2022 Winners and Honors
    Hit Like a Girl has officially announced the winners of the 2022 Hit Like a Girl contest. The announcement marks the culmination of this year's celebration of drumming and beatmaking that featured hundreds of participants from dozens of countries around the world and players of nearly every age. The complete results are now on the website.

    “Thanks to our sponsors, judges, and management team, our organization was able to make more than 200 individual awards in the main, regional, weekly, and mini-contests,” comments HLAG Executive Director, David Levine. “This is a testament to the growth of our movement and the impact the female community is making on drumming.”

    In addition, Hit Like a Girl has presented a special “Perseverance” Award to the seven Ukrainian drummers who, despite very difficult circumstances, entered this year’s contest. Working together with leading drumstick companies Vic Firth, Promark, London, Vater, and Techra, as well as drum education website Drumeo, Los Angeles-based drummer/educator Kristen Gleeson-Prata, and HLAG Ukrainian Ambassador Iryna Butko, the organization is sending an assortment of drumsticks and practice pads to the drummers in recognition of the extraordinary effort they made to represent themselves and Ukraine in the international drumming contest.

    “Perseverance” Award recipients include: Drumset 13–17 Age Group – Solomiia Yavorska and Anna Kolisnychenko; Drumset 18–39 Age Group – Mariana Sachyk, Anastasiia Arutiunova (aka Betty Kreg), and Alevtina Bystrik; Drumset 40+ Age Group – Anna Oliinyk and Oksana Dezera.

    Solomiia Yavorska wrote, “Unfortunately, in Ukraine it is not calm now, but I wanted to support my country with my participation.” Anna Oliinyk said, “Our drum school is currently closed but I remain in Kyiv. I don’t want to leave my home. For me, Hit Like a Girl is no longer a drum competition. It is an opportunity to speak about the situation in Ukraine.” Oksana Dezera wrote, “I used to live a carefree and happy life. I used to be woken up by the rays of sunlight, practice yoga, drink freshly squeezed orange juice, and take my dog for a walk. Then I would rush to my drum lesson. All this changed on February 24th.” Mariana Sachyk said, "Now I can’t play drums. I had to leave my home and could not even take my sticks with me. But I believe that in the very near future I will play again. I know that I will be back. Entering the contest is just my promise to myself that, despite everything, I still love drumming and I will continue doing it very soon.”

    In addition to a Drumeo membership and a selection of drumsticks, each drummer will receive a practice pad including a variety of D’Addario “RealFeel,” Vic Firth “Galaxy” and “Graffiti,” and Drumeo’s “QuietKick” and “P4” models. Hit Like A Girl also thanks the Ukrainian drum schools and instructors, including Victor Gerchev, SkySticks, Drumart, Drum Music, Mann Drum School, Afrikan Drum School, and Alex Kasiarum for their support.

  • Industry News — June 2022

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jun 15, 2022

    New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Official Drums
    Drum Workshop Inc. (DW) in conjunction with Latin Percussion (LP) are delighted to be gear support sponsors for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Jazz Fest) 2022.

    Jazz Fest takes place over two weekends, April 29 to May 1, and May 5–8, 2022, at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana. The inaugural event had a modest audience of hundreds. Today, the event is one of the nation’s largest spectaculars with an annual attendance of over half a million.

    Over the half century, many globally renowned artists have played DW and LP instruments at the festival, with this year being no exception. Announced acts include The Who (Zak Starkey), Stevie Nicks (Drew Hester), Death Cab for Cutie (Jason McGerr), Jimmy Buffett (Roger Guth), Elvis Costello (Peter Thomas), Trombone Shorty (Joey Peebles/Weedie Braimah), Galactic (Stanton Moore/Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph), The Avett Brothers (Mike Marsh), Chris Isaak (Raphael Padilla), Antonio Sánchez, Boz Scaggs (Branlie Mejias), Erykah Badu (Frank Moka), and many others.

    “The rich heritages of DW, LP, and the Jazz Fest fit together perfectly,” said Juels Thomas (Education & Events Manager for DW Brands). “We’re proud to help support both the wealth of musical talent that the Fest showcases and the amazing krewe behind the scenes." 

    To find out more about Jazz Fest, visit To find out more about DW and its products, visit To find out more about LP, visit

    Pearl Boston CrusadorsPEARL/ADAMS 
    Boston Crusaders Partners with Pearl/Adams
    Pearl Corporation and Adams Musical Instruments are proud to welcome the Boston Crusaders to its roster of World Class Drum Corps beginning in the 2022 tour season.

    “The Crusaders have a long tradition of design and performance excellence that continually pushes the boundary of musical and artistic achievement,” says Shawn Lafrenz, Senior Marketing Manager for Pearl Corporation. “The legendary performance, tonal projection, and durability of Pearl and Adams instruments are a perfect match for the high demands of excellence that BAC arrangers, designers, and performers expect on and off the field.” 

    “Having just celebrated its 75th Anniversary, the Pearl Corporation is a perfect match for the Boston Crusaders,” said Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director Chris Holland. “The legendary quality of Pearl/Adams instruments and their commitment to innovation will help us bring fresh, new musical sounds and ideas to life. Thanks to this partnership, our students will have access to high-quality instruments, allowing Inspire Arts & Music to expand our local programming to more students than ever before.”

    The 2022 Boston Crusaders instrumentation will feature Pearl Championship Maple Series battery, Adams Endurance Series keyboards, and Adams Percussion. Learn more at

    PD Drew McKeonPORTER & DAVIES 
    Ed Sheeran, Olivia Rodrigo, and Wolf Alice Tours Use Porter & Davies
    Porter & Davies are delighted to welcome new additions to their family: Joel Amey of Wolf Alice, Jack Lawrence-Brown with White Lies, Ashton Irwin of 5 Seconds of Summer, and many more.

    Joel Amey, of multi-award-winning band Wolf Alice, has recently purchased three BC2s. This light, portable, and tough tactile monitor allows him to feel and experience what he plays with unparalleled response and sensitivity.

    Jack Lawrence-Brown, drummer with arena band White Lies and Ashton Irwin drummer with 5 Seconds of Summer also now use BC2s. Others include, Ben Barter (Lorde), Mikey Randon (Bruce Foxton), Drew McKeon (Michael Bolton), Børge Fjordheim (session drummer), Jeremy Hoenig (Melvin Seals), Bruce Briggz (Cirque Du Soleil), Dave Anderson (The South) and Ben Anderson (North to Nashville), who also purchased a Porter & Davies Gigster.

    Mark Pusey, long-term session drummer for Ed Sheeran, will be joining him on his world tour. The production team purchased the BC2rm for Pusey to use on the tour. It has the same features as the BC2 but has been designed in a 2U 19-inch rack-mount layout.

    Purchasers of TT6 Equipped Thrones, both round and saddle formats, include Chris Reeve, drummer for Avril Lavigne. He recently recorded her new album Love Sux and will be accompanying her on her world tour using his saddle throne. 

    Sean Moore of festival headliners Manic Street Preachers, Jim Macaulay (The Stranglers), Steve Rodford (The Zombies), and Gunner Olsen will also be using their TT6 Equipped Thrones for a busy summer of festivals and tours. 

    To find out more about Porter & Davies and to purchase their hand-assembled products, visit

    Roland 50 BookROLAND
    “Inspire the Music: 50 Years of Roland History” Book Released
    Roland is continuing to celebrate its 50th anniversary with the unveiling of the Inspire the Music: 50 Years of Roland History anniversary book. In collaboration with renowned publisher Bjooks, the 400-page, beautifully photographed hardcover book celebrates the culture, people, and technology that has shaped the brand over the past 50 years.

    Inspire the Music is a fun, engaging, and informative tour through evolution and revolution in beat making, keyboards, pianos, synthesizers, guitar and bass products, drums and percussion, music production, and more. Readers will enjoy more than 70 colorful interviews with world-renowned artists and Roland designers, discussing their relationships with the instruments and making music. The book offers deep insights into the worldwide Roland culture, and a timeline traces Roland’s history from its humble beginnings under founder Ikutaro Kakehashi to its current place as a worldwide leader in music technology.

    In addition to the people, Inspire the Music showcases the gear that inspired them. Gear fanatics and curious newcomers alike will enjoy illustrated stories about product lines, popular machines, quirky products, and more. Not only does this book open up the world of Roland to every music enthusiast, but it also explores the history of music technology and how it inspired the music itself over the past 50 years. Going beyond just products alone, this book is a visual story of the Roland brand and the world it created, with exciting new insights on every page, including a rare glimpse into the world of the innovators who helped design the gear that made Roland what it is today.

    Multiple chapters examine the evolving world in which Roland products came to be, and how their inventive and innovative approach to the art and craft of music led to machines that the world often didn’t know they needed until they had them. Inspire the Music tells the story of how Roland gear helped inspire entire musical genres, from 1980s New Wave to today’s EDM and hip-hop scenes.

    For more information about the products and people that have shaped music, visit Roland’s 50th-anniversary page at

Contact Us

Percussive Arts Society
110 W. Washington Street Suite A 
Indianapolis, IN 46204
T: (317) 974-4488
F: (317) 974-4499