RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Industry News — November 2020

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Oct 27, 2020

    Gretsch Heritage LogoGRETCH 
    Gretsch Heritage Show Airs on Drum Network
    Gretsch Drums has launched a brand new, live stream show called Gretsch Heritage, bringing to life the brand’s rich history. Every other Wednesday, each episode will feature special guests who continue to play important roles in the ongoing story of Gretsch Drums today.

    The first episode of the show, hosted by Lucas Von Gretsch, a fifth-generation Gretsch family member, is called “Alone on a Steamship 1872–1895.” It looks at the early history of the brand, focusing on the company’s founder, Friedrich Gretsch. Later episodes chronicle the legendary drum company’s history and reveal the challenges and successes of his ancestors.

    The special guest in the first episode was long-time Gretsch drums endorser Mark Schulman who has toured, recorded, and performed with some of the biggest names in the history of pop music including Pink, Billy Idol, Cher, Foreigner, Velvet Revolver, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Amy Grant, and many more. Mark is a prolific session drummer, a music producer, audio engineer, and co-owner of West Triad Studios in Venice, California. Mark joined Lucas for a live discussion about his career, influences, and history with Gretsch. A further guest spot featured one of the skilled artisans at the Gretsch factory talking about their area of expertise and answering audience questions.

    The Gretsch Heritage show also offers the opportunity to win prizes in the trivia question of the day. Check out the show information on Drum Network, or for the complete, up-to-date Drum Network show listing visit To find out more about the Gretsch drums visit

    Will Calhoun Credit Tim ShahadyCalhoun Joins Gretsch Artist Family
    Best known as the drummer of the alternative rock band Living Colour, Will Calhoun’s extraordinary creative vision and drumming talents have seen him contribute to many and varied music genres including jazz, rock, hip-hop, ambient, and much more. He is also a prolific songwriter and producer, has scored several films, and has performed and recorded with a diverse array of notable artists such as B.B King, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, Carly Simon, Herb Alpert, Ronnie Wood, Wayne Shorter, Run-DMC, and Public Enemy. Calhoun has released six solo albums including his latest, celebrating the great Elvin Jones. He is also currently working on a new Living Colour record.

    Calhoun recently took delivery of his Gretsch USA Custom Kit in a Custom Grain Yellow Gloss. His preferred sizes are 16x22 and 16x20 bass drums, 8x8, 9x10, 10x12, and 11x13 toms, 14x16 and 16x18 floor toms, with 6.5x14 Bell Brass and 6x13 Chrome over Brass snares.

    Will adds, “It’s an honor and a pleasure to join the Gretsch drum family and its legacy of great drummers including Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Charlie Watts, Mitch Mitchell, Vinny Colaiuta, and Bronx legend and architect of hip-hop Erroll “Pumpkin” Bedward. I’m looking forward to exploring and expanding many musical frontiers in my partnership with Gretsch, starting with my Gretsch USA custom drum set!”

    For more information about the USA Custom, other Gretsch drums, and Gretsch artists, visit

    Marching Percussion Contest Judges Announced
    HLAG has announced an exceptional lineup of judges for its 2020 Marching Percussion contest. The all-star panel features leading artists and educators from a variety of marching disciplines, including DCI, WinterGuard, BOA, and HBCU drumlines, as well as an internationally renowned drumset artist with strong Drum & Bugle Corps roots.

    The 2020 HLAG MPC judges are Sandi Rennick, drumline instructor and arranger for the 7-time DCI Champion Santa Vanguard; James Riles III, founder of The Atlanta Drum Academy and featured performer in the Drumline movies; Emmanuelle Caplette, award-winning marching drummer and world-famous drummer, teacher, and clinician; Raychel Taylor, founder of Girls March and past performer with Mandarins, Phantom Regiment, and Vanguard; Mark Perrett, Gold medal winner with DCI’s Division III Teal drumline and co-founder/author of the popular and influential series of GridBook drum method books and social media; Jamese Moses, HLAG Marching Percussion Champion of 2019, HBCU marching advocate, and a featured performer with “Find Your Rhythm”; and Nicole Casino, the first female “center snare” drummer for the 19-time DCI Champion Blue Devils, Berklee College graduate, and current featured performer for the Disneyland Resort.

    Contest entry in the <18 and 18+ age divisions opened October 1, 2020. For rules, schedule, sponsors, prizes and more, visit

    U.S. Distribution Deal Announced with Swedish Drumstick maker Wincent 
    Pearl Corporation, together with Wincent Drumsticks, announced a distribution partnership to grow the availability and awareness of Wincent products in the U.S. market.

    “Wincent Drumsticks is honored and proud to join forces with Pearl Cooperation as our high-profiled MI distribution partner for the U.S. This will ensure greater service, reach, and market penetration of the Wincent portfolio. It has been a goal to partner with Pearl Corporation and now it is a reality, and we will make every effort to satisfy the U.S. market,” said Dan Nylén, Founder and CEO of Wincent Drumsticks.

    Wincent Drumsticks was established in Sweden in 1992, with the stated goal to make the highest quality drumsticks, brushes, and rods. The sticks are manufactured using a stone lathing process with a unique wax protection applied that complements the feel and durability of the sticks. Each pair of Wincent sticks is butt-end branded with the stick size, so when you look down into your stick bag the various sizes are easily identifiable.

    “Last year we had a meeting with Dan, and our entire team at Pearl was blown away with their product” said Glen Caruba, Pearl VP of Sales and Marketing. “Wincent is a legendary European brand, but the hickory they use to make their sticks comes from Bowling Green, Kentucky. We tested and scrutinized the sticks, and player after player commented about how great the sticks felt and how long they lasted. We did not go looking for this opportunity, but based on the superior quality of the product, it seemed like this is the right time for Pearl USA to get into the drumstick business,” 

    The Wincent product portfolio includes drumsticks, brushes, rods, mallets, and percussion accessories like practice pads, drum keys, stick grips, and tone gel. Pearl will begin accepting orders for Wincent products immediately and has inventory ready to ship. For more information about Pearl, visit and for more information about Wincent.

  • Industry News — October 2020

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Oct 21, 2020

    Marching Percussion Contest Announced
    Encouraging players to get off the sidelines and “Get Back in the Game,” Hit Like A Girl has announced that its revamped and rescheduled Marching Percussion contest will open for entries on October 1. The HLAG Marching contest follows the highly successful international and regional drum set and beat-making contests that were held earlier this year and has been shifted to the fall to increase its prestige and participation. The contest is open to female snare drummers in the Under 18 and 18-Plus age divisions, with solo and cover videos accepted through October 19. 

    HLAG 2020 Marching Percussion contest judges feature such leading artists and educators = as Sandi Rennick, Julie Davila, Raychel Taylor, and Mark Perrett, plus former Hit Like A Girl Champions AJ Kostromina and Jamese Moses. Among this year’s prizes are marching snare drums from Ludwig and Pearl along with Vic Firth, Vater, and Innovative Percussion drumsticks and Remo drumheads. Scholarships and educational material from Girls March and GridBook as well as exclusive performance opportunities will also be awarded to the champions and winners when they are named in November.

    To learn more and enter, visit

    Livestream with Daru Jones Now on Drum Network
    Pacific Drums and Percussion (PDP) is launching a new live-stream show with Grammy Award-winning drummer Daru Jones. PDP’s “Get It Started” is the place for drummers looking to take their music career to the next level. The live stream will include a wide range of topics and offer viewers an opportunity to ask related questions to the host on each monthly broadcast. Jones and his guests will share their insights, personal experiences, and years of recording and performing expertise. The genre-bending beat maker will also answer individual questions to help drummers hone their skills behind the kit and beyond.

    Two-time Grammy Award winner Daru Jones, a longtime PDP & DW Drums artist, is one of the most respected drummers of his generation. He has toured and recorded with renowned artists including Jack White, Pete Rock, Gloria Gaynor, Pee Wee Ellis, Queen Latifah, and many more. He has been a “go-to drummer” in the hip-hop scene for over a decade and is also a sought-after producer and boutique label owner, developing talent and releasing music through his RUSIC Records, imprint.

    “We're hoping to help encourage the current and next generation to go within and find your voice and look for ways to be authentic,” Daru commented. “I'm very excited to chat with you all and bridge the gap to educate on groove culture with some of our legendary and seasoned guests. Please come with an open mind and positive vibes, as we can use this outlet to help us all during these times.”

    To take part in the LIVE discussion, tune in to PDP’s Facebook or DW’s YouTube or Facebook channels at noon PST on the second Monday of every month. A complete schedule of all episodes and previous shows can be found on the DW Drum Network page.

    For the complete, up-to-date Drum Network show listing, visit To learn more about PDP drums, visit

  • Industry News — September 2020

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Sep 16, 2020

    MALLETECH Jim Bailey
    Jim Bailey Announced as Director of Sales and Marketing
    Malletech is proud to announce the hiring of Jim Bailey as Director of Sales and Marketing, reporting directly to Founder and Chief Executive Officer Leigh Howard Stevens. Blending over 20 years of experience as both a music educator and member of the musical products industry, Jim recently served as Educator Relations Manager for D’Addario and Company. In that role, Jim pioneered and implemented the company’s first multifaceted educator loyalty program, developed content for six diverse brands, managed strategic partnerships, and assisted in planning and execution of digital, social, and in-person experiences. These innovative programs connected Jim and the D’Addario brands to thousands of players and educators worldwide.

    Prior to his work at D’Addario, Jim established himself as an accomplished band director and instructor for the seven-time world champion Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. As a performer, he has played under the direction of Dr. Stephen Pratt (Indiana University), Raymond Leppard (Indianapolis, Symphony Orchestral), as a member of the Cavaliers 1995 World Championship ensemble, and holds a PASIC international soloist title from 1996.

    “I am beyond excited to put my skills and experiences to work for a company that continues to be the world’s visionary for keyboard percussionists everywhere,” Bailey said.

    In his new role, Jim will be responsible for planning and overseeing all sales and marketing efforts company-wide. His involvement will mean a sharper strategic focus and a refreshed approach to artists and influencer collaborations.

    Leigh Howard Stevens commented, “With the addition of Jim Bailey and the experience he brings, Malletech is well-positioned to expand our business and increase our market presence. I’m really excited to see what the future holds.”

    NATIVE INSTRUMENTS Native Instruments
    New CEO and President
    Native Instruments Co-Founder & CEO Daniel Haver and Chief Innovation Officer and President Mate Galic announce they are handing over NI to a new generation of leaders, appointed from within the company. Constantin Koehncke, currently Global Marketing Director and heading up the company’s Los Angeles office, will become NI’s new Chief Executive Officer. Robert Linke, currently Director of Sound Products, will take on the position of Chief Product Officer and President. Making up the new Management Board, both will step into their new leadership roles as of October 1, 2020, marking a new chapter in NI’s history. Daniel Haver and Mate Galic will remain at Native Instruments, actively supporting the company and its new leadership as Chairman and Deputy Chairman via a newly-formed Supervisory Board.

    This announcement comes at a time of strength for the company, with a string of highly successful releases from NI’s KOMPLETE Instruments and Effects division, and a financial year on course to be the best in the company’s 24-year history. Haver says, “Mate and I believe now is the right time to hand over the company to a new generation of leaders. Native Instruments today is in a very strong place, and it’s on this foundation that Constantin and Robert will bring fresh energy, continuing to deliver exceptional products. Their many years of leadership in Marketing and Products and countless successful contributions made them the perfect choice to lead Native Instruments into the future. It’s been a privilege for us to lead Native Instruments for over 20 years, and we’re immensely proud of what we have achieved as a company, as well as personally. Native Instruments will always be home to Mate and I, and we’re excited to support Constantin and Robert in writing the next successful chapter.”

    Formed in Berlin in 1996, Native Instruments pioneered real-time sound synthesis on standard computers with its first ever product, Generator (later known as REAKTOR). Daniel Haver joined Stephan Schmitt as a co-founder in 1997, and has led the company as CEO since. Mate Galic joined Native Instruments in 1999 and developed a symbiotic relationship with Daniel Haver. Since 2009, they have led the company together and their friendship, complementary skill sets, and relentless pursuit of innovation have kept the business at the cutting edge of digital music creation and performance.

    Over his 10 years with Native Instruments, Constantin Koehncke played a crucial role in positioning the company at the cutting edge of music creation. With a track record of building and managing high-performing teams—including NI’s Americas Marketing division in the company’s largest market—he’s created a multitude of high-profile campaigns and partnerships, leaning on his deep relationships with the global artist community and the wider music industry. Prior to NI, he worked as a publicist and journalist, and was an active DJ in London and Berlin.

    Robert Linke joined NI in 2006 and is currently Director of Sound Products, encompassing the company's virtual instruments, audio effects, and sound libraries as well as the flagship KOMPLETE bundles. He has proven to be a vital contributor in shaping Native Instruments’ outstanding product quality and variety in his 14 years at the company. Prior to NI, he worked for Mercedes Benz South Africa and was an active electronic music producer and DJ.

    Koehncke says: “The accomplishments of Daniel and Mate in taking NI to this point are extraordinary. They grew the company from a small group of passionate technologists in Berlin into one of most relevant brands in music technology, still driven by the same passion and vision that created it. It’s an incredible honor to take on the challenge to transition Native Instruments into the future. Robert and I are especially thrilled to work with and learn from our passionate, talented and collaborative team, and to partner with all of them to take the company forward."

    In addition, Tobias Baumbach, currently Vice President of Engineering, officially becomes Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and joins the new leadership team. Baumbach has served as interim CTO since January 2020, having made major contributions for over a decade as a developer and senior manager in the company’s engineering department. Lars Kröger and Tom Kurth remain key pillars of the organization, having served over 15 years at NI, most recently in their roles as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Legal Officer.

    Contest Winners Announced
    The OU Percussion Press is proud to announce winners of the OUPP Percussion Ensemble Composition Contest.

    The First Prize composition is “Cyclus” by Austin Theriot. Austin is a composer, vocalist, and pianist from Austin, Texas. His music has been performed nationally and internationally by ensembles such as Houston Grand Opera’s community outreach division (HGOco), KC VITAs Chamber Choir, and the Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble.

    The Runner-Up composition is “Emerging Victoriously” by Chris Prather. Composer and percussionist Prather graduated with his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and his Master of Music degree from Oklahoma City University. One of Prather’s goals as a composer is to shed light on social justice issues with his music. He is currently in the process of expanding No Justice, No Peace, an opera that shows a family’s struggle with police brutality, into a full-length opera along with Megan Prather and Kenneth R. Woods. The winning pieces will be available for purchase later this year. 

    PDP PDP Abe Laboriel JR
    Abe Laboriel Jr. Plays Concept Classic Series Drums
    The first-call studio and touring drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. recently visited Drum Channel Studios. While recording he discovered the retro-inspired PDP Concept Classic Series kit featuring plied European Maple counter hoops. The powerhouse drummer was also enamored by the sonic attributes of the 14- x 26-inch bass drum that accompanied the setup.

    PDP Concept Maple Classic bridges the gap between modern build techniques and vintage aesthetics. The 100% European Maple drum shells with matching counterhoops deliver a round, focused sound with minimal overtones, ideal for any studio environment. The three-piece kit is available with a variety of kick drum sizes. Bop configurations are offered with a 14- x 18-inch kick. The kits are finished in a range of understated satin lacquer finishes. Standard features include True-Pitch tuning, vintage-style low-profile die-cast Claw Hooks, Dual Turret Lugs, and Remo heads.

    Laboriel Jr. is known for playing oversized drums and cymbals, while harnessing the subtle nuance of their dynamic range. Commenting on the sound of the drums in his home studio in Los Angeles he said, “These PDP wood hoop drums are consistently killer! These drums are super versatile and great to record!”

    Laboriel Jr. grew up around some of the biggest names in music, with a father who is amongst the most influential bass players of our time. He made his live debut with Paul McCartney in 2001 and has played on every tour since. A highly sought-after session drummer, he has worked with Eric Clapton, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Lady Gaga, Seal, Chris Isaak, and many others.

    To find out more about PDP and the Concept Maple Classic kit and snare, visit

    PMC Virtually Connecting with New Drummers
    While the entire music products industry has faced changes associated with the global coronavirus pandemic, the Percussion Marketing Council doesn’t view these challenges as obstacles. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2020, Percussion Marketing Council’s leaders and members combined efforts, synergy, and creativity to not miss a beat when it comes to growing the market with newly created players and drummers.

    Making a direct impact with drummers through promotional opportunities and keeping the PMC’s educational programs moving forward was essential. This spring, the “Get Your Sticks Together” promotion, providing monthly winners with 12 free half-hour drum lessons at a music retailer’s teaching studio, was quickly expanded to include online drum lessons if the music store was closed because of Coronavirus mandates.

    As the COVID-19 pandemic escalated nationwide, the PMC kicked off a new International Drum Month promotion in May, offering drummers a chance to win an online “Lesson with a Master” with internationally recognized celebrity drummers Gorden Campbell, Rick Latham, Rich Redmond, and David Stanoch. In light of the many COVID-19 restrictions across the country, this year’s reimagined International Drum Month virtual drum lessons worked perfectly with social distancing guidelines.

    Both online lesson promotions have been tremendously successful with an unprecedented number of new drummers visiting the website for contest entry, featured drumming news, webinars with professional drummers, and connections to PMC member websites.

    “This year, we’ve seen a significant increase in junior-size drum set sales as a result of the stay-at-home circumstances,” commented PMC’s special counsel representative Brad Smith. “Parents recognize the value of their kids playing drums and view it as a positive educational experience. These self-starting drummers will be a tremendous new crop of young players and students for private lessons as we evolve back to normal instructional lessons.”

    As for the PMC’s in-school educational presentations (Drum Set in the Classroom) and hands-on drumming presentations (Percussion in the Schools/Libraries), the obstacle faced were how to sanitize and disinfect drumsticks that are shared by hundreds of students in an all-school assembly. The PMC received a huge product donation from a member allowing the PMC to create 30–40 individual “Personal Percussion Packs” for each in-school workshop or drumming class. The PPP consists of a pair of drumsticks, an 8-inch tunable practice pad, and instructional CD/book packet which the participating student drummer uses and can keep permanently, as a gift from the PMC. As soon as schools reopen, the previously delayed in-school presentations will be rescheduled, offering schools these PMC Personal Percussion Packs as a connection and hosting incentive.

    PMC Co-Executive Director Karl Dustman explained, “Our leadership team and membership stepped up to the COVID-19 challenges, seizing every opportunity available to continue new player-drummer market development growth for retailers. Now more than ever the PMC is working with its membership and all percussion retailers to make certain we come together to support drummers of all ages. We cannot lose sight of the potential to create new customers as a result of increased time and interest in trying new things like drumming. Once the Coronavirus is under control, we’re optimistic that drums and drumming will see significant increases in interest, product demand, and more new drum lesson students in the retailer’s teaching studios.”

    Lessons with a Master Winners Announced
    The Percussion Marketing Council kicked off a new International Drum Month promotion in May offering drummers a chance to win an online “Lesson with a Master” with internationally recognized celebrity drummers Gorden Campbell, Rick Latham, Rich Redmond, and David Stanoch. In light of the many Covid-19 restrictions across the country this spring, this year’s reimagined International Drum Month promotion worked perfectly with the new social distancing guidelines.

    “We wanted to create an educational opportunity for drummers to learn from and experience a private online lesson with some of the industry’s most respected players. People are becoming more familiar with online teaching technology used for live lessons. Even with a simple video chat, the audio quality is good enough, and you can hear what someone is playing on an instrument. It’s not too different to a face-to-face lesson,” PMC Co-Executive Director David Jewell explains.

    The giveaway attracted close to 500 entries from player of all levels, genders, and ages from across the county via, the PMC’s official website. Each randomly selected winner had a private one-hour video-conference lesson with one of the four artists. Winners include: Marcus Cain, Bolivar, MO; Johnny Shankel, Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Jack Johnson, Eau Claire, WI; Nathan Bales, Springport, IN; Daniel Jimenez, Milbank, SD; John Helm, Gardena, CA; and Stephanie Krichena, Oklahoma City, OK.

    “We were extremely fortunate to have these teaching artists step forward to help us draw attention to the 25th anniversary of the Percussion Marketing Council and participate in this very special 2020 International Drum Month campaign,” states Jennifer Paisley, PMC Co-Executive Director.

Contact Us

Percussive Arts Society
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Indianapolis, IN 46204
T: (317) 974-4488
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