Singapore Drum Fest 2016 presents an exhilarating weekend on August 19 and 20, with its highly-anticipated drum competition, Drum Off Singapore, and the star- studded music concert Ultimate Weekend, featuring world-class drummers and their bands performing on Singapore shores, plus master classes conducted by these guest musicians.
Here is the 2016 line-up of accomplished guest drummers from America, Europe and Asia.
Kanade Sato: A young and passionate 13-year-old female Japanese drum prodigy who has been playing drums since she was 3 years old. Two years ago, she clinched top spot at the 2014 Hit Like A Girl Contest in her category, and was the first 11-year-old contestant to beat competitors much older than her. Her amazing passion and skills during that performance led a reporter to refer her as “one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen live, in an art form that’s been largely taken over by digital machines”.
Chris Coleman (Played for Chaka Khan, Prince, Stevie Wonder): Started playing drums at the age of 2 in church and subsequently won several band competitions, the most notable being the 2001 National Drum Competition organized by Guitar Center, which saw over 30,000 drummers vying for top spot. Began touring at 14 years old with gospel groups. Currently tours with R&B artist, Rachelle Ferrell.
Dave Elitch (Played for Miley Cyrus, M83, Justin Timberlake, The Mars Volta): Best known for his work with American progressive rock band, The Mars Volta, with whom he made his live debut in Oct 2009, in Oslo. He was also part of hard rock band, Daughters of Mara, and recorded their debut album “I Am Destroyer” in 2007 with GG Garth Richardson on Virgin/Capitol Records.
Eric Moore (Played for Suicidal Tendencies, Bobby Brown, Sly & the Family): Legendary drummer and founding father of the Gospel Chops movement in 2004. Began his professional career at age 4 by playing for his local church band and went on to earn many accolades in the music arena.
Echa Soemantri (Played for Eric Gutawa, Tompi, Abdul, Java Jazz Festival, Indonesia’s top drummer): A gospel music arranger and drummer from Jakarta whose gift was discovered at the age of 4. Started touring with his parents for church ministry in America and played drums for them at 5 years old. Began his professional career at 16 years old and continues to play drums for a wide range of genres today.
John Ashley Thomas Trio (Played for A Mei, Jacky Cheung, David Tao, Fish Leong): John is an internationally acclaimed jazz pianist who originates form KL Malaysia and performed in Australia, Singapore, China and Malaysia, and worked with accomplished musicians such as Shunzo Ohno (Japan), Michael Simon (Venezuela) Diego Maroto (Mexico) and James Flynn (Australia).
Note Weerachat (Played for Skykick Ranger, Thailand): An award-winning drummer from Thailand who plays across music genres, including gospel, pop, modern jazz and R&B. Released his solo album (NOOP) in 2016 and has played for Skykick Ranger (Thailand) and for Grateful The Gospel Band. Famous for his Youtube “Drum Wall” clips, which garnered over a million views to date!
Rafael Sotomayor & Kate Stone on Hand Pan (Germany): Rafael and Kate are two solo performers who met in a French Festival and together, discovered a new dimension of music with the handpan instrument. In 2015, the pair started performing around Europe and this will be their maiden appearance in Asia (Singapore).
Jose Montana on Cajon (Master cajon player from the land of flamenco dance, Spain): Started playing percussion at 14 years old and made his debut in a series of flamenco festivals. Studied cajon with the most recognised cajon player and flamenco percussionist, El Pirana, and has since performed with virtuoso flamenco dancers, and at international percussion events.
Teo Jia Rong (Inch Chua, Dru Chen, L.A.B., T.A.J.): Hails from a classical music background and was a member of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. He is a music graduate in Contemporary Classical Percussion from Lasalle College of The Arts and has worked with many jazz and pop music artists in Singapore.
Er Chow Kiat (Corinne May, Eric Moo, The Sam Willows): An award-winning graduate from the world renowned Musicians Institute and a founding member of Urban Drum Crew (UDC) Singapore. In 2011, CK released a hugely successful promotional video in partnership with Yamaha Music Singapore that garnered more than 300,000 views on Youtube. CK is currently endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Newfolder Cases and 1964 EARS.
Percussion juggernauts Tribal Tide! (Honouring the Late Edmond Branson JR): Tribal Tide traces its musical roots to a fusion of several music forms, combining Latin American vibes with Indian and African influences, to even the Australian Didgeridoo. Their unique sound has made waves in the World Music scene, and they have performed in many festivals and concerts around the world.