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Guitar Center (www.guitarcenter.com), the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, continues its support of unsigned artists, announcing 21-year-old Jean-Pierre “JP” Didier Bouvet as the winner of the twenty third-annual Guitar Center’s Drum-Off (http://gc.guitarcenter.com/drum-off-2011/), the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer. JP beat out over 4,500 contestants to take the nearly $50,000 grand prize.
“I’m blown away by this win,” says Bouvet. “Sometimes you feel like you should win, sometimes you shouldn’t. This time I was right in the middle. I had no idea this was going to happen. I honestly thought it could have gone to anyone and I wouldn’t have been mad. I’m flattered, honored and humbled, it’s truly amazing. For Guitar Center to put a contest like this on, it’s fantastic. I’m honored just to be hanging out backstage and meet all these drumming legends.”
“Guitar Center annually celebrates drummers by giving aspiring musicians the chance to take their careers to the next level,” said Maria Brown, manager of music and entertainment marketing at Guitar Center. ”JP put on an incredible performance at the 2011 grand finals, excited to see where he goes from here.”
The grand prize package includes:
The grand finals at Club Nokia in LA featured not only a riveting competition between the five grand finalists, but also a series of sets by some of the drum world’s biggest icons. It even featured one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, as Jack Black and his Tenacious D band mates joined Brooks Wackerman for three songs during his set.
The rest of the performers included: Ilan Rubin (Angels & Airwaves, Nine Inch Nails) with Hayden Scott (Awol Nation) and Daniel Rubin; Aaron Spears (Usher, Alicia Keys) with Jabo Starks (drummer for James Brown) and Roland Garcia (American Idol) as well as Arthur “Buddy” Strong, Tim Stewart, Eric Ingram, Kevin Williams, Sean Erick and Leon Silva;
Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenge Sevenfold) with Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai, David Lee Roth), Tony MacAlpine (Steve Vai), and Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Planet X, Black Country Communion); Dennis Chambers (Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic) with Gary Grainger, Haakon Graf, and U-Nam; Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Tenacious D) with Robert Trujillo (Metallica) and Armand Sabal-Lecco (Paul Simon) plus very special guests; Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons) with Jimmy Johnson (James Taylor, Allan Holdsworth) and Alex Machacek.
The evening’s panel of judges included: Cora Coleman-Dunham (Beyonce, Prince) – former Drum-Off champion, Tony Royster Jr. (Jay-Z) – former Drum-Off champion, Peter Criss (Kiss), Adrian Young (No Doubt), Dave Elitch (Mars Volta), Ray Luzier (Korn), Jose Pasillas (Incubus), Tommy Clufetos (Ozzy Osborne), Thomas Lang, and Trevor Lawrence Jr. (Herbie Hancock, Dr. Dre).
In addition to all the incredible performances, the night featured the Drum Legend induction of drumming greats Peter Criss (KISS) and Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons).
Guitar Center’s Drum-Off has jump-started the careers of a number of professional drummers over its twenty-three year history, including those of Cora Coleman-Dunham and Tony Royster Jr. (Prince, Beyonce and Jay-Z respectively).
Guitar Center’s Drum-Off is just one of many Guitar Center initiatives created to foster growth and success within the music community, including its annual On-Stage, Your Next Record and King of the Blues competitions, among others.
Image Courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/pages/JP-Bouvet/114606655239675