U.S. finalist Jeffrey Fajardo drove all the way from his home in Brooklyn, New York, to Austin, Texas, for the competition, a journey of nearly 2,000 miles, after his flight was cancelled due to Super Storm Sandy. Though Fajardo didn’t win, his dedication reflects the passion inspired by the Roland V-Drums World Championship. The big winner of the evening was Patrick Kennedy from the Austin suburb of Manor, Texas, who performed a solo that combined electronica, real-time loops, and a display of groove and fills.
Previously a runner-up in the 2011 U.S. semifinals, Patrick Kennedy will be representing the United States at the V-Drums World Championship 2 in April 2013 during Musikmesse in Frankfurt, Germany. “It was an honor to participate in the V-Drums national competition,” Patrick reflected on the experience afterwards. “I had an amazing time getting to hang out and talk with Thomas Lang and Johnny Rabb, as well as all of the other contestants.” Kennedy won a TD-30KV V-Drums set with a set of REMO custom shell wraps, a complete set of DW hardware, dozens of Pat Kennedy signature sticks from Vic Firth, and a year’s subscription to DRUM! magazine.
Runner-up Phillip “P.J.” Hill of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, performed with a blend of technique and hip musical style. The other talented competitors included Brandon Currie from Marietta, Georgia; DeCarlos Davis from Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Jeffrey Fajardo from Brooklyn, New York; Tony “T.J.” Fisher from Long Beach, California; Casey Glass from Loveland, Colorado; and Reed Hayes from Deltona, Florida.
Roland’s Annual V-Drums World Championship gives drummers around the globe a unique opportunity to explore their musical passion, flexibility and the creative options of electronic percussion. The contestants performed in front of a lively onsite audience of over 250, while a large, worldwide audience watched the live event online as it was broadcast on the Roland U.S. website.
Co-sponsored by DRUM! magazine, Drum Workshop, Remo, and Vic Firth, the national finals was the culmination of more than four months of exciting drumming competitions in the U.S. Beginning with an 11-week online selection process that began in June, nearly 300 drummers submitted video performances that were carefully judged by Roland U.S. staff members. Of the hundreds of submissions, 48 contestants were selected to compete in eight semifinal events in front of live audiences nationwide. These events were held on two consecutive weekends in September, where judges chose the final eight drummers for the national finals.
“Having the contest at this year’s PASIC event was awesome,” said Roland Percussion Product Manager Tim Root, who once again served as the evening’s emcee. “We were able to introduce Roland V-Drums to a whole new group of drummers and percussionists. We were very pleased at the turnout and our partnership with the Percussive Arts Society. By streaming the contest live, we were able to reach a global audience. Now, it’s on to the V-Drums World Championship 2 finals in Europe—go USA!”