BY DRUM! STAFF

Everybody likes a compliment. And when you consider how drummers so often are relegated to the back of the stage, shoved aside by machines in the studio, and forced to bear the brunt of careless jokes, a little bit of heartfelt praise can pose the inspirational equivalent of a cold glass of water slaking a particularly parched throat.

There are different types of compliments, though, and each takes on a commensurate level of significance. For example, when fans approach you at the end of a gig to offer thanks for a great show, you can be fairly certain they weren’t actually commenting on the way you feather the bass drum or execute crossovers. They simply had a great time, which is a beautiful thing, indeed.

But it’s an entirely different story when a fellow drummer offers an insightful compliment. In that case, you can count on the fact that he or she studied your drumming and was impressed enough by your chops to actually tell you, which is why the annual Drummies! Artist Awards are so important to those players who receive the honor.

About the process: We first reach out to experts in the drum and recording industries to nominate finalists in each category. Once the nominations are tabulated, we take the three top vote winners and ask you, our readers, to choose those drummers and percussionists who win the ultimate prize. This year, we also offered an optional write-in candidate during the final vote, to level the playing field. At least one winner in each category was chosen by your write-in votes.

So here are the winners of the 2016 Drummies! Artist Awards, chosen by you. Congratulations to them all.

Find the percussionist category winners here.

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DRUMMER OF THE YEAR: NEIL PEART

RUNNERS UP

  • Antonio Sánchez
  • Omar Hakim
  • Chris Fryar

It’s difficult to imagine any other drummer who might deserve the 2016 Drummer Of The Year Award more than Neil Peart. As one of the most visible and revered drumming ambassadors through his decades-long tenure with prog heroes Rush, Peart and his bandmates decided to finally call it quits and undertook their farewell tour in the past year. So what advice would he give to young drummers who aspire to reach a similar level of achievement as The Professor has during his celebrated career? He told us in last December’s issue: “The important thing is to keep striking that flint and steel, and eventually you will produce a spark.”

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RISING STAR: ANIKA NILLES

RUNNERS UP

  • Robert “Sput” Searight
  • Joe Saylor
  • Shaun Foist

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ROCK/POP DRUMMER & HIP-HOP DRUMMER: TONY ROYSTER JR.

RUNNERS UP: ROCK/POP DRUMMER

  • Brian Frasier-Moore
  • Daru Jones
  • Carter Beauford

RUNNERS UP: HIP-HOP DRUMMER

  • Chris “Daddy” Dave
  • Mike Reid
  • George “Spanky” McCurdy

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JAZZ DRUMMER: MARK GUILIANA

RUNNERS UP

  • Kendrick Scott
  • Antonio Sánchez
  • Johnny Vidacovich

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FUNK DRUMMER: STANTON MOORE

RUNNERS UP

  • Aaron Spears
  • Chris Coleman
  • David Garibaldi

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COUNTRY DRUMMER: JIM RILEY

RUNNERS UP

  • Rich Redmond
  • Ben Sesar
  • Chris Fryar

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BLUES DRUMMER: TONY COLEMAN

RUNNERS UP

  • Johnny Radelat
  • Richard Danielson
  • Chris Layton

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GOSPEL DRUMMER: AARON SPEARS

RUNNERS UP

  • Calvin Rodgers
  • Gerald Heyward
  • Chris Coleman

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HARD ROCK DRUMMER: GLEN SOBEL

RUNNERS UP

  • Chris Adler
  • Brann Dailor
  • Jay Weinberg

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ALTERNATIVE DRUMMER: JEFF FRIEDL

RUNNERS UP

  • Shaun Foist
  • Darren King
  • Glenn Kotche

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EXTREME METAL DRUMMER: GEORGE KOLLIAS

RUNNERS UP

  • Alex Lopez
  • Dirk Verbueren
  • Jay Weinberg

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PUNK DRUMMER: BROOKS WACKERMAN

RUNNERS UP

  • Brandon Barnes
  • Jorma Vik
  • Atom Willard

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PROGRESSIVE ROCK DRUMMER: MIKE PORTNOY

RUNNERS UP

  • Gavin Harrison
  • Matt Garstka
  • Mike Mangini

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STUDIO DRUMMER & DRUM SET CLINICIAN: KENNY ARONOFF

RUNNERS UP: STUDIO DRUMMER

  • Matt Chamberlain
  • Shawn Pelton
  • Vinnie Colaiuta

RUNNERS UP: DRUM SET CLINICIAN

  • Keith Carlock
  • Mike Johnston
  • Stanton Moore

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