Trilok Gurtu (Trilok Gurtu Band)
The Rhythm Best of drums 2016 polls have received over 136,000 votes, and we're now ready to roll out the winners. The nominees were what we considered to be the drummers and gear that have excelled in 2016. Here, we present the best percussionists of 2016. First up we have Trilok Gurtu...
2016 highlight: For Trilok, 2016 has very much been a ‘live’ year. The renowned Indian percussionist has split his time this year between performing with the Jan Garbarek Group, the Trilok Gurtu/Paolo Fresu/Omar Sosa Trio and the Trilok Gurtu Band, as well as some breathtaking solo shows.
Mino Cinelu (various)
2016 highlight: Early 2016 saw Mino out on the road with jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist Marcus Miller, as well as a string of solo shows. Ever the percussion chameleon, Mino has also been sharing some cool videos from behind the scenes at rehearsals for a Cyndi Lauper and Friends new year event.
Evelyn Glennie (various)
2016 highlight: The celebrated percussionist continued to create and inspire through 2016, including playing marimba on two tracks on Mark Knopfler’s mesmerizing new album Altamera. This was also the year that Dame Evelyn won a new central London residency courtesy of the PRS for Music Foundation, that will start in January 2017.
Luis Conte (various)
2016 highlight: The Cuban percussionist is well known for his work with pop luminaries like Madonna and Phil Collins, and in 2016 Luis spent much of the year on the road with American singer songwriter and guitarist James Taylor, performing alongside Steve Gadd.
Sheila E (various)
2016 highlight: Sheila E put her heart and soul into celebrating her longtime friend and musical collaborator Prince, following his untimely death in April 2016. She led a tribute to the great musician at the 2016 BET awards, performing a number of his biggest hits, before releasing a new song, Girl Meets Boy, in his honour.
Aaron Draper (Adele)
2016 highlight: As British songstress Adele continued her domination of the charts she was also cooking up a plan to hit the biggest venues around the world. For that she needed the best band in the world, so she hired percussionist extraordinaire Aaron Draper. He’s come a long way since Jay-Z gave him a big break on his 2001 Unplugged album.
Chris Fehn (Slipknot)
2016 highlight: You may not think there’s much nuance to the percussion in Slipknot, but listen closely and you’ll quickly realise the percussive foundation created by drummer Jay Weinberg, and percussionists Fehn and Shawn Crahan, is essential to the weight and power of the band’s heavy sound. Fehn adds a vital visual element to the band’s live show too, which he proved on the road with the Iowan mentalists throughout 2016.
Pete Lockett (various)
2016 highlight: What hasn’t Pete Lockett done this year? A quick look at Pete’s social media accounts and you’ll learn that in the last 12 months he’s travelled the world doing everything from performing at the Croatia Drum Fest, to shooting a series of lessons with Drumeo and touring north America. Phew!
Mauro Refosco (Red Hot Chili Peppers/various)
2016 highlight: Although he isn’t touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers this time around, the Brazilian percussionist - who played a significant role on the band’s last album I’m With You - still left his mark on ace new album The Getaway. The tracks in question were Sick Love and Go Robot. Some of this year has also been spent focusing on his New York-based Brazilian band, Forro In The Dark.
Winner: Kornel Horvath (Thunder Duo)
2016 highlight: A relatively new name to the Best Percussionist category, Hungary-born Kornel Horvath makes up one half of electrifying percussion outfit Thunder Duo alongside Gabor Dornyei. His innate mastery of traditional percussion and its fusion with modern styles lies at the core of his talent, and if you’ve ever experienced him in clinic you’ll understand exactly how he’s earned this prestigious title.