Meet the 2023 “Young drummer of the year” finalists performing at the live final on February 19th.
Brooklyn Nyan: 16 years old and from Milton Keynes, he has been playing for 11 years and his favourite drummers are Devon Taylor, Matty Brown (previous Young drummer of the year winner), Rico Nichols and Lacy Corner.
Samuel Freeman Justynski: 16 years old and from Edinburgh, Samuel has been drumming since he was 2, although Sams first formal lesson wasn’t until he was 9 years old he remembers listening to music since he was very young. Sam’s favourite drummers are Dave Weckl, Ari Hoening, Jacob Collier and Chris Coleman to name a few. Sam says, “I am thrilled to be part of 2023 Young drummer of the year final.”
Jared Agyekum: 14 years old and lives in Birmingham. Jared has been playing drums for 7 years and got taught by his cousin Jeremy Osei. His favourite drummers are Calvin Rodgers, Aaron Spears, Gabe the drummer, Eric Moore, Matty Brown, Stephen Asamoah (previous Young drummer of the year winner) and Benny Greb.
Jack Manders: 14 years old from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Jack made it to the final 10 in the 2022 Young drummer of the year final. Jack started playing at the age of 1 year old and started sending in videos to the Young drummer of the year event from the age of 4, Jack says “over the years I’ve been inspired by hundreds of musicians and drummers, here is a list of my most recent favourites” John Blackwell, J Rod Sullivan, Kaz Rodriguez, Larnell Lewis, Zak Grooves, J D Beck and Jost Nickel.
Tyler Baker: 15 years old and from Colchester, Tyler was also in 2022 Young drummer final and says “last year I found it an amazing experience and something I am privileged to be part of this year” Tyler has been drumming since he was 4 years old and has recently completed his Trinity College Classical and Jazz Grade 8 qualification. Tyler says he is influenced by drummers Bill Bruford, JD Beck, Steve Gadd and Jojo Mayer and I take influence from a wide range of music, including rock, jazz, hip-hop and electronic.
Oscar Leach: 16 years old and from Teignmouth, Devon and has been playing since he was 11 years old with his drum teacher Mitch Pike. He plays in various musical situations including 3 sessions with the Devon Youth Jazz orchestra. His Favourite drummers are Danny Carey, Matt Garstka, Abe Cunningham and Dave DiCenso.
Christian Woolley: 16 years old and from Nottingham has been playing since his Dad introduced him to drums at the age of 7. Christians favourite drummers are Gavin Harrison and Marco Minnemann and he tries to implement their playing in his style. He says, “Young drummer of the year is something I have always wanted to do to share my passion with others”
Finlay Mackenzie: 16 years old, the second finalist from Edinburgh Scotland. Finlay has been playing drums since he was 18 months old and started attending Scotland’s Portobello Music School at the age of 3 years old. Finlay is now principal drummer for the Edinburgh Schools Jazz Orchestra and in 2022 successfully auditioned for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland. “I have been influenced by Roy Haynes, Jeff Watts and Buddy Rich” he tells us, also, modern drummers such as Stephen Henderson and Tom Potter (Young Drummer of the Year 2016 winner) motivated him with their innovation in the Scottish music scene.
Sonny Young: 15 years old from Christchurch, Dorset. This is also Sonnys second year at the Young drummer of the year final. Sonny has been playing the drums for 10 years and first started out on a makeshift drum kit that he got for his 6th birthday. He plays in two bands and also plays in his school funk band and orchestra. He can often be found busking with his friend Rufus, drumming is a huge part of his life and he loves playing and learning different styles. Sonny finds the drummers Benny Greb, Gianluca Pellerito and Questlove the most inspiring to him.
Edward Grant: 16 years old from Midhurst West Sussex. Edwards been playing drums for 7 years. His favourite drummers are Matt Gartska, Larnell Lewis, Benny Greb.
The Young drummer of the year live final willbe held on the 19 th February at “The lighthouse theatre” in Poole, Dorset. The show starts at 2pm and tickets are all priced at £15 (plus booking fee)
Box Office: 01202 280000 or www.lighthousepoole.co.uk
The 2023 final is sponsored by PDP Drums, Paiste cymbals and Gewa