Meet the young drummer of the year finalists

Please meet the 2024 Young drummer of the year 2024 final 10 who will be performing live on Sunday 11th February at the Lighthouse theatre in Poole.

The 2024 Young drummer of the year is sponsored by Gretsch drums, Zildjian cymbals, Gewa cases, Vic Firth sticks and Gibraltar hardware.

For tickets – contact


Harry Jenkins


Harry is 15 years old is from Claygate, Surrey and has been playing for 8 years.

His favourite drummers are Benny Greb, Nate Smith, Anika Niles, Ash Soan and Zack Grooves





Bella Matthews

Bella is 16 years old and is from South East London. She has been playing for 6 years. Her current teachers are Gabi King and Colin Woolway and she plays in various bands in her local area.

She is inspired by Tony Allen, Yussef Dayes, Femi Koleoso and Larnell Lewis to name a few. Bella said “I take different things from each of them, but overall they’ve really encouraged me to explore my love for jazz and funk whilst also inspiring me to experiment with rhythms from different cultures to create some really cool and unique ideas” 



Dylan Clarke


Dylan is 15 years old and from Barry in South Wales, he has been playing drums since the age of 8 under the tuition of his teacher Ian Nash and passed his Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 8 exam with distinction aged 13 and has been gigging around South Wales with several bands over the past 18 months. 

His favourite drummers are Danny Goffey, Dave Grohl and John Bonham.



Aldrexter Barroga 


Aldrexter is 15 years old and from Croydon, Surrey. He started banging on his toy drum at 3 years old and is mostly self taught by watching drum videos on YouTube.

By the time he was 4, he had millions of viewers on YouTube and is currently in two bands and also plays as a session drummer with various bands.

 He is Inspired by Gavin Harrison, Dave Weckl, Mike Portnoy, John Otto and Jose Pasillas. 



Jared Agyekum


Jared is 15 years old and lives in Birmingham. He has been playing drums since he was 7 years old and was taught by his cousin Jeremy Osei.  Jared is one of two finalists who were in the 2023 final.

He is inspired by previous Young drummer of the year winner Jeremie Animan, Ebenezer Sendey, Matty Brown and Stephen Asamoah Duah plus Aaron Spears, Jamal Moore, Eric Moore, Aaron Castrillon, Gergo Borlari and Benny Greb.




James Nugent


James is 15 years old from Bedford. James began drumming at the age of 7 and has been dedicated ever since. He has a passion for drumming, especially live performances, and actively participates in a local jazz club, and also performs with a local rock band for various venues and festivals.

Influenced by drumming legends such as Keith Moon, John Bonham, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Stewart Copeland, he is keen to develop his own unique drumming style.



Paawan Sharma


Paawan is 15 and lives in Buckinghamshire. He started drumming in year 2 at school and immediately really liked it . 

Apart from his teacher Anna Mylee who is tremendously inspirational to him, his all-time favourite drummers are Greyson Nekrutman and Benny Greb. 

Paawan said “I am very excited to be part of the YDOTY experience this year and hope to continiue to enjoy and express myself through drumming.”





Yuma Angius-Thomas 

Yuma is 15 years old and from London. His passion for drumming started at around nine years old when he began teaching himself how to play a few grooves. He continued to do so until at 13 under the guidance of Riccardo Chiaberta, he completed his Trinity Grade 8 qualification in Drum Kit with Distinction,  He now studies jazz with Adam Osmianski. He is currently playing Drums for the Haringey Young Musicians Stage Band, Hackney Empire Advanced Development Programme, JG Big Band and a Jazz Ensemble and the Tomorrows Warriors Youth Ensemble. Yuma likes Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Benny Greb, Steve Gadd, Billy Cobham, Larnell Lewis, Zack Graybeal, Rob Turner, Yusef Dayes, Femi Koleoso and many other musicians.


Jayden Risden


Jayden is 15 years old and from Gloucester, he has playing drums since he was 2 years old. “I’ve always been inspired by my dad who also plays drums.”

His favourite drummers are Aaron spears, previous Young drummer of the year winner Matty brown, Tony Taylor jr, Devon Taylor and Josh Mckenzie

Jayden said “I’m grateful to be given this opportunity to be part of the Young Dummer of the year competition.”



Jack Manders

Jack is 14 years old and from Buckinghamshire. He started playing the drums at the age of one and has been listed in the Top 40 under 16’s Young Drummer of Year 8 years running  and made it as a Finalist in 2022, 2023 and now 2024. 

At the age of 10 Jack performed over 150 shows in London’s Westend with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “the school of rock Musical” Jack was then awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Purcell School for young musicians and since been performing with some of the best musicans in the UK performing at The Royal Albert Hall, London and Pizza Express Soho Jazz Club London. 

Jack is  inspired by hundreds of musicians and drummers from Phil Rudd (AC/DC); Jeff Porcaro (Toto); Derek McKenzie (Jamiroquai) to most his most recent favourites including Yuseff Dayes, John Blackwell,Larnell Lewis, Zak Grooves, J D Beck and Jost Nickel.

By | 2024-01-02T16:03:54+00:00 January 2nd, 2024|Categories: News|Comments Off on Meet the young drummer of the year finalists

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