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Mike Portnoy’s Prog Percussion Proves Itself Again; Wins “Best Drummer” and “Best Progressive Drummer” In The 17th Annual Drummies!

San Jose, Calif., -- Mike Portnoy proves for a second-straight year that his prog drumming keeps him at the top of the percussion heap. Portnoy won “Best Drummer and “Best Progressive Drummer with more than 9000 drummers voting in DRUM! Magazine's 17th Annual Reader Poll, a new record for voting as compared to the 7900, who participated last year.

The following data highlights some of the key races and significant winners in the 17th Annual Drummies. For a complete listing of all winners in the 40+ categories that comprise the Drummies!, visit http://www.drummagazine/drummies.

“Best Drummer” – A Close Race: Portnoy vs. Peart

Unlike last year when Portnoy’s victory was very decisive, the race was very close with Portnoy barely beating out runners-up, Neil Peart, Mike Mangini, Chris Adler and Chad Smith.

In part, Portnoy’s victory may be a result of how busy he was this year. As noted in the July 2012 Issue of DRUM!, Portnoy founded two bands (Flying Colors and Adrenaline Mob), and was on the bus with numerous acts. “Portnoy has demonstrated his popularity and dedication to the drumming arts,” said Phil Hood, publisher and co-founder of Enter Music Publishing. “With his second victory, he has proven that his drumming is recognized by drummers, regardless of age or demographic.”

The same factors regarding Portnoy reflect his taking “Best Progressive Drummer”. He beat out last year’s winner, Gavin Harrison, and other runner-ups, Mike Mangini, Darren King and Virgil Donati.

Other Repeat Winners: Stanton Moore Marches To A Third Straight Win

There were other repeat winners, too. In the “Funk” Category, Stanton Moore won for a third straight time over some great talent, such as Tony Royster Jr., Questlove, Aaron Spears and Jay Lane. “Stanton has done an excellent job in mastering the second-line funk of New Orleans,” Hood continued. “He also has ‘popularized this drumming style to new audiences.”

Sheila E Slaps To A Second Straight Victory: “Best Percussionist”

Returning to well-deserved recognition in the Drummies!, Sheila E, won her second straight in the “Best Percussion” Category. She won over some formidable talent, such as Toca Rivera, Paulina Da Costa, Zakhir Hussain and Alex Acuna.

“Rising Star” Drummer Diversity

Of all the categories, The “Rising Star” was exciting for the diversity of talent. Jen Ledger, an English female drummer for Christian hard rock band, Skillet, won the category. In contrast, runner-up, Chris Dave, is a well-respected jazz drummer, who also plays pop and hip-hop. And, the second runner-up was Mike Johnston, a respected teacher, who is known for his web site,

Additionally, Dave took “Best Jazz Drummer” over some very impressive talent, such as Cindy Blackman, Dave Weckl and Danny Gottlieb.

First Timers: Shannon Leto

Recognized for his drumming with the highly popular group 30 Seconds To Mars, Shannon Leto (brother of movie icon Jared Leto) received his first Drummie! by winning the “Indie” Category. Runners-up were Kyle Burns, Jen Ledger, Joe Rickard and Dave Brogan.

Close Contests: Country

Of all the categories, the closest race was country where one vote separated Jim Riley, drummer for Rascal Flatts from Rich Redmond of the Jason Aldean band.

Drummie! In Memoriam: Ralph MacDonald

In what could be considered a “sympathy vote,” Ralph MacDonad, who passed away recently, won “Best Jazz Percussionist.” Runners-up included Giovanni Hidalgo and Jamey Haddad.

“Every year, The Drummies! recognize such a wide range of talent and products,” said Hood. “That’s really the point of putting them on.”

Enter Music Publishing would like to congratulate all of the winners and thank all the drummers and fans who voted this year.


Drummer Of The Year

  • Mike Portnoy
  • Neil Peart
  • Mike Mangini
  • Chris Adler
  • Chad Smith

Rising Star

  • Jen Ledger
  • Chris Dave
  • Mike Johnston
  • Dana Filloon
  • Luke Holland


  • Mike Portnoy
  • Mike Mangini
  • Gavin Harrison
  • Darren King
  • Virgil Donati


  • Chris Adler
  • Joey Jordison
  • Anders Jivarp
  • Brann Dailor
  • Matt Byrne


  • Taylor Hawkins
  • Todd Sucherman
  • Tre Cool
  • Chad Smith
  • Cora Coleman-Dunham


  • Shannon Leto
  • Kyle Burns
  • Jen Ledger
  • Joe Rickard
  • Dave Brogan


  • Stanton Moore
  • Tony Royster Jr.
  • Questlove
  • Aaron Spears
  • Jay Lane

Hip Hop

  • Tony Royster Jr.
  • Travis Barker
  • Questlove
  • Aaron Spears
  • Chris Dave


  • Steve Jordan
  • Tony Coleman
  • Chris Layton
  • Mark Teixera
  • Josh Dion


  • Chris Dave
  • Cindy Blackman
  • Dave Weckl
  • Danny Gottlieb
  • Marcus Gilmore


  • Jordan Burns
  • Brooks Wackerman
  • Jonathan Diener
  • Chris Thatcher
  • Dave Raun


  • Aaron Spears
  • Chris Coleman
  • Thomsas Pridgen
  • Calvin Rodgers
  • Eric Moore


  • Jim Riley
  • Rich Redmond
  • Lester Estelle Jr.
  • Chris McHugh
  • Paul Leim


  • Todd Suchermann
  • Mike Johnston
  • Steve Smith
  • Rich Redmond
  • Benny Greb

Studio Drummer/Drummer for Hire

  • Kenny Aronoff
  • Aaron Spears
  • Nisan Stewart
  • Steve Jordan
  • John Wicks



  • Sheila E.
  • Toca Rivera
  • Paulinho Da Costa
  • Zakir Hussain
  • Alex Acuña


  • Sheila E.
  • Eric Velez
  • Richard Bravo
  • Jessie Caraballo
  • Ismael Cancel


  • Hossam Ramzy
  • Taku Hirano
  • Alex Acuña
  • Richie Garcia
  • Tom Roady


  • Ralph MacDonald
  • Giovanni Hidalgo
  • Jamey Haddad
  • Susie Ibarra
  • Bobby Matos

Rising Star

  • Manuel “Papayo” Corao
  • Roland Garcia
  • Danny Couto
  • Martin Verdonk
  • Ekendra Das

Live Performer

  • Karl Perazzo
  • Andy Farag
  • Sheila E.
  • Poncho Sanchez
  • Kevin Ricard


  • Toca Rivera
  • Andy Farag
  • Terry Santiel
  • Hossam Ramzy
  • Eric Bobo


  • Jamey Haddad
  • Taku Hirano
  • Trilok Gurtu
  • Cyro Baptista
  • Zakir Hussain


  • Street Drum Corps
  • Nexus
  • Blue Man Group
  • Hands Ensemble
  • So Percussion


  • Raul Rekow and Karl Perazzo
  • Alex Acuña
  • Jim Greiner
  • Pete Lockett
  • Aldo Mazza


  • Stefon Harris
  • Gary Burton
  • Dave Samuels
  • Warren Wolf
  • Mike Dillon


Drum Sets

  • Gretsch Renown 57
  • Runners Up: Pearl Reference Pure, Tama Silverstar, Mapex Black Panther Velvetone

Snare Drums

  • DW Super Solid Edge Collectors Series
  • Runners Up: Stanton Moore Spirit Of New Orleans Signature Model, Tama Starphonic Limited Editions, Taye Aluminum Shell/Maple Hoops

Custom Drum Builders

  • SJC Custom Drums
  • Runners Up: Truth, Craviotto, Rockett Drumworks


  • Sabian Holy China
  • Runners Up: Paiste Twenty Masters Collection Rides, Zildjian Sound Lab 22" K Constantinople


  • Axis Derek Roddy Signature Edition Double Pedal With Deep Rockers
  • Runners Up: Gibraltar Swing Nut, Ddrum Heavy Hitter Hardware, Tama Limited Edition Camco Pedal

Percussion Toys & Accessories

  • LP Hi-Hat Shekere
  • Runners Up: Gon Bops Conga Riser, Swan Knock Box, Pearl Toy Box

Hand Drums LP

  • Stanton Moore Pandeiro
  • Runners Up: Swan Percussion Black Swan, Tycoon Percussion 29 Series Clear Acrylic Cajon With Black Makah Burl Front Plate, LP Classic Top Tuning Conga


  • Remo Coated Controlled Sound X
  • Runners Up: Evans EC2S, Remo Powerstroke Pro, Remo Tattoo Skyns

Drum Sticks

  • Vic Firth Charlie Benante Signature
  • Runners Up: Pro-Mark Joey Jordison Shira Kashi Oak, Ahead Fatbeat 5A, Vater Nisan Stewart Signature

Electronic Percussion

  • Zildjian Gen 16 Digital Cymbal System
  • Runners Up: Roland SPD-SX Sampling Pad, Yamaha DTX700K Kit, Roland TD-92K V-Tour Series

Recording Products

  • Alesis io Dock Pro For iPad
  • Runners Up: Zoom H2N, Shure Beta 91A Bass Drum Mike, Audix DP-Quad 4-Piece Microphone Pack


  • Ahead Armor Cases
  • Runners Up: RhythmTech Hat Trick, Protection Racket Deluxe Rucksack Cymbal Bag, Kickport 2

Sound Libraries

  • Zildjian Cymbal Vault
  • Runners Up: Virtually Erskine: Cymbal Master, Virtually Erskine: MIDI Groove Library, Ken Scott’s Epik Drums



  • Methods & Mechanics II by Todd Sucherman
  • Runners Up: Taking Center Stage by Neil Peart, Everything I Know by Peter Erskine, The Time Machine by John “JR” Robinson


  • The Big Gig by Zoro
  • Runners Up: Methods & Mechanics Companion Book by Todd Sucherman, The Evolution Of Jazz Drumming by Danny Gottlieb, Realistic Drum Fills: Replacements by Carmine Appice

Drumming Web Sites

  • Runners Up:,,

Educational Web Sites

  • Runners Up:,,

Equipment Manufacturer Web Sites

  • Runners Up:,,

About Enter Music Publishing

Founded in San Jose, CA in 1991, Enter Music Publishing, Inc. is a leading publisher of informative and entertaining drum and music-related media, with distribution in 40 countries. DRUM! Magazine is the company’s flagship publication and continues to set the industry standard for editorial quality and innovation. Enter Music Publishing, Inc. also publishes, a leading drum-related Web site. The company’s mission is to be the best source of drumming news and information in the world.