Like many things throughout history it is unfortunate that drumming has traditionally been a male dominated activity. Not any more!
When I saw Dumpstaphunk in Denver, CO on new years eve 2012 nothing could prepare me for the power and groove that was about to hit. I had bearly heard of Dumpstaphunk at that time and I had no idea that the bands drummer: Nikki Glaspie was about to have me dancing the hight of my self in excitment every time she hit the snare drum. Nikki’s groove was so in the pocket, it put a hole in it. The whole band put on quite a show that night but for me, it was Glaspie who stole the show. A few days later I decided to check out some of her other work, I found out that she had played with Beyonce on her 2007 world tour and after checking out some videos on YouTube I began discovering some other incredible female drummers who I had not heard of before. I suddenly realized that the girls were taking over and drumming’s age of women was truly upon us.
Sheila E who is regarded as one of the most iconic female drummers of all time.
Of course Nikki Glaspy was not the first great female drummer. There are a long line of greats who came before such as Cindy Blackman-Santana who’s career spanning 3 decades has seen her play with greats including: Pharoah Sanders, Lenny Kravitz, and of couse her husband: Carlos Santana. Grammy nominated Sheila E is probably one of the most well know female drummers who is best known for her long career with Prince. Her wide percussive ability on drum set, congas, timbales, and dosens of other instruments has seen her play with greats such as: Lionel Richie, George Duke, Ringo Starr, & Gloria Estefan. Karen Carpenter who was the lead singer and drummer for the Carpenters, who scored a string of Top 10 hits in the early ’70s probably influenced hundreds of women to pick up the sticks over the years. These great drummers amongst others have led the way for a new age of female drummers who are now taking the gigs from the boys and deservedly so.
Girls to watch out for
Nikki Glaspie who has performed with Dumpstaphunk, Beyonce, Chaka Kahn, Jay-Z, Kanye West
After attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Nikki Glaspie has gone on to play with some of the worlds biggest artists including being chosen to be part or Beyonce’s all girl band in 2006 taking her on a world tour in 2007. Glaspie’s style is very much in the gospel funk tradition with a technical ability to rival anyone who dares. Check out Nikki playing
Hannah Ford who’s band 3rd Eye Girl are now performing as the backing band for Prince.
Ford has taken influence from drummers like Buddy Rich, Tony Williams, Sheila E & Cindy Blackman. Her short career has already led to her playing drums with Prince, not an easy seat to fill after drummers like Bobby Z, John Blackwell, Kirk Johnson & Sheila E have been there before. Check out Hannah Ford playing
Cora Coleman-Dunham has performed with Prince, Yusef Lateef & Frank McComb
After Prince attended one of her performances with Frank McComb he took an interest and upon her return from a Japanese tour, Prince put together a new Band with Cora on drums and her husband, Joshua Dunham on bass. Cora is a power house of a drummer winning Guitar Center’s Annual National Drum-Off competition in 2003. Check out Cora Coleman playing
Samantha Maloney has performed with Hole, Mötley Crüe, Eagles of Death Metal
In 1998 Maloney auditioned for Hole after the departure of Patty Schemel. She got the job and at the age of 22 Maloney was on the road with Hole at the hight of their success. In 2000 she joined Mötley Crüe to fill in for Randy Castillo who was ill at the time. After Castillo died in 2002 Maloney went on to play with the band until 2004. Maloney now tours with Brother Clyde an alt rock band formed by Billy Ray Cyrus. Check out Samantha Maloney playing
Kim Thompson has performed with Kelly Rowland, George Michael, Destiny’s Child
Kim Thompson is origionaly from LA but grew up in St Louis, MO. Like Nikki Glaspie Thompson was part of Beyonce’s all girl live band in 2007. She has toured in over 33 countrys and endorses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, and Vater sticks. Check out Kim Thompson playing