John Donovan (US)

Paiste Artist Since Jan 2011



While the party percussion concept is 30 years old, John Donovan has received levels of recognition never before earned by a live musician in the DJ industry and has achieved them in just a little over four years since his days of working traditional drum kit gigs. John is featured in the March 2012 issue of DJ Times Magazine, and has been a featured performer at the two largest DJ expos in the world: The DJ Times Expo in Atlantic City and The Mobile Beat Expo in Las Vegas. In 2012 John performed in a drumline with the celebrity band 311 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Whether it’s 16,000 guests or 50, John delivers as ONLY a DCI World Champion can.

John performs with DJ’S at high end weddings, mitzvahs, sweet 16’s, engagement parties, and famous nightclubs as a lead percussion entertainer. John has worked with DJ Nick Hogan, son of celebrity Professional Wrestling Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan and in 2010 John was on the same bill as international dance music super-star Lucas Prata at a Multi-Million Dollar Fundraiser for a new children's hospital. While performing along DJ’S in the private and public club scene is almost exclusively reserved for Latin Percussionists, John’s Rudimental “Corps-Style” percussion application is both pioneering in the percussion industry, and historical. John Donovan is possibly the only full time commercial, freelance individual Multi-Tenor player on the planet. Employment as a Multi-Tenor player, whether it be with military, pro sport teams, amusement park or other independent organizations is almost exclusively reserved for professional groups of more than one. John considers it an honor to possibly be the one responsible for commercializing the Multi-Tenor instrument. With over 500 private events and night club gigs to his credit in several states coast to coast, John Donovan is the perfect upgrade to your entertainment package. His surprise interactive set near the end of your event will give your guests an interactive experience like none other!

Before John’s big break in New York’s private event market, he worked with professional dance bands, rock and metal bands, jazz bands, musical theater pit orchestras, amusement park marching bands and cruise ship orchestras. John credits his diverse background in influencing him to be the dynamic entertainer he is today. In 2002, John performed with One Man Religion, which opened for internationally recognized Metal band, Breaking Benjamin.

Like most drummers, John began by playing rock and roll, but everything changed when at age 16 he saw his first Drum Corps International (DCI) drumline. From the moment he dedicated himself to this extreme form of mental and physical conditioning, his value as a professional increased exponentially. John sees himself as a cyborg – a dynamic embodiment of drumline and drumset. Through intense DCA and DCI drumline training supplemented with regimented personal practice, he mastered rudimental snare, tenor and bass drumming. The resulting wizardry of flashy machine-like execution and musical depth has proven addictive – and lucrative. John received his training with Pioneer (1996 DCI Division II World Percussion Champions), Jersey Surf and The Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps. A music business graduate of McNally Smith College of Music, formerly known as MusicTech, John has also served as composer, arranger, instructor, and manager for drumlines across the Northeast and Midwest.

John’s brisk success in New York has earned invitations as a clinician for the Sam Ash Music Chain and The New York Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, sharing the stage with snare drummer Nick Angelis of Tony and Emmy award winning BLAST! John was featured in Modern Drummer Magazine (Kit of the Month - March 2008), Mentioned in Percussion News several times and is a performing artist and clinician for Mapex Marching Percussion, Paiste, Vater and Slug. John resides with his wife Lauren, also a DCI Alum and Music Educator, and their son Evan.