Mark Guiliana tops an impressive list of performers including West End percussionists Damien Manning and James Powell, plus Ensemble Bash

Workshops and talks to be given by The Royal Opera House’s Timpani and Percussion Section and timpanist John Chimes

Mark Guiliana joins Ronnie Scott’s Big Band musical director Peter Long and the RCM Big Band in concert

Legendary drummer Mark Guiliana will headline the RCM Festival of Percussion on Sunday 6 May 2018. Admired and in demand across the industry from jazz to rock to electronic music, Guiliana is recognised as one of the world’s leading drummers. The verve and precision of his drumming was an iconic feature of David Bowie’s multiple Grammy Award-winning final album, Blackstar. ‘It was so inspiring to witness David work’ Guiliana says of the intimate recording process. ‘We were all in the same room and he sang every take with us. I can never thank David enough for letting me into his artistic life, and in doing so, changing mine.’

Creating a new vernacular for the drums that blends the acoustic instrument with electronic beats, he has given masterclasses across the world and will share his vast experience in a special clinic at this year’s RCM Festival of Percussion. He will also join Pete Long, musical director of the Ronnie Scott’s Big Band and the RCM Big Band in concert at the end of the day.

Now in its seventh year, the RCM Festival of Percussion has become an established highlight of the UK percussion calendar, delivering engaging workshops and thrilling musical performances.

The 2018 festival features performances from West End percussionists Damien Manning and James Powell and the innovative Ensemble Bash, who ‘make playing percussion the coolest, noisiest and funniest occupation on earth’ according to The Times. There will also be performances from some of the UK’s top young percussion groups in the Junior Ensemble Showcase. Workshops throughout the day include an exploration of orchestral percussion repertoire with the Percussion and Timpani Section of The Royal Opera House and accomplished timpanist John Chimes.

Activities for families include a chance to try out Gamelan instruments, drum kit or the marimba, before an incredible lunchtime concert featuring the Coldstream Guards presented by RCM graduates O Duo, and joined by the RCM’s own Drumline Redhocks. Representatives from some of the world’s leading percussion companies and distributors will also be present at an all-day trade fair.

David Hockings, Head of Percussion at the RCM and founder of the festival, said: ‘The RCM is indebted to the incredible roster of world-class musicians who travel to the College each year, for the ongoing success of our percussion celebration. I am very excited to welcome Mark Guiliana this year and see him share his amazing experiences and unique approach to drumming with our audience.’

Full details of the 2018 festival’s line-up can be found below or at


© 1999 - 2019 Limited. All Rights Reserved